New Instrument Review
October 25, 1999
In the Gibson tradition
Mandolin by Peter Coombe
© Frank Ford, 1999; Photos by FF
Here's a fine mandolin patterned after the Gibson style "A" mandolins made between 1910 and 1925. Its back, sides and neck are Australian blackwood, which looks remarkably like Hawaiian koa, but is a bit denser and harder. The top is spruce with paua abalone inlay.
All in all, this is a real player's instrument, and should delight anyone who appreciates the subtleties of tone that come from the carved oval hole style mandolin. It sounds something like a cross between a Gibson and a Lyon & Healy, in my opinion.
Peter Coombe is an Australian maker who enjoys using "local timbers." If you have a chance to play this one, I'm sure you'll agree that he's captured the essence of the early Gibson tradition
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