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Despite having retired from building five years ago, Bruce Weber is still considered one of the finest mandolin luthiers of the modern era, with an attention to detail, playability, and tonality that put his instruments in the conversation as some of the best in the world. Lucky for us, his expertise was not limited exclusively to mandolins, and among other things, he also gave us the Octar, which was his name for an octave mandolin. This example, from 2015, is built off of the design of his wonderful Gallatin mandolins - meaning it features a matte brown stain, and warm, midrange-rich mahogany on the back and sides, rather than maple, which is more traditionally seen on instruments in the mandolin family. That wood combination is a match made in Heaven with the burly, naturally full-sounding octave mandolin, and really emphasizes the luxurious lower frequencies of the instrument's bottom two courses. Hand-scalloped X-bracing adds to the instrument's impressive sustain and the volume that its rather large sound chamber can produce. Like all instruments from the Gallatin line, appointments err towards the tasteful side, with diamond-shaped inlays on the fretboard and an elegant Gothic-style nickel-plated tailpiece.
This instrument has a two-inch crack near the G-hole which has been repaired and should remain stable provided the instrument is properly cared for. There's a one-inch scratch just below the crack, but it does not affect the structural integrity of the instrument. A few small chips and dings on the neck in the middle positions are the only other play wear that the Octar shows; there is virtually no wear at all on the frets and the set-up is excellent considering the thickness of the strings. We consider it to be in very good condition. Included in the price is the original hard-shell case.