2000s Godin 5th Avenue Electric Mandocello Conversion




This Godin was "started" down its path as a mandocello a few years ago. A friend of a friend was converting it and got as far as hacking-up the headstock to fit mandolin tuners, cutting a custom pickguard, and putting faux-inlay stickers all over the fretboard. Apparently, he'd also made a wooden tailpiece for it, though that tail died a horrible death as it was splintered when it got here.

I finished it off for the new owner and made it useful, converting it to serve as an electric hollowbody rather than trying to make it sound good as an acoustic. This is because these Godin 5th Avenue bodies sound... ok at best... acoustically.

Work included: refitting the nut, adding a ball-or-loop vintage tailpiece, installing a Kent Armstrong jazz-style humbucker from the fretboard extension, fitting the pickguard around it, installing a wiring harness with volume/tone controls, making an adjustable bridge for it, and setting it all up. The neck is straight, it plays with bang-on 3/32" CG and 1/16" DA action at the 12th fret, and it's good to go. String gauges are 50w/50w, 38w/38w, 26w/26w, 18w/18w. The wound A strings are important because if these were plain they'd make the pickup output way too hot on that course.

Scale length: 24 7/8"
Nut width: 1 11/16"
Lower bout width: 16"



I'm not responsible for the hacking-about of the headstock veneer to fit these tuners. That was before my time...!






The knobs are old '70s parts-bin specials. The rosewood bridge is an adjustable mandolin base, new rosewood topper, and some oversized thumbwheels and posts from an old '70s electric guitar.

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