View Full Version : How about these two luthiers?

Feb-29-2004, 7:54am
I've been salivating over pics of original-looking mandos by Steve Holst and Devil's Dream (you can get to their websites through the Eyecandy page).

They both make visually stunning instruments, but I've never read any posts by people who own them. Surely some people have them?

If you've tried/own one of these, tell me what you think of them!

Charlie Ayers
Feb-29-2004, 5:46pm
I haven't played a Holst mandolin, but I have heard sound samples that he sent to me on CD, and they sounded great.

I also own one of his archtop guitars (which is much more traditional in appearance than the 2 models he currently shows on his website). I can attest to his workmanship and artistry, in regards to the guitar; it's gorgeous, with excellent tone and playability. The builder is known for excellent customer service, and he worked very hard to build just what I wanted. Watch the "shop tour" on his website and you'll get an idea of his skills and attention to detail.

I've been thinking a bit about one of his more traditional blonde F5's, myself. I can certainly recommend the buider.


Mar-01-2004, 2:34pm
The Devil's Dream caught my eye too. I emailed the builder a few times last summer (I forget his name right now) and he answered each time very curteously and informatively.

Mar-01-2004, 4:13pm
His name is Graham Blair. He's definitely a straight shooter and a talented builder.

I had the pleasure of playing his F5 style a few months ago and was most impressed. Workmanship, playability and tone were all there in spades!

Mar-02-2004, 6:56am
Holst already makes Monteleone-inspired mandos, so if I could save three grand, I'd ask him to make one of these:

(It's a Radio Flyer, hue-shifted ;) )

Mar-02-2004, 6:57am
And the back. I think blue sunbursts look tacky; even colour is better in my opinion!

mad dawg
Mar-02-2004, 9:17am
Roger -- nice color choice; especially how the blue appears in the photo of the top. Would you go with those interesting looking two-part holes of Holst's?

Mar-02-2004, 2:18pm
I second FeankenMouse's endorsement of the Devil's dream. Graham hasn't built to many mandos yet (three I think) but each is better than the last. He is a builder to watch for. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Mar-04-2004, 3:44pm
I have also drooled over the Holst site. Why not just buy one and let us all know what you think? Or perhaps you could talk him into sending you one to test if you promised to write up your impressions and post them here.

Charlie Ayers
Mar-05-2004, 12:20am
I checked with Steve Holst a few weeks ago, and he didn't have a demo available. He has built one for his daughter, and if you're in his neck of the woods, he's happy to let you try it.