- Wider Neck Designed for Guitar Players
- Satin Tobacco Finish
- African Blackwood Fretboard
- Lightweight: 2 Pounds
A-6: Retail $549.00 Street $411.75
Note: This Mando-Guitar comes in an “F” style shape too: F-6 Retail $699 Street $524.50.
Worship music can sometimes seem a bit stale due to the same old instruments used to create it. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but varied tonalities can better serve the worship experience for the congregation and the musicians!
I was first introduced to Gold Tone’s product line when I was looking to upgrade my banjitar for backing up my daughter at recitals. The new A-6 Mando-guitar that was just released follows in the wake of the company’s popular F-6 and F-12 models. Designed with guitar players in mind, it has a wider guitar style neck so that we can navigate the fretboard easier. The larger mandola body retains the visual aesthetics of an A-Style mandolin, but also doesn’t feel as diminutive as a real mandolin. Features include a nice satin tobacco finish over a spruce top with maple sides, back and neck. The fretboard is created from African blackwood and has a zero-glide nut along with vintage style open gear tuners. The A-6 has a two-way truss rod for easy adjustment at the headstock in the neck, trapeze tailpiece and an adjustable ebony bridge. The only thing missing from its F6/F12 cousins is that is doesn’t come with an inner body pickup installed, but it can be added on as an option if preferred. The form fit foam shell case with carrying straps is a nice touch too.
Having played Gold Tone’s F-Style model mando-guitars in worship and secular settings the new A-6 seems much louder acoustically possibly due to the different shape. The satin tobacco finish has more of a vintage look and feel and plays faster with less resistance than the gloss finish. Weighing in at a mere 2 pounds the instrument is much lighter than your average acoustic guitar making extended play time effortless. I’m also a fan of the Gold Tone foam hardcases which protect the instruments but are light to carry.
The Folkternative series (love that name) takes the learning curve out of picking up another instrument out of the equation for guitarists since the A-6 is essentially an octave tuned guitar. It fills a unique frequency set and doesn’t conflict with piano, guitar or bass. When people have seen me perform with the mando-guitar they automatically assume it is a standard mandolin thanks to the shape and tone. Hopefully Gold Tone will continue to expand on this line providing musicians with a new frontier of sonic landscapes to play and experiment with. The A-6 mando-guitar is an incredibly versatile hybrid instrument that guitarists will be able to pick up and play immediately. It is an excellent value and it will allow you to cover some new praise ground musically and not compete tonally or style wise with the other guitarist in the group. Fair warning when you play a Gold Tone A-6 you’ll probably want one!