Naturally Resonating Mandolin Design


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 are sized to 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.