Serafin's World of Acoustic Music


Welcome to my world of acoustic music. This page serves no useful purpose whatsoever except to provide me with a way to see pictures of my toys while I'm at work :-). I do have some useful links scattered about, for musicians and wanna-be's (like myself) with similar interests.


Mauel guitar - front

Mauel guitar - back


William "Hank" Mauel Grand OM Guitar (1999)
1 3/4" nut, 25.4" scale, 14-fret neck, Sitka spruce top, East Indian rosewood back/sides
ebony bridge, pins, fretboard, and peghead overlay with mother-of pearl inlays
two-piece walnut neck, herringbone trim and rosette, flamed maple binding
all-natural (no stains) high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish; bone nut and saddle
scalloped, advanced X bracing; Honduran rosewood bridge plate; strap button
clear OM-style pickguard, chrome Grover tuners,
L.R. Baggs Ribbon Transducer [later updated to a Baggs iBeam Active Transducer]


Mauel guitar - peghead   Mauel guitar - heel


This fine, custom-built guitar is OM-shaped, but as deep as a dreadnought. Its AAA Sitka spruce top has incredibly tight grain (must be a zillion years worth of slow growth). I got to select the East Indian rosewood back and sides myself from a pile of a dozen or so sets. Its flamed maple binding is particularly distinctive, wrapping up an elegant "black-and-white" theme. An (external) L.R. Baggs Para-Acoustic DI box completes the package for real-world performance.

This instrument has the distinction of being "born" on my son's birthday (according to the label).

[Construction Photos]


Tacoma M1 Mandolin (1999)
1 1/8" nut, 13 7/8" scale, all solid woods, Honduras mahogany body (smells heavenly) and one-piece neck, Sitka spruce top, ebony fingerboard and bridge, pearl dot inlays, oversized frets, black hardware, one-piece steel tailpiece, neck and heel strap buttons, satin finish, clear satin pickguard, RTA neck bolt system, branded logo

This mandolin is a step up from my Kentucky (below).

In performance situations, I amplify this ax using an ancient DiMarzio Acoustic Model tack-on piezo. I also use a Fishman Pro-Eq to help shape its signal.

One day, probably many years from now, I hope to take another step up to an even more "serious" (but not too expensive) instrument. Probably an A-style. Perhaps a Weber, a Rigel, or a Stinnett. A lower-end vintage Gibson?

 Tacoma M1 mandolin



Guitar - Front

Guitar - back


Simon and Patrick 6-String Guitar (1997)
with cutaway and on-board EPM Quantum (3-band) pre-amp/eq
1 11/16" nut, 24.8" scale, 14-fret neck, solid spruce top, laminated cherry back/sides
rosewood bridge and fretboard, Honduras mahogany neck, natural satin alcohol laquer finish
wood rosette, black pickguard, black peghead veneer, brown binding
chrome Schaller-style tuners, ivory plastic bridge pins, compensated saddle, strap button

This instrument replaced my Yamaha FG-400A plywood-topped dreadnought starter guitar.

Simon and Patrick is one of several well-respected brands of guitars hand-built in Canada by LaSiDo. LaSiDo also produces Godin, Seagull, Norman, A&L, and LaPatrie guitar brands. The Simon and Patrick line features instruments of somewhat conventional construction and styling, with models appealing to intermediate musicians.

I could talk more about acoustic guitars here, but why do that when the Internet already provides the premiere venue for such chatter: RMMGA. RMMGA stands for the newsgroup. People of all countries, ages, and levels of expertise post about 200 messages a day on this newsgroup. Professional musicians (such as Adrian Legg, John Pearse, and Larry Pattis), builders (including representatives from Martin, Larrivee, and Tacoma; no one from Taylor though), and music writers participate regularly. The Internet at its best!

There's also GuitarNotes, Guitar.Com, Guitar.Net, and MuseWeb.

Handy Chord Generators:, InterChart, OGRE





Kentucky KM-140 Mandolin (1998)
A-style, laminated mahogany

This is my first mandolin, which I learned somewhat quickly given it's guitar-like handling and violin-like tuning. Plays rather well after a great setup job by Dave Blackhurst.

Since acquiring my Tacoma M1 (above), this instrument has become relegated to "beater" status. Owing to its (relatively) low cost and laminated construction, it makes a great travel instrument; I don't worry too much about leaving it in the car trunk for (not-too-long) periods of time.

Where does one talk mandos on the 'Net? There's the CoMando mailing list,, and RMMGA (see above). Also Mandolin Cafe and Mandozine.

Stradiviarius (copy by unknown) Violin

This is a very old instrument. Perhaps even a hundred years old (or so I have been told). It belonged to my dad. It has somewhat rough edges, worn pegs, and action could be better. It has an enormous sound! People have offered to buy it several times now.

I have another, a "Celebrated Crown Violin sold by H.A. Kretzschmar, Chicago". A professional instrument, but nothing spectacular. I have this violin fitted wth a Baggs pickup/bridge a music store sold me for ten bucks -- a steal.

My current bows are cheapo Glasser fiberglass models. I much prefer the one with real horsehair.

On the Internet, see



Hohner No. 9504 Soprano Recorder (1982)
pearwood, baroque fingering

The little insert that goes in the mouthpiece keeps falling out.

Yamaha YFL385 Flute (1984)
French holes, silver, low B

This flute's got so many dents, I ought to get some Bondo.


Favorite Music Resources:



Catholic Music Ministry:

"Bands" I've Been In:


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