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2008 Duff F-5
 
Mike Compton demonstrates his F-5 mandolin built by Australian luthier Paul Duff.
February 28, 2024
 

Peghead Nation instructor Mike Compton is best known for playing Gilchrist mandolins (check out demos of his 2002 F-5 and 2004 Model 4), but when he came into the Peghead Nation studio recently to shoot new lessons for his Monroe-style Mandolin course, he brought along a great-sounding 2008 F-5 mandolin made by Australian luthier Paul Duff.

Hailing from Perth, Australia, Paul Duff has been building instruments since 1982, and he specializes in mandolin-family instruments and archtop guitars that are inspired by Lloyd Loar–era Gibsons. Working by himself, Paul carves the tops and backs of his mandolins by hand, cuts his own pearl inlay, and finishes the mandolins with French polish. He originally built this particular F-5, serial number 135, for a friend, who was also a fan of Mike’s. Much to Mike’s surprise, the mandolin’s original owner came to one of his shows several years ago and presented him with the instrument. “He said, ‘I was thinking I’d give this to you, so you can just take it with you’,” Mike recalls. 

The instrument has a red (Adirondack) spruce top and a special set of red maple back and sides with unusual figuring. “I remember being at Paul Duff’s house years ago, and he was cutting this plank up. I remember at the time thinking what a beautiful and strange-looking piece of wood this is,” Mike says, adding that the ten-foot long plank was so heavy that Paul had to cut it into smaller sections before he was able to lift it. “It’s a good, solid bluegrass mandolin,” Mike says. “It’s really good and dry, and it does exactly what I want it to.” 

To learn mandolin from Mike Compton, enroll in his Monroe-Style Mandolin course! 

duffmandolins.com

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© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com