Aesthetically, Dammann Instruments' seeks to highlight the natural materials used. Our designs feature clean lines, balanced proportions, and pleasing curves that complement the tonal balance and clarity of the instrument. Standard back and side options include locally grown and harvested hardwoods: Cherry, Walnut, Locust, and Osage Orange with tasteful appointments in exotic or domestic hardwoods, figured shell, and gold or black plated hardware. For our mandocellos and guitars, a number of rosette options are available that feature burls, spalted wood, abalone and pearl, and multiple lined purfling.
Capped with a hand-inlaid headplate veneer and crafted from quality timber, the headstock of a Dammann instrument is structurally strong. Our design extends a continuous carbon-fiber reinforcement 1.5" into the headstock, dramatically strengthening the traditional weak point of the truss-rod access route. By adding an optional hardwood backplate veneer you can have a headstock with strength and looks in abundance. With further customization, such as matching hardwood binding and purfling around the headstock edge, accenting crescent inlays, and custom headplate selection, we can craft a headstock with more custom options than some makers offer in their entire instruments!
Read what our player's think about our instruments here.
Top Wood: Adirondack Spruce, Cedar, Redwood, Sitka Spruce, Engelmann Spruce and European Spruce
Back and Side Wood: Cherry, Crotch cut Cherry, Mahogany, Osage Orange, Rosewood, Locust and Walnut
Custom Wood Options:
• Blood Wood Ring with Western Red Cedar
• Buckeye burl with Italian Spruce
• Curly Koa with Bear Claw Spruce
• Olive Wood with Adirondack Spruce
• Redwood Burl with Bear Claw Spruce
• Spalted Maple with Sitka Spruce
Tone and Neck Profiles
Using a combination of tonewood choices and bracing variations, any number of tonal characteristics can be achieved. A variety of neck profiles are available. We also offer a range of spacings and widths for both the bridge and the nut to fit personal preferences.
All of our neck stock is prepared from quartersawn blanks of seasoned material for strength and stability. Each neck is further enhanced by the installation of two 1/8" x 3/8" carbon-fiber/epoxy bars running from the headstock to the end of the fingerboard. Renown for their high strength, low weight, and dimensional stability, these reinforcements are key to enabling a fast, precise playing surface. The bars ensure that the neckshaft will remain straight for years down the road and prevent dead spots and unwanted neck resonance. In addition to the bars, we utilize double-acting, torque-driven truss rods for more precise control and reliable operation than traditional compression rods.
Fingerboards and Frets
Our fingerboards are bound in hardwood and the fret ends are undercut to avoid chipping of the finish. Our precisely milled fingerboard and frets allow for cleaner fretting, comparatively lower action, and ease of playability. We offer either brass alloy or stainless steel fretwire. The brass-alloy is a nickel-free, copper-based alloy. Stainless steel frets offer superior hardness and longevity while holding a mirror polish many times longer than traditional fretwires.
It's all in the Adjustment
Our adjustable-tilt neck is a response to one of the biggest challenges that string musicians face: finding and maintaining an ideal string height for his or her instrument. Between environmental factors and varying personal preferences, it can be difficult to find an instrument that achieves optimal string height for tone and playability.
By utilizing a pivoting attachment at the top of the heel and a turnable bolt at the bottom, our neck joint can be easily adjusted on the fly. This adjustment changes the height of the strings off the fingerboard. Thanks to the large relative length of the neck compared to the neck joint, a wide range of actions can be dialed in. You can go from a slide setup to ultra-low shredding with just a few turns of the bolt and brief retuning. This also eliminates the concerns of the dreaded neck reset and helps ensure enough adjustability for healthy playing for years to come.
We have explored many pickups for our Five Course Mandocello. We recommend the Baggs Imax for SP models and the Seymour Duncan active humbucker with microphone model SA-6 Mag Mic for standard sound hole models. Many pickups we have tried sound super on these instruments, but the string power is well balanced with both of these options. Whether you pick one of our recommendations or have something else in mind, we can set any pickup you request. Hand-wound shop pickups are also available.
Dammann Basses feature a variety of pickup options. Through commercially available pickups or our own custom handwound pickup options, we can create the sound you are looking for in our instruments.
Pickups in a standard mandocello custom model and SP model:
All instruments come with a custom built, deluxe, hard-shell case.
There are many more custom options, contact us to discuss them.