We posted in August of ’06 about the announcement that Rigel Mandolin was going out of business, and again in September ’06 when former Rigel co-owner Peter Mix announced that he and Will Kimble would be collaborating on a new carbon fiber mandolin. When the first prototype photos emerged of their mandolin in December, we posted an update.
Peter and Will’s joint venture is know as New Millenium Acoustic Design, or NewMAD. They currently offer two Mix Mandolin models, a round hole A4 and an F-hole A5, both featuring a carbon fiber body and neck, with an ebony fingerboard and bridge. They feel that this composite material is perfect for mandolin construction as it is strong, durable and very lightweight, and find its resonant and tonal qualities comparable to carved, solid wood instruments.
We heard from Peter this week, and he shared some photos and some news about their efforts.
“Two of the prototypes have been doing quite a bit of traveling as ambassadors (prototype #1 is just too wonderful to let go of, so it resides with me for the present). Prototype #2, the A4, is now in Ireland with Roger Landes and #3, the second A5, is somewhere between Nebraska and Colorado. The response has been nothing short of extraordinary. The need for these instruments is universal, I believe, and it’s hugely gratifying to be so well-received. We’ve put a tremendous amount of effort as well as capital into this endeavor and truly want to do it right. I’d like to think that we’re off to good start.”
Peter alluded to some upcoming announcements about new body designs, but said that they wanted to complete development and prototyping before making them public.
Click any of the photos to see a larger image. Additional images, as well as audio/video samples of their A4 and A5 Mix Mandolins can be found on the NewMAD site.