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Thread: Which mandolin should I buy?

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Thanks everyone for the continued advice, I appreciate everything everyone is saying. I’m leaning that trying to have a mando custom made is a lot harder than my other instrument. All of my instruments have been custom made. It seems guitars and banjos are a lot easier to get what you want. I’ve commissioned both my d28 and d45. My banjo built by joe hardwick is the best banjo I’ve ever owned. But it’s easier because banjo builders all try for that pre war Gibson sound and guitar builders all try for a Gibson or martin type sound. But mandolins are voiced so different from other instruments. Some lend there tones to a jazz or classical sound. Others toward hard driving bluegrass. Everyone I’ve played so far has had excellent note separation. The northfields and Collings I played seemed to have the best consistency from mandolin to mandolin. Gibson’s seem to be hit or miss and of course I’ve just got to have an F Style ( I know I know I can get an A for half the price of an F blah blah blah lol) but I’m more open minded to other options now then before.
    P.S. Thanks to y’all my wife is now sick of A-B testing mandolins with me, she keeps saying they all sound the same now just pick one. So I’m going it alone from here on out
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

  2. #52

    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    BTW, you will know you have it when you walk into a store, play a bunch of high end instruments, and only find 1 (sometimes none) that you like as well as your one at home. I am there with guitar and banjo, not so much with mando and bass.

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  4. #53
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by AHoyle View Post
    Thanks everyone for the continued advice, I appreciate everything everyone is saying. Iím leaning that trying to have a mando custom made is a lot harder than my other instrument. All of my instruments have been custom made. It seems guitars and banjos are a lot easier to get what you want. Iíve commissioned both my d28 and d45. My banjo built by joe hardwick is the best banjo Iíve ever owned. But itís easier because banjo builders all try for that pre war Gibson sound and guitar builders all try for a Gibson or martin type sound. But mandolins are voiced so different from other instruments. Some lend there tones to a jazz or classical sound. Others toward hard driving bluegrass. Everyone Iíve played so far has had excellent note separation. The northfields and Collings I played seemed to have the best consistency from mandolin to mandolin. Gibsonís seem to be hit or miss and of course Iíve just got to have an F Style
    The fact that some mandolins sound better for some styles than others - so true! I use my Weber more for Classical (along with my bowlbacks,) I use my Pava as a general purpose, and my Collings for more modern stuff. Look at Collings F-styles and Pava F-styles also. I find they (along with Webers) are very well-made. Granted mine are all A-styles, but enjoy your hunt! Custom-made would make me very nervous, I would want to hear it "live and in person" before I decided I want it.

  5. #54
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    I have been doing this instrument buying and selling for years. It works as a process of perfection. The longer we play the finer we hear and the more we notice the differences. At this point—over 40 years of playing stringed instruments—I have some very nice instruments. With few exceptions they are moderately priced ones which I still feel great playing. I feel very satisfied with the core group but of course, the collector in me plunges on and when I have a bit of cash and something presents itself I and drawn to savor that experience. OTOH it is getting time to de-access before my family will be stuck with this pile. Enough musing over old age... back to playing.
    Jim

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  6. #55
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    I'd pick up this Franzke F5 if I had that kind of money to spend!
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/135...NRQJWag#135195

  7. #56
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by AHoyle View Post
    ...Thanks to y’all my wife is now sick of A-B testing mandolins with me, she keeps saying they all sound the same now just pick one. So I’m going it alone from here on out...
    Yeah, you'll just use it to play bluegrass or Irish trad or old-time or jazz, and all those tunes sound the same anyway. You'll end up hanging with other musicians who all play the same kinda stuff, and all their spouses will say "it all sounds the same."

    Ya know, if you're looking from Mars, Sacramento is adjacent to Annapolis, right? I have trouble distinguishing fabric colors for furniture upholstery, but my wife doesn't like it when I say "they look about the same to me."

    All a question of perspective...
    Allen Hopkins
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  9. #57

    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    One must always remember, that one man shop built mandolin hanging in the shop that is used, once was someone's commissioned build.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
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  11. #58
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Do you have a timeline for how soon you want the mando in your hands? That might be part of the decision. A custom one could possibly take several month to years depending on the builder. Also do you want to be able to have one built exactly to the specs and looks that you want or are you ok with getting one that is already built? Not sure if those things make a difference to you. I’m having one built by Steve Hinde from Hinde Custom Instruments and I’m super excited to get it.

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  13. #59
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Well I do have time frames from all the custom builders I’ve asked. They have been anywhere from 3 months to 2 years for completion of a mandolin. (Everyone has said that except Skip Kelley I’ll have to check with him for a timeline) But good news I may have found the one for me it meets all of my requirements and preferences in a mandolin and she’s a beauty. if it works out I could have it in my hands for good in a few weeks time. I’m going to keep it a surprise just in case the deal falls through. But as you know MAS is a fire that can’t be quenched and most likely I will begin a “collection” of the little devils. There so unique from one to the other I just enjoy hearing there tonal differences even if I might not ever buy them I enjoy them for what they are.

    This won’t be my last post but I just feel that I should thank all the builders that have responded to me and spent time offering me their opinions and advice.and to all you kind folks who’s advice has changed my way of thinking in several different areas and opened me up to builders I would have never found on my own. The music community is truly a great thing to be a part of even if just a small part. I genuinely appreciate your help and as always I’m still open to any advice,imput,suggestions, or just your 2 cents.
    And if anybody’s just curious these are the builders and stores I’ve had contact with this far:
    Jerry Rosa, of Rosa Stringworks
    Skip Kelley
    Will and Ed Lowe of Lowe Vintage Instruments
    The Music Outlet folks in Sevierville Tennessee
    Tyler White, White Mandolins
    And I’m still going to carters and gruhns at the end of March I’ve not forgotten about them.
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

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  15. #60

    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    I assume you've seen this...https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/135333#135333

    Not too far from you. NFI

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  17. #61
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    I’ve considered starting a thread titled “Which mandolin should I not buy?” I suspect that I would get few responses in these parts.
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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  19. #62
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Very interesting idea Pheffernan. I would have a few suggestions if you did start that thread
    And I did indeed see the Gibby for sale. But if I can get the mandolin (which is still a secret until approval) it will be everything I prefer a mandolin to be. At least til I feel the urge strike again but I wouldn’t sell this one I would just save up the money again to buy something different (I’m an instrument hoarder I kills me to sell any of them so I don’t. even the cheapies find a way to my heart. I still have my Johnson mf-100 it was my very first mando my parents gave $100 for it when I was 13 it’s completely unplayable now in its current state but I hang it up with pride cause it’s special to me. But it would be on my list of mandos not to buy ha ha. I don’t wish the pain that thing caused my hands on anybody no setup would save this mando it’s garbage but it’s sitting on my gun safe right next to my bill monroe signed master of bluegrass vinyl record and that’s where it’ll stay.
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

  20. #63
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my decision. I’m still waiting on approval from the seller to post anything about it on this site. Didn’t want to leave you guys hanging since you’ve been so helpful to me.

    I did find the one for me. the mandolin is just killer it meets and exceeds all my expectations in a custom built mandolin. I can’t wait for permission to post about it further. . At least know that all of your information was so helpful in my decision making process. I can’t thank you all enough for the help and support shown to me on this forum. My next post will hopefully have pics so until then brothers and sisters have a great day.
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

  21. #64
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

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    - - - Updated - - -

    Here’s my new mandolin. It’s a White mandolin by Tyler White
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

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  23. #65
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Wow, that's beautiful. Congratulations!
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  25. #66
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    This one is #12 it’s on his YouTube channel just look up Tywhite84 #12 if you’re interested in hearing what she sounds like.
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

  26. #67
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Sounds good, I tried to embed the video but it came up as an error.
    Maybe the link will work.....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J4IEETv-HA
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  28. #68
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    yep that did it thanks. I’m still learning how to use all these features on the site. thanks for the help
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

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  30. #69
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
    The fact that some mandolins sound better for some styles than others - so true! I use my Weber more for Classical (along with my bowlbacks,) I use my Pava as a general purpose, and my Collings for more modern stuff. Look at Collings F-styles and Pava F-styles also. I find they (along with Webers) are very well-made. Granted mine are all A-styles, but enjoy your hunt! Custom-made would make me very nervous, I would want to hear it "live and in person" before I decided I want it.
    . It would NEVER make me nervous to buy a sight unseen or played mandolin by Tom Ellis or Max Girouard !

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  32. #70
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    [YOUTUBE][/YOUTUBE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Sounds good, I tried to embed the video but it came up as an error.
    Maybe the link will work.....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J4IEETv-HA
    For the assist!

    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2014 Smart F-Style Mandola
    2018 Vessel TM5
    2019 Hogan F5

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  34. #71
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by AHoyle View Post
    Here’s my new mandolin. It’s a White mandolin by Tyler White
    Do you have it in house or is it now on its way to you? That is a nice surprise since we have been watching Tyler's work lately a lot here. Let us know what you think when it arrives.
    Jim

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    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  35. #72
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    It’s on its way since it was used it needed to be setup to my preference. So it’s currently with Tyler but will be with me very soon he’s also upgraded it to be on par with the current mandolins he’s selling now.(just minor adjustments when all is said and done) it was a very unique situation.

    Tyler is a great person and even tho the mando was used(it’s still like new as you can see in the pics) he transferred the lifetime warranty on to me. Just an absolute joy to deal with. As was every builder that I had correspondence with. Who knows down the road I’ll probably commission one from skip Kelley and Jerry Rosa. But for now this one is my dream gotta love a Birdseye one piece back at least I do.

    When I do receive it I’ll post some videos on here so you can hear how it’s sounds with the new adjustments made. It’s opened up significantly just in the time that Tyler’s had it.
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

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  37. #73
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Well, it may be used but it can't be all that old. I think he is only on #17 right now (a mandola). Still that mandolin is a beauty. Congratulations.
    Jim

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    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

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  39. #74
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    It’s not that old it’s only around a year to 15 months or so. But Tyler asked for it to be sent to him for an upgrade seems he’s learned some better methods and specs and he just wanted his work to be top notch since it’s his name is on it and he only wants the very best for his clients he didn’t even charge me for the setup work being done. Like I said it was a very unique situation with the seller,Tyler and myself. But it was an excellent experience for me.
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

  40. #75
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    Default Re: Which mandolin should I buy?

    Like Jim said, we have been following his work on this site, I have been very impressed by his work. Congratulations on a very nice mandolin!

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