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Restoration Mandolins: private work
Another Star Letter of Thanks
Hello Dave, Mandolins arrived this morning. Wow, that was quick. French post is good by the sound of it. Another good thing, the parcel didn’t go via customs (or perhaps they just x-rayed it), which is great as they tend to open the boxes and start asking questions as soon as they see wooden items inside.  Putting “goods returned to Australia” on a label was a good idea.
My compliments to the amount and quality of work done, I am very impressed. Thank you very much!  I am thrilled with how Calace feels and sounds, you have turned it into a very special instrument. I can’t stop playing it. It sounds better than any mando I ever played.
Silvestri is not quite in the same league, though, (it was never supposed to be, I guess). But I must admit, you have revived an old wreck completely and it is an eye candy.  Very impressive craftsmanship throughout.  I have struggled a bit with the set-up. I am good with set-ups and I am sure I will sort this out.
Once again, thanks heaps Dave for the excellent work. I will have no hesitation sending you more work and recommending you to everyone! 

Well done. Kind Regards, Victor S. (Australia)

Hi Dave,  just a note to let you know that the bridge has arrived and I have fitted it, although I have been a bit tentative and left the action fairly high for now. The bridge looks good and the deMeglio sounds rather nice, even compared to my Hathaway which generally gets compliments.  I have a nasty feeling I may be catching the bowl back bug :)  Thanks again,
Jeremy H  (UK)
Hi Dave, the two mandolins have arrived without mishap and I am delighted with both. The Dorigo was bought for a song and is very much the de Meglio style and now looks a lot better. The Morra must have brought with it some problems which you have solved excellently. I can see the difficulties of table shrinkage and applaud your repair work - what a fiddle that must have been. Many many thanks. I am sure Rowan will be equally happy with the result.  I do hope to visit France later this year and will let you know so that I can buy you that beer.... or two.
Cheers  Mike  (UK)
Hi Dave, the bridge has arrived, and the tone of my zook is much improved! thanks again, Alan W. (USA)
Hello Dave, my Mandolin has been safely received and looks and sounds wonderful. Many thanks for doing such a great job.
My Grandfather would have been very happy to see it restored so well. I shall enjoy playing it.  Kind Regards, Peter C. (UK)
Hi Dave, just wanted you to know that the Ibanez mandolin just arrived intact. 
It looks good and sounds on my way to work but had just
enough time to tune it and play a few notes. It does have that nice
bell-like tone...very sweet and balanced!  Thank you for doing the
restoration and for selling it to me.  It will have a good home here, thanks again, Doug (US)
Tuner Repair:   Hi Dave, many thanks for the tuners, installed today and they work fine.
Thanks again
Glen  (UK)
Dear Dave,  the mandolin arrived today in perfect condition. Your work is excellent and I really like the sound of the de Meglio. Thank you very much!  

Greetings from Athens,  Ilias Kalisperakis

     Dave, the Tonelli mandolin arrived safely. I waited about 24 hours and tuned it up. I am very pleased with the tone. The restoration you did was wonderful,  Thank you so much! Joan
Star Letter of thanks...

Hi Dave, the mandola (bowlback) arrived safely to St. Petersburg via the post.  I have to tell you honestly, I am truly astounded at the quality of workmanship and the end result.  I have been looking at this shell of an instrument for 25 years wondering if it could ever be something playable, and frankly my expectations were low based on the condition it was in. Somehow you have transformed this into an instrument that has an unexpectedly beautiful sound, and probably more remarkable, it's extremely comfortable and easy to play.  The action is low, the string tension is minimal, and the compensation puts the intonation right on the mark, and I have a discerning ear for that: I often cringe at the sound of Emberghers on the web.  The new fingerboard and scaling was definitely worth the effort.  I was not accustomed to the concert fingerboard extension and found that awkward initially, but I quickly adjusted to picking around it.  There is a slight trade off between sound projection and the concert fingerboard, but this is a fine solution. The new internal support bars are top notch work and were needed.  The arm rest was a good choice. You managed to undo many previous sloppy repair attempts, and have restored this to a beautiful instrument with a sound quality that I suspect is better than the original.  The cosmetic repairs you made are first class, and any minor imperfections are age appropriate.  I recognize the smell of the finish, it seems similar to something I've used on clocks in the past.  I immediately started playing Baroque and it sounds like this instrument was made for such music, which I'm very pleased about because it's my present focus. With shipping between the U.S. and France, I suspect I've paid twice the amount of some customers, but it I deem it worth every cent. 

Thank you greatly!  Tom W. (Florida USA)

Dear Dave, the bridge has arrived, I've put it on the mandolin and it's made a substantial improvement in its tone and volume; thank you: I'm looking forward to pitting it against some banjos, accordions, etc. over the weekend....   Jim O.  (London, UK)
Dear Dave, am just getting back into action properly, so have now 'opened the box'.  Can I say a really big thankyou for your work restoring the Manlisi instrument. It looks great, thanks to your ministrations. The new fb is fine, and the other wood surfaces now very attractive. It has tuned up well, and the replacement heads seem a real improvement. It is wonderful to hear again an instrument that probably hasn't been heard for  - who knows, 50 years or more?  Well done too for rescuing the case, which I thought was almost past saving.  Tim D. (UK)
Hi Dave, my Mandolin is here!!! Arrived safe. Your work is very fine!!! Plays well. Thank you so much. It has helped to make me feel much better. I have your website on my favorites, and I am most happy to read your valuable tips to keep Butterfly in great condition. I will keep your box as well. I plan to papier-mache it. I have some vintage sheet music and decorative papers that I will decoupage on the outside. I will send photos when I finish it.  Have a happy day! Please email. Thank you again!  Angela (USA)

   Hello Dave, the mandolin arrived safely today and I am absolutely thrilled with it!  The sound exceeded my expectations - it has the distinctive Neapolitan character which I was hoping for, and plenty of volume too, which I didn't expect. The action is great, and the tuning is spot on all the way up the fretboard, which is more than can be said for my de Meglio (fond though I am of it too...).

  It also looks great - I just don't know how you do it! This is the first time I've actually seen a mandolin brought back "from the dead" and I honestly wouldn't have believed that it could be done to such a high standard - amazing.    Many thanks again for doing such a great job.  Best wishes, Douglas B. (UK)

Hi Dave.
The bridge arrived today. It sounds good - my wife thinks it sounds a lot better. Needs a bit of set–up but that was expected. I am going to take the instrument apart and clean up the tuners etc. soon so I'll shave the bridge down slightly at the same time. Thanks much for the prompt service. All the best, Calvin (Mandolin-banjo bridge; Canada)
Hi Dave the bridge arrived at the weekend, thanks very much its looks amazing    Paul (UK)
Hi Dave, mandolin arrived on Thursday in great order.  I see what you mean about the tuners but I've sussed out a way to do it quite painlessly.  I am delighted with it's appearance, you have done a great job - it's up to me now to see how good I can make it sound! Once again, many thanks for all your hard work. Maggie  (Scotland)
Hi Dave, Thank you so much for sending me your pictures of the restored mandolins - they both look amazing!  I knew they'd gone to the right person. Good luck with finding a happy home. Best wishes, Gina.  (UK)
Hello Dave! I just received the Mario Casella, Thank you so much, it arrived wonderful. Thanks again for everything you do. I am so grateful that I discovered you're website! As always, you are much appreciated. All my best, Tiffany  (USA)
Hello Dave, I have received the Mandolin this morning in perfect condition. She will be the 6th of my mandolin team but the first with a bowlback. We will have a lot to do as I am working out a Beethoven adagio with a fellow pianist. It has been a pleasure trading with you. With best regards,  Bruno. (France)
Hello David, I've been enjoying the mandola you sent very much and have put new strings on it. My friends were very impressed with the quality of the work. Anyhow, thankyou for your excellent service, including photos and Youtube clip. My friends are amazed.  Happy playing, Peter, (Perth,W. Australia)
Hello Dave, the mandolin has arrived safely, absolutely unharmed, due to your professional packing. It is beautiful, it plays very easily. You did a phantastic job, thank you very much. All the best Hans (Germany)
Hi Dave.....great instrument and so well packed,thank you. Ive been on your web page some amazing stuff on there. I need to buy a tuning  tool for the Mandola but im real interested in getting a price from you for a Mandriola plus postage to Perth West Australia.I think i might even be after one of your long scale Irish Bouzouki too....your going to send me broke....joking.....look forward to hearing from you....I dont mind if i have to call you on the phone.....thanks heeps....Gerry (Australia)
Hi,  I'm really sorry for not emailing you earlier - the mandolin arrived about a week ago and has been very, very distracting.  Its so brilliant - its wonderful to play and looks so beautiful, so thank you very much for doing such a good job of repairing it.   Best wishes,  Eleanor  (Oxford UK)
Bonjour David, comment l'exprimer ma stupefaction lorsque j'ai decouvert la magnifique mandolin! Comment te dire "thank you" pour le travail que tu a effectue avec tant de soin - y compris la boite, super! Toutes mes felicitations. Je l'envoie l'humble cheque qui, je me demande, correspond bien aux heures que tu as du passer dessus. En attendant de ta complimenter de vive voix, je l'envoie toute ma sympathie a toi et ta famille.  Marie-Cecile, (La Rochelle)
Hi Dave, the mandolin has arrived safe and sound and I can't keep the smile off my face!  It's fantastic!  Thank you so much for such a fine job - I could hardly believe it when I opened the case.  I shall be recommending you far and wide, especially as it's actually quite difficult to get anyone to even consider mending an elderly bowl back. It's just great that a house clearance wreck can now provide years of music. Thank you once again!   Moira. (West Country)
Hi Dave,  the Albertini mandolin arrived today (Saturday) safe and sound. I do like the low action.  It plays well.  And the new bridge keeps it in tune. Many thanks for all the work you did on it.  Seasons greetings and all that. Best wishes,   Bill (Hereford)

Hi Dave,   Just to say the mandolin has arrived. Many thanks, it’s a lovely sounding instrument.. better than I expected from something of that age. Finding it difficult to put down at the moment and I’m sure I’ll need new strings before too long, especially in my attempts to get to grips with tremolo. What do you charge for your strings + postage? Thanks for the advice on care that came with the instrument and on website. I must admit I can’t really see myself boxing it away when it is not being used and is in the house - looks too nice to be hidden in a box. But I don’t have extreme temperatures here – house varies between minimum of 15 and max of 20 degrees C – but I take the point about sunlight.   Best wishes, Mike S. (Kent, UK)

Hello Dave,  Wow! You did a wonderful restoration job - I am really pleased with the mandolin.  I took it along to my mandolin lesson on Saturday - my tutor was so impressed with your work that he would like your contact details - Is this OK? Many thanks, Martin (Great Chelmsford, UK)


New Bridges:

I'm in receipt of the modern compensated mandolin bridge. An excellent job done and looks well on the mandolin. Kindest regards, Vincent (Cork, Ireland) Hi Dave, I received the bridge today. ( ebony and bone bridge for a tzoura) I've already tried it on the instrument and it's great. We got it right, instrument is far more playable and sounds brilliant. Thanks for that, much appreciated. If I need another bridge for my other instrument I'll let you 

All the best and thanks again.Best regards,  Bill  (Australia)

Hello Dave, I received the bridge on saturday. It fits well and  sound good !   I have a  light work to do at the foot of the bridge to make it follow the curve of the skin under pressure. Thank you for that nice work. Best regards,
(Alain C. France)

Dave - your bridge arrived today and it's a thing of beauty.  Thank you very much.  I hope I haven't committed a horrendous gaff by placing a Silvestri bridge on a Lyon and Healy bowl back but ... don't care - it looks great! 

(Bill; Italy)

Hey David, I received the bridge yesterday.  It's a beauty ! I will install it this weekend. It was a pleasure to deal with you.
Thanks,  Patrice  (Canada)
Hello Dave, I've received the bridge today and it's already fitted. With a proper setup, a Randy Allen tailpiece an your bridge, my cheap 'zouk has become a nice sounding instrument.

Best regards, Ramiro (Spain)
Dear Dave, the bridge has arrived, I've put it on the mandolin and it's made a
substantial improvement in its tone and volume; thank you: I'm looking
forward to pitting it against some banjos, accordions, etc. over the
weekend. Jim

Hi Dave, received the bridge….wonderful job!

  Thanks very much – and it’s been a pleasure to work with you.

Regards,   Dan

Hello Dave,  as a new fingerboard on the De Meglio is absolutely necessary I was happy to see that the new bridge has enough height to fit the new fingerboard. It is a good thing that there is someone who makes this kind of suitable parts for the old bowlback mandolines, thanks!  Noud (Holland)

Hi David, the Bridge and tensioner arrived safe and sound today, many thanks I am very impressed with the result. 

Jamie S; (UK)

Hi David: I got the bridge today. nice job. I should send you the specs for the inset bridge.  

Jim G; (USA)

You'll be pleased to know the waldzither bridge you made me is working very well: fitting a Fishman Matrix pickup in there was a breeze and IMO sounds very good.

John (UK)

Hi Dave, bridge arrived today - lovely workmanship, looking foreword to setting it up. Do you, or anybody you know deal in vintage machine heads for mandolin? They are extremely hard to find.
many thanks,  (Ted, Australia)