About this model, the good folks at Weber Mandolins in Montana say: "The wild Gallatin River is born in the north corner of Yellowstone National Park. It spills into the Gallatin Valley and becomes a wonderful braided waterway home for elk, deer, moose, beaver, muskrats, ducks, trout, and of course- fly fishermen. Stunning natural looks highlight the Gallatin mandolin, named after the river that runs right outside our door. Beloved by musicians of all varieties for its punch, clarity and playability, the Gallatin is an innovative instrument with traditional integrity.”
This example is especially nifty because it is exceptional sounding and also because we ordered it “semi-custom” with a magnificent sunburst (shaded) top, back, sides and back of the neck and, well, also with a pickup. The shading makes for an exceptionally classy and traditional appearance. Something we note is that this Gallatin has a “The Weber” headstock logo, while the last one we received said only “Weber.” We prefer to think that this is because the Weber folks like us tremendously and wanted to give us something special, like an unexpected “The” – for which we are eternally grateful. Of course, they were probably giving out a “The” to every kid who visited the factory on Halloween. But we like our version of the story. This mandolin has a black, matte finish headstock overlay against which the ebony truss rod cover can nearly not be seen, except for the two roundhole Phillips screws. The fingerboard has 24 full sized frets which is, last we checked, a full double octave so you can play those really tough Paganini sonatas for unaccompanied mandolin.
Here’s the Weber spec list: This is a traditional F- mandolin with open scroll; its top is hand graduated and tuned solid spruce; it has twin open f holes; its bracing is hand-scalloped utilizing spruce tone bars; its back, ribs and neck are maple; its peghead veneer is F-design in unbound ebony. Even the on-line Weber spec sheet says that it has a MoP “Weber” script logo but this one, as you know, is generously provisioned with a “The.” Our fingerboard is black bound ebony and radiused; the scale length is 14” (as most mandolins are), the nut width is 1 2/16th”, the fret markers are MoP diamonds, the frets measure .080 in (we suppose) width, the truss rod is dual action and adjustable, the finish is satin nitrocellulose lacquer. The tailpiece is cast with the “Big W,” the tuners are nickel-plated Grovers. This is housed in a deluxe hard shell case and comes from its manufacturer with a Limited Lifetime Warranty to the first owner.
This is a sweetheart of a mandolin, ready for screen, television, radio and performance on elevated platforms of every height and width. It happens to have an exquisite voice – being one of the finer sounding, fully affordable, Florentine model (scroll and point) traditional mandolins as we have recently had the pleasure to play and hear. The shipping weight (they say) is 12 pounds and the Manufacturer’s List Price is $2,799 including that pickup and the optional color.