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Bruce Weber's mandolins simply seem to get better with age, which makes this Flatiron A5 Artist from 1994 a real delight to play. Broken in over almost 30 years, this splendid little mandolin represents some of the best of Mr Weber's work for Flatiron Mandolin Company, with not just a rich and open sound, but beautiful appointments and a playable neck to boot. The A5 Artists of this period actually came with X-bracing on the interior, rather than the tone-bar bracing that tends to be more common on mandolins, and it helps add power and precision to this A-style, accentuated by the premium cuts of spruce and maple that Bruce used. It also features a sunburst finish on top and some gorgeous binding and inlay work to complete the package visually.
This instrument has seen a fair amount of playing time over its lifespan so far, and does show signs of wear consistent with its age. There is finish wear and checking on all planes of the instrument, including some circular wear on the top, where a pickholder may have been attached in the past. Additonally, there's a thin crack extending from the treble soundhole down by about two inches, but it has been repaired and shows no signs of reopening. The tailpiece is non-original, but the original tailpiece's coverplate was salvaged, allowing the replacement tailpiece to still appear authentic. Despite some cosmetic wear, the A5 has just been professionally set up and plays great in all positions. We consider it to be on the upper end of good condition. Included in the price is the original hard-shell case.