Mike Compton’s 2002 Gilchrist F-5 Mandolin

From: Monroe-Style Mandolin by Mike Compton

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Mike Compton’s 2002 Gilchrist F-5 mandolin is made of sugar maple (from a 450-year-old sugar maple tree from around Syracuse, New York) and red spruce. Mike bought the first Gilchrist F-5 sold in the United States in 1979 and met builder Stephen Gilchrist shortly thereafter. He has owned four Gilchrist F-5’s, and this one was built by Gilchrist in an attempt to match what Bill Monroe’s 1923 Gibson F-5 mandolin would have sounded like when it was new. Mike talks about getting the right action for the mandolin and also about the kind of pick (stiff, about 1.5 mm) and strings (D’Addario EXPs) he prefers. He demonstrates the mandolin’s sound by playing Bill Monroe’s “Whitehorse Breakdown.”

Category: String School

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