Hello Mandolin Cafe. I'm a newbie so please be gentle with me.
I've owned a couple of Fyldes over the years, one an Octavius and the one I use now is a Touchstone. I also own a Touchstone octave mandola. As much as I love them I find them tough to play and I'm not getting as much out of it as I would like.
So now is the time to upgrade.
I play a mixture of traditional Scottish, Irish and European stuff and I play a lot of Americana. So I guess I'm looking for an all rounder.
I've always fancied a Weber, though not heard enough. I'd say my price range would be around the £3k mark.
Would you go for a big name like a Weber or maybe look for a local luthier for this kind of cash? I think the most notable luthier near me would be Mike Vanden, waaaay out in the middle of nowhere in Scotland.
Here's an example of his work: http://www.vanden.co.uk/mandolins.htm
Would it be worth taking a pop on a vintage Gibson for example and converting it? BTW I don't care if it's sacrilege, I've converted a 1936 National dobro to leftie, basically cos it'll be mine till I die.
Problem is for me that I'm left handed, and I also live in the middle of nowhere, so I don't have the best opportunity to try anything out. I've bought all kinds of things blind but got loads of bargains in the process.
Any thoughts/advice are most welcome.