I am in the process of looking at having a new mandolin built and wanted to look at a few builders near my central-Ohio location. #It turned out that my guitar player was taking his D-28 down to Todd Sams to have a refret and I tagged along because Todd and Don MacRostie work and live so close to each other.
After a little tour of the Stew-Mac tool shop, we followed Don to his house and shop. #I first played one of his vintage Fs modeled after Grisman's Loar and nearly lost my mind. #It was easily in the top two mandolins I have played with the other leader being a '22 Loar. #It had everything you could ever want in a professional mandolin... #tone tone tone! #The trebles were loud and clear and the bass notes (on .038" Gs!) hit you like a cannon. #It was so easy to play and I don't generally go for the flat boards... #I am a little surprised that there is not more talk about his work here on the Cafe, but that may be attributed to the fact that he doesn't make too many a year.
It looked the part as well. #It had that classic darker burst (I won't say cremona ) of the '23 Loars, and dated pickguard and bridge from Steve Smith, silver Waverlies, and a tailpiece of his own design that was very cool.
I was only there for less than two hours and played around 5 of his mandolins including to killer sounding As. #I know there are a few Red Diamond owners out there and was wondering what you thought of them after living with it for a while. #Maybe a few pics of these fantastic mandos too as I forgot my camera? # #