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Thread: Any opinions on Cross mandolins?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Conneaut Lake, PA

    Default Any opinions on Cross mandolins?

    Has anyone here ever played a Cross mandolin? What did you think of it? This builder seems to be relatively new. Gruhn has three of them, one used and two new, and Red Line Acoustics is now advertising one. The builder is in Tennessee. It seems pretty amazing that he can make a quality handmade F style for under 2000 dollars. I have looked at the pictures of all four of the above instruments pretty carefully. The workmanship appears to be fairly clean and the woods look nice. My only two criticisms would be that his ground stain seems to tend a bit on the overly yellow side, and his logo inlays look a bit sloppy, surrounded by a good amount of filler. Perhaps this is considered acceptable when the inlay is done by hand rather that machine. He apparently uses walnut overlays on his headstocks, and this may make the filler stick out more than black filler on ebony.

    Most importantly. How do they sound and play? Could these be underthe radar sleeper bargains? The holy grail of reasonably priced American made F style mandolins?

    Anxiously awaiting the collective wisdom here. By the way, he is not in our builder database.

    Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    Weber Bitterroot A
    Fender Octave Mandolin

  2. #2

    Default Re: Any opinions on Cross mandolins?

    Hi Don, I played one at Gruhns I thought it was a nice mandolin although on that day I also played a Gilchrist a Nugget and 4-5 other mandolins that were well South 6K price range by the time I played the Cross my perspective was probably pretty bent. But for a reasonably priced American mando I'd go for it. Last year I was on a search for a reasonable priced American made mando & not much out there so choices are limited I went with a Ratliff CB for about 2K and think it's a GREAT value for what I have sound wise. The Cross played nice and nothing wrong with the sound I was not paying attention to build quality when I was playing it. Here's a pic of my Ratliff (I'm showing off)

    Attachment 165592
    Attachment 165590Attachment 165591

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Hickory, NC

    Default Re: Any opinions on Cross mandolins?

    I played the three at Gruhn and one at Carter's a month or so back. To my ear, they compared favorably to the only other F-style I played in that range (a used Weber Gallatin). There were a bunch of A-styles in that range that I thought sounded better. If I felt I needed the scroll, I'd have been pretty happy with the Cross at that price.

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