Sole luthier bluegrass mandolins from £3500
You could have knocked me over with a feather when I was discussing my Kimble with Will and he offered to make an A5 for the shop. He is one of the rising stars of the Golden Age of mandolin luthery and only occasionally has mandolins available for retailers. Many rate Will alongside the established ‘gods’ of mandolinery. He has had mandolin god Lynn Dudenbostel as his mentor.
My A4 is the loudest oval hole mando I've ever heard. It seems to do the impossible and have qualities that would normally be a trade off.. one or the other but not both. Its bright but has amazing bass, its has great separation and definition with warmth and resonance. That's what a luthier like Will can achieve.
Kimble AO Adirondack/Sugar Maple SOLDSoldWill's homage to the teens Gibson A4. The top is red spruce, back, sides and neck are sugar maple, the body and fingerboard are bound in plain ivoroid, the headstock is unbound with a "fleur de lis" inlay, the fingerboard is flat with mandolin fretwire. It has silver hardware, and the tuners are Schallers with replica Handel buttons made by Mike Blohm, plain tortoise pickguard with a side bracket fashioned after the original. So how does this beauty sound? And how does it compare to teens Gibbos? It is one of the loudest mandolins I have heard. It defies logic.. the bass is huge, the trebles are the clearest and most cutting I've heard but it has huge sustain. Not one for the bluegrass crowd but the best mandolin I've ever had for Irish music. With TKL case.
Kimble A5 Engelmann spruce/Red maple SOLDSoldOur first A5 from Will. With Engelmann spruce top, red maple back, oil varnish finish with French polish and traditional sunburst, flat fingerboard, banjo frets, A3 inlay on headstock, strap button and bound ebony pickguard. It sold before I could get to know it but my impressions from my brief acquaintance were that it is similar to the Heiden A5 Artist but a tad warmer and more resonant, that's what you would expect comparing Adirondack to Englemann tops. Now I have (or had) three from Will I can confirm what I had expected, Will is right up there with the best around. If this one had stayed a little longer it might have stayed a lot longer (in my house).
Kimble F5 - SOLDSoldThis is one of the most awesome mandolins I've played. In Engelmann spruce and red maple, with a traditional sunburst French polished finish, top, back, fretboard and headstock, ivoroid/black/white bindings, 16” radius ebony fretboard, with a 1 3/32” nut width, banjo fretwire, 22 frets, flowerpot headstock inlay, abbreviated tortoise pickguard, gold hardware with Alessi tuners and James tailpiece and Ameritage climate control case. Beauty and the beast - that's tone not looks (beauty only for looks) - it has a rich, deep and warm tone and turns into a beast with very little effort, few mandolins are this loud, even fewer with so little effort. I have found that a characteristic of this level of mandolin is that they have tonal qualities that would be a trade-off for other makers. Great depth and complexity with warmth and resonance but fantastic clarity and definition also. It's always hard to describe sound, it's even harder at this level.. come and try it out...