Thursday March 29th, 2001
Grammy winner Stuart Duncan designs custom Gibson mandolin
Gibson Musical Instrument's historic Bluegrass division, Original Acoustic Instruments (OAI), has created a one-of-a-kind mandolin for bluegrass and country music's famed instrumentalist, Stuart Duncan.
OAI's Danny Roberts presents the mandolin to Stuart Duncan.|
The mandolin is based on a Gibson F-5, which was originally designed by the legendary Lloyd Loar and today is considered to be the "Stradivari" of all mandolins.
The instrument made for Stuart Duncan features a Master Model headstock inlay and was assembled with hide glue. This century-old technology uses rendered animal hides along with uric acid, and was the type of glue used by Gibson in the 1920s.
The spruce used for the top came from a block of wood given to Stuart when he was a boy. He had kept the wood around for years, waiting to have an instrument built out of it.
In addition, Stuart requested some customization of the instrument, adding a 1/8 inch thicker body depth for a different tone. He was present at the neck shaping process, so he would be comfortable with the "feel" of the instrument, and also took part in the color staining of the instrument. Stuart also contributed his own string spacing and ordered custom-made tuners, which were installed by Gibson.
Stuart Duncan is a multi-instrumentalist who has garnered respect and awards from both country and bluegrass institutions. He is a two-time Grammy Award winner as a member of the Nashville Bluegrass Band, a 1999 Academy of Country Music award winner for "Fiddle Player of the Year," winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association's "Fiddle Player of the Year" award for 7 consecutive years, and a three-time recipient of Music Row magazine's "Top Ten All Stars."
One of Nashvilles most sought after session musicians, Stuart has performed with the likes of George Strait, George Jones, Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, Barbara Streisand, Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire and many more.
The Gibson, for over 100 years, has defined the word "mandolin." With original advances in design and construction, Gibsons have remained the choice of musicians the world over. Unsurpassed quality and craftsmanship continues to the present day, with instruments that are hand-built to precise graduations, specific tap-tunings, hand-fit dovetail neck joints, superior wood selection and hand stained, thinly applied finishes.
The OAI Mandolin Team poses with Stuart Duncan and his new F-5 mandolin.