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lmartnla
Mar-22-2008, 12:24am
We received this Phoenix mandolin that my wife purchased from the Cafť auction for Butch Baldassari in mid February from Rolfe Gerhardt. Itís progress through building was sent in as another thread (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=12;t=50623;hl=phoenix). It is the first in the Europa II edition built using backs of European Sycamore maple, tops of European spruce, and other European woods. It differs in part from the first Europa edition in having a sound port on the upper side for the playerís enjoyment.

Here is Rolfe holding the mandolin before shipping it.

lmartnla
Mar-22-2008, 12:25am
Here I am today holding the mandolin I have been playing for a month now. #I could not be happier and enjoy it more every day. #Sometimes I still just sit holding it and looking at it. #You cannot appreciate the design and construction of this mandolin without holding it in your hands and seeing and touching itís perfection while looking at it from all angles. #No one can do a better job than Rolfe for fit and finish. # I have held a Nugget, a Gilchrist, a Randy Wood. #They canít top Rolfe. #The sound of course is great and still maturing. #Note I have my Butch band on.

lmartnla
Mar-22-2008, 12:27am
The special hybrid varnish finish is very tough. It is not showing any fine wear or light scratches after one month of playing, including several times outside at gigs. Tougher than a new Weber or Rigel in my experience.

lmartnla
Mar-22-2008, 12:28am
And the back..

lmartnla
Mar-22-2008, 12:31am
I was able to communicate with Rolfe through the entire building process and really enjoyed his dry wit and willingness to answer my questions as he gave a running series of pictures as seen in the earlier thread (Phoenix auction mandolin).

Rolfe let me help him select this one-piece back having a unique pattern cut from the center of his Sycamore maple plank, having more typical figure towards the sides. You will not likely see another like this one anywhere else.

lmartnla
Mar-22-2008, 12:32am
Rolfe earlier made the Unicorn mandolin line, and is going to build a limited resurrection soon. #I had tried to think of a laid back special inlay to request in reply to his generous offer to do one for me, and when I heard he was building more I asked for a Unicorn inlay for the pickguard. #So is this a Unicorn or a Phoenix mandolin?

The bridge base is resonant ancient-forest maple recovered from Lake Superior by Timeless Timber.

Look close to see where the bear scratched on the top!

lmartnla
Mar-22-2008, 12:36am
The nut is moose bone, one of Rolfe's specialties.

lmartnla
Mar-22-2008, 12:37am
The sound port is small but lets out a lot of sound.

lmartnla
Mar-22-2008, 12:38am
Port from the front..

lmartnla
Mar-22-2008, 12:39am
It is hard to capture all of the fire of the Phoenix inlay in a picture.

lmartnla
Mar-22-2008, 12:40am
Same for the texture of the Unicorn inlay.

Mandolusional
Mar-22-2008, 1:23am
Hey nice mandolin, congrats. And a great cause to boot, it doesn't get much better than that. All of the Phoenix mandolins I've heard have been consistently impressive.

Plamen Ivanov
Mar-22-2008, 1:36am
Well done, both of you! Congratulations and enjoy!

lmartnla
Mar-22-2008, 10:43am
I forgot to say thanks again to my wife Carrie---Lou Martin

Chris Biorkman
Mar-22-2008, 10:48am
Cool. I miss my Phoenix.

Brad Weiss
Mar-23-2008, 6:23am
Here's (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=15;t=27482;hl=europa+and+ro lfe) an original Europa for comparison. #You're in for SOME fun!

LateBloomer
Mar-24-2008, 4:59pm
Oh you lucky duck!!!!
Leigh Ann
Owner of Unicorn #14

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

birdman98
Mar-24-2008, 7:07pm
Sound ports for players.....now THAT's cool.

JEStanek
Mar-24-2008, 8:41pm
Congratulations, It's a beauty and for a wonderful cause too!

Jamie