Old Wave Mandolins

Hand made bluegrass mandolins from £1900

Bill Bussmann (aka Old Wave mandolins) made my first custom instrument, a five course octave, a few years (decades..) ago. He's the man who gives a warranty to the original owner for the life of the maker, fortunately his luthery skills are as well developed as his sense of humour, if anyone saw a sprayed blue mandolin for sale on April first for $14 000 that was Bill (no Bill isn't a mandolin).

He really does live in the middle of nowhere, it reminds you of those cowboy movies with the cattle driving through the range with mountains in the background and not a town for hundreds of miles. Speaking of which the nearest town is called Truth or Consequences, named after the first TV quiz show, this is the Wild West! At the bottom of a small canyon with an intermittent stream there's a few houses and Bill working in an adobe hut the size of a garden shed.

I now have two Old Waves in my collection (the original 10 string and an octave mandolin) and a Melondolin (see photos). It took some persuasion to get him to make me one. Bill said that now he had perfected the sound (with his own Melondolin) he didn’t want to make more. It sounded so good and looked amazing, fitting very nicely into my collection of innovative mandolin designs, I twisted his arm, (but not so badly he couldn’t work).

Old Wave Great Wood Experiment

  1. Old Wave A5

    Old Wave A5

    In stock
    This is a beauty and a beast, it is very loud. If you like your A5s to be very full with lots of warmth and depth this is the one. The chop has great volume and what I think of as a musical rather than percussive tone.

    Lutz spruce top (milled 2005) with red spruce spruce tone bar bracing, Varnum estate birdseye maple (milled 1979), 12" radius macassar ebony fretboard, pickguard, and peghead veneer, ivoroid celluloid binding, abalone position dots and wave inlay, 1 1/8 bison bone nut, grover tuners, dark buckskin lacquer finish over shellac.

    Old Wave A5Old Wave A5Old Wave A5
    Old Wave A5Old Wave A5Old Wave A5
    Old Wave A5Old Wave A5Old Wave A5
    Old Wave A5Old Wave A5Old Wave A5

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