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Travolin Style


The Travolin by Silverleaf Instruments


Now you don't have to give up Great Sound and Great Action when you travel with your Mandolin!


The Mandolin built for Travelin’


Rugged Unibody Construction is designed for travel

Most mandolin players play their mandolins every day.  But when you travel you are reluctant to take your good mandolin on the road with you because you don’t want it to get damaged. You know that if you buy a cheap mandolin to go on the road with it is not road worthy and the sound and action won’t be what you are used to. The designers at Silverleaf Instruemnts realized this and went to work designing a mandolin that will not only fit in a carry on but also will perform, sound and feel like a “real” mandolin.

The results of their research produced a rugged mandolin that has a one piece body. The new patent pending Unibody construction of the instrument is one piece of maple from the headstock to the tailpiece . Since there is no joint between the neck and body you will not have to worry about the instrument being flexed when it is packed for travel. The soundboard is hollowed out on the inside even though the outside looks flat. This internal arc allows for dynamic resonance while giving the soundboard extra stiffness for further road worthy robustness.  This resulted in a sleek design with great appeal and a ruggedness that lends itself to travel. 

The Travolin is designed to handle wide temperature ranges, be stuffed in a suitcase or backpack for long periods of time and survive miles of rough terrain and travel. When you finally arrive at your destination you can pull it out of its gig bag and it will play and perform as you would expect.

What’s in Your Carry-On?

Now you can realize the full potential of your playing capabilities no matter where you go.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or a beginning student this mandolin is a great choice.  Most mandolin players like the idea of bringing their mandolin with them when they travel and most young students will appreciate the size as they begin to learn to play. The easy playing neck action and great tone will enhance their learning experience.

If it is slung over your shoulder, put in your backpack or in your carry-on, it is easy to bring almost anywhere.  As you know when you travel by plane you are allowed one carry-on bag and one briefcase or personal item. If you pack the Travolin into your carry-on and they have to check your bag because there is no room in the overhead bin then all you have to do is take out your Travolin and carry it with you.

A Naturally Resonating New Design Concept

Through the use of computer modeling and simulation software the designers at Silverleaf discovered how to optimize what occurs naturally in nature. For example there is a reason why a water droplet is shaped like a teardrop and why rock crystals have a certain size ratio. When they utilized this concept they found a dramatic improvement in the resonance, sustain, tonal clarity and volume of the output of the instrument. This also resulted in a sleek design with great appeal and a ruggedness that lends itself to travel.  This robust design includes a braced soundboard so that it can handle the rough terrain encountered during your travels.

There are many reasons why this new design concept has revolutionized the tonal projection of stringed instruments and we feel it is a combination of everything we have learned over the decades of playing stringed instruments that lead to this development. 

We know one main reason is the patent pending Unibody contruction. Since the Travolin is constructed of one piece of maple from the headstock to the tailpiece each string is continuously connected from the tuner to the tailpiece by one piece of wood. This makes the neck, back and tailpiece act as a pivot point for the 2 nodes to vibrate from and results in a uniform continuous tone.



Since there are no obstructions to interrupt the vibration this will make them have a tendency to resonate at their optimum natural frequency which brings out the true tonal quality of the strings.  This is enhanced with the sound cavity and the soundboard construction in creating a resonating frequency output that sustains the note where we have created a sound cavity with smooth internal curves and no obstructions on the walls. These curved surfaces optimize the sound projection.

Most luthiers agree that the back of the instrument resting against the body of the player will muffle some of the sound. So instead of the sound reflecting of the mandolin back it is absorbed into the player’s body.  This in turn reduces the volume of the instrument. Most mandolins have a thin back that creates this problem. As some of you know you can purchase a Tone Guard which is a wire frame product that creates a gap between the player’s body and the mandolin to create a louder sound.  The fact that the back of the Travolin is thicker than a regular mandolin not only contributes to the overall robust construction but the body resting against the Travolin will not stop or absorb the sound because all of the sound created by the strings will reflected off the back, resonate in the sound cavity and will be projected through the sound hole and soundboard. This results in a true representation of the note and all of the partials created by every strum.

After building a prototype and compared it to other mandolins we discovered that the output was equal to that of a high end F style mandolin.  When this mandolin was given to luthiers, mandolinists and instructors to evaluate every one of them remarked as to how excellent it sounds and feels like a regular mandolin.

Made in USA from Local Hardwood and Softwood 

The Travolin is expertly hand crafted and is constructed using locally grown hardwoods and softwoods.  The Adirondack spruce soundboard not only has a superior sound but it also has the most stiffness of all the spruces and adds to the Travolin’s sturdiness.  Silverleaf begins by picking out the best trees it can find. This makes the best quality maple bodies the best Adirondack Spruce creates the best sound you can buy. We then process it at our plant so we can not only the control quality of our products but it enables us to maintain control of our costs. This results in a high quality instrument at a reasonable price that you can afford.

Once the Maple and Spruce are air dried to between 6 and 8% moisture the body is shaped, sanded stained. The soundboard is cut out, braced to reinforce the top and then it is tuned to optimize the sound output before being finished. The result is a crisp clean sound with great sustain and resonance.  Special care has been taken in the design criteria to optimize the fret height at the 12th fret.  This insures that you have great action and playability.  The solid bar stock truss rod gives great stability to the neck and also a well-balanced substantial feel as you hold the instrument while enhancing the all-around robustness of the design.


The Travolin represents a new dimension in sound quality to size ratio.

The design achieves an excellent balance between appeal versatility and playability. When players evaluate a new instrument the typical criteria they use includes playability, feel, tone and output. When this mandolin was given to other luthiers, mandolinists and instructors to evaluate every one of them remarked as to how excellent it sounds and feels like they are playing a great mandolin.

Our pioneering efforts have created a whole new class of instruments and the Travolin is the first to utilize this new technology. We feel we have broken new ground with in developing a compact sized rugged design with superior tonal qualities and an output that will project clear notes and chords loudly enough to be heard as you play along with any other stringed instruments. The size is also great for young students. The robust design and great tonal quality will ensure that the student has a positive learning experience and foster a love for mandolins and music.