History of the “Oddy Mandocello”

In 1975 Warwick Downes discovered an odd instrument in a secondhand shop in Worthing … a strange shaped 8-string mandolin with a pear shaped body and long scale length. The instrument was unplayable until a local luthier John Roberts replaced the neck and the instrument was strung up and tuned as an Octave Mandola. Warwicks brother Paul Downes played the instrument whilst touring with Phil Beer but after a short time the instrument became unplayable as the front started to collapse, it was really only built as a tourist instrument and couldnt cope with the string weights needed. About this time David was starting to establish himself as a new luthier and was creating some impressive guitars, Paul asked him to copy the original "tourist" instrument which he did. The first few instruments that came out of the workshop at 81 where quite different to the instrument that would be developed over the next few years, the original instruments had a flat front and a small soundhole which was refined over the next 15years and now has a curved front and larger soundhole and the scale length increased from 24.9" to 25.4". The instruments popularity has been greatly increased due to its extensive use by Show of Hands front man Steve Knightley and we owe much to him for popularising the instrument. Paul Downes still plays Oddy Mandocello Number 2, but we have lost track of its sister Number 1 and would love to know its whereabouts and condition ! As played by Steve Knightley of Show of Hands. To hear Steve playing the Oddy Mandocello Click here   
What our customers say: Ian Cleverdon of the Huers said: "I've played many hand-made instruments over the years, and David and Nick's combination of construction and high quality materials is among the best in the business.  There's also nothing that can touch their cello-mandolin in terms of unique sound, depth and songwriting inspiration!" 
David Oddy & Son Luthiers Home of the ‘Oddy Mandocello’ Makers of Handmade Customised Acoustic Guitars & Mandolins
Remember because we make all our instruments from scratch we can customise any of our instruments to your requirements.