- Type: People Who Play
Being a beginning mandolin player as of 2005 on a fairly tight budget, I started on a decent sounding well respected Chinese made instrument which I had hand picked from a dozen or so others. After some experience, I came to realize that Chinese instrument did not have the sound I wanted from a mandolin. It didn?t sound bad, but it didn?t have the rich tones I had heard from other mandos. (The curse of being a sound engineer.) After playing a number of manufacturers? mandolins, I tried a few Webers at The Mandolin Store in Washington Court House, Ohio. (Pardon the shameless plug, but the owner Dennis Vance has been great.) I quickly realized the difference in these instruments in sound and quality. I picked up this particular ?Special Edition? Gallatin from the wall and realized I had a sweet sounding cannon in my hands after just a few chords. This instrument has the deep bottom end, sweet top end, bell-like ring and volume of a high end aged quality instrument. It can go from sounding very gently sweet and beautifully melodic to being an absolute cannon upon request. The comment I made to my wife was that my original mandolin made nice clean notes, but this mandolin ?sings?. Even she agreed! The harmonics and phasing I hear are amazing. I will even go so far as to compare this instrument to a certain manufacturer?s new $30K mandolin. (Yep, $30,000) To be as kind as possible I would have to say that no one would pick the $30K instrument over my Special Edition Gallatin based on sound quality, regardless of the fact that it cost less than 1/10th of the price! To top it off, the instrument is beautiful to the last detail. The back is gorgeous. I have never seen another manufacturer?s finish as perfect as any of the Weber?s. It is even finished perfectly under the ?tongue? of the fingerboard on the top. (How do you guys at Weber do that?) The only thing that could be sweeter would be a custom Fern with varnish finish that sounds like this one! But even if I get a Fern in time, this one is staying in the family! Kudos and thanks to Bruce Weber and all of you wonderful craftsmen and craftswomen at Sound to Earth!