Grady mandolins are 100% hand made. The top and back are carved, graduated and tap toned to match by hand.
The tone bars in Grady mandolins are made using my own patented design. The nodal shape and location of these tone bars produces an instrument with greater volume and a more balanced dynamic response across the full frequency range of the instrument. Grady mandolins have a distinct, unique, and identifiable sound.
The higher arching and thicker body used in Grady mandolins enclose a larger air volume that results in improved bass and midrange response. The higher top arching also produces a steeper string angle across the bridge that results in increased string energy transmission to the sound board, a lower more stable bridge height, and lower string height across the finger board. The net results are that the instrument has a greater sound volume and a nice easy playing action.
The necks on Grady mandolins are made with vertical grained maple laminated with ebony and fitted with an adjustable steel truss rod. The neck is attached to the body with a hand fitted dovetail joint. The fingerboards are 23 frets long to avoid pick interference and the end is stylized to be consistent with the design of the instrument.
Grady mandolins are built with solid willow linings that are steamed and bent to shape. This produces a stronger more uniform joint between the sides and the top and back and allows them to work together more efficiently in sound production
The f holes on Grady mandolins are designed and located such that the Helmholtz resonance effect created by the holes work most efficiently in conjunction with the vibration modes of the top and back to optimize sound production. The shape of the f holes are stylized to give the instrument a unique identity and to be somewhat more consistent with the style of the f holes of the violin family from where they were originally borrowed.
The finish on Grady mandolins is instrument panel grade nitrocellulose lacquer. Drop-in, spotting, and hand-rubbing are used extensively to preserve the tone of the instrument by keeping the total number of finish coats to a minimum. Grady mandolins may be built with various tone wood combinations and finish colorations to produce pleasing variations in tone and appearance.