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Tim O'Brien A Model Mandolin

By Steve McCreary
September 30, 2003 - 6:00 am

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Collings Guitars and Mandolins of Austin, Texas, and Mike Kemnitzer of Nugget Mandolins, Central Lake, Michigan announce the launch of the Tim O'Brien A Model Mandolin, a collaborative effort between the two companies and the artist.

Tim O'Brien, one of the most respected and beloved musicians in today's acoustic music scene has been nominated for three Grammys and was winner of the 1993 International Bluegrass Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year. He is well known for his vocals, songwriting and talent with multiple instruments.

The project came about in part out of Kemnitzer's long-time friendship with O'Brien, who still plays a 1970's Nugget as his primary mandolin.

Materials used for the soundboards, backs and bridges will be selected from Kemnitzer's private collection of hand-picked tonewood. The carve, brace and tap tune will take place at Nugget Mandolins and shipped to Austin, Texas where they will be transformed into completed instruments at the Collings workshop complete with the new custom solid brass tailpiece produced there.

Production will be limited to less than a few dozen instruments per year. Suggested retail price is expected to be in the range of $5,000 to $5,500. All models will carry O'Brien's signature on the instrument label. Prototypes will be on display at the 2003 IBMA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Pictures and individual specifications will be available at a later date on the Mandolin Cafe.

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