View Full Version : Don MacRostie's Red Diamond Mando Shop

Roger Wheeler
Oct-29-2009, 3:14pm
I'm headed to the Fur Peace Ranch tomorrow so today I visited Don MacRostie's Athens, OH Red Diamond Mandolin shop. This is the mando that Chris Hillman currently plays and says of it: "The absolute best Mandolin Luthier in the world.........I'll put my "Crusher" up against anybody's instrument...Don is a great guy too!". I haven't played one but Hillman can make his wail. I will agree with Chris about Don being a great guy. He was gracious enough to spend about an hour with me talking about how he hand-makes his Red Diamonds and other general topics (including SEC football. He grew up in Florida and is a Gators fan). The mandos hanging are repairs. The one without a top is one of Don's first ones (serial #45). He will be putting a new top on it.

Oct-29-2009, 3:44pm
Roger, were you able to play any?

Oct-29-2009, 3:45pm
Great pictures! I have never met Don but he is a really nice guy. I had a custom built Red Diamond and it definitely was an awesome mandolin. I had it built about 6 years ago, but sold it a few years back to fund another mandolin. At that time Don had not started his vintage series much less his Loar replicas either. But from what I hear that a monsters.

Rick Schmidlin
Oct-29-2009, 3:47pm
I wish I had one, he a great luthier. Great pictures.


Oct-29-2009, 5:34pm
Great to see some of the shop where my mandolins came from. One of the ones hanging on the left side in the first picture is mine. I had Don send me a Crusher voiced A-model to play while he worked on my vintage F. I ended up buying it and have not regretted that decision one bit. It's definitely a 'crusher'.

I'll echo the sentiment that Don is a great guy to work with, and all-around nice guy.

David M.
Oct-30-2009, 8:26am
Great photos, Roger. I bet it was fun to meet Don and see his place. Wish I had a Crusher...

Rex Hart
Oct-30-2009, 2:32pm
I had the chance to meet Don at IBMA this year.Don truly is a nice guy and his mando's are awesome well crafted instruments. He is truly leading the field in exact Loar replica's. The crusher he had was a monster !

Rick Crenshaw
Oct-30-2009, 5:18pm
The photos of the shop look just like the shop in his videos... wonder why? I met Mr. McRostie at IBMA last year. I had just finished changing strings on my Daley in a lobby Saturday morning (roommates still sleeping) and was picking and waiting for a JD Crowe video to start. Don walked by and I recognized him and thanked him for his videos and the Stew-Mac kits which helped me build my camper/beater (the Pos'm). He stopped and took great interest in my Daley mandolin and played it for a little while. A friend has an early A model Red Diamond and it was the best mandolin I'd ever heard up close for many years. It's still a killer mandolin but I've been around some top notch mandolins lately. That Red Diamond A model is every bit as good a mandolin as any of the best mandolins I've ever played.

Brian Aldridge
Oct-30-2009, 9:18pm
I have the "Crusher" prototype F5, and it has never let me down or made me wish I had brought something else instead.

Roger Wheeler
Nov-01-2009, 10:01am
I was not able to play any. He didn't have one that was finished. He was intrigued by by left handed Collings MT.

Nov-01-2009, 7:47pm
I have one of the few Crusher "22" F-5's and it is a monster that just keeps getting better. Very special mandolin in every way. Best I've ever played and I expect it to get better over time.:)

Nov-02-2009, 5:29pm
I have one of the few Crusher "22" F-5's and it is a monster that just keeps getting better. Very special mandolin in every way. Best I've ever played and I expect it to get better over time.:)

Looking at your signature line woodysny you have quite the collection of mandolins. That 2008 Red Diamond is kind of like the cherry on top of a very good ice cream sunday.

Tracy Tucker
Nov-07-2009, 4:12pm
I am fortunate enough to be borrowing Brian Aldridge's Red Diamond (while my mandolin is with Will Kimble getting a little work done) - and I think he's going to have to fight me to get it back! :mandosmiley: :))