View Full Version : My Altman!

Bob Stolkin
Nov-30-2008, 7:20pm
Wanted to share the great Altman I just got. Killer varnished F-5. Absolutely beautiful in person (pic doesn't capture), stellar workmanship. Tone is incredible. Loud, open and woody, and plays itself. I can't seem to put it down.

Chris Biorkman
Nov-30-2008, 7:43pm
Looks really nice. Never played one, but I'd like to some day.

Ken Olmstead
Nov-30-2008, 9:02pm
Looks like a real sweetie! Congradulations!

Doug Edwards
Dec-01-2008, 8:26am
I played several Altman's at Fiddler's Green in Austin. Great mandolins, #34 was awesome which looks just like yours.

Jason Kessler
Dec-01-2008, 9:18am
One of the nicest bursts I've ever seen. Subtle, nuanced...

Dec-02-2008, 9:52am
Congrats on the Altman, I am sure it is a joy to play. What is the serial #? I just sent you some sound bytes of 4 Altman's and the story of mine and Bob's visit with George Gruhn a few weeks ago.

Dec-02-2008, 11:24am
Congrats, talk about a smooth looking sunburst! I've read a lot of good things about Altman mandolins around here.

Bob Stolkin
Dec-02-2008, 12:10pm
Thanks for all of the congrats. As great as it looks, what's really amazing is the way it plays and sounds. It just feels so easy and balanced in your hands. As always, tone is hard to articulate, but it has that woody growl of the old ones, but also just sings in the trebles. Every note on the fretboard is strong. The lows are loud and rich, but also separate beautifully. And, dealing with Bob Altman is such a pleasure, and an honor. I really believe he's making some of the finest mandos of our time (or any other).

Dec-06-2008, 10:30am
Blob - I sent you a PM.

Dec-06-2008, 12:29pm
Sensational! Enjoy this beauty....

Michael Cameron
Dec-06-2008, 8:04pm
Blob,you sound very happy with your Altman. I have been reading about these mandos and how great they sound/play.

I am excited to learn that Mr. Altman lives in my home state of Georgia! I hope to be able to play,and maybe purchase, one of his mandolins someday.

The Altman mandolins I've seen look just right!

Michael Cameron
Dec-06-2008, 8:05pm
Oh,and Blob,when you do finally put the Altman down for a rest,could you please take some more pictures!?


Dec-07-2008, 9:44am
My Altman's a beauty with fit & finish, playability, tone, and cool antique vibe like no other mandolin I've owned (and I've owned quite e few). Check it out.

Bob Stolkin
Dec-07-2008, 12:17pm
Beautiful, Troika. What number is it?

Michael Cameron
Dec-07-2008, 3:17pm
I rarely comment on mandolins that I just see pictures of;but,I like everything I see on troika's Altman. (THanks for the pics!)

The finish is reminiscent of Nugget's satin(may be the lighting?).

The arching of the top,and especially where the "spine" of the scroll ends is something I pay particular attention to. It irks me to see that spine part run way down to the f-hole interrupting the flow of the dished-out portion of the top.

I've noticed that some of the best sounding F-style mandos do not have that ridge extending too far. I have not seen an Altman mandolin first-hand;but,they look very well done. Again,comparing to mandolins I have played,the pics of troika's Altman remind me of the way Will Kimble's F-style scrolls look.

Just my unscientific 2 cents.

Dec-07-2008, 6:47pm
Lovely...just absolutely lovely.

Dec-08-2008, 1:21pm
Altman # 6507. That's what it says on the label inside. Stiff 150 year old Englemann that rings like a bell. This mando really has it all.

Bob Stolkin
Dec-08-2008, 1:41pm
Yeah, mine's a one-piece Englemann top as well.

Dec-08-2008, 2:00pm
Here's a couple more.

Mark Walker
Dec-08-2008, 2:57pm
Blob - excellent! I like that abbreviated pick-guard too, and the way it's sculpted into the F-hole and keeps the symmetry in place!


Michael Cameron
Dec-08-2008, 3:42pm
Blob,troika,how did you come to know about Altman mandolins?

Is there an MP3 of one these mandos somewhere?


Bob Stolkin
Dec-08-2008, 4:47pm

I'd heard about them from a couple of sources, including Kim Sherman at Cotten. Kim is someone whose opinion I regard highly, and she thinks the Altmans are fabulous. I'd also read some things here on the Cafe. Dennis at The Mandolin Store also recently had one that lasted a week, and he thought it was incredible. I have a few sound files of various Altmans that I got from John Albertson. Be glad to send them to you if you PM me with your email address.


Dec-09-2008, 2:45am
First of all I want to apologize to Blob for jumping in front of his post and pictures of his new Altman. I realize it's not called "post your Altman". I appreciate how excited and happy he feels playing a great mandolin. I couldn't help it. These are truly great instruments. I'd love to see some more pictures of your instrument. I first read testimonials from musicians and enthusiasts here on The Cafe. I've been afflicted with MAS for some years now and have bought and sold, among others, a Gilchrist side bound Monroe copy, a Gibson Master Model, a Collings Deluxe MF-5, a Varnish MF5 from Collings, a Sim Daley varnished classic, and now an Altman. It ranks highest so far for deep throaty pop gibson bark singing treble....ness. The action is as slick as a rink. What I love is that great feeling when your mandolin sound so good and everything is right. Then you stop playing and admire your instrument for a few minutes in the mellow light and all is good. Over the years I've come to enjoy the differences in instruments. Yet there's this satisfaction in playing a mandolin you feel does it all and sounds like it was made for music. Bob Altman's creations are that inspirational.

Bob Stolkin
Dec-09-2008, 2:57pm
No apology necessary at all, Troika. These are sweet instruments, and I for one love seeing pictures of, and hearing about them. I'll put some more pictures of mine on when I have a chance.