View Full Version : FYI

Scotti Adams
Nov-10-2004, 8:21am
Ben is in the process of upgrading his web-site...some of you have been interested in this model..check it out..no financial interest.

# #http://www.brw-instruments.com/HeirloomFinish17.html

Scotti Adams
Nov-10-2004, 8:23am
..here are some more pics of the Heirloom Model..no financial interest.

Scotti Adams
Nov-10-2004, 8:30am
another..no financial interest

Tom C
Nov-10-2004, 8:31am
Very nice.

Scotti Adams
Nov-10-2004, 8:36am
last one..no financial interest

Nov-10-2004, 8:40am
That is nice but I just have one complaint, and no it is not about the scroll! Remember when Gibson came out with the Distressed Master Model and a lot of people complained about how stupid it was? Then, why are several builders copying their idea?

Scotti Adams
Nov-10-2004, 8:46am
one thing you should know Jeremy..before Ben started building mandos his claim to fame was distressing new Strats and Tele's....as far as the market for them and why they are being built ...well...eveidently there is a market for them...and the arguement about Gibson wasnt the fact that they built a distressed mando it was the rediculous price of $19,000 they are charging for it. You can have this one for $4000...'nuff said on the subject. I posted this because I have been gettin a slew of emails on the Heirloom Model so I wanted to direct people in the right direction....not to start another debate or flame war. Nuff said.

Nov-10-2004, 10:31am
Scotti Adams Posted

...and the arguement about Gibson wasnt the fact that they built a distressed mando it was the rediculous price of $19,000 they are charging for it.

Well actually Scotti that was only one component of the argument. The majority of complaints were why would anyone want a distressed model in the first place regardless of price. A lot of posters basically said that if you didn't distress it on your own then you were somehow a lesser musician.


No financial interest in Gibson or BRW #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Nov-10-2004, 10:39am
That BRW is a mighty fine looking Mandolin.

Ben may also have one the the best websites among builders out there today. The pictures, Mike Marshall audio files, site design, etc. Very well executed. The total package.

No financial interest here. Don't own a BRW. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Nov-10-2004, 10:45am
I've looked at every picture of that heirloom model. I love everything about that mandolin. He's even found a way to make the lacquer finish look cracked and copied a few top cracks. I also think this peghead inlay is awesome. A very nice replacement for the flowerpot. If I could change one thing with this instrument it would be a varnish finish instead of lacquer. I wonder if he can to the heirloom finish with varnish?

I also agree, a very nice website. I'm going to have to go up and pay Ben a visit sometime.

Jim Watts

Scotti Adams
Nov-10-2004, 11:25am
..Jim..Ben had talked about distressing a varnish model...also..if you decide to come to Bens let me know and I will either meet you on the way or meet you there some weekend. That way you could see my new one and I could check out your Elliot....

Darryl Wolfe
Nov-10-2004, 12:30pm
Scotti...do you know how he does the finish cracks. #I have been told that the Fender Relics are carefully scribed with knives/razor blades. By the way, I saw a Fender Relic listed the other day...The ad said it was in mint condition

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

Tom C
Nov-10-2004, 12:32pm
It's up for sale in classifieds. Oh The MAS... The MAS

Nov-10-2004, 12:39pm
Following the link in the classifieds, I wandered over to Ben's site to look at this beauty. It is quite stunning. I was also pretty impressed with the web page design.

Last week I saw two new Fender "relic" amps, complete with ratty, torn grill cloth, torn tweed and beer bottle stains and wondered: why? There certainly is a market for this stuff, but I quake at every nick and ding I do on one of mine. Maybe Chevy should start making "distressed '57 re-issues" do you suppose they could get $200,000 a pop?

Scotti Adams
Nov-10-2004, 12:48pm
Darryl..I asked Ben how he does it...he said its a secret...I didnt press the issue...On the subject of electric guitars..I have it on good authority that The Guitar Center just sold a '59 Les Paul for $280,000...it was mint. I have heard that the checking and cracking of the finish to get the distressed look can be done with raw eggs..

Nov-10-2004, 12:59pm
Okay, my thoughts on the distressed model. Everyone (me included) seems to be after the elusive sound of a Loar, leading to the question "Does distressing a mandolin improve the sound and make it sound more like a Loar?" Apparently Charlie, Danny and Joe feel that it does because they are making them. Apparently other do, as they are paying the price that Gibson is charging. Apparently there is a market if BRW is making one too, which looks very nice to me and $4K is a reasonable price for a mandolin for me. I like the looks of a distressed Gibson and would buy one if I had the money and liked the sound of it. But my 5 month old daughter has pretty much ensured that for the next 20+ years that I will stick with the instruments that I currently have. Am I bitter that Gibson or anyone else is building these expensive mandolins? No, I'm not. I just look at it like this, if they age as well as the Loar did, then when I can buy one, it will sound great and I will have saved a few hundred thousand dollars from not purchasing a Loar.

Scotti Adams
Nov-10-2004, 5:14pm
All I have left to say is somebody is going to end up with a heck of a mando at a heck of a price...and a little piece of history...being the first Heirloom Model...wish I could afford it..it would be all mine...all mine http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Nov-10-2004, 8:43pm
See, Scotti tries to post a nice picture of a beautiful new mandolin, and more than one person wants to start something up about something else completely (that has already been done to death and which will never have any kind of resolve).....

Nov-10-2004, 11:45pm
I didn't want to try to start something up dude and I do think it is a beautiful mandolin. I just find it funny that everyone wants to bash Gibson but they end up copying their ideas. If Ben did so well at distressing Tele's and Strat's, then why isn't he working for Fender. I think I do recall (and thank you for pointing it out GVD because I didn't want to so I could just leave it alone) that the actual title of the thread by Arches builder was Gibson DMM, What the #### or someting to that affect before Scott edited it. I don't think price was mentioned until much later and the big deal was that people wanted to wear their own mando out. Hmmm....all of a sudden it is different. So yeah, what the ####?

Nov-11-2004, 6:08am
That's a great looking mandolin. I too like the peg head inlay. Very clean, not cluttered looking like some of the "ferns" that you see.

Nov-11-2004, 7:16am
For the record I talked to Ben about doing relic long before Gibson anounced the Distressed Master Model. The idea of a relic is not new or unique to Gibson so calling it copying an idea is rediculous. It has been done for a long time before and will be done for a long time to come.

I've played the Heirloom and plays as good as it looks, and in my opinion is grgeat bargain at $4000.

After passing mine around a jam at IBMA with two Loars in the room, the owner of the Loars looked at me and said under $5000? FOR THIS!

And in my opinion Ben has dialed in the graduations, carving, and tone to be more Loar like in the twelve he has built since he finished mine...

Nov-11-2004, 9:01am
Why in the world would Ben want to work for Fender and make substantially less money than what he makes now for distressing their products, Jeremy? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Not trying to start an argument, but, some of the stuff that is said is a bit on the ridiculous side. I seem to recall many conversations that reiterate the fact that violin builders have been distressing their products for LONG before Gibson started doing it. Spruce (Bruce) has #made a point of this many times as I recall of previous threads of this nature. I am in no way putting down Gibson. I own a Gibson made mandolin, but, you can't fairly crown them the inventor of distressing and judge everyone else upon what they do.

Nov-11-2004, 10:30am
Good point mandoryan about the money issue and Fender. There again, I do love Ben's work and I'm amazed that someone so young is so talented! I will leave this one alone now. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Nov-11-2004, 10:48am
Ditto. That kid (I'm 25 so I guess I'm in there too) has got some talent! He's gonna be a force not to be reckoned with in the near future (Read Now).

Scotti Adams
Nov-11-2004, 12:20pm
...Ive already been in contact with Ted(Mandohack) about shutting this thread down...I initiated it yesterday by emailing him telling him if the flames start to start up then I want it shut down..he has agreed to do so at my request when and if the situation presents it self. All I wanted to do was give people the heads up on a beautiful product...so the ball is in ya'll's court....

Nov-11-2004, 1:24pm
Tattletale! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Make no bones about it...this BRW is a nice one. A tip of the hat to all builders out there that create such works of art and objects of our obsessions.

Nov-11-2004, 2:41pm
Darryl..I asked Ben how he does it...he said its a secret...I didnt press the issue.
First, I love Ben's work and think he's a great guy, an intelligent conversationalist, and an excellent repairman (the only capacity in which I have engaged him). #I love the notion of building new instruments in an old style, and I believe Mr. Wilcox is one of the best at doing so. #However, the notion of artificially aging such instruments strikes me as plain silly. #Especially silly is the notion that some people are willing to pay more money for what amounts to "artistic" damage. #Ben got his start at the 5th Ave. Fret Shop with a couple skilled repair guys named Phil and Craig. #Like Ben, Craig has struck off on his own. #While still with 5th Ave., Craig once produced a very convincingly "distressed" Les Paul he had done. #I asked how he did it, and Craig's reply was, you guessed it, "It's a secret." #I'd wager Ben inherited the craft of "artistic" damage and its magician-like shroud of secrecy from his years at 5th Ave. #I really hope Ben continues to commit time to developing and building quality mandolins and doesn't find too much demand for "distressing" quality mandolins.

Scotti Adams
Nov-11-2004, 2:44pm
..as usual Eugene ...very well said and I couldnt agree with you more..

Nov-11-2004, 2:57pm
If I hadn't just bought an F5 from another great builder, I'd grab this one in a second. The back is just beautiful, not to mention the distressing. I like the idea. And I had no idea how young the builder is. I find it amazing that we're the same age and he's producing such beautiful instruments. Now I can't wait to get my hands on about $4000. Does anyone in Oklahoma have a BRW?


Nov-11-2004, 3:17pm
...and it has a sale pending with another person waiting to buy it if the 3-day approval results in a return.

Nov-11-2004, 4:31pm
In regards to his age you might even call him the Chris Thile of Mandolin Building. Please No flames for that one :-)

Eugene you are right his methods of distress are a secret. I've asked Phil Maneri before about his distressing technique and he just chuckles and says "I threw it down a flight a stairs a few times."

On another note I love the case that Ben has it shown in on the Classifieds anyone know where to get one?


Nov-11-2004, 5:47pm
The Cases can be ordered from GWW cases, as I ordered one today.I actually had one and sold it, bought one of the popular cases that are out....and realized that I had made a HUGE mistake!! Anyhow the cases can be ordered at 1-866-669-8932 and ask for Jeff McInnis. They are available with your choice of exterior colors and Blue,Red or Vintage green interiors. One item to note is this, the standard case latches are spring loaded, they will substitute mechanical latches if you ask....You want to do this!

Salty Dog
Nov-11-2004, 7:12pm
When Ben and I were communicating a while ago about my (eventual) purchase of #12, he said he was then making a living repairing vintage guitars but his goal was to make a living building mandolins full time. #He didn't mention more money or less money or money at all. #It reminds me of a quote from Harry Darbee, a world renowned (fishing) fly tier who was asked if a person could really make a living tieing (fishing) flies. #Harry #replied "of course you can son, it just depends on what you call a living!." #:-)

Nov-12-2004, 6:37am
Eugene: #I concur with Scotti regarding your opinion on "distessed" new mandolins. #I decided to purchase the Heirloom because of the information on the BRW website. #The visual and audio layout is just outstanding. #I've not seen or heard a BRW, but decided on this after hearing it on line and communications with the builder via emails. #While I don't particularly like the distessed look, I like the rather thin finish look and the wood selection is striking. #I have an F5 MM that's well seasoned and I can see the Heirloom getting to a similiar level with several months play time. #As an afterthought, that "distressed" look removes the tension created by that first nick put in a new instrument. #I've bookmarked the BRW website and intend to follow this builder with a vested interest. #Regards.

Scotti Adams
Nov-12-2004, 6:47am
..congrats Mike....she will be a welcomed member to your fold...please keep in touch to let us know how she matures....

Tom C
Nov-12-2004, 7:47am
I figured there can always be others. Lucky fellow Mike.