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darylcrisp 07-11-2018 10:03 PM

NUMD: Weber Aspen oval hole flattop mando
9 Attachment(s)
dropped off last Thursday. having never had one of these in hand, I had no idea what to expect. very few videos on utube, this is the 2nd one I've seen for sale. Immediately thought, "i should buy that".

here are a few specs:
2 lbs
1 3/32" nut width
1 9/16" string spacing at saddle
12 fret neck/body join
14" scale
1 11/16" side depth
10 1/8" at most wide aspect
flat fretboard

upon receipt, the action was extremely high(fixed bridge), a lot of relief, and med gauge strings. it was a bear to just fret and not buzz on the 2nd fret-felt like bridge cables.
removed string tension, checked TR-worked fine. neck reacted immediately to TR adjustments, neck was able to adjust to a dead flat fretboard(notched ruler check). no fretwear(as it was, i doubt anyone could truly play it). very nice condition, a few players marks here and there, a binding ding, but overall a 9. case showed a little use on the outside, clean and well built-typical Weber grey hardshell.
so i get to work-remove strings, check frets-find 3 that need a fine level/dress, nut slots are perfect-very low action upon restringing at the first fret. string courses equally spaced. i had a used Weber brekke bridge from a few years ago(was for a F model). i took it out, laid it beside the original bridge and saw, "yep, it will work". Used my extremely dandy Stewmac Nut/Saddle sander and within about 15 minutes had the Brekke bridge sanded deadflat and down to the smaller specs i wanted. removed the internals(2 ebony wedges, and the saddle) and removed some on all of those using this amazing tool. What would have taken me probably 2 hours by hand/vice/belt sander, and ending up with some not dead flat bottom/top edges, took maybe 15 minutes with this tool.

for years i made bone saddles/nuts with prehistoric methods-no longer. I love this tool. used it for some other things around the house as well.

new bridge/saddle in place, TR adjusted, i replaced the original strings, tuned, played it and was amazed. such a jewel. feels like a very old, well made, pocket watch-i know that's a crazy way to put it, but its solid in hand, plays like a charm, has this very pleasing tone, is loud-as loud as my Yellowstone F. Surprising to me, the 1 3/16" nut width and flat fretboard is not even a thought. In fact, I've grown to really like this combination. Its very efficient, and with the Weber neck profile which fits me great, it just works out. I figured this would be a neck heavy instrument, having a very light body. I was wrong. The body feels dead solid-not heavy, but it has a heft to it. balances very easy while seated-probably the shape of the body helps to a degree also.

I'm not into hardshell cases as my use does not need that type of protection. I had this very cool Mono M80 tenor Uke case hanging out sleeping, tried it, fit like a charm. total carry package, mandolin/tools/xtra strings, 5.2lbs. The Mono bags are not thin "gigbags" but firm padding and well built, they encapsulate the instrument. i would have no worry to toss this down a 20 flight of stairs. I use a shoulder strap and carry with my hands free-its what works for me.

theres always something very pleasing about buying used, bonding immediately with what you purchased, and having no surprises.

some pics-i still have the TR cover off taking a few days to tweak things. i love the adjustable nature of the reshaped Brekke.

darylcrisp 07-11-2018 10:07 PM

7 Attachment(s)
the stewmac nut/saddle sander-love this thing, not cheap, but a well thought out, sturdy tool that takes away a lot of stress from your hands in making small things, and giving you straight edges/bottoms in quick time.

Dotneck 07-12-2018 09:25 AM

Nice score, Darryl. You've had some fine mandolins pass through your place.

HHP 07-12-2018 09:51 AM

I had an Aspen #1 for a long time. Your's is the upgraded #2 model with more extensive binding and inlay. I've seen any Aspen with the burst top so the original buyer may have special ordered that. They are very nice mandolins and very comparable to the old Flatiron flat top series.

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