Jeff Budzinski

“Spent a few hours playing #662 between last night and this morning. I’m totally in love with it, it plays and sounds so great + I think it’s the most beautiful mandolin I’ve ever seen. Thanks for sticking with me and not doing the burst, it looks great in the solid color. I’m especially happy that it sounds as good, but different than my Bluegrass #258 from ‘2000. The new one is like a sports car just off the line, sweet, shiny, tight and focused.  My old one sounds a little softer and warmer. I’m excited to think about how it… Read More

Larry May

“It’s a shame that all pickers of the world can’t experience the sensation of hearing and feeling such a fine instrument come alive in their hands. All the parts speaking with one unified voice—the top, back and neck all alive. Who would’ve thought that physics, nature and aesthetics could find such harmony in your mandolins. Any note on the fretboard confirms that a fine craftsman built this mandolin with a soul. Despite being a “Bluegrass” model, this mandolin interprets my every mood—folk, blues, jazz. This bird can sing, it has so much to say.” (update) “I’m still in daily awe. All indications… Read More

Don Hall

I first learned about Phoenix Mandolins from the late great Stan Jay of Mandolin Brothers in Staten Island. He considered the top three mandolin builders to be Collings, Gibson, and Phoenix and not in that order. My first and only mandolin is a 2009 Phoenix Bluegrass. It’s signed by both Rolfe and Jenny. I don’t play any Bluegrass music with it. Mainly classical, jazz, swing, folk, rock, pop, fiddle tunes, and Choro someday soon. My next mandolin is going to be a Phoenix Neoclassical with Thomastik Mittel round wound strings. The great Weldon Lister of Austin Texas hand engraved this… Read More

Steve Trott, The Highwaymen

Steve Trott of The Highwaymen

At the risk of sounding like a nut, I have to tell you that I got up this morning to play my Deluxe, and I could hardly put it down to go to work. The sound is so sweet, the sustain is fantastic, and the feel is magic. I was really struggling with the mandolin until I found your Neoclassical, but then it felt like the instrument had liberated me. Now, like the Neoclassical, the Deluxe almost plays itself. Wow! It feels so alive in my hands. Are you sure you don’t put a spell on your creations? Phoenix, the… Read More

Madeleine’s New Mandolin

Last year, Madeleine had been a participant in the March Mandolin Festival in Concord, New Hampshire, and she fell in love with a Phoenix NeoClassical. Later in the year, she visited the shop with her mother and brother and picked out the woods she liked and features she wanted including a sound port. We e-mailed pictures of the progress on her mandolin but carefully kept them several weeks behind the real progress so her mandolin was finished before Christmas without her knowing it. Just before Christmas her family all came for a “visit” to her mandolin-in-progress, and she was surprised… Read More

Ian Umbers, UK

You may be interested to know that I tried out a wide range of instruments before selecting the Neoclassical. Of all the instruments I tried, including some that were nearly twice the price, it was the most responsive and interesting to play with a great depth of sound and the light strings make it so playable!

Paul McCallum

Paul McCallum had been playing his Ne Plus Ultra for classical music with Evan Marshall but Paul decided he wanted a specialized mandolin for this purpose. So he underwrote the creation of the “ultimate classical mandolin.” It was designed as a NeoClassical but with a one-piece 100-year-old European spruce top. It has Ultra-style fingerboard and abalone top and back purfling with a white purfling line on the side of the body, fingerboard, and headstock. Jazz-style dots were used on the face of the fingerboard, a moose bone nut, and a sound port was added on the bass side. Jenny and… Read More