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Thread: Don MacRostie & Red Diamond mandolins

  1. #1

    Default Don MacRostie & Red Diamond mandolins

    Dustin & I had the pleasure of a lengthy visit with Don MacRostie at the Red Diamond Mandolin corporate headquarters last week.

    I was incredibly impressed with Don as a person- an all around A+ fun fellow who was very generous with his time. His is current mandolin builds are as good as anything I've played anywhere; not only does he make a fantastic instrument, he's able to explain in detail the whole process and reasons why. It is always a pleasure to be able to visit another great builder and nerd out about it in ways and with a vocabulary that only 40 years of building can understand. I definitely took away a whole bunch of great ideas and methods to consider with my own work.

    Anybody looking for a fine traditional F5 should give a Red Diamond serious consideration!

    Spruce dork

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  3. #2
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Zanesville, Ohio

    Default Re: Don MacRostie & Red Diamond mandolins

    Did you happen to see his "6 dial indicators" contraption that he used to use to measure back plate deflection?

  4. #3

    Default Re: Don MacRostie & Red Diamond mandolins

    Yes; 'got to see the entire process is detail...
    Spruce dork

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Farmington, MN

    Default Re: Don MacRostie & Red Diamond mandolins

    That would be a worthwhile trip. I would love to spend some shop time with Don.

    I've only played one Red Diamond, an A. Thought it was as good as anything else that's out there.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Don MacRostie & Red Diamond mandolins

    It must have been twenty years ago that I walked into Gryphon and heard two killer good players tearing it up on two Red Diamonds, an A and an F. They kept swapping back and forth trying to decide which one they thought was better. Even then, they were the most expensive mandolins in the building, which if I recall correctly, was the price of a mid level Collings today. But the sound of those two going at it on fine instruments is etched in my memory. I don’t think I’ve heard one live since.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  7. #6

    Default Re: Don MacRostie & Red Diamond mandolins

    I built a StewMac style A kit that he designed. It was my first build, but his video made it pretty easy. Too bad StewMac doesn't have those kits anymore. They do still have the F kit, though.

    1920 Martin Style A
    Don MacRostie designed Stuart MacDonald A-style kit I built myself.
    2018 The Loar LM-590 Ms

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