Formerly owned by Tim O'Brien
Description from Mike Kemnitzer (Nugget) on mandolin cafe Dec 2012:
My immediate thought upon receiving this mandolin some weeks ago was "goodness, my instruments stand the test of time much better than my typical assessment of my new work".I had forgotten what spectacular materials I'd used when I built this instrument in 1984. As well, time and playing tend to kindly kiss a mandolin's sound and whose playing could better suit the task than Tim O'Brien's?
The instrument's excellent condition is a window into the past. Only the pleasantly aged amber-colored binding hints to its age. Aside from three small but pronounced dents in the instrument's top - all on the bass side and towards the scroll - there are no other significant signs of wear except the neck's shined finish and a shiny patch on the top where a pickguard would be. The beautifully colored rippled-green abalone shell, cut with the stylistic flair of my favorite Gibson fern inlays, has taken on a cool vintage look, helped by the gentle aging of the instrument's finish.
I remember doing at least one fret job on the mandolin and sometime in the 1980's; I changed the glossy finish to satin for a more gentle-to-the-eyes look. The frets in the instrument are from another repairperson and the fret wear is moderate. The instrument's neck is robust, wide and flat with small frets, all the same specs as Tim's blackface A5 that I made almost ten years earlier.
The mandolin's spectacular one-piece quarter-sawn back with bold curls inclining from left to right was cut in Pennsylvania in the early part of the 1900's. I was lucky to acquire some rather large planks of this maple and its acoustic properties are, incredibly, as good as its looks. The wide grain spruce of #89 has a profuse amount of cross grain silk, a characteristic of the very best sounding tone-wood. Once I gave the instrument a badly needed truss rod adjustment, the playability became much friendlier and the instrument speaks clearly with both a light and heavy touch.
After several weeks the neck adjustment has not changed, it's now a mandolin ready for a new home.
From Mike Kemnitzer.
Nugget mandolins, mandolas, octave mandolins and mandocellos are entirely built by Mike Kemnitzer. Mike's instruments have been wowing players and audiences alike for many years now, and the archive is very happy to include his work here