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Thread: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

  1. #26
    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    Rockland Cty, NY

    Default Re: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Denman John View Post
    Hey everyone,

    I havenít posted much in the last year as COVID kind of drained me of music after a bunch of jams/gigs and festivals were cancelled. Around Christmas something kicked in and Iíve been playing a lot more. Jams are still few and far between, but Iíve been working on solo Telemann and Bach pieces to keep me interested and busy.

    I have a Kimble A style oval hole (#168) mandolin that Iíve had for about 7 years as my only mandolin and love it. Iíve put thousands of hours into it and it has matured very nicely. To be totally honest, I am thankful for such a wonderful mandolin and donít NEED anything else, but WANT is a totally different animal.

    Lately Iíve been thinking about getting an A style mandolin with f holes to go along with the oval. My first thoughts are Will Kimble or Michael Heiden from personal experience, as my son plays a Heiden F that I really like ~ except the point that digs into my leg when I play it sitting down. For the most part Iím mainly a living room picker and play by myself, but did get out to jams a few times a month before the pandemic.

    Would getting a Kimble with f holes (A or 2 point) be a good match, or would there be too much overlap? All the Heiden mandolins Iíve tried have been phenomenal, but that comes in at a pretty penny. I will most likely be looking at a used instrument and still need plenty of time to save up for it (unless Bitcoin goes to the moon this summer).

    What else should I be looking at? Pictures always help!
    I own a Kimble A5 and used to own a Kimble Oval. I sold my Kimble Oval to someone on this thread. Who shall rename nameless lest I expose his extreme case of g.a.s.! I do regret selling it sometimes but I'm not a collector but rather a catch and releaser. So if something is not doing it for me I search elsewhere. I also like to concentrate on one particular instrument. So I have my main mandolin (Kimble A5), my main acoustic guitar (Pre-War Guitar Co. 0-28) and my main electric guitar (Danocaster Single Cut) They are all stellar instruments and presently I have no G.A.S.

    I happen to prefer A style mandolins. Note that my Kimble A5 is not going anywhere. I love it. I also own a premier F5 mandolin.

    As far as oval hole mandolins they are cool but I find an F hole mandolin can do what an oval hole does plus has a better percussive quality for the chop.

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  3. #27
    Registered User MarkusSpiel's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Senden, Germany

    Default Re: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

    I never played a Heiden but I love my Kimble two pointer.
    Gibson F2 1916
    Northfield F5s 2016
    Hartmann A Oval 2017
    Hartmann Two Pointer 2018
    Kimble J 2020

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  5. #28

    Default Re: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

    I've owned a Kimble, Heiden, and still own a Duff. It has stuck around since 2017 when I bought it new. I think Paul's A style mandolins are really great. I preferred the Kimble to the Heiden I had but have played Heiden's that I are outstanding (Evan's A and F). One benefit of getting a Kimble A would be similar setup and neck shape if you are particular about switching. I'd just keep my eye out for any of those, but if you get a chance to snatch up a recent Duff A, I'd certainly keep that on the short list.

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  7. #29
    Registered User
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    Dec 2014
    Durango, Colorado

    Default Re: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

    Funny, after reading this thread and commenting that my Fern has kept my Kimble MAS at bay, what did I do but find a Kimble A5 #280 for sale at North American Guitar and ordered it! Sheesh! It should be in my hands by the end of next week and I’m stoked! I found a vid that Will posted on his Facebook page when it was just finished and man does it sound strong.. Will is a great player too and pulls great tone from all of his builds. Kim at NAG said this one was particularly strong and punchy.
    Can’t wait! I’ll try and post a playing vid here once I get it. Curious how it stands up to my Harvey Fern
    Ty Stevens

    2015 Gibson Fern F5
    1993 Flatiron 1N
    2019 Martin D18 Authentic 1939

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  9. #30
    Registered User Darwin Gaston's Avatar
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    Aug 2014

    Default Re: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

    I have to agree with Shaun.... its a Heiden for me!!
    2020 Heiden Artist A5
    2019 Austin Clark Two Point
    2014 Martin 00-18V
    2007 Martin 000-18 Norman Blake

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  11. #31
    Dave Berry
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    Mar 2004
    San Fancisco, CA USA

    Default Re: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

    I cant say enough about my Kimble A5 #122. It gets as much playing time as the Gil A3 #539 which is saying a lot. The Heiden's I have played feel like butter in my hands but to my ears don't project like the other 2. You can not go wrong with a Kimble, they all are great as I'm sure Heiden's are but price may be the tiebreaker. truly a 1st world problem
    dave berry

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  13. #32
    Registered User Denman John's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Denman Island, BC Canada

    Default Re: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

    Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. Lots of great insight here indeed!

    Since I originally posted, I’ve had a lot of time to think about it and have probably overthought it by now. What is has done so far is got me focused on getting a mandolin when the time is right. I saw the Kimble that Mandosurf mentioned above along with a very nice recent Heiden but have decided to wait. I don’t want to go into debt for a mandolin, so it will give me time save money and see what becomes available.

    I’m sure I could find a great Kimble A5, but would it overlap with my oval hole ...?

    Michael Heiden makes phenomenal mandolins, but they come with a price tag to match. If I do decide to go the Heiden route, I might call Michael and see what he has coming down the pipes in the next year or two. Maybe an oval?

    Another builder that has impressed me is Matt Ruhland. I’ve never played one, but heard a couple one year at Wintergrass. At the time I didn’t know who he was, but I remember the big r on the headstock. I remember thinking at the time that they had a bit of a Nugget tone in there. Great sounding mandolins! I checked his website recently and it says that he’s stopped taking orders, but might be available through Greg Boyd’s in the future. I could call them and see what their schedule is like in the future. If it worked out timing wise, it would be a great road trip. Another thing to think about ...I found this clip on YouTube and really liked the sound of his X braced mandolins

    ... not all those who wander are lost ...

  14. #33
    perpetual beginner... jmagill's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Asheville, NC

    Default Re: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

    Heiden. Oh, yes.

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  16. #34

    Default Re: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

    Matt R's mandolins are as good as anything I've played. You have a great list of builders. Best of good fortune with your purchase!

  17. #35

    Default Re: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

    It would be a good idea to play a red diamond A model before you wrote the check.

  18. #36
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.

    Question Re: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

    Apitius is on your, (Denman Island, BC) north side of the border, chat him up..

    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  19. #37

    Default Re: A style Kimble, Heiden or ...

    I just played a hieden ...and a models are actually almost affordable well worth the money and great sounding ... The f model i played was ptetty nice but out of my price range.

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