View Full Version : New Mandolin Builder To Check Out !

Feb-04-2004, 3:48pm
Bob Altman of Altman Guitars is building really great F-5
style mandos. The tone and workmanship are to die for. I have played at length the first three and I can tell you without question it gets no better. Mitch Simpson is handling the distribution of these fine mandos. There should be a couple of them @ SPBGMA.
David Blackmon

Jul-14-2005, 4:46pm
I also played one of Bob Altman's mandolins in Feb. I liked it so much I ordered one. Hopefully it will arrive in 6-8 weeks. There was a good article about Bob in OnlineAthens 7/9.

Bob Altman ( http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Jul-15-2005, 8:45pm
can we get any pics???
sound clips? whats so fab about em???

Jul-15-2005, 9:50pm
Send me an email and I will send pics of the one I played.

Greg H.
Jul-15-2005, 11:22pm
There are lots of pictures on Charles Johnson's Website (http://www.vintagemandolin.com)

Oct-01-2005, 1:00am
Bob Altman drove half way to meet me in Birmingham to deliver the F5 I ordered in February. What a guy. The varnish is still curing so he did not want to risk shipping it. We met at Herb Trotman's Fretted intstruments. Am I ever happy. It is the best sounding mandolin I have ever played. There was a 95 Gilchrist and a new Colling's MF5 Deluxe V and the Collings MF5 I have been playing for comparison. Herb was a gracious host and I bought a new Long Hollow softie strap for it. I will post some pics asap. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Oct-01-2005, 3:50am
I love that article..."He crafts all of his hand made instruments by hand...."
Nuh Uh?!?


Oct-01-2005, 4:31am
Yeah Id like to see some pics too,could not find any on Charles Johnsons web site.

Oct-01-2005, 7:25am
Try this. Hey's got one now. Must have missed it.


Oct-01-2005, 11:29am
The one Charles currently has is #3. Here is a picture of one from this year, I believe #9. Mine is #11. His scrolls have improved a lot, but the sound is what convinced me to order one. I may bring it to IBMA if anyone wants to play it. FYI, I have no personal interest. Just a very happy customer.

Oct-08-2005, 12:10pm
Here are some pics of Bob Altman's #11. I have had it a week now and am amazed every time I pic it up. It is so alive and effortless to play. It already has that hollow throaty tone with complex overtones. In fact I like it so much I ordered another one. Better bet than the stock market IMHA!

Oct-08-2005, 12:12pm
Another one

Oct-08-2005, 12:13pm

Oct-08-2005, 12:14pm
silver waverly's. The tailpiece is a silver James.

Oct-08-2005, 11:36pm
is there anyone really doubting we are seeing a new golden age of instrument making. i haven't even heard most of the new instruments on the market but the craftmenship in the pictures is incredible.

Oct-09-2005, 1:08am
I'm sure the mandolin sounds great, happy picking! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Oct-09-2005, 2:11am
The scroll?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Oct-09-2005, 3:04am

FYI, I have no personal interest. Just a very happy customer.

In fact I like it so much I ordered another one. Better bet than the stock market IMHA!
Actually, from this you DO have a financial interest, as a speculator. I don't mean to offend, and I certainly know what its like to be excited by finding an "undiscovered gem" with the hope others will recognize our forward vision. However, you might not even be aware of your conflict...

That said, they are beautiful instruments, and I expect they do sound great!

Oct-09-2005, 10:11am
No offense taken! All someone has to do is play one of Bob's mandolins and talk to him. He has a lot of passion for instruments he builds. He has developed his own way graduating and tuning the sound box and needless to say his mandolins have a voice that speaks to me. I know he is planning to raise his prices so I decided to order one before that happens. When it arrives I have a Collings MF5(#69) that will probably be listed for sale on the cafe.

Oct-10-2005, 8:04pm
I understand there is some confusion about how to obtain one of Bob's mandolins. He deals directly with his clients and below is a link to his web site. I am a satisfied customer that is helping get the word out about his mandolins. If anyone is traveling through Memphis and would like to play the one he built for me, just let me know. John

Bob Altman (http://altmanguitars.net/)

Feb-18-2006, 2:53pm
I just had Bob Altman bring by his NO. 13 a custom made F5 for a customer nearby and all I can say is WOW! This has got it right out of the box. Beautiful workmanship, nice variations on the Loar theme and power that cuts. I must say it takes a lot to impress me but this may well be the next Dudenbostel builder to go up in value. A 6 month wait is now and the price is about half of what similar buidlers are getting. It won't stay that price long. Love that Burl Walnut headstock backing. Excellent pearl work. Set up is dead on. I have no interest in this builder. Just meet the guy for the first time today and do not own any of his previous guitars or mandolins. I got the same sensation I got when I got to pick on Dudenbostel No. 2 and we all know where he went(is he even taking orders anymore?)so if you are looking for that custom made to order F5 this is one to consider. Nice guy too to deal with.

Feb-18-2006, 3:18pm
My hype alarm went off.

Feb-20-2006, 5:59am
I love a great sounding playing mandolin as we all do. My search ended when I played one of Bob's. All I know is #11 is a constant joy to play. I can play it ever so gently and it still has a huge sound and records like a dream. When I do take the Collings out of the case and warm it up it sounds great, then I pick up the Altman and it just has more of everything. No comparison and every one I play with agrees. Proofs in the pudding and I am patiently waiting for the next one to be ready.