In the early summer I purchased a new Washburn Jethro Burns model. #Since I am not a seasoned mando player, I was unaware of some details of mando sound/finish. #After visiting the Gibson store in Nashville, and playing a distressed F5, I made some assumptions (usually not a good thing to do). #If a fretboard has 24 frets on it, not that you'll use them, you should get good sound on them. #My Washburn, at the 20th fret sounded like "tink" and the Gibson, at its 24th fret sounded like "ting" (so much for technical jargon). #I realize there is only a $25,000 difference in the two mandolins, but maybe there was something to the finish part of it. #Having had a Mid Mo M1W made by Mike Dulak, I called him and picked his brain. #He said the stuff on some of these mandolins is extremely hard and if I felt adventurous I could probably grind off the shiny finish and actually get a better sound. #Not being too excited about grinding my new mando, I took off the tailpiece and did a little experiment on the finish under it. #As it turns out, the finish around the edges was somewhere between 1/16 and 3/32" thick. #So, I found a stripper (chemical) and went to town. #Then my biggest fan, my wife, said you'll never finish it. #That was all I needed. #After nearly 100 hours of scraping and sanding, I got the front and back clean (not perfect). #At this point I had to see what it sounded like, so I reassembled it (I didn't strip the sides). #I could not believe the sound. #Is it possible that a little ol' $600 mando could sound so good with just a little less finish? #Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.