John Knutson doubleneck standard/octave mandolin, 1992. $6,000.
For nealy 50 years at his shop in Forestville, California, John Knutson has been building magnificent custom instruments. And this one is no exception.
     Fans of Bay Area Celtic rock band Tempest will no doubt recognize this doubleneck, semi-hollow electric mandolin/octave mandolin as the signature instrument of the band's frontman, Lief Sorbye. Knutson built two of these for Lief—and just this one for the likes of you and me. That's correct, only three of these instruments exist and this may be your only opportunity to purchase one.
     Maple bolt-on necks with adjustable truss rods and dramatically scalloped ebony fretboards. Light fretwear. Gold Grover mini-rotomatic tuners, The standard mandolin neck's scale length is 15 inches and its nut width is 1.25 inches, while the octave neck has a 22.25-inch scale and a 1.41-inch nut. There are four active Alembic pickups with six control knobs, so the instrument will yield multiple sounds, including a phaser-type sound. Uses a 9V battery. Mahogany back and sides with flame maple top. Adjustable brass bridges with adjustable saddles. There is minor wear including scratches and dings. Hardshell case included. Weighs 7.4 pounds.
     The Knutson doubleneck is one of the rarest and most desirable of all electric mandolins, and will serve your needs with its versatility, tone, and ease of playing, not to mention that it just looks great on stage. Other players of Knutson instruments have included David Lindley, Marvin Etzioni, Mike Marshall, Esperanza Spalding, and Rob Wasserman. See more photos, call 425/772-0231, or for more information. $6,000 plus shipping. 48-hour approval period.