F5-style Mandolin from Vietnam, beautifully inlaid

I bought this beautiful mandolin on eBay a long time ago.  I don't even remember the date.  I think it might have been 2006 or 7.  The seller described it as a Vietnamese mandolin, but I suspect it was made in China.  The inlay and shell laminates are gorgeous and easily the best feature of this instrument.  Other than that, it has a nice chop (for bluegrass) and a big-warm tone, so it's perfect for a variety of styles.  I played mostly Celtic and Classical music on it.



It has a minute hairline crack in the back, which doesn't affect the sound, and two of the pegs are white.  I took it to be set up at The Luthier in Ashfield, and Mark Leue didn't have the right parts for it unfortunately.  That's easily remedied by a good luthier.

I have a custom built hard shell case that came with it, included at no extra cost.  Handling, insurance, packaging and shipping comes to an additional $50.  I take PayPal, or you can pick it up at my studio in Granby, MA and pay cash.



The Ranger, by Montana Lutherie (formerly Weber)
SRP: $555
Case: padded gig bag
Shipping & Handling: $50

This tiny little mandolin will go anywhere with you weighing less than two pounds in the case. Sporting a smaller profile than a standard mandolin, but having a standard scale/neck size, it plays like a full size mando.  The Ranger has a two-point flare giving it a larger chamber than its popular predecessor, ‘The Sweet Pea’, but it is still surprisingly quiet, perfect for hotel rooms or crowded campgrounds where people are trying to sleep!

Adam's review of the Ranger

The Ranger - A tiny quiet travel mando from Montana Lutherie






Updates & General Information

Every so often I will update my readers with studio information, event listings and other topics I feel might be relevant. 

Firstly, please come to see the Celtic Group Class Thursday,  June 20th at 7pm performing 90 minutes of music including some of our favorite sing-alongs: "The Parting Glass", Brennan on the Moor and the Gypsy Rover!  The group will be performing in the Hobbit House within The Park at Mill 180 in Easthampton, MA.  This is a free concert.  There are drinks and food at the bar, so you don't need to byob!  I hope you can come.  This will be a lot of fun. 

Secondly, put this date in your calendar: Sunday, July 28th, the Classical Group Class will be performing Bach and Mozart at the Porter Phelps Huntington Museum in Hadley.  The group will be performing the Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 for 2 Mandolas and continuo (a world premier!), and Mozart's "Dissonance" String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, K. 465 (also a world premier AFAWK).

Finally, Summer is almost here and that means some students go away, leaving gaps in my schedule.  The following slots will be open this week:

Tuesday 11am-12pm
Wednesday 11am-12pm, 7pm-8pm
Friday 5-6pm, 6-7pm

If you are a current student who would like to switch to another day/time, please let me know through Slack and I'll do my best to make arrangements.  If you've been thinking about taking lessons with me, now's the time to register for classes as these slots (especially the early ones) will fill up quickly.

Thank you!

New Octave mandolin from Mandomo Strings

The Octave Mandolin
New from Mando Mo Strings: The Octave Mandolin

This Octave mandolin is hand-carved out of 3-5 year air-dried flamed maple back, sides and neck. Triple A-grade ebony fretboard, Tusq nut and set up with Optima Octave strings, solid cast tailpiece and custom Brekke bridge!

We are currently working with a case company to build a custom case that will support the scroll and neck of this beautiful instrument.

Price: $1,449 with custom case.  We are taking pre-orders now.  2-3 month delivery.  ORDER HERE

Specs:
  • Top: Solid Spruce, with tortoise binding
  • Back & Side: solid flamed maple, with tortoise binding
  • Neck: solid flamed maple
  • Fretboard: AAA Grade Ebony
  • Nut width: 1.25'"
  • Body length: 17" 
  • Scale length: 20"

The Old Copperplate on the Octave Mandolin


Irish Bouzouki Recordings

Last week I recorded several tunes on the large bodied Irish bouzouki I own.  If you're interested in learning more about the difference between an Octave mandolin and an Irish bouzouki, I wrote a post on that subject earlier as well!  Below are the videos I recorded.  I hope you enjoy them.  If you would like to learn how to play the Irish bouzouki, contact me.  I would be happy to teach you.


Blarney Pilgrim


Star of the County Down


Whiskey Before Breakfast


Coleraine & The Kesh Jig



Friday Slots

Ben Levy's hands I have the following slots open on Fridays: 5-6pm 6-7pm -- Taken (fiddle lesson) 7-8pm If you would like ...