Say Hello to Wiens F5 #41, signed & dated October 30, 2015.This instrument features an Adirondack spruce soundboard with tone-bar bracing and a 2-piece spiral flame sugar maple back with matching sides & neck. This particular instrument was influenced by a run-in with a very early November 1922 Loar. The earliest Loars are known for being great sounding instruments and this particular Loar certainly was. It exhibited a deeper recurve and more dramatic scroll crest than on later examples and I was eager to let those trait influence this #41 build and see if it might benefit tonally. I’m very happy with the results. This instrument is quite powerful and has the upper mid response that says Bluegrass, along with a strong E string and stunning highs and sustain that will make you giggle a bit.
The back sides & neck of this instrument are hard sugar maple cut on the rift (Spiral flame). The flame figure is my personal favorite both visually and tonally, and the soundboard is some very fine quartersawn Adirondack Spruce. Both were sourced from Old Standard Wood company. The instrument is hand stained in it’s entirety. No poofy looking airbrushing to cover up the grain of the wood. French polished Spirit Varnish tops it off with a very thin and very beautiful surface that will wear nicely and will always be highly repairable.
Neck profile is typical of a mid ’23 Loar, slightly V’d near the 1.1″ wide nut and filling out to somewhat round at the 12th fret. Fingerboard is of the finest Ebony of course. It has a non-radiused flat profile and incorporates a subtle scooping on the upper fingerboard extension to allow picking room. Frets are stainless steel for long wear. Bridge is a handmade Wiens replica of the Loar era Gibsons, ebony that has been blacked and polished. A replica patent stamp completes the vintage look.
Pickguard is all celluloid and completely made by hand using no glue. Only acetone is used to weld the material together. The Wiens pickguard incorporates an inlaid steel rod in the reinforcement strip just like the Loar era examples. Again a replica patent stamp completes the vintage Loar look. Silver Plated Waverly tuners and The amazing James tailpiece round out the hardware on this one.
This one is presently available at the Mandomutt online music store. Check out the Mandomutt website for more information