This Red Valley OAM octave mandolin was crafted by James Wilson in his workshop in Boise, Idaho. The top is sitka spruce and the back and sides are nicely figured maple. The neck is maple and the fretboard is ebony. The OAM has a satin finish and a very simple appearance but the robust tone more than makes up for the lack of fanciness. The scale length is 21-inches, slightly shorter than most octave mandolin models, which makes it easy for mandolinists to play it. And, because it’s tuned an octave below your regular mandolin, you don’t have to learn different fingerings for the tunes you already know. Octave mandolins are a great way to add bass response to your band and the lower register makes them an excellent choice for backing singers.