Monteleone 1979 Grand Artist Mandola #40
John Monteleone is widely considered to be one of the world's preeminent builders of archtop guitars. Having started his career as a repairman for the famous (and now defunct) Mandolin Brothers on Staten Island, Monteleone quickly garnered a reputation for quality and design. Some of his work was featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on loan from Rudy Pensa himself.
This gorgeous instrument features a spruce top and highly flamed maple back, sides, and neck. This F style mandola features John's proprietary scroll design, a more modern choice, differentiating his mandolins from the others. John's years of experience at Mandolin Brothers has allowed him to capture the Loar tone, but add a sense of modern clarity that stands above many builders.
A mandola, tuned like a viola, comes with a longer scale, the length of which is something that varies between manufacturers. This particular mandola has a 16" scale, allowing for bright, punchy tone, and has a nut width a hair under 1 1/4 (or 32mm), a common nut width for mandolas of this size. The neck shape, like many Loar adjascent instruments, is a softened V even burgeoning on C at points.
Serial #40. Comes with deluxe hardshell case.
Check out the fascinating 2021 documentary on the luthier called "John Monteleone: The Chisels Are Calling," available from various sources online. Rudy appears in the film, too, along with a star-studded list of guitarists including Mark Knopfler, Ben Harper, David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, Anthony Wilson, Woody Mann, and others.