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Thread: The waiting begins: order in for Clark Octave

  1. #1
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    Default The waiting begins: order in for Clark Octave

    I don't post here much, but I have read through many of the threads here in CBOM over the last few years as I've been learning about and stoking my interest in octave mandos. I had one brief fling with a Lafferty that proved I do want one (and that the Lafferty was not the one). After many months of work stress -- working in IT for a public school during a pandemic -- I decided to give myself something to look forward to.

    Today (10/3/20) I got confirmation that my deposit was received by Austin Clark confirming my spot in 2021 for a new Clark octave mandolin.

    It's a large expense, but I believe that quality is worth it. The archtop guitar body is what I want, and Austin is not too far from me (I'm in SLC, he's in Boise) so I'll be able to pick it up in person. Hearing a few recordings by Sierra Hull and Dominck Leslie on their Clarks sealed the deal for me.

    I've got until next summer or so to finalize my decisions: color? cutaway? inlays? Only customization I'm looking at is a K&K pickup (Austin's a fan of them too).

    I'll do my best to update this thread throughout the build process so y'all can follow along. Just had to share my joy with some folks that would understand.
    Andrew Frink
    Phoenix Bluegrass, '23 Gibson A Snakehead, Weymann

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: The waiting begins: order in for Clark Octave

    Took delivery of a Clark GBOM this Summer. Love it!

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: The waiting begins: order in for Clark Octave

    One of the big highlights of Wintergrass for me for the past several years is visiting with Austin Clark and Andrew Lowry and playing their superbly built instruments. I've played many of Austin's mandolins and OM's and you can't go wrong there!

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    Default Re: The waiting begins: order in for Clark Octave

    Didn’t have to wait for mine; I bought it from Tamco, I doubt you’ll be dissapointed. There’s a photo’ of Ted Eschliman around somewhere playing it whilst it was still in the shop.

    Probably best to let Austin fit the K&K. I had a local luthier friend fit mine and he managed to trash the tailpiece in the process, drilling out the hole for the socket. Don’t know which came off worse, the tailpiece or his hand - all I remember is the t/p flying across his workshop and him dissappearing to the bathroom to stem the bleeding.

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    Default Re: The waiting begins: order in for Clark Octave

    I'm really excited. Wasn't exactly holding my breath, but did get a nice little happy moment when I saw the email from Austin that my deposit had arrived.

    @Ray - Yikes! Always ups the ante when the story includes "stem the bleeding. I am going to have Austin put the pickup in, seemed the best way to go and he doesn't charge much for the extra work.
    Andrew Frink
    Phoenix Bluegrass, '23 Gibson A Snakehead, Weymann

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    Default Re: The waiting begins: order in for Clark Octave

    Yes, it was a bit of a moment. He removed the tailpiece and held it under his pillar drill to enlarge the hole. Austins tailpieces are basically an “L” shaped piece of brass or bronze with an ornamental cap and the metal is somewhat more durable than you’d expect. Anyhow, the drill kammed in the existing hole and he didn’t let go of it quickly enough. Fortunately, the drill and tailpiece parted company and it shot across his workshop in the opposite direction to where I was standing.

    Austin made me another but was so apalled by the shipping costs, he reduced his price!

    My luthier friend, who was used to fitting K&K pickups in guitars, also found that it was difficult to hold the pickup pads in place whilst the glue sets and had to make a special tool to do this. I assume Austin fits them before either the back or top is fitted.

  8. #7
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Default Re: The waiting begins: order in for Clark Octave

    Austin built a tenor guitar for me on this model, a cutaway Cherry-colaburst 4-string. The only thing I might have done differently was add a Kent Armstrong Humbucker pickup. The K&K I chose would probably be better on an octave or for more general acoustic styles, but if you’re going to plug in, adding it now is a good idea.
    Of the three great instruments he built me, this remains my favorite.
    Ted Eschliman

    Author, Getting Into Jazz Mandolin

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    Default Re: The waiting begins: order in for Clark Octave

    I've become a big fan of K&K. So far I have their pickups on 2 mandolins, 3 guitars, and an upright bass. With the gigs I do having a solid pickup system solves a bunch of problems so it's a must. Definitely a bonus to have them put in when the instrument is built.

    So now I wait and ponder the important questions in life such as cutaway vs full body and color choices.
    Andrew Frink
    Phoenix Bluegrass, '23 Gibson A Snakehead, Weymann

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