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Thread: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

  1. #1

    Default Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    I'm down at Summer NAMM for a mini vacation with my daughter, and of course have been digging through all things mandolin here.

    This year there are a good number of builders, but only 2 US based shops have shown up--Ellis and Weber both with a great selection of gear to play.

    Eastman brought a half dozen instruments including the new electric (which really is awesome), Saga brought the whole Kentucky line, The Loar folks brought 4 instruments.

    Notably absent given their ginormous booth--was Gibson Mandolins. Not a one to be found, other than the Wayne Benson F5 that is currently demoing their M-200 bridge replacement pickup system.

    Also here is a new Mandolin F5 case from TKL that I haven't seen out at dealers much yet. It's a molded plastic case that they are doing some neat custom graphics printed on top of, looks pretty nice for a lightweight carry-everywhere jam case. Definitely not a flight case (in my book), but I think it seems like a nice addition to available cases (latches seemed nice).

    I grabbed photos of most of what is here if anybody is interested (The Weber Mandocello is cool). Let me know and I'll put together a post for each builder if you all are curious. I think I got pricing for most everything that had it displayed.
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    1987 Flatiron F5 Artist
    Ellis F5 #464 - Just got here.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Steve-o's Avatar
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    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Thanks Scott. Iíd certainly like to see pics of the Ellis builds. Have fun,
    Steve

  4. #3
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Cool! Have fun for all us less privileged folks who can't attend
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    "Imagine life without mandolin. Now slap yourself! Never do it again!" -Gunnar Salyer

  5. #4
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R View Post
    I'm down at Summer NAMM . . . . I grabbed photos of most of what is here if anybody is interested.
    Are you kidding? I want to see pictures of EVERYTHING!

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Ok... let's start with my favorite, Ellis & Pava. (I apologize in advance for the cell phone photos--I wasn't planning on doing this...)

    Here's a look at their sweet booth:
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    Starting with the closest Ellis first and working back we have:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ellis F5 Special #400 - Tom's personal mandolin with hummingbird inlay
    This one is really nice, and a treat to play.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ellis Twin Point Special - Oval
    The first oval twin that Tom has built.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ellis F5 Tradition - Torrefied
    This is the one that CJ couldn't put down. I think I heard it is going to Carters and will be up for sale soon. It is very strong, and was just strung up for the first time a couple days before the show.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ellis A5 Special - Flern Inlay
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    1987 Flatiron F5 Artist
    Ellis F5 #464 - Just got here.

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  9. #6

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Thanks Scott. Pava Mandolins Facebook page has a few pics up, and a video of some old hack banging on one of her F5s.

  10. #7

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    And here are the Pava instruments that came along for the trip:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pava A5 Pro - Blonde with Koa Binding, Koa Iris Inlay and Koa Tuner Buttons
    This is a pretty neat one, the koa binding is definitely unique--and the blonde top is gorgeous.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Detail shot of the koa binding, inlay, and gotoh tuners with koa buttons.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pava A5 Satin
    (I still think these are the best value A5 on the market, all the sound and they are amazingly well built)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pava A5 Pro - Pava Wire Inlay
    Probably the first look at the new Pava Wire inlay. Has the full iris with the tiny inlaid silver wire that Tom's torch and wire inlays are known for...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pava F5 Satin
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    1987 Flatiron F5 Artist
    Ellis F5 #464 - Just got here.

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  12. #8

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Ok, and on to Weber next. They brought a lot of nice mandolins, a couple octaves, a mandola, and a mandocello.

    I'm also attaching all the info provided on the display cards in the booth--though I don't think they had the series names and model names correct with their catalog. Not sure why.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber - Fern "F" Mandolin F-Holes
    Top: Adirondack Spruce
    Back/Side: Flamed Maple
    Binding: Ivoroid
    MSRP: $8999.00


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber - Crooked River "F" Mandolin F-Holes
    Top: Adirondack Spruce
    Back/Side: Maple
    Binding: Ivoroid
    MSRP: $6999.00



    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber - Vintage "F" Mandolin Oval Hole
    Top: Adirondack Spruce
    Back/Side: Flamed Maple
    Binding: Antiqued Ivoroid
    MSRP: $6999.00


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber - Bitterroot "F" Mandolin F-Holes
    Top: Sitka Spruce
    Back/Side: Flamed Maple
    Binding: Ivoroid
    MSRP: $3999.00



    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber - Bitterroot "A" Mandolin F-Holes
    Top: Sitka Spruce
    Back/Side: Flamed Maple
    Binding: Ivoroid
    MSRP: $3499.00


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber - Gallatin "F" Mandolin F-Holes
    Top: Sitka Spruce
    Back/Side: Maple
    Binding: Unbound
    MSRP: $2999.00


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber - Bitterroot "A" Octave F-Holes
    Top: Sitka Spruce
    Back/Side: Flamed Maple
    Binding: Ivoroid
    MSRP: $3999.00



    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber - Yellowstone "A" Mandolin F-Holes
    Top: Sitka Spruce
    Back/Side: Flamed Maple
    Binding: Ivoroid
    MSRP: $3999.00



    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber - Yellowstone "F" Mandolin F-Holes
    Top: Sitka Spruce
    Back/Side: Flamed Maple
    Binding: Ivoroid
    MSRP: $4999.00



    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber - Yellowstone "F" Octave F-Holes
    Top: Sitka Spruce
    Back/Side: Flamed Maple
    Binding: Ivoroid
    MSRP: $5999.00



    Argh.. hit image posting limit. To be continued.
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    1987 Flatiron F5 Artist
    Ellis F5 #464 - Just got here.

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  14. #9

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Weber, continued:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber - Yellowstone "F" Mandola F-Holes
    Top: Sitka Spruce
    Back/Side: Flamed Maple
    Binding: Ivoroid
    MSRP: $5599.00



    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber - Yellowstone "F" Mandocello F-Holes
    Top: Sitka Spruce
    Back/Side: Flamed Maple
    Binding: Ivoroid
    MSRP: $6499.00
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    1987 Flatiron F5 Artist
    Ellis F5 #464 - Just got here.

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  15. #10

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Heading back to the show--will post Eastman, Saga, and The Loar stuff tonight or tomorrow.

    Going to get some hands on time with that new Weber Octave, looks neat.
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    1987 Flatiron F5 Artist
    Ellis F5 #464 - Just got here.

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  17. #11
    Registered User jdchapman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    This is wonderful, Scott. Thanks. I'd love to see those cases as well!

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  19. #12

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    That Ellis 2 point oval checks all the boxes. Serious MAS for that one. Gorgeous in every way.

    Thanks for the pics and report Scott.
    the billyhawks http://thebillyhawks.bandcamp.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
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  21. #13

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    There was a lot of interest in the twin point oval, it sounds as good as it looks. I donít know which shop it is headed to after namm....

  22. #14
    Registered User John Van Zandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Thanks for the report! Any wide angle photos of that big Kentucky lineup?
    Kentucky KM-380

  23. #15

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Ok, so let's talk about the cases next. What I saw there were the TKL Vectra cases. Which, while new to me, have been in existence for at least a couple years now (though when I was doing a lot of case shopping--they never turned up for sale anywhere).

    Here's what I know. There are a lot of TM's here:

    - Cases are made in USA
    - Rigidlite™ exterior - which is a molded polymer (plastic, right?)
    - Secure-fit™ - impact-absorbing, thermal-insulating AIC™ Interior (not thinsulate, and no temp ratings that I could find)

    Observations
    - The cases are VERY lightweight. Maybe 1/3 the weight of a Calton. They are NOT flight cases.

    - The interior is nice, and the stuff compartment is Calton sized. Not huge.

    - The interior will fit an A model, or any Gibson sized F model (Ellis wouldn't fit well, but TKL said they could custom mold interiors for luthiers who wanted to order regular batches. If you know your mando is big, this probably won't work for you off the shelf.)

    - The exteriors can be customized with any graphics on front or back--which could be cool for brands looking for a uniquely designed case. The print quality was pretty nice on their samples (good resolution potential, just low rez photos for sample graphics).

    - The latches felt good, but there were 4 of them (3 front, one back) when maybe 3 could do?

    Overall I thought they were really nice cases. Googling I see an old reverb listing for a gold one at morgan music for around $250, so maybe that is street price? Would be nice to know how good the thermal protection is, and if you can drop them off a roof with an instrument in them... (If I get my hands on one to test for a while, I will report back)

    The folks manning the TKL booth were super nice and very encouraging about customizing for builders, so that's nice to hear.

    Here's what they had to look at:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    1987 Flatiron F5 Artist
    Ellis F5 #464 - Just got here.

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  25. #16
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Nice looking Mandolins.

  26. #17

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    And then my absolute most favorite mandolin find at Summer Namm 2019 is these fine folks:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You may have seen some of their guitar stands in the high-end room at Carters, but I noticed the Eastman 315 hanging when I walked by, so I stopped in to chat.

    They decided the market also needed some mandolin stands, and they've made a new design with a hanger yoke that is appropriately sized for our skinny necks! (They also made some banjo stands, but who would want one of those? Maybe Steve Martin.)

    Anyways, they've got a few different 'tiers' of stands:

    Standard
    Solid Sapele, Cherry, Walnut, or Curly Maple

    Special
    Same woods with a tasteful skunk stripe of contrasting color

    Premium
    Fancier woods like Bubinga, Chechen, and Pau Ferro.

    The stands collapse into a skinny 'stick' profile, and fit into a slick little carry bag--but honestly they are gorgeous to look at, and I think a lot nicer than many of the other metal or wood stands out there today.

    Also, all contact points are suede leather covered so no rubber problems.

    Here's the good stuff

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Flame Maple and Sapele (I think) Mando stands. You can see the hanger yoke fits right, and the lower bouts hit in the center of the contact pads.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's the back view, I think these are the 'standard series (no skunk stripe)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just another side profile view.


    They are rumored to be running a batch of Mando stands in a month or two--and have a waiting list started. I've got no financial interest in this other than ordering a few stands at the show for myself...

    Check em out at https://www.solidgroundstands.com/
    Last edited by Scott R; Jul-19-2019 at 11:27pm.
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    1987 Flatiron F5 Artist
    Ellis F5 #464 - Just got here.

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  28. #18

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Ok, Kentucky! I only got one photo of their stuff (sorry). I think I have enough info to give you a rundown of everything in it:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    KM-1050
    Mastermodel Series
    Graduated, carved Adirondack/Michigan maple, radiused ebony
    MSRP: $2995

    KM-855
    Artist F-Model Mandolin
    Flamed maple, handcarved European tone woods, radiused ebony
    MSRP: $1695

    KM-750
    Deluxe F-Model Mandolin
    Handcarved German spruce & Alpine maple, radiused rosewood
    MSRP: $1495

    KM-650
    Standard F-Model Mandolin
    Handcarved German spruce & Alpine maple, radiused rosewood
    MSRP: $1395

    KM-606
    Standard F-Model Mandolin (though sign said A...)
    Handcarved spruce & maple, radiused rosewood
    MSRP: $1195

    KM-508
    Artist Series
    Flamed maple, carved european hardwoods, radiused ebony
    MSRP: $995

    KM-508
    Artist A-Model Mandolin
    Carved German spruce top, european hardwoods, radiused ebony
    MSRP: $895

    KM-150
    Standard A-Model Mandolin
    Carved Sitka spruce top, european hardwoods, radiused rosewood
    MSRP: $595

    KM-272
    Deluxe Oval Hole A-Style Mandolin
    Carved German spruce top, european hardwoods, radiused rosewood
    MSRP: $695
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    1987 Flatiron F5 Artist
    Ellis F5 #464 - Just got here.

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  29. #19

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Here's a couple shots of what Eastman brought to the show. I still favor well set up Eastman 305's as the best sounding entry level mando out there--really really great builds in my book. Also their limited edition guitars with Adirondack tops were pretty great as well.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And then the treat for me was getting to check out the ER-M.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Top Wood: Solid Maple
    Back/Sides: Solid One Piece Mahogany
    Finish: Nitrocellulose
    Pickup: Lollar mandolin humbucker
    MSRP: $1,299

    Really beautiful instrument, great build, great feel. Personally I wouldn't know what to do with an electric mando, but this one is super nice.


    Here's the other stuff in the photo:

    MD515/v-AMB
    Antique Varnish Series - F-Style with F-Holes
    Top Wood: Solid Spruce
    Back/Sides: Solid Maple
    Finish: Antique Varnish
    Pickup: Optional K&K Duotone
    MSRP: $1,399

    MD505CC/n
    A-Style with F-Holes
    Top Wood: Solid Spruce
    Back/Sides: Solid Maple
    Finish: Vintage Nitro
    Pickup: Optional K&K Duotone
    MSRP: $975

    MD415-BK
    F-Style with F-Holes
    Top Wood: Solid Spruce
    Back/Sides: Solid Mahogany
    Finish: Nitrocellulose
    Pickup: Optional K&K Duotone
    MSRP: $1,000

    MD915-BD
    F-Style with F-Holes
    Top Wood: Solid Adirondack Spruce
    Back/Sides: Solid Flamed Maple
    Finish: Vintage Nitro
    Pickup: Optional K&K Duotone
    MSRP: $2,999


    MD605-SB
    A-Style with F-Holes
    Top Wood: Solid Spruce
    Back/Sides: Solid Flamed Maple
    Finish: Nitrocellulose
    Pickup: K&K Duotone
    MSRP: $1,099

    MDA815
    Mandola - F-Style with F-Holes
    Top Wood: Solid Spruce
    Back/Sides: Solid Mahogany
    Finish: Nitrocellulose
    Pickup: Optional K&K Duotone
    MSRP: $2,125

    MDO305
    Octave Mandolin - A-Style with F-Holes
    Top Wood: Solid Spruce
    Back/Sides: Solid Mahogany
    Finish: Matte Nitrocellulose
    Pickup: Optional K&K Duotone
    MSRP: $875
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    1987 Flatiron F5 Artist
    Ellis F5 #464 - Just got here.

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  31. #20

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Ok, I think all I'm missing at this point is The Loar...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Left to right...

    Professional Series
    All Solid F-Style Mandolin
    Hand-Carved solid spruce top
    Hand-Carved solid figured maple back & sides
    Figured maple neck with rounded "v"profile
    1-1/8" nut width
    Gotoh tuners

    LM-600-VS

    List: $1199.99
    MAP: $899.99


    Performer Series
    All Solid F-Style Mandolin
    Hand-Carved solid spruce top
    Hand-Carved solid maple back & sides
    Maple neck with rounded "v"profile
    1-1/8" nut width
    Grover tuners
    Vintage Sunburst finish

    LM-520-VS

    List: $799.99
    MAP: $599.99


    Honey Creek Series
    F-Style Mandolin
    Hand-Carved solid spruce top
    Maple neck with rounded "v"profile
    1-1/8" nut width
    Satin brownburst finish

    LM-310F-BRB

    List: $399.99
    MAP: $299.99


    Honey Creek Series
    A-Style Mandolin
    Hand-Carved solid spruce top
    Maple neck with rounded "v"profile
    1-1/8" nut width
    Satin brownburst finish

    LM-110-BRB

    List: $333.99
    MAP: $249.99
    Scott R.
    -
    2017 Pava A5 Pro - Autumn Burst
    1987 Flatiron F5 Artist
    Ellis F5 #464 - Just got here.

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  33. #21
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Too cool! Just one thing, you described The Loars from R to L, I was slightly confused at first. Is there any way you could get some video evidence of the Weber octave?
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    "Imagine life without mandolin. Now slap yourself! Never do it again!" -Gunnar Salyer

  34. #22
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    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Is it really true that Eastman is now making their mandola and octave mandolin with mahogany back and sides instead of maple?
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

  35. #23
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    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Excellent reporting, Scott. Those Solid Ground stands have my attention.

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  37. #24

    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Don, I’m just reporting what they had on the info cards hanging next to the instruments at the show. I can confirm that IS what they said, mahogany.

    Here are the cards (hard to read, sorry)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen Shot 2019-07-20 at 7.58.04 AM.png 
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Size:	3.37 MB 
ID:	178431

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen Shot 2019-07-20 at 7.58.15 AM.png 
Views:	37 
Size:	3.98 MB 
ID:	178432

    It could certainly be a typo on their part by whomever made the display cards. Website still states Maple, and the MDO I bought a few months ago new was Maple. Probably a mistake.
    Last edited by Scott R; Jul-20-2019 at 8:44am.

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  39. #25
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
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    Default Re: Summer NAMM 2019 Report

    Thanks for the solid reporting and photography. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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