Wiens F5 #46, signed & dated Feb 19th 2018.
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 mandolin is a tribute to a July 9, 1923 Loar F5 like the famous one owned & played by Bill Monroe. This instrument is among the lightest Sugar maple F5’s I’ve ever built. It’s powerful and has the upper mid response and chop that says Bluegrass, along with a very strong E string . I’m very proud of this one. Since I strung it up, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing several great players test it out including David Grisman, Tom Rozum, Patrick Sauber, Adrian Gross and Andrew Collins.
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 constructed with hot hide glue and 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 slightly unusual on this one. It was inspired by an 80’s Monteleone Grand Artist that I had in the shop and fell in love with. It’s slightly rounder at the nut and has a bit more meat on it than a typical mid-’23 Loar and is very comfortable. The nut is still 1.1″wide as is my norm.
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 a James tailpiece round out the hardware on this one.
$11,000.00 USD including Mainstage Fiberglass case
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