Right before I headed off to Camp Bluegrass, my local Weber dealer, Guitar Tex, told me he had one of the new Bighorn Plus models coming in. It is a three point mandolin, with an F5 style headstock instead of the regular snakehead. I dearly love my regular Bighorn so I was really interested to see this new model. I doubted if a new mandolin would sound as good as my played in mandolin but I wanted to see if it started in a similar place as mine.
I got back from Camp on Friday night and went over to Tex on Saturday. The new Bighorn Plus was hanging on the wall of Webers. The wall was a little light as two F models and a couple of A models had found homes. The pictures are below.
The third point and the headstock make it distinctive but it's still clearly a Bighorn. The walnut finish is the same and the appointments are the same. It's new and it sounds new but it has that distinctive Bighorn throatiness that gives them a great lower register. The finish is immaculate and straight. The action was higher than I like but that's always the case.
How did it sound? Great. As good as mine? No, not yet anyway, but it struck that same nerve in my head my Bighorn did when I first played it. It's going to be very good. How about the Plus parts? Mixed thoughts. I think the third point is an interesting addition but I'm not so sold on the F5 headstock. Without the body scroll, it's a little unbalanced. Regardless, if the first Bighorn I had played had been a Plus model I probably would have bought it. When I was looking for a mandolin my goal was sound, matching the mandolin that plays in my head. Tone bar, f hole Bighorns are very satisfying.