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Old 07-11-2018, 10:03 PM
darylcrisp darylcrisp is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6,778
Default NUMD: Weber Aspen oval hole flattop mando

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.

Last edited by darylcrisp; 07-13-2018 at 04:14 PM.
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