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Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 1:39am
Hello all, I hope the holiday season went well for everyone. Here are a couple late christmas mandos which will be shipping out soon.

The F4 First.

Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 1:40am
Walnut back, sides, and neck.

Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 1:42am
Tazmanian blackwood/maple binding.

Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 1:45am
The inlay is my take on a southwestern theme. The flower is modeled from a "Sacred Datura" which grows where I live. The geometric design was taken from Navaho pottery. The littl fleck in the middle is a piece of dinosaur bone.

Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 1:47am
Tazmanian blackwood tuner buttons.

Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 1:48am
Scroll.

Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 1:50am
A-style.

Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 1:51am
...

Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 1:53am
Headstock

Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 1:54am
...

Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 1:56am
More pics can be seen here: F-style (http://www.archesmusic.com/Fstylegallery.htm) & A-style (http://www.archesmusic.com/Astylegallery2.htm)

mandolooter
Dec-30-2005, 1:57am
That F is over the top...
Great work!!!!

Gail Hester
Dec-30-2005, 2:03am
Amazing work and a real treat to see, thanks Chris.

Professor PT
Dec-30-2005, 2:30am
Yamahama! Both of those look splendid. How does the walnut sound? Vastly different than maple?

grandmainger
Dec-30-2005, 4:47am
Nice work, and brilliant finish! The F is a little over-the-top for me though the walnut look awesome, but that A looks fabulous. Is it gold MOP inlay for the logo or wood? I love the dead-straight trussrod cover. Good job I'm poor right now. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Germain

Milan Christi
Dec-30-2005, 5:02am
Stunning, simply stunning!

recklessmando
Dec-30-2005, 6:31am
Chris, I stopped in at Intermountain this afternoon and Kennard was still drooling over an F4 you brought in a couple days back. Was it this one? For the record he said it looked and sounded spectacular.

man doh
Dec-30-2005, 7:33am
I guess I'm getting "A" late christmas present from myself. It's looks are more than I had envisioned. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

kyblue
Dec-30-2005, 8:36am
Chris,

That F is awesome. Love the inlay. Absolutely nothing over the top about it as far as I can see.

Daryl,

Enjoy that A! Let us know if it sounds as good as it looks.

Paula

Lane Pryce
Dec-30-2005, 8:59am
Stunning! The inlay work on the F4 is absoutely top shelf in everyway;that is gonna be one proud owner. That A aint shabby either. Well done. Lp

stevem
Dec-30-2005, 9:03am
The F-4 is amazing. I love the headstock design too.

Celtic Saguaro
Dec-30-2005, 9:15am
Beautiful work, Chris!

red7flag
Dec-30-2005, 10:12am
Chris,
To quote Doc Watson "What a job he did". I was talking to a friend last night about ordering a walnut F4, but was not sure if I had the conjones to risk it. Well you did, and very tastfully I might at. Thank you for sharing.
Tony

Mark Walker
Dec-30-2005, 10:25am
VERY VERY nice mandolins - both of them. I think that F4 is stunning. It's not 'over the top' - but certainly unique! I too am curious about the sound/tone with the black walnut! GREAT JOB Chris. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

van
Dec-30-2005, 11:05am
I love your work Chris. It is always an inspiration to me and I hope that one day my work will be as beautiful as yours.
Keep up the excellent work!

Bill Snyder
Dec-30-2005, 11:30am
Beautiful work.
I have never played a mandolin with walnut back and sides, but quite a few of the luthiers that post here have built them. Arched top/back as well as flat tops. My guess is they must sound pretty good or people like Michael Lewis and Mario Proulx would quit using it.

mandoryan
Dec-30-2005, 11:38am
Exceptional work Chris and I love the inlay on the F. Where in God's Green Earth would you go about finding a dinosaur bone for inlay? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif I assume in the deserts of Utah......

levin4now
Dec-30-2005, 11:47am
Chris,

Is that the F4 I played when I visited your shop in early November? I believe so - it was unfinished but I think I recognize the inlay. Very nice work.

ShaneJ
Dec-30-2005, 12:04pm
Chris, those are both absolutely beautiful. I really do like your wood bindings. I also like the wood inlay on the F4 peghead. That is cool! Your mandos are truly your own work - inspired by time-tested designs, but crafted in your own way. That, to me, is the mark of a true craftsman.

Chip Booth
Dec-30-2005, 1:07pm
Chris that wasn't my piece of walnut was it? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif # I hope that mine looks that nice, man that's a gorgeous mandolin.

I hope you manage to record the F4 before you send it off to it's proud new owner. #Congrats,

Chip

Doug Edwards
Dec-30-2005, 1:08pm
Very, very nice. Absolutely beautiful.

good_ol_al_61
Dec-30-2005, 1:15pm
Chris:

Wonderful work. I am soooooo glad to see some excellent completed work. That means I'm moving up in the pecking order! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

You will be getting a surprise in the mail in about two weeks. We'll talk then.

Best wishes to you and your family.

JEStanek
Dec-30-2005, 1:28pm
Awe inspiring. Great pair. Congrats to the new owners.

Jamie

PaulD
Dec-30-2005, 1:33pm
Amazing work, Chris. I assume these are the instruments you had over at Ken's "mando tasting" earlier this week... I wish I had gotten the message earlier, I would have loved to see and hear them up close.

Is it the lighting on the picture of the A's top that makes the top and bottom look darker than the middle, or is that the way you stained it? Whichever it is, they are stunning, magnificent, beautiful. Your work just keeps getting more amazing, I hope the financial renumeration is in line with the work you're doing.

Paul Doubek

jasona
Dec-30-2005, 1:37pm
Wowsers! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif

JGWoods
Dec-30-2005, 1:38pm
Clean, simple, totally excellent. That color coming from a guy in Moab- yup, you get an eyeful everyday. Wonderful stuff.

Bill Van Liere
Dec-30-2005, 3:23pm
Well that makes for a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Beautiful Chris

Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 6:33pm
Thanks for all the compliments! They are much appreiciated. The walnut sounds very similiar to maple. As was said earlier, I took this mandolin into Intermountain Guitar and Banjo in SLC. I played it against a 1918 maple F4. It sounded 90% the same to me. I couldn't really say if the slight difference was the walnut, more likely the difference was 80 years and slight construction differences. I'll just say that walnut works as well as maple for an F4. Perhaps the new owner will have more to say when he gets it and does some comparing.
Germain, The "Arches" in the a-style is maple.
Alan, this is the F4 you played.
Paul, Sorry I didn't contact you sooner about the "tasting", I had the flu last week and didn't really know if the get together was going to happen until the day of. The lighting on the A-style changes the look a bit, it is actually more evenly stained with slight shading around the edges.
Thanks again for the compliments.

phynie
Dec-30-2005, 7:31pm
that F4 is nuts!!!!!
great work man!

Dec-30-2005, 8:12pm
Chris: Even tho we don't take each others opionions very seriously http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif I would like to take the time to tell you that you have crafted some very nice looking mandolins. Happy Holidays.

Chris Baird
Dec-30-2005, 9:27pm
Hutto, Thanks. As you can see I think highly of both tradition and innovation. In my opinion, all the greatest innovators started off by mastering the traditional first.

Ken Sager
Dec-30-2005, 10:50pm
I'm lucky I got to see these two instruments first hand. They are more beautiful than the terrific photos lead one to believe. When Chris opened the case on the F4 I caught my breath. It is truly a spectacular piece of work. The walnut is very warm and rich sounding, and the finish work is nothing short of outstanding. Every bit as fine finish work as any Gilchrist, Collings or Nugget I've seen. Chris obviously knows what he is doing, and spends a great deal of time doing it.

That A5 is one of three of the finest built A's I've ever held in my hands. His finish work is flawless, and that A5 is an amazing looking and sounding instrument. Chris explained the tonal qualities he was striving for (per instructions of a particular buyer) and he nailed it. It was bright, cutting (to say the least), and yet warm. It will be a huge bluegrass mandolin when it gets played in. It's every bit as loud as my Old Wave A5 already (which is very loud, btw) and will only get better.

I can't wait to see what Chris produces over the next few months, and years. He is quite an artistic craftsman.

Keep up the good work, Chris.

Best,
Ken

PS - Paul, I'll try to give more notice next time anything exciting happens.

berkeleymando
Dec-31-2005, 1:22am
Oooooohhh, that F4 will be living only about 15 miles east of here. I can't wait to see it first hand. Jim, are you out there? The walnut body looks spectacular. Once again Chris, you've built some truly fine mandolins! Bravo!

PaulD
Dec-31-2005, 2:06am
Not a problem, Ken & Chris... I appreciated the call, just sorry I picked it up so late.

I hope you all have a great New Year's.

pd http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Ted Eschliman
Dec-31-2005, 7:20am
Spanking! Those axes are gorgeous...
In case you didn't cruise Chris's site, it includes a wonderful primer on the commonly (and uncommonly) used #woods (http://www.archesmusic.com/materials.htm). That page is worth bookmarking!

http://members.aol.com/teesch/images/Msmiley.gif

oldwave maker
Dec-31-2005, 12:11pm
Bravo, maestro! Us woodbutchers can truly appreciate the labor of a woodbound scroll...

Jason Kessler
Dec-31-2005, 12:12pm
I'll chime in: nothing over-the-top about the F4 for me either. In fact, it has an elegant simplicity to it, despite all it has going on.

I love the wood trim on the fretboard, as well as the wood tuner buttons.

And the A too; simply two of the prettiest mandos I've ever seen.

banjo1
Jan-01-2006, 1:23am
One word.............sorry thats two

WOW[B]http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Charlie Ayers
Jan-04-2006, 11:39am
I was also able to see those 2 mandolins first hand (at Ken's); they're truly works of art. Very fine playing and sounding works of art.......

Charlie

berkeleymando
Jan-07-2006, 1:32pm
I'm looking forward to hearing the comments from the new owners of these mandolins! Especially the F4!

amowry
Jan-07-2006, 5:06pm
Beautiful as usual! I love the inlay on the F4.

mandolooter
Jan-08-2006, 12:40pm
Just cruised back by this thread and I wanted to clarify my previous comment "over the top". I apparently misunderstand the true meaning of that phrase and probably should have stuck with something my limited brain cells do understand like "awesome, totally cool and other positive words and phrases". I really dig the look of that mandolin and how ya stepped away from the trad look which I tire of...its a great piece of work and very inspiring! That flower is one of the best looking headstock inlays I've EVER seen!
Jeff

kyblue
Jan-08-2006, 1:02pm
Jeff,

I think those of us that reacted to the 'over the top' comment were referring to Germain's comment, not yours.
Yours was clearly a compliment!
Germain's -

The F is a little over-the-top for me

Paula

Chris Baird
Jan-08-2006, 4:55pm
Andrew, thanks! I got to check out a couple of your instruments in SLC. They were just fantastic, really great work.
No worries about the "over the top" comments. The F4 is actually much more subdued looking in real life. Most the appointments blend in and only show in a sort of "now you see me now you don't" kind of play with the light. And, of course, everyone is justly entitled to their own tastes.

Eric F.
Jan-08-2006, 6:12pm
Hole moley! I just saw this thread. It makes me want to go play my Arches! Chris, those are two gorgeous instruments. If they sound as good as mine - and I bet they do - there are going to be two very happy new owners out there.

FlawLaw
Jan-08-2006, 7:57pm
Well, I know where I will get my F-4 when the time comes. I have always been a big man of the walnut.

grandmainger
Jan-09-2006, 3:17am
#No worries about the "over the top" comments. The F4 is actually much more subdued looking in real life. Most the appointments blend in and only show in a sort of "now you see me now you don't" kind of play with the light. And, of course, everyone is justly entitled to their own tastes.
http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Yes, there is nothing to worry about there (not that he would anyway!). Chris knows how much I admire his work, and I'm well qualified to do so: I own an Arches Mando!
The reason behind the "over the top for me" comment is that I tend to prefer less contrast in woods used and mixed together, and probably a bit smaller inlays. In this particular duo, I personnaly prefer the headstock of the A-style to that of the F4.
But that's me... I'm boring # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif #!!!
To settle this, I will happily take both on loan for 6 month... No? Really? Oh well... Worth a shot...

Germain (back to play my Arches now #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif )

Jim M.
Jan-09-2006, 11:36am
Sorry Germain, but the F4 is coming to my house when Chris is done tweaking it. You're welcome to come by and try it but I'm going to be too busy playing it to send it to France. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

berkeleymando
Jan-10-2006, 2:08pm
Sorry Germain, but the F4 is coming to my house when Chris is done tweaking it. You're welcome to come by and try it but I'm going to be too busy playing it to send it to France. # #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Jim, looking forward to hearing your reaction to the F4 when you get it from the master.

mandolooter
Jan-10-2006, 3:19pm
All's well that ends well!

One question what is the flower made of...wood, shell or...?

Chris Baird
Jan-10-2006, 7:39pm
The flower is two different kinds of maple and tasmanian blackwood in the middle.

man doh
Jan-11-2006, 7:34pm
Every bit as fine finish work as any Gilchrist, Collings or Nugget I've seen. Chris obviously knows what he is doing, and spends a great deal of time doing it.

That A5 is one of three of the finest built A's I've ever held in my hands. His finish work is flawless, and that A5 is an amazing looking and sounding instrument. Chris explained the tonal qualities he was striving for (per instructions of a particular buyer) and he nailed it. It was bright, cutting (to say the least), and yet warm. It will be a huge bluegrass mandolin when it gets played in. It's every bit as loud as my Old Wave A5 already (which is very loud, btw) and will only get better.

I can't wait to see what Chris produces over the next few months, and years. He is quite an artistic craftsman.

Keep up the good work, Chris.

Best,
Ken
Ken, you have best descibed this instrument. I quess I don't have to worry about describing it, I can just play it.

Thank you, Chris for a fine instrument.

http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Eric F.
Jan-11-2006, 7:42pm
Daryl, congratulations on the new Arches! It's a beauty. Welcome to the club of very happy Arches owners.

berkeleymando
Jan-11-2006, 9:49pm
Daryl, you are a lucky fella. Enjoy!

man doh
Jan-12-2006, 8:50am
Well I took today off to get to know my new friend.

Here is a little detail you can not see on the other photos. I spoke with Chris about doing a maple binding around the fretboard with a thin veneer line of ebony under it to set it off. Neither of us knew how it would turn out but I think it looks pretty good.

Lane Pryce
Jan-12-2006, 9:15am
Daryl that is as good as it gets. Lp

Ken Sager
Jan-13-2006, 5:15pm
I hope I didn't steal your thunder, Daryl. Knowing what you're playing, though, you'll be thundering just fine.

Nice ax.
Ken

man doh
Jan-13-2006, 6:14pm
Ken,

Not a problem, I appreciate it. I usually have problems describing things like this and you put it nicely. This thing sounds great and the finish is unreal. It's hard to believe he has so few under his belt and it is so refined.

Daryl

berkeleymando
Jan-20-2006, 10:44am
There's a VERY nice looking Arches flat top in the classifieds right now. If I had $1200 ....

Jim M.
Jan-30-2006, 11:39am
I'm now in possession of the F4 at the top of this post. I'm not going to post more pictures because Chris did a much better job photographing it than I can. I do want to say that I'm really happy with it. You know how hard it is to describe tone with words, but Chris captured just what I described to him -- great, tubby low end, with clean, clear high end. Great dynamic range, too. It sounds clear picked soft or hard. The tone has a very nice warm sound that I wanted too. And, as you can see from the pictures, Chris is truly an artist with his design and finish. A great instrument, and one that I look forward to playing for a long time.

Eric F.
Jan-30-2006, 7:43pm
Congratulations, Jim! That is one fine-looking mandolin.

Jim M.
Jan-31-2006, 11:21am
I couldn't resist, one more photo:

http://www.archesmusic.com/Archtop%20images/WebF4A5/F42-4.jpg

If you haven't talked to Chris about getting an Arches, what are you waiting for? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

FlawLaw
Feb-03-2006, 9:09pm
If you haven't talked to Chris about getting an Arches, what are you waiting for? #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
I just sent in a deposit for a Octave flat top... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

judith
Feb-06-2006, 8:51pm
Hiya. I'm waiting for the arrival of my Arches flat top OM. Should be in about 6-7 weeks!! I'll definitely post some pics when it/she arrives. Then, Otterly and I will have in our posession AND in the same room, a Brian Dean OM and the Arches. Judith

otterly2k
Feb-06-2006, 10:40pm
Maybe even on the same song!
http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

FlawLaw
Feb-07-2006, 10:41am
Hiya. I'm waiting for the arrival of my Arches flat top OM. Should be in about 6-7 weeks!! I'll definitely post some pics when it/she arrives. Then, Otterly and I will have in our posession AND in the same room, a Brian Dean OM and the Arches. Judith
Judith, let me know what you think. #I have asked Chris to make mine with a walnut back and sides, so it will take a while, as I don't hink he typically uses walnut. #I know he told me that he was finishing up a batch, so one of them mus tbe yours. #
Will

judith
Feb-07-2006, 11:14am
Hi Will - will definitely let you know and you are very welcome to email me. I chose Cocobolo back and sides, radiused board, ebony binding. I'll be curious about the walnut. Judith