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Thread: Mowry Octave Mandolins

  1. #1
    Registered User Narayan Kersak's Avatar
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    Default Mowry Octave Mandolins

    It has been made clear to me that Andrew Mowry's octave mandolins are the best there are.
    Asheville Celtic Mandolin Blog and Tablature Resource.
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  3. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mowry Octave Mandolins

    And how has this insight been visited upon you?

    Claims that any builder's instruments are "the best there are" call for consensus objective evaluation, or supernatural revelation.
    Allen Hopkins
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  5. #3
    Registered User Narayan Kersak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mowry Octave Mandolins

    It was supernatural... I'm working on a better description... I just needed to get that much out first.

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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mowry Octave Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Narayan Kersak View Post
    It has been made clear to me that Andrew Mowry's octave mandolins are the best there are.
    Then buy this one and put me out of my misery.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/123125#123125
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  7. #5

    Default Re: Mowry Octave Mandolins

    It is listed as sold on reverb
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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  9. #6
    Registered User Narayan Kersak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mowry Octave Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Then buy this one and put me out of my misery.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/123125#123125
    It is done.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #7
    Registered User Narayan Kersak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mowry Octave Mandolins

    Now I have some time to explain...

    About 14 years ago I got into mandolin. I'd played guitar most of my life, but always loved Irish music. Eventually I fell in with some Old Time players who played a few Irish tunes. I played guitar with them, but they often frowned when I switched to melody. Mandolin seemed like a good choice to move into the melody realm. So I got a cheap one and went to town. I fell in love with the mandolin, particularly the 5ths tuning. It made so much more sense to me than guitar.

    About 2 years in, I decided I really wanted a good mandolin, because I knew how wonderful a well built guitar could be. (And luckily I found a pure Irish group, so could drop the Old Time bit.) Then I joined mandolincafe and began researching. Once I discovered Andrew Mowry, even though I'd never played one of his instruments I had a sense he could build "The One".

    At this point, I didn't have much money, and I figured my wife would kill me if I got a new mandolin. So I did what all young and stupid husbands do... I just didn't tell her!

    Yet, I could not hide the mandolin once it arrived. I confessed, and played it for her. It was a beautiful Summer afternoon, with the perfect rays of sunshine shining into our living room. Her jaw dropped and said, "That's a keeper." and "you're definitely selling your cheap one right?" She's not a musician, even even experienced the sonic joy my then new custom two point sunburst flat top mandolin (built specifically for Irish music) created in the room.

    I've played that mandolin in many sessions. It's been with me through a lot, and it always as sweet as can be, and I've not played any other mandolins yet that make me even doubt its worth.

    However, I've always LOVED octave mandolins. I've had a few in my life. What I love about Octaves is the ability to switch from rhythm to melody. I like playing both, and I enjoy being versatile and being able to lead a session if needed, and I like being able to fill in the background if no good guitarists are to be found.

    Needless to say, over the years I've been in and out of touch with Andrew about building an octave. I had inititially thought it would be awesome to have a double neck built. Mando/Octave Mando. We seriously discussed that at one point, and it would be great to do that one day. We talked a lot about building the big sister to my two point, a flat top, two point sunburst octave. Almost pulled the trigger on that build this year... but then...

    Somehow I came across this guitar bodied oval hole arch top Mowry Octave Mandolin. As soon as I saw the pictures of it I was in love. When I saw the price, I couldn't imagine why no one had snagged it yet. It was still a little high, but it was actually less than the price Andrew quoted for the brand new flat top two point octave we discussed. So, being much older now and a significantly better husband, I spoke to my wife about it. She said, "You know he builds awesome stuff. Why not?"

    So...after liquidating another octave mandolin which I utterly adored (also a two point, but an arch top), I made an offer, and it was accepted! Two days later, my second Mowry arrived.

    I was a little concerned about the arch top. I love flat top sounds for Irish. So open and wide. The arch tops I've played tended to not have that same sonic experience. But this... oh my... When I strummed the first chord... the whole body resonated and again, my wife just said, "Wow." It was a much longer scale length than I had for octave mandos previously, but either this instrument was so awesome I hardly noticed, OR my tenure playing tenor banjo for the last 5 years made it easier.

    This instrument is so easy to play, the bass response, the treble response, the mid range... so perfectly balanced. The chords can roar out of it, or with a gentle touch each note sounds like the light of dawn glowing in a honey jar. And no matter the volume, the sweetness, power and balance remain the same. All the way up and down the neck, each note is a joy in itself.

    Opening the case, the smell of wood and finish, reminded me of the first time as a teenager I got to play a real Les Paul.

    I want to make some recording of it, but life is pretty uncertain timewise for the moment. So, this is why I made the original post. I'm not a pure musical professional (and my wife often reminds me its probably better) but I've played music since before I was 10. I've played a lot of good instruments, and these Mowry's are the best I've ever known, and I feel blessed to intuited working with Mowry, and am greatful he took up this profession, not just for my own enjoyment, but for all those people who listen to our sessions and find a little bit of joy in thier daily life by the music they are able to channel.

    Thanks Andrew.
    Asheville Celtic Mandolin Blog and Tablature Resource.
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    Book: The Asheville Celtic Mandolin Collection - Tablature, Standard Notation & Chords to 50 Celtic/Irish Tunes.

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Mowry Octave Mandolins

    Here's a clip... next one will include some chords and the lower ranges...

    https://youtu.be/Rbc4z_IB9bg

    https://youtu.be/Rbc4z_IB9bg
    Asheville Celtic Mandolin Blog and Tablature Resource.
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    Book: The Asheville Celtic Mandolin Collection - Tablature, Standard Notation & Chords to 50 Celtic/Irish Tunes.

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