Ray Vincent Musical Instruments

Mandolin, OM and Bouzouki

The Grey mystical muse mandolin was inspired by the grey pieces of maple veneer I found. It’s one of those builds that all the pieces wood come together and tell you the story. This was not a commission. 

Lynn came along some time later after it was built and inquired about it. Lynn already had a little collection of mandolins, so he had some great perspective of what he though about mine. You can read his critique below. I really appreciated him taking the time to do so.

Shell Back Mandolin


Tuning GDAE

Scale length 13.75"

Nut width 1 1/8”   30mm 

Engelman Spruce top. curved

Bracing 2 bar with fan

Dark Cherry shell back

Curly Maple neck

Walnut fingerboard

Grey Maple trim/edge

Gold Evo frets (24 fret)

Radius fingerboard (12)

Copper side fret markers. 3,5,7,10,12,15

Two way truss rod in neck

walnut crosscut inlays fret markers 3, 7, 12

Strap buttons

Stewmac tuners. 15:1 with matching tailpiece.

Rosewood bridge (adjustable)

Humbucking pickup. 

Hand done pyrography art

bone nut

D'addario strings .36 .24 .14 .10

Shellac sealer with Osmo matte oil finish

2.4 lbs

26” x 11” x 2.5”  L x w x d

Handmade case. Made from up cycled materials. Read more


“Well, I’m in awe.   More gorgeous than I imagined.   Really not sure what to even say at this point.   The workmanship is incredible, Ray.  You've truly created a piece of art here that I'm proud to own.  Not only visually but sonically as well.   Love the low end.  Hard to find a mandolin with that low end.   You've found it.  

We are going to spend the weekend getting to know each other.   I'm sure we each have our own idiosyncrasies.   I'll give you a full update on Monday.  “


Quote from Lynn Wolfe

“Low end is very good, even with the light strings.   I had a new set here and went ahead and installed those.   Think you have really figured out the low end. Maybe due to the cut at the top of the chamber and the hole in the end may play into that as well.  

The E string CUTS.  Can't believe how well that stands out.  That's something that has always been lacking in other mandolins.  Think it could be because of my failing hearing but yours really cuts. 

Great midrange as well.  Very balanced across the board.   Was having concerns about the A string but when it arrived teh bridge was a little skewed.  When I corrected that the A string sounds great now. 

Tail piece.   the overlay is beautiful.  I wouldn't want the instrument without it.  

Love the offset tuners 

Great balance on the instrument when strapped.   Doesn't have the headstock heavy attitude of traditional mandolins.   This is good.  

Markers 3, 7, 12.  Perfect.  Doesn't clutter the fretboard and the copper inlays on the side are great too.  That pine cone you are doing looks great too. 

Light weight.  I"m amazed how light you've gotten it. 

Used an endoscope to view the interior.  I see that top bracing.    Looks like the plates of the shell are self supporting.  Seems rock solid overall. 

the neck feels great in my hand.   You've nailed the profile of the neck.    Very smooth also running up and down the neck.   almost like a speed neck.  

Sounds very clear on double stops.  

Probably the easiest mandolin I've played yet for tremolo.  Just seems easier.  

Fretboard plays very easy.  I"m able to do things on this fretboard I can't accomplish on other fretboards.   Can play much faster and cleaner.  Not sure how you accomplished that.  

Very good percussion on the strings.  Especially 7,8,9 frets.  

Chop:  This is one drawback to this instrument.   Doesn't really have a good chop.  I'm ok with that though as this is intended for solo work and I don't ever see using this for rhythm with others.  

Action is just about perfect.   Very good for hammers and pull offs.  

Bridge:  is this hand carved?  Seems to be.  Works very well. “

Lynn Wolfe

Plugged in/humbucking pickup