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Thread: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

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    Default Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I'm considering a Tone Gard (or two) for Eastman MD305 and/or MD314. I do tend to hold the mandolin close. And I get the principle of the Gard, but I'm curious to know from current (or past) owners if the Gard is a comfortable solution? Did it affect the way you normally held your mandolin? Require an adjustment to get used to the feel?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I had one and could hear no difference in sound as I don't hold a mandolin close to my belly ! As far as comfort I prefer not using one but everyone is different and only you can decide that !

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    Registered User Chris W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I have one on all my mandolins. I don’t even notice it’s there. I also like that it serves as a counterbalance to the headstock. Try one and if you don’t care for it, it could be easily sold here in the classifieds.
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    Drop the 3rd trimester muffintop and you can drop the tone guard!

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    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    Different strokes for different folks!

    The tone gard just isn't my cup of tea. However, I'm sure if I had used one first or consistently I'd get used to the feeling of it. Also, I'm not a very big guy and I dont have a belly.... I don't hold my mandolin against my stomach tightly either.

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    Registered User GeoMandoAlex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I have one on each of my mandolins. I like them. And like jcondino said, if I got rid of the muffintop (although I would consider myself in the early second trimester, lol), I may not need one, but until then, I will use them. Once I am back down to my weight I need to be at, I will try with a nd without.
    I can only play half as much as I want, because I only play half as much as I would like.

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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Wilson View Post
    Different strokes for different folks!

    The tone gard just isn't my cup of tea. However, I'm sure if I had used one first or consistently I'd get used to the feeling of it. Also, I'm not a very big guy and I dont have a belly.... I don't hold my mandolin against my stomach tightly either.
    Zach, you are pretty mush spot on with that assessment. I bought my first mandolin in 2004 and by the end of the year had a tonegard on it. It may be I am used to it being there. However, again, once I get back down to the weight I need to be at, I will revisit
    I can only play half as much as I want, because I only play half as much as I would like.

  11. #8
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    It gets just cold enough here in the PNW to wear a fleece sweater in the house. My baggy, 20plus year old Patagonia SnapT pullover mutes my mandolins like crazy! Everytime I play in this outfit I wonder about ToneGards. Usually I just turn on the fire (handy thing really), take off the sweater and jam away! Don't worry, I'll have a tee shirt on underneath 😂😂😂

  12. #9
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I bought a tone guard for my first mandolin but haven't for the others. It's not a game-changer for me, but it's all about personal preferences.
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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I have standard Ton-Gards on two mandolins, an F4 and an F5, both carved back. I have the large sized one on my flat backed resonator mandolin. I have a custom built one by Tony on my large custom 10 string mandola and another on a custom built F4 octave mandolin.

    They are all quite comfortable to use whether playing sitting or standing.

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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I've been playing with one for years. To me, it's just an extension of the instrument. I don't really notice that it's there! Like has been said already, get one and if you don't like it, you'll easily be able to sell it!

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  16. #12
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I have one on my “go to” mandolin and I’m thinking about getting ones for another mandolin and my mandola. Unless you’re prone to playing topless, I wouldn’t worry about it in the comfort stakes. One feature which isn’t usually mentioned is the ability to lay your instrument on a pub table whilst you visit the bar/facilities without fear of scratching the back.

  17. #13
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I have a ToneGard on my Rigel A and Eastman 515. I find them comfortable and useful. I appreciate that the product has evolved and improved over time. Also, Tony is a great provider and stands by his product.
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I personally don't like how they look, and I really don't like the feel. I found it to be very uncomfortable when playing for extended periods of time (longer than about 10 minutes). That said, the condition of my torso is much closer to six pack than six pack (the beer version), and so I don't have much built in cushion, or much need for the guard.
    I suggest trying one, if you don't like it, it'll sell within minutes on the cafe classifieds
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  20. #15

    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I’ve used one for about 7 years now. In my experience they add volume and depth/resonance to the sound - it’s a “bigger” sound, if that makes sense?

    It makes the mandolin a little heavier, but you don’t even notice the extra weight after a few minutes. Because it adds physical depth to the instrument whilst it’s attached, it might mean that a very tight-fitting case might become too tight to close. This wasn’t an issue when I had my Eastman 505 in an Eastman zip-around case, as that case was quite flexible anyway.

    In my experience, it’s a great product, that does what it’s supposed to do.

  21. #16
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    Another one that has them on all my mandolins. I find that they help with the tone. For my ears at least.

    The only downside is have had them occasionally catch on buttons and make some noise while on stage.
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  22. #17
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    Yes. Comfortable and functional.
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  23. #18
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    Don't even know it's on.

    For me, the improvement of tone and volume is VERY noticeable, and I'm not that 'muffin top-ish'.

    Have one on my Kimble 2-pt., my Apitius F5. and on my Girouard F model.

    I like them well enough that I will be picking up another 2 for my remaining 2 mandolins - Clark 2-pt. and Gibson F5L.

    Before making the leap to them, I contacted builders and users for their input.

    I also wanted to see if any pros used them - they have much better ears than mine and I feel that input would be important.

    For me, right decision in going with them.
    Last edited by LKN2MYIS; Dec-05-2020 at 1:18pm.
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    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I resisted them for years, thought they were silly. I finally decided to try one this year and I have to say I like it. Volume and tone are noticeably better. It is not uncomfortable. I think if your stomach touches the back when you play, it will help. I can hold the instrument away from my belly if I am thinking about it, but if I really get into playing, I unconsciously tend to pull the instrument closer.

    I hasten to add I think an armrest is more important, because most of your sound comes from the top.

  25. #20
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    I have two, one custom for wide bodied "celtic" mandolin and shop-bought one for my normal teardrop A-style f-hole.

    I think I would have to have a concave belly before they didn't make a difference with tone, volume and player's ability to hear both of those.

    They also balance the mandolins a bit better for me, so actually make playing more comfortable.

    *edited to add :
    that most of my playing outside the house is (or was until March 2020) in noisy pub sessions so projected volume out the front and from the back helps a lot - I can hear myself a lot better.
    Bren

  26. #21
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    3 fo 3. Helps with the balance and I hear a difference. YMMV.

  27. #22
    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    All the above plus 25% less belly sweat

  28. #23
    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    BTW, how many bought direct from Tony?

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  30. #24
    Registered User GeoMandoAlex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Edwards View Post
    BTW, how many bought direct from Tony?
    I believe I bought my first from either Tony or Elderly back in 2005 (going back too many years to remember). I bought my second one this year directly from Tony (or his website).
    I can only play half as much as I want, because I only play half as much as I would like.

  31. #25
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    Default Re: Tone Gard - Comfortable ?

    One (for the A-style) bought from Oliver Watze's New Acoustic Gallery in Germany, and one (for the "Celtic") custom-made by Tony.
    Bren

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