|Features of the Classical model:|
Click on the image for more pictures
Listen and watch Lloyd Wheeler play the first one which is a long scale symmetric points classical.
Here is another video by Lloyd, this time recorded in the studio. Lovely mandolin sound.
Flattop Classical model
Click on the image for more pictures
This model is based on the Lyon and Healy mandolins and is constructed very similar to the Lyon and Healey/Washburn mandolins. There are some differences, primarily to keep costs under control. For example, there is no scroll headstock, and the tailpiece is simpler. There is no leg pin, but there is an end pin so a strap can be used. It is named the Classical model because the Lyon and Healy mandolins are very popular amongst musicians who play classical music on mandolin. This mandolin is my personal favourite. It sounds similar to the original Lyon and Healy mandolins, but is louder and more responsive, and in my opinion the tone is also improved. Fantastic mandolins, delightful to play and they sound awesome, I love them and get blown away every time I string a new one up (but that is my opinion. They are, however, significantly more work to make so are more expensive.
The Lyon and Healey mandolins were constructed very differently from the Gibson mandolins. Many makers claim to make a mandolin "based on" on "influenced by" the Lyon and Healy's, but in fact have nothing much in common apart from the body shape. A Coombe classical model mandolin is in fact based on and constructed similar to an original Lyon and Healy. It has exactly the same feel and delightful playability.
Sound - the sound of the carved top classical model is quite different from my standard oval hole mandolins. It has a lighter, brighter and more delicate sound and feel. From all the mandolins I have, the first and second ones certainly do sound closest to my original 1918 Lyon and Healy, but they are louder and more lively and ring and sustain more. Like the original, it does not have the big woofy bass sound that is so characteristic of Gibson style oval hole mandolins.
Sound of the flattop classical is similar to the standard flattop mandolin, maybe just a bit sweeter sounding, but the differences are so small and there is so much overlap, they are essentially idential. Just a different shape and 4 more frets.
Comments from a customer -
"The notes on the A and E strings are bell like, absolutely beautiful for
single notes, sounds exactly like Marilynn Mair, who plays a both an
original, but mainly an identical replica of this made by a Canadian
luthier, no longer working, who reproduced the original with a flat peghead
just like yours
If you close your eyes and play lines on the basses, listening to the sound,
and volume, you would expect to be holding a much larger instrument
There seems to be an enormous amount of power on tap, lots of sound, like
pressing an organ key
It clearly delineates the different notes in chords or arrpegios. The sound
is stunning when compared to the rather plonk and tubby thuds that most bowl
back mandolins in the orchestra produce
Because it is so delicately and lightly constructed, you get very subtle and
fine tones for tremolo, a major feature of classical work, it is awesome,
single strings sing
I have not figured out all the dynamics yet, but when you do a double
octave run up the neck, the high notes are still really loud and clear,
in fact controlling the vol with your technique will be a learning curve
I feel like I am holding a model aeroplane and the action is incredibly easy
to play, this translates into velocity and potential for virtuoso
performance- this is exactly like the originals. I think you have nailed
that because that was what struck so much about the original I played. This
is not your typical bluegrass mandolin experience"