"Jarosz’s octave mandolin was built by Fletcher Brock, a one-man operation based in Idaho. “I’ve been seeing Sarah since she was around 12 or 13,” Brock says, “and she ended up buying an octave mandolin I had with me at an IBMA show in Nashville. Kym (Warner) from The Greencards was there and he was playing it and other people were playing it, and I think collectively everyone liked it so that may have helped her decide to get it. When you’re buying something like that it’s always good to get the opinion of another good musician.” As it turned out, Jarosz had been planning to buy an octave mandolin anyway. “I’d actually been saving up for years to buy one,” she says, “and within five minutes of playing the one Fletcher had I knew I had to have it. I’d heard guys like Mike Marshall play, but I especially heard Tim O’Brien play one and I really grew to love that sound. I thought it would be cool to play something to give me a little more of a fuller sound while I sang than just a regular mandolin.” Jarosz’s octave mandolin is guitar-shaped, with a carved, x-braced Engelmann spruce top, two f-holes, curly big leaf maple back and sides, a 14 3/8-inch lower bout, and a 21 1/2-inch scale length. It has Gotoh mini tuners and a Monteleone style tailpiece made by Allen Guitars and a bridge and pickguard made of ebony. The neck is red maple and has two carbon fiber rods which flank a Martin style adjustable truss rod. The case is custom made by Cedar Creek Cases. As for strings, Jarosz has her own method of finding the right ones. “For some reason I really don’t like regular octave mandolin strings, they sound kind of tinny to me. So I use medium sets of guitar strings in different combinations to get the right gauges.” Brock says that, while he builds other instruments, the octave mandolin is in high demand these days, due in part to Jarosz’s playing one. “Close to half of my orders now are for octave mandolins,” he says. “Most conversations start with, ‘I just saw Sarah Jarosz, what was that thing she was playing, I want one.’” - Interview with americansongwriter.com (https://americansongwriter.com/2012/04/sarah-jaroszs-string-garden/3/)more
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