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Jim M.
Jan-14-2005, 7:12pm
Here's a new flat-top from Chris Baird, builder of Arches mandolins (Cafe ID: mandolplyr). Lovely choice of woods, excellent fit and finish, very warm tone, easy to play, and excellent value. Not to take anything away from other builders, but this mando is at least as good as the flat-tops I've played from Weber, Mid-Mo, Freshwater, and Moon. If you're in the market for a flat-top, and want to work with an individual builder, give Chris a call. I'm impressed enough that I will probably order an arch-top from Chris later this year. He has some great pictures of some of his arch-tops in the "Work in Progress" thread.

Jim M.
Jan-14-2005, 7:13pm
The top:

Jim M.
Jan-14-2005, 7:22pm
The back:

Jim M.
Jan-14-2005, 7:24pm
And some detail. Now, I know I'm not the only one on the board to buy from Chris recently, so how about some more pics.

Lane Pryce
Jan-14-2005, 7:44pm
That binding is a real killer!And that maple back ain't too shabby either.How does it play and sound? Lp

tope
Jan-14-2005, 7:45pm
Nice binding Chris, lovely instrument.

berkeleymando
Jan-14-2005, 11:23pm
OK here is the headstock of my Arches walnut A model. Let's see if I can get this thing to post properly...

berkeleymando
Jan-14-2005, 11:26pm
Here's one of the back.

berkeleymando
Jan-14-2005, 11:29pm
Here's a picture that shows the whole mandolin.

Jim M.
Jan-15-2005, 11:54am
That binding is a real killer!And that maple back ain't too shabby either.How does it play and sound? Lp
Plays and sounds great. It is built light and has light strings but has good volume. The tone is open and warm, a lot of sustain. I'm finding it a real inspiration for Irish music and I've composed a couple of tunes on it already.

That walnut arch-top is beautiful. Great looking headstock. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

grandmainger
Jan-16-2005, 5:37pm
I have just placed an order with Chris. I blame you lot. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

berkeleymando
Jan-16-2005, 6:03pm
I have just placed an order with Chris. I blame you lot. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif
An excellent choice! I have a feeling 2005 will be a very successful (and busy) year for Chris and his Arches mandolins ...

acousticphd
Jan-17-2005, 11:23am
Jim,

I like that the fingerboard is slightly elevated on your flattop, allowing a bit taller bridge. Is yours the prototype that Chris initially showed in the classifieds ad, or part of the regular production?

Jim M.
Jan-17-2005, 11:34am
Jeff - Mine is numbered #3, so I assume it's not the prototype. I like the elevation too. Still very easy to play and has good volume.

berkeleymando
Jan-23-2005, 7:13pm
OK here's the Arches walnut mandolin at home with its siblings, a Schwab emando and an 'Island Koa' soprano uke..
After six months of daily playing its sound still continues to open up and improve.

berkeleymando
Jan-23-2005, 7:23pm
The walnut A at rest in its Calton.

berkeleymando
Feb-03-2005, 8:59pm
Aha! I just noticed for the first time that Chris has a nascent web site ...

http://www.archesmusic.com/index.html