View Full Version : Old wave

Jim Roberts
Mar-06-2008, 12:28pm
Thought it'd be fun to see all the Old Wave mandolins fellow Cafe'rs are playing so I thought I'd show a picture of an Old Wave GOM (guitar shaped octave mandolin) that I just took delivery on. #It is off the charts good with sustain that rings and rings and rings...

Jim Roberts
Mar-06-2008, 12:34pm
And I have this 'dola that Bill built for me that came with a Bill James tailpiece. #This instrument is a blast to play and has incredible tone. #My chocolate lab Mabel is especially fond of this one!

Jim Roberts
Mar-06-2008, 12:38pm
NFI, but I noticed that Charles Johnson of Mandolin World Headquarters (proud sponsor of this great web-site) has this new Old Wave oval hole A (serial # 423) style mandolin for sale. #I am sure it's a sweetheart as Bill really has the oval hole mandolins dialed in.

I'd like to also add that Bill is a great guy to work with and he loves to talk mandolins (and green chili's).

Ted Eschliman
Mar-06-2008, 12:59pm
Old Wave Solocomp JM. 4-string JazzDola:


Mar-06-2008, 1:42pm

Mar-06-2008, 2:41pm
And folks say an orange mando is odd... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

oldwave maker
Mar-06-2008, 3:04pm
Orange would be odd, but the yaller-meated ones are sweet, at least thats what the peghead sez:

Bill Van Liere
Mar-06-2008, 3:06pm
I much appreciate the Horticultural aspect of this thread, the musical instruments are great also.

Big Bluestem Jim. How about a little Poa pretensis?

Bill Van Liere
Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

oldwave maker
Mar-06-2008, 3:16pm
These lepomis macrochirus are omnivorous, have been known to feed on poa pretensis!

Bill Van Liere
Mar-06-2008, 3:21pm
Yup, that could pass for a Bluegrass band in this neck of the woods.

Mar-06-2008, 3:54pm
Here're a couple more. Oval A Mandolin and a C# 16" 'Dola. Both made of mesquite, redwood and what ever Bill thought they needed.

Ken Sager
Mar-06-2008, 4:09pm
Here's mine:

(notice it's missing a couple strings...)

Mar-06-2008, 6:03pm
Here's a couple of mine. 10 string C# octave and GOM.

Mar-06-2008, 6:03pm
Do you make those "non-traditional" mandolins just to meet the ladies? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif I've been a fan of your whimsical and serious creations since I came on board here. It's nice to have an Old Wave reunion thread.

On an uptight moderator note, I think threads like this are a wonderful way to catalog instruments by a specific builder so others can see them and help make decisions. (here's hoping Scott agrees!). At least I know I would use threads like this as resources for making those kinds of decisions.


Mar-06-2008, 6:05pm

Mar-06-2008, 6:57pm
My trio:
A5 (#130-something), C#oval #181, A-oval #182.

Mar-06-2008, 6:59pm

Doug Edwards
Mar-06-2008, 7:29pm
Yup, that could pass for a Bluegrass band in this neck of the woods.
Looks more like a Blue-gill band.

Mar-06-2008, 8:01pm
Here's mine:

(notice it's missing a couple strings...)
That looks like my dream guitar, jeez.

Why don't any companies make archtops with that small a body? I hate dreadnought+ sizes http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Old Waves rule! (But I don't own one)

John Flynn
Mar-06-2008, 9:21pm
Here's #352.

Lee Callicutt
Mar-06-2008, 9:50pm
Y'all are just messin' with my jonesin' for an Old Wave ain't ya? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Lou Scuderi
Mar-06-2008, 10:10pm


And the Back:


Mar-07-2008, 1:31pm

That's the lowest number I've ever seen yet, other than Ezra Bussman's personal F5. #83 would be somewhere around 1994-1995?

Wherever did the first 100 or so Old Waves end up??? Let's see some low numbers and pictures.

Mar-07-2008, 1:38pm
351 lefty

Mar-07-2008, 1:39pm
OK tried to get cute and failed

Mar-07-2008, 1:41pm
and back

Mar-07-2008, 2:58pm
Bigger back pic please...

Mar-07-2008, 3:35pm
As seen before...


Still amazing to me.

Mar-07-2008, 5:04pm
oh soooo sweet

Mar-07-2008, 5:07pm
and then she turned around....

Mar-07-2008, 6:00pm
Here is #21, a mandola. Seymour Duncan "Dimebag" pickup added by a previous owner.

Mar-07-2008, 6:01pm
And here's the back.

Lou Scuderi
Mar-07-2008, 6:46pm
I got # 83 from Bill himself last summer in a complex 3 or 4 person trading/buying ring that I can't hope to even describe. #I went on down to old wave holler, and the moment I played the first note, I knew it was the right mando.
Elsewhere, I believe I've played something like #22, an F5, one in the 100s, two or three in the 200s, a bunch in the 300s, and when I was down at the holler, I had the pleasure of tasting three of the newest ones (something like 415, 416, 417). #All mighty fine instruments. #Although, I prefer #83 #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Oh, yeah, it is a 1995 instrument, by the way.

Dave Harbst
Mar-08-2008, 10:08am
Mine is serial# 93032, which I bought used about 5 yrs ago. I added a cast tailpiece and one-piece maple bridge. Beautiful grain in the back. Fabulous sound. BTW, anyone able to tell me the year it was built?

Bill Snyder
Mar-08-2008, 10:35am
I think all of Mr. Bussman's instruments are numbered sequentially so a serial number of 93032 would not work in his numbering system.

Mar-08-2008, 11:06am
lets see if this one is bigger

Mar-08-2008, 11:08am
Wow! In this case bigger is better.

Dave Harbst
Mar-08-2008, 12:00pm
I'll try to attach a picture of the label, which shows serial #93032. Hope I can do the attachment with success. I'm not very geeky with the computer.

Bill Snyder
Mar-08-2008, 12:04pm
Well would this instrument have been built in 1993 and been the 32nd one that Bill had built?

Dave Harbst
Mar-08-2008, 12:06pm
Ok. I got the attachment to work, but I can see that it is probably too small to read the serial number. Now that I think I've figured out how to attach a picture, I'll attach some better ones, including the front and back & side views of the mandolin.
View through the sound hole first:

Dave Harbst
Mar-08-2008, 12:06pm
The top......

Dave Harbst
Mar-08-2008, 12:09pm
The top..

Mar-08-2008, 12:16pm
Here's #369.

Dave Harbst
Mar-08-2008, 12:16pm
Back(my third try to attach; hope it works this time)

Mar-08-2008, 12:18pm
Here's #369 back. One piece birdseye maple.

oldwave maker
Mar-08-2008, 12:39pm
Harpoon- yes, that would be #32 from 1993, heres a shot of oval a #2 from the first litter, and gom #430 from the last litter 18 yrs apart, Mt. Wilson engelmann, Harvie redwood tops:

oldwave maker
Mar-08-2008, 12:42pm
Ow holler walnut bodies

Dave Harbst
Mar-08-2008, 1:31pm
Hi Bill,
Thanks for clearing up the question on the serial number. I actually have thought of contacting you several times in the past, but never got around to it, so I must say I appreciate your prompt reply to my posted message. I didn't really expect that to happen, so it is a pleasant surprise. Best of luck to you and, most of all, thanks for building such fine instruments.
Dave H(aka Harpoon)
Uniontown, PA

Bob DeVellis
Mar-10-2008, 2:57pm
Here's mine.


Mar-11-2008, 12:04pm
Not mine, pardon me if it's yours. Reportedly made from old shingles. I love the colors.

Mar-11-2008, 12:08pm
Here's the back.
I'll take some shots of mine this evening.
Interesting there's very few F-holes posted, and nary a scroll yet.

Mar-11-2008, 12:15pm
This is the photo used for the cover of Ted's jazz-dola string sets. Wonderful mandola.

Mar-11-2008, 12:17pm
Ooops, here 'tis

Mar-11-2008, 3:43pm
Anyone know how many F5's Bill has made? He seems to make more A styles. Very nice looking Mandos.

Lou Scuderi
Mar-11-2008, 5:22pm
I'd wager Bill probably does.

Ted Eschliman
Mar-11-2008, 5:22pm
This is the photo used for the cover of Ted's jazz-dola string sets. #Wonderful mandola.
Oh yeah!...


Mar-12-2008, 7:32am
Here's the back of #111 (1996). A sweet mandolin that isn't gettin' played enough.

It's available, in large part to due to #74, seen in my posting picture on the left.

I love Old Waves, and Bill is great!

Hey Bill, thanks again for lettin' me pluck your dog house bass at Pickin In The Pines last fall!!! Got a picture of the back of that?!


Mar-12-2008, 7:32am
And the front of #111

oldwave maker
Mar-12-2008, 9:47am
Mingus- anytime! Got extra credit for building the middle F5 for a banjoplayer! 'The One' is Ezra's, the 'OW!' is my festival beater. Not shown on the cutaway of the bass is the nautical drink holder, ignition interlock, and bottle opener. Just found a dairyfarmers kidsize irrigating boot to replace the Flagstaff-style hiking boot.....

G. Fisher
Mar-12-2008, 10:15am
Hey Bill,

Have you started work on "Yet another one"? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Mar-12-2008, 11:48am
Here's a #358 C# model. Came from the previous owner with a pick-up system and the weber universal tailpiece.
Nifty little abalone inserts on the tips of the points, front and back.

Mar-12-2008, 11:52am
One piece back.

Lou Scuderi
Mar-12-2008, 8:14pm
Boy do I love those C#s. They're just so COOL

Mar-13-2008, 7:14am
Here is mine, number 97 built in 96. #Formerly owned by David Long and used on his Midnight from Memphis cd. #Lots of player wear, mojo and a Frank Wakefield signature on the back of the peghead, I assume was acquired during David'd ownership. #Great Bluegrass mandolin, very dry and sounds bluesy and nasty near the bridge.

Mar-13-2008, 11:50am
Close up of one of the C#'s abalone point inlays.

Mar-13-2008, 11:52am
#325 was waiting just for me at Gruhns a couple springtimes ago.

Mar-13-2008, 11:53am
I like the clean look without neck-blocks. Lovely tortoise binding too.

Mar-13-2008, 11:57am
The back. I came home from Gruhns and left this mandolin there. When Bill told me the back and sides were Pennsylvania maple, (I'm a PA boy myself) that was the glincher. I rang up Gruhns with my credit card and shipped her home.

Orrin Star
Mar-20-2008, 12:33pm
Here's a couple of my new used Old dola (#261).
It's beautiful and sounds really fat.
(Am fixing to change the tailpiece to a gold-colored one.)

Orrin Star
Mar-20-2008, 12:35pm
tasty top

Sep-12-2008, 2:31am
A joy to own and play

Jim Garber
Nov-28-2009, 6:27pm
Here is an Old Wave F4 I believe from 2002.

Jim Garber
Nov-28-2009, 6:30pm
Another Old Wave C3 model, I think 2001, with custom, Vega-style headstock.

Jim Garber
Nov-28-2009, 6:34pm
Three-point custom Old Wave F3 with F5 length neck.


Nov-28-2009, 6:42pm
Bill can do some inlaying! Wow. Thanks, Jim.


Nov-28-2009, 7:19pm
wow jim, is that yours?

oldwave maker
Nov-28-2009, 7:37pm
FYI- banjo engraver Ron Chacey of Pagosa Springs did the F4 peghead inlay, the F3 peghead and pickguard were done by the Tony in Taiwan. My inlays were only the rosettes. Thanks for those full frontals, Jim!

Nov-28-2009, 8:00pm
Well, Bill sure can outsource some fine looking inlay. The whole instruments look stunning no matter who did the pieces.


Jim Garber
Dec-01-2009, 12:23am
Another Old Wave C3 model, I think 2001, with custom, Vega-style headstock.

I meant C# model.

Jim Garber
Feb-05-2010, 7:48pm
I finally got around to taking a few pics of this F3 (pictured only frontally previously). I love the quilted back.

Cheryl Watson
Feb-07-2010, 6:19pm
Some of the prettiest wood I've ever seen!