Mandolin Build Reviews
Belmuse Octave Mandolin 6 String
What can I say about Belmuse Mandolins? …
I’ve been playing Mandolins & Octave Mandolins for years s and love them. I currently have 5 Octaves. All dishes fferent body types and materials l, including a custom carbon fiber. But what I didn’t have was a true electric Octave. I stumbled on Belmuse through another performer on IG and fell in love with her EMando., so I backtracked it to the source.
I reached out to Belmuse with a crazy idea of what I wanted in an octave. They responded with some questions. We then had a phone conversation through Phone app (I’m in the US & they’re in the UK), after-which, they quoted an extremely reasonable price. I put $$ down that day, they started the project the very next day.
Clive (the Luthier) would message me at every step, updates on pictures as Saucy Jack (my eOctave) progressed. I was quoted 6-8 weeks, but he delivered in 5! He questioned my build request, but afterwards, he said it was a great build.
Saucy Jack is a Les Paul style, 6 String 21” scale eOctave. Gg Dd A E. The low end with the octave strings gives as an amazing low/high growl when the overdrive is kicked in, the high A & E strings allow for clean bends and squeals.
When I’m ready for my next crazy eOctave build (and I do have plans) …. I’ll be contacting Belmuse to bring the Krakenstine to life!!
The Minstrel Rav’n
Belmuse DC8 'Oak'
Electric mandolins are tough to buy. They are uncommon, so they are either cheap and cheerful or made by individual luthiers and you need to take the plunge and trust them. After looking at every builder listed on both mandolin cafe and emando.com I came upon Belmuse and decided to contact them. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
Over the decades of playing guitar and mandolin, I have been blessed with the opportunity to play most of the major brands at many of their various quality levels. My Belmuse DC-8 has the same quality of workmanship that I would look for in a custom shop instrument from a major player in the guitar world. The fit, finish and playability are all 10/10. I would put the playability on the same level as the best big name acoustic mandolins.
I have been playing "Little Mikey" both clean and distorted and it sounds much like my P90 Gibson Les Paul but clearer and more open.
The harmonic content is fantastic and there is enough treble to play a traditional mandolin rhythm role without the tone ever becoming piercing. The tone control behaves much like a Tele, providing many different usable sounds rather than just cutting off the top. The volume knob is effective at controlling the amp. If you love electric guitars like I do then these mandolins are also fantastic eye candy and have a great vibe.
The service at Belmuse was second to none and allayed any initial concerns I might have had about choosing a luthier. These guys live up to their reputations and if you are looking for a professional quality electric mandolin I would not hesitate to contact them.
Belmuse LP8 #2
"Good morning gentlemen, I just received the beauty and am most impressed. What an admirable product of art!
Surely the best instrument I have played so far. Plays like a charm and sounds unbelievably. Thank you for your excellent work.
I expected manual labour to result in at least some glitches (and would have been quite happy with that) but whenever I hold the mando I think to myself: flawless.
A thing that also impresses me is the mass of the instrument (my SG seems to be lighter) which gives a sustain beyond imagination.
What I wanted was sound and I must say, I got more than one could ask for. The two pickups perfectly join in sound.
I mostly use the middle position, which gives just the right sound, in my opinion. Thank you both again for your craftsmanship.
18 Dec 2019
Belmuse Vintage Strat 4
"Well it’s been about 24 hours since my pale white Stratolin got here. I really can’t say enough good things about it. Tremendous sustain. Wonderful tones. I can’t wait to take it to band practice.
Honestly it’s made my amp incredibly happy. It romps around the room like a big black Labrador that Finally has a playmate.
Thanks to everyone who had a hand in creating my new favorite thing. Pints of Bitter for everyone when I’m in town next time.
It’s wonderful the work you’re doing in your shop over there. These mandolins are no guitars second fiddle.
God I hope I get to go through this whole process again and again. And again and again and again"
Belmuse Ash Strat 5 HSH
"Hi Chris. Just to let you know that I receive the mandolin.
It’s marvelous, beyond expectations, both for smooth jazz tone and more aggressive bluesy one.
Thanks so much !
Belmuse Firebird 8
Belmuse Cherry 4 Turquoise
"Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how delighted I am with my new toy! It’s a joy to play and sounds great, big step up from the Chinese Mandocaster I’d had previously.
I’ll definitely be back for an 8-string once funds allow!
Thanks for everything."
All the best
Belmuse DC8 Padouk
"Rehearsal went brilliantly with the custom mandi, what a pleasure it was to not be fcking feeding back and cuts through easily. I didn't't even need my pedal to give it a boost, just straight into my tuning pedal. It's going in the van on sat for the social distance punk bash. Cheers Chris"
Colorado, USA. October 2021
Belmuse Vintage Strat 4
"I wanted to let you know the mandolin has already arrived. I'm really impressed with the obvious quality put into the build. I'm pleased and proud to be the owner of such a fine example of your work. I know I'll treasure it for years to come.
Best regards, Keith"
22 April 2020
Belmuse LP8 #1
"Hi, Clive. I am very happy to have this instrument in my hands.
As soon as I could plug the mandolin into an amp, I played it until dawn. She's fantastic! It weighs a ton, has a crazy sustain, the hardware is very pleasant, the key is perfectly fluid, all this gives it a very warm sound while it is a very high-pitched instrument at the base.
I said to myself, "Clive & Pete - What a crazy duo!". And when I read your information I realised, "They're even crazier than I thought! »
I've been playing mandolin for a long time, but I'm French. And you know as well as I do that we make wine better than guitars or mandolins.
I continue to get to know our "child". It will be my professional mandolin thanks to which I will build my new show. Then you'll see it everywhere. Thank you very much for all this information and advice. The only thing that's not done right is the emoji behind the business card!!^^^"
Le 23 oct. 2019
Belmuse Tripper 4
The Tripper Mandolin is fantastic — thanks so much!
It sounds really great with equally great looks to match. I’m absolutely blown away by the quality of the instrument, and even more by the quality of service. You provided remarkably fast communication for a custom request, and I really appreciate all the work you did to design and build an instrument that perfectly captured my idea. It’s just what I wanted, and, as a bonus, I know there are many jealous mandolin and guitar players out there who have seen/heard it.
Thanks again! I can’t wait to order another build from you.
Principal Oboe, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra
Oboe/English Horn, Flint Symphony Orchestra
Lecturer in Music, Oakland University
Belmuse Maxxplorer 5 Mandola
“ I asked Belmuse for a solid body electric mandola built on my specs, packed with some REAL metal...and I got in return - I can openly call it a piece of art - the Maxxplorer: lighter, sharper and more accurate than a tenor guitar but big sounding and menacing as a 7-strings. The aggressors do their dirty job, the tone is rich, chunky at lows and bright-clear on highs. Crank the amp - just a little more - and it’s quite evident why they are called aggressors! The low C gives that extra flare and covers more than an ordinary guitar would do. The instrument, all pots on 10, is perfectly balanced for power chords playing and the occasional run on higher registers, but when you engage the neck pickup you can hear each note so clearly separated that’s very hard to resist the urge to play at terminal velocity.
And it’s a damn beautiful e-mando too, Chris made good use of his skills: custom wooden sharkfin inlay, brass (yes, it’s true metal) scratch plate, seducing black matte finish, slightly slanted body for aesthetic finesse, antiqued brass mechanics and tuners. You can feel the good wood under your fingers, you can feel the good solid metal too!
Chris says that in each build there’s something of himself. You can trust him, when the Maxxplorer was completed I had the opportunity to meet (albeit only by Skype) him: I couldn't say who was the happiest of the two, the man who made the Maxxplorer or the one who was going to play it! "
All the best,
Il 19 nov 2020, 22:41 +0100,