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Thread: Thile's personal luthier

  1. #1
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Thile's personal luthier

    Does anyone know who does C.T.'s setup work.

    Billy
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    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    Long ago, he told me David Harvey did his setup. Iím not sure if he still does.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Jake Biddix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    I just got my copy of Chris' latest album "Laysongs", and in the liner notes it says "Chris' mandolin is set up by Tom Crandall." I do not know this Tom Crandall, but what timely information!
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    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier


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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    Crandall worked for many years running Matt Umanov's shop and left some time ago to open his own shop. He has an excellent reputation for quality work.
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    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Crandall worked for many years running Matt Umanov's shop and left some time ago to open his own shop. He has an excellent reputation for quality work.
    He did a miraculous repair on a 1924 O-18K I brought to Umanov's shop years ago when he was there. The bridge had pulled up and splintered the Koa below the bridge. No wood spinters detached (like bending a green branch) so he was able to weave the splinters back together when he re-glued the bridge. The damage and repair were undetectable
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  12. #7
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    I gave the shop a call the other day. The guy that answered didn't seem to know much and went back and forth from me to Tom who was working on the bench. In the end I was told they would do setup if I sent the mandolin to them.

    Ok, I figgered as much but I'll need to talk with Tom before I make any decisions.

    I'll try again next week and see if I can have a conversation with Tom Crandall personally.
    Billy Packard
    Gilchrist A3, 1993
    Stiver Fern, 1990
    Weber Fern, 2007
    Gibson F4 Hybrid #1, D. Harvey 2009
    Gibson 1923 A2
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    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    Tom Crandall repaired/restored a pair of bowlbacks for me many years ago; he began work while he was working for Umanov, finished rather a while later. His work is impeccable, beyond reproach. I have to say it took quite a while, but for the most part, it was done on his own time, as Umanov's shop ate his life.

    A highly-regarded poster here told me, before I ventured to send my instruments to Tom, that he (the poster) regarded TC as perhaps the world's best restoration luthier.

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  15. #9

    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    Who cares? Having Thile's guy setup your mandolin isn't going to make you play like him.



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  17. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    Billy: if you are going for a pro setup I would think you get that from at least a few pro luthier’s in Northern CA instead of shipping it all the way to New York. Yes, Tom I excellent but I would thing there were a few equals in California.
    Jim

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  19. #11
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    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    Of course you cannot just send a mandolin to a luthier and expect the set up to be just the way you want it to be. A conversation is required to provide insight into your playing style and action requirements. There are many qualified and capable luthiers that can get the action just the way you like it. I always prefer a more local person I can visit and provide with real time feed back based on playing the instrument and having a discussion.

  20. #12
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    The climate is very different in New York than in Northern CA, and that is going to affect the instrument's set up needs. If you have your set-up done in New York, you may very well have to have it adjusted again not long after the instrument comes home.

    There are highly experienced luthiers at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto.

  21. #13
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    Actually I was just wondering. I like luthiers and have maintained conversations with many. They usually love to talk shop, as do I. I do have a wonderful local luthier, Luke Wilson, whom I trust emphatically. He actually listens to what I want and has the skill to do it. He was friends and partners for a while with Michael Heiden. Frank Ford at Gryphon is a friend as well as Steve Gilchrist and Bruce Weber. I really like chatting with Lou Stiver too.

    At any rate, I am curious about who other mandolinists I respect trust with their setups.

    Billy
    Billy
    Billy Packard
    Gilchrist A3, 1993
    Stiver Fern, 1990
    Weber Fern, 2007
    Gibson F4 Hybrid #1, D. Harvey 2009
    Gibson 1923 A2
    Numerous wonderful guitars

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  23. #14

    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Packard View Post
    At any rate, I am curious about who other mandolinists I respect trust with their setups.
    For clarification, my post above was in jest. I agree it’s interesting knowing things like that, and really find it off putting when anyone replies “Who cares? Won’t make you play like them.”
    Soliver arm rested and Tone-Garded Northfield Model M with DíAddario NB 11.5-41, picked with a Wegen Bluegrass 1.4

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    Default Re: Thile's personal luthier

    Tom Crandall is a super nice man. I was in his shop Thursday and played a bunch of the guitars and mandolins he has set up and restored. Itís a fabulous acoustic instrument shop. One of the best I have ever been in. He actually does work for many of the hot mandolin pickers we all idolize. Canít go wrong having him work on your instrument. Having said that, Dave Harvey is amazing. He has worked on my baby a couple off times and each time I was throughly impressed by his work. There are talented luthiers in every corner of the country who can do great work on our instruments. Just gotta find out who they are.
    It doesn't matter . . . I'm going to WINFIELD!!!!!

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