Pentasystem Pentaula. $5,000.
The Pentasystem family of instruments were conceived and built by electric mandolinist extraordinaire Alex Gregory in the late 1990s. Only about 72 instruments in various sizes were made. The Pentaula is the mandola-size member of the family.
     Extended 29-fret neck with custom scale. Patented multiplanar headstock design that optimizes string tension. Custom finish and high-grade components. Custom-made G&G hardshell case. Recommended tuning: AEBF#C#, one whole step above octave mandolin tuning.
     The Pentaula is a unique option for a player looking for a lower-register e-mando. The design allows for tuning in the octave mandolin range while the string scale remains very playable at under 16 inches. The Maserati of electric mandolins—the playability and workmanship are unlike anything else you've ever tried.
     Figured maple body, amber sunburst finish. Rock maple neck. Arched 29-fret fingerboard. Custom 5-pole Seymour Duncan single-coil pickup. This particular Pentaula has had an interesting life: a previous owner sent it to Maine luthier Steve Ryder for modifications. Steve slimmed the neck and added an RMC pickup system with an 8-pin DIN jack for MIDI applications. So, provided that you have the right kind of interface, you can use this for composing, or to sound like any instrument your synthesizer is capable of emulating. This is a rare opportunity to own an electric mandolin-family instrument that's not only one of the best ever built, but also extremely scarce—Pentasystem instruments simply don't come up for sale very often.
      $5,000 plus shipping. 48-hour approval period. Add a strap, see more photos, call 425/772-0231, or for more information.