A vintage-style mandolin built by luthier Andrew Mowry
by Teja Gerken
August 07, 2017
Based in Bend, Oregon, luthier Andrew Mowry specializes in archtop instruments. He has been building professionally since 2003, and since then has earned a reputation for producing great-sounding instruments with an incredibly high standard of workmanship. We recently had a chance to check out one of Andrew’s F-Model mandolins built in December of 2016. Based on the classic Lloyd Loar F-style design, it is constructed with an Engelmann spruce top, which Andrew sourced in Lolo Pass, Idaho, and highly flamed red maple back and sides. A sunburst spirit varnish finish as well as a gold Axiom tailpiece featuring the Mowry logo contribute to the mandolin’s beautiful appearance. The instrument includes one of Andrew’s own bridges, allowing for a perfect match with the top’s radius. Although Mowry instruments are also available with traditional truss rods, on this mandolin Andrew used graphite bars inside the neck for reinforcement.
The substantial C-shaped neck profile and low-action setup makes this F-model very comfortable to play. And tonally, it has great clarity and bark, particularly for such a new instrument.
In this video, Peghead Nation co-founder Dan Gabel discusses the instrument, and Peghead Nation mandolin instructor Sharon Gilchrist demonstrates it in a duet performance of “Sail Away Ladies” with co-founder Scott Nygaard.
SPECS: F-style mandolin. Carved Engelmann spruce top. Red maple back and sides. Maple neck with carbon reinforcement bars. Ebony fingerboard. Compound-tapered dovetail neck joint. Hide glue construction. Spirit varnish finish. 13 ⅞-inch scale length. 1⅛-inch nut width. Gotoh tuners. $8,200. Mowrystrings.com
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