Rono Mandonator
Rono "Mandonator" 8-string resophonic acoustic/electric mandola by Ron Oats. $4,500.
Beautiful, lavishly appointed instrument from Colorado luthier bears Ron Oats. Ron's instruments are played by Michael Kang of the String Cheese Incident, and are highly sought after by jazz and jam band players. They're also notoriously hard to get, with the exception of this one.
     Flame maple everywhere you look—top, back, and 3-piece neck—in tobacco sunburst. Single-ply binding on top; back is unbound. Ebony headplate and fretboard with jumbo frets and MOP block inlays. Nickel tuners, cover plate, and Ashton Bailey tailpiece. "Rono" banner and fleur-de-lis on headstock. Scale length is just short of 19 inches. It has a 10-inch resonator cone with biscuit bridge. Onboard pickup with volume control. Fantastic crisp resophonic tone with a bit of a metallic edge, tempered by the warmth of the wood.
     Some folks would call this a "baritone mandolin." I prefer to think of it as either a long-scale tenor mandola or a short-scale, double-strung tenor guitar. It sounds fantastic in CGDA or even DAEB tuning. You could also try it as an octave mandolin in GDAE. Anyway, a resophonic mandolin is a joy forever, and a big one is a joy for even longer than that. It's perfect for blues, alt-country or just about any kind of acoustic-based string music where a little twang is permitted. Mint condition. Comes with a handmade hardshell case, lined with blue velvet, also by Rono. See more photos, or for more information. $4,500 plus shipping.