What's a Tone-Gard™ For?
The Tone-Gard™ is designed to isolate the back of
a mandolin (or any similar instrument) from the player's body, producing more volume and
enhancing the tone.
You can test the concept right now without a
Tone-Gard™. Play your instrument normally, while facing a wall about a foot or two away, allowing the sound to
bounce back directly so you can hear how your instrument projects. After
you are used to the sound, hold the mandolin by the neck so that the
back of the instrument is a couple of inches away from your body. Now
try playing some chop chords. Go back and forth, against and away from
your body, and you will notice a difference. You will hear a difference
just hitting one chop and letting it ring while holding against you,
then away. (If you don't hear the difference, it's time to visit an audiologist -- no kidding.)
An extra benefit is protecting the back of your instrument from wear, dings, and scratches. You can and should leave the Gard on the instrument all the time, not take it on and off. It fits in almost all
cases. See FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who The Heck Needs a Tone-Gard™?
Preeminent mandolinists — such as David
Grisman, Ricky Skaggs, Chris Thile, Andy Statman, Mike Marshall, John Reischman, Chris Hillman, Roland White,
Radim Zenkl, Dana Rath, Tom Rozum, Eric
Thompson, Emory Lester, and many others — use and recommend the Tone-Gard™ to get the best possible sound. A Tone-Gard™ improves anything from starter instruments to Loars. See lots of endorsements and photos in PLAYERS PHOTO GALLERY
As a mandolin
player myself, I originally designed the Tone-Gard™ specifically for the mandolin, but I custom-make Gards for guitar, banjo, ukelele, and other stringed instrument players who get a similar benefit. Read some REVIEWS AND COMMENTS
What Models and Designs Do You Make?
The Gards pictured above are the two Standard designs: the DecoGard™ (left) and original SunriseGard™ (right). Because of the spring arms at the waist and tail, they adjust to fit any Gibson™-style mandolin that fits a standard A or F-style case. The VintageGard™ fits mandolins that are slightly larger, particularly older Gibson A's. I also make a special Gard adapted for the rounded sides and particular body shape of Rigels™. The D-Gard™ is for standard-size dreadnought guitars. Custom sizes are also available for other mandolin-family instruments, guitars, banjos, ukes, dulcimers, etc. I can custom-make a Gard to incorporate special designs. Many examples are shown in the PHOTO GALLERY. For size info, see FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Is a Tone-Gard™ Made Of?
Standard Tone-Gards™ are now made of laser-cut steel
with a ceramic powder-coat. They have more pads, which are directly
glued on to prevent loss. Vintage, Rigel, and custom Gards are hand-made
from mild steel, sprayed with a durable high-gloss paint, and have
older-style pads. All surfaces that come in contact with the instrument
have rubber and leather pads where needed to protect the instrument’s
finish. The only maintenance is occasionally to apply a little
instrument wax or Pledge™ or similar product on the rubber-pads to
protect from deterioration. The rubber pads can also be easily replaced if
How Much, and How Do I Order a Tone-Gard™?
Can I Get a Tone-Gard™ Anywhere else?
Yes, Standard Tone-Gards™ are available from select RETAILERS. Please ORDER Custom Gards of any type from me directly.