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Enlarged slightly from our standard F5 style and tuned for a very responsive and rich sound, this design has been featured on many albums by premier players and toured with substantially the world over. Inspired by the innovators and pioneers of acoustic music in the United States, the "Big Mon" design is a tribute to those intent on pushing boundaries while maintaining traditions.
The Big Mon Mandolin is something we created in our shop. In an effort to create a little more midrange and bass response, with a nice airy sound. The Big Mon body style is just slightly different than the standard size. We've increased the width of the body, at its widest point, by 5mm. We've also adjusted the depth/width of the sides a little in a few places. Everything is in proportion to this change, so it results in a slightly larger body overall. It's not very noticeable unless you compare it directly to another standard size by lining them up back to back. The change is subtle aesthetically, but immediately apparent in terms of sound. The re-curve carved into the top is extended a little and the top, out towards the edges, has been thinned a bit. All curves are maintained so that the shape is very pleasing to the eye. The body flows into the waist area and continues the line up the side resolving to a very nice circular scroll, with a slightly larger button in the center. We've also changed the thickness for the back accordingly and vary that depending on the type of material we're using. It's always a combination of the exact materials, the age and various properties of the wood and the construction.
So what did all these subtle changes do?
Overall, the sound produced favors a very throaty and growly midrange. It accentuates the D strings with a very airy and woody tone. When you play the courses in tandem, like the G and D sets or the D and A sets together, you really get that woody pop—and it doesn't go away as you venture farther up the fingerboard. One of the biggest advantages with the Big Mon is the volume it produces without much effort, which makes for a wonderful playing experience
Top: Adirondack Red Spruce
Back / Neck / Sides: Highly Figured Maple
Bridge / Fingerboard: Ebony
Tailpiece: Nickel-Plated Engraved Gilchrist/Northfield
Binding: Triple-Ply Side-Bound
Pickguard: Bound Ebony
Nut Width: 1-1/8” (28mm)
Fingerboard Radius: 5.7” at the nut, 7.7” at the 20th fret
Finish: Hybrid Varnish
Color: Honey Amber
Strings: Northfield Medium Phosphor Bronze
Case: Slate Grey Airloom "Recurve"
All instruments from the Old Town School Music Store are professionally inspected and set-up before shipping, and directly support the missions, programs, and continued growth of the Old Town School of Folk Music.
Questions? Message us anytime!