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Thread: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

  1. #26

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    I think it is wonderful that positive threads like this one (and the one featuring Tyler White a few months back) can make a real difference to an independent luthier's order book.

  2. #27
    Registered User Willem's Avatar
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    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Quote Originally Posted by EvanElk View Post
    Smart move choosing the Sitka from that old bridge in Alaska for your top. That's what I chose for my F in the next batch. i have a feeling those tops will be legendary some day...like "the Tree"...or the Heiden Heritage barn wood...
    The credit goes to Matt. He had quite a bit of spruce on hand. He took the time to go through the characteristics of several pieces and suggested the sitka. I would love to see some lore develop around "The Bridge" tops. Sounds damn good on the new instruments. Can't wait to hear these mature.

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  4. #28

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Ron...I have gotten to know both of the gentlemen builders you mentioned just a bit. I can't say enough nice things about both. Great craftsmen, passionate about their work and always willing to listen and discuss customer inquires. Bottom line though is both produce fantastic musical tools.

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  6. #29
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    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Quote Originally Posted by Willem View Post
    Well, as luck would have it, I was able to pick on one of Matt's earlier x-braced F5's for a while today. I believe it was #17 or possibly 20 owned by Chuck Holloway. It was as loud and punchy a mandolin as I have played yet. Wonderful trebles and mids. Nice balance of brightness and warmth. I was impressed and left more excited to visit with Matt.
    Yes, that is what blows me away is how popping and thick the trebles are. No thin flat sound here, cutters all the way. I love the X-braced F5s he produces. Especially the ones where they cross just about an inch in front of the bridge. But all of his are fantastic.
    Definitely one of the greatest makers I know of.

    Ruhland Ruhles!
    Blessings

  7. #30

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    I have recently been enjoying the experience of being in the studio with a group I perform with. I have used one of Matt's A5's on several tracks. It sits so well on the track, what a pleasure. The fundamental tones are full, rich and complex. In a word, " Fat". If it works this well for a novice player, I can only imagine what it would record like with a masterful player. Good mic placement by a fine engineer and the A5 does the rest. I could not be happier. Also, a big tip of the hat to Oliver Apitius. His F5 in the studio is so sweet and such great clarity, powerful lows. Amazing builders in our community. We are so fortunate! Thank you both, truly.

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  9. #31

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    I have recently had the pleasure of a Ruhland A-5 (#26) on loan to me, and I must say it is an outstanding instrument. It has a bright, lively, bell-tone quality, mixed with a complex sweet and chewy woodiness, making it rather unique in my experience. Great playability and workmanship! Congratulations to Matt Ruhland!

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  11. #32

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Ruhland # 27

    Here is an example of a raw track of Ruhland # 27, from a local Portland studio (minus vocals, bass etc.)
    Attached Files Attached Files

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  13. #33
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Records really well - the characteristic fat trebles and the resonant woody thunk of the bass come through very well...even with the dreaded banjo in the way!

  14. #34

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Thanks Evan...your comments are definitely all true. The fundamental tones/pitches are so wide, fat. Play-ability is also just excellent. Very comfortable in the hands. It sounds like Matt is well on his way with the next batch of F5's as well. That back of yours looks incredible. Nice choice.

  15. #35
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    I meant to also mention that your tone and musicianship on that recording is great. Yeah, psyched to see/hear this batch of F's and to see my new Ruhland F take shape. Have seen a couple photos along the way...

  16. #36

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Thank you Evan... would you be willing to show us a photo of the back of your F5 from Matt? It's been a good while since I have visited his shop.

  17. #37
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Sure, my pleasure. Here it is with Matt's permissionClick image for larger version. 

Name:	Ruhland F back.jpg 
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ID:	173343...the quilting isn't as apparent as it will be with the varnish on it of course, but you get an idea of how dramatic this back is going to look

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  19. #38

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Lol... well...I haven't seen that before. I can't wait to see just how 3D that back appears when all is said and done
    Very cool.. thanks!

  20. #39

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Sounds great, Old Growth. The second track is the same as the first for me--not the solo mandolin. Would like to hear it solo.

    Evan, that back is going to be spectacular. Amazing piece of wood.
    the billyhawks http://thebillyhawks.bandcamp.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
    http://HillbillyChamberMusic.bandcamp.com

  21. #40
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    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Growth View Post
    Ruhland # 27

    Here is an example of a raw track of Ruhland # 27, from a local Portland studio (minus vocals, bass etc.)
    In that cut you only play one high note, but the mids are really hollow, warm, and woody. And the volume sounds strong.
    I'm jealous! Blessings

  22. #41

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Lol...correct Sir. I guess i must be saving them for a rainy day. I would agree with your comments about the sound/volume of the Ruhland. A fine A5. Thanks for noticing.

  23. #42
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Still life from Matt's shop. The current batch of F5's coming together... Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Rhuland F5 Still life .jpg 
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  24. #43

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Nice Evan...i'm guessing that's your F5, yes? Love that old bridge wood, red tint. That stuff has a mystique to it. Cool!!

  25. #44
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    It is. Can't wait to play this one!

  26. #45

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ruhland F5 Inlays.jpg 
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ID:	174710

    I couldn't resist...clearly still "in process" but beautiful to me , none the less....Nice job Matthew.

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  28. #46

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	174822

  29. #47
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    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Matt has a gifted sense of woods, sounds, craftsmanship, focus and passion. Just a great builder and person.

    Thanks for sending the inlay photos.

  30. #48
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    Can't wait to see this next batch!

  31. #49
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    A couple shots of the current batch on Matt's workbench Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ruhland tops.jpg 
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ID:	174918Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ruhland backs.jpg 
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ID:	174919

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  33. #50

    Default Re: In praise of mandolin builder Matt Ruhland

    I love the look of those old Sitka bridge-wood tops. Nice inlay work too. Nice backs too.
    Last edited by Don Grieser; Feb-19-2019 at 10:16pm.
    the billyhawks http://thebillyhawks.bandcamp.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
    http://HillbillyChamberMusic.bandcamp.com

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