Ahhh…the Feeling of a Great Setup

My 1990 Gibson A5-L has been with me since new, and for those 27 years I liked it (once it opened up, anyway), but never loved it. Until Bruce got ahold of it, that is.

The problem was the uncomfortably sharp V-profile of the neck. Other luthiers told me they wouldn’t touch it for fear of damaging the integrity of the neck, but then some good luck steered me to Bruce, who slimmed it down to a perfect C-shape. The work is flawless and beautiful. All the original lines at the peghead and the heel are preserved, which required a sculptor’s touch. I opted to leave the neck unfinished, and it’s a joy to play and behold now. So much better than the thick lacquer Gibson was using then. Thank you, Bruce, for the top-quality work and for spending so much time with me on the phone to make sure I conveyed my hopes for the mando. It now sounds and plays like the great oldish Gibson it is.

It has been transformed perfectly. And, best of all, I’ve made a friend.


The mandolin arrived today, and I am very pleased with your work. It looks great, and it never sounded or played better than it does now. You are truly an artist and a craftsman.

Thank you, and God bless,

Thanks so much for the great work on my Absaroka! Its playing just like I hoped it would when I bought it – looks and sounds great!


  • Re-fret
  • Top cleat
  • New nut
  • New bridge
  • Strings
  • Inlay redo
  • Glue bushings
  • Replace TP felt
  • Replace endpin
  • Plug tailpiece screw hole 
  • I buffed it up a bit. Looks great!

Well Done Bruce!!

My mando arrived on Tuesday evening and I pulled it out last night after work and couldn’t put it down. I absolutely love it. Just being able to swing away and not click is going to help me so much. Speed neck is a big improvement as well. I kinda thought it would be but never felt like trying to scrap it down myself. Also, the nut and frets are super nice. What are those frets? they kinda shimmer like brass or something. I’ve never had new frets on a mandolin before and all of my instruments are used. Sweet Job my Friend!


  • Replaced the fingerboard, nut, and strings
  • Speed neck
  • Minor touchup and tweaks

Thank you for the excellent work you did on my Beartooth. It’s like a new mandolin: it’s easier to play with the new frets and radiused fretboard. I was always happy with this mandolin’ now I’m even more so.

Thanks again! SM