The reason this is "semi-custom" is because of the fabled Adirondack “Red” spruce top and the additional option of Weber’s tasteful 'buckskin' shading. Stunning natural looks highlight the Gallatin, named after the river that runs right outside Weber Mandolin Company’s very door. Beloved by musicians of all varieties for its punch, clarity and playability, the Gallatin is an innovative instrument with traditional integrity.
This Octave Mandolin measures a foot across the body at the widest part (not including the point) and a total length of 36 ½”. It has it all – the two huge body points, the even bigger body scroll, and, in a complete reversal, the two smaller headstock scrolls and the big headstock point that some use to squash cockroaches in corners. Best of all, it has a 22 1/8” scale length, and the power and sonic vigor to match. Man, this is one powerful beast. It has a comfortable nut width of 1 7/16th” and string spacing at the bridge saddle of 1 7/8”.
Features include the mother of pearl inlaid “Weber” script headstock logo on a matte finish striped ebony overlay, and below that, in mother of pearl, the complex Celtic Knot that could drive M. C. Esher nuts trying to figure out where it began and where it all ends. The black ebony unbound fingerboard is inlaid with 8 small pearl diamonds in 7 fret positions. Tuners are pearloid button with screw ends, on a highly engraved shiny metal plate – possibly Schaller or Grover. The top is bound in crème celluloid (ivoroid) and the back is unbound. Back and sides are high-grade solid, genuine mahogany and so is the neck; but it is that top – that wide grain expanse of the finest tone wood from which a fretted instrument can be made, that sets this Octave Mandolin apart from all others.
This octave mandolin is extremely lush, smooth and listenable over a very long period of time. There is nothing strident or overly sharp about the highs, the mids are almost liquid in their ability to convey melody and the bass notes are rich and resonant without being muddy or thick. This is all a function of the mahogany back and sides and the Adirondack top. Mahogany is known for its strong, precise, neutral colored timbre while the Adirondack provides welcome clarity to the highs and the upper mids. The combination makes for an instrument that a recording studio engineer would absolutely love.
The sound of this instrument rings and rings and stays alive long after the housemother in your dormitory has gone to bed. The adjustable two-piece bridge is carved of ebony and is of traditional design while the tailpiece at bottom is quick-load and bears a stylized “W” that we believe stands for the Weber River, a 125-mile long natural resource located in northern Utah, known for fly fishing, brown trout and whitefish. We are proud – I say proud – to have an Octave Mandolin with its deep, stentorian yawp, that provides the plectral choir with something that doesn’t exist in the violin family – the twin-course sound that’s one octave below a violin. Can’t have it; nope, no way, nuh-huh. Only with this super fine Florentine fantasy can one rule the room in which one presides.
The Weber List Price is $4799.