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Thread: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

  1. #1

    Default 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    All,

    I have a Collings MF with f-holes and really love it. Been playing it for a few years and really appreciate the fit and finish and the sound. Iíve been planning to get an oval hole for some time and want something thatís different from my Collings. Iím not into super bright sounding instruments, the Collings is perhaps as bright as Iím comfortable going. I did start with an Eastman 6xx series oval hole F body and it was great until my ear developed and the bright tone was too much for me.

    Iíd like to buy a new or used (but recent) build. I have an OM that Austin Clark made for me and itís amazing and probably my first choice for a second Mandolin but Iíd really like some suggestions. I realize thereís a big price range for the brands mentioned but my assumption is that Iíll save for a bit and Iím also parting with a few guitars I donít play anymore in addition to some cash Iíve been stashing for a few years

    Iím leaning slightly towards a two point body or another F body but probably not an A.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    I am very partial to Webers, especially those with Bruce Weber's signature on the label. The sound will be warmer than your Collings, which will make a good complement to the Collings sparkle.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    You can pretty much knock Gibson off your list unless you decide to buy an antique one. Except for a short run of flat top Army-Navy reissues and a very small number of custom order modern instruments, they have not built any good oval hole instruments since WWII. They did build some two point oval hole A-5's in the 1960's, but they are not strong instruments.

    It appears that right now the only oval hole model that Ellis lists is an "A-4 Special."

    The best oval hole carved mandolins that I have encountered were either built by small shop builders, the occasional better grade Weber, or the old pre-war Gibson and Lyon & Healy instruments.

  4. #4
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Been some nice two point Kimbles in the classifieds here recently, NFI on my part, just admiring them from afar!

    **Oops, just noticed that it's an oval hole you're looking for and the Kimbles I saw were all f-hole models, never mind!

    For an oval hole I'd certainly throw Girouard mandolins into the hat for consideration!
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    2018 Frank Tate tenor guitar
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel

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  6. #5

    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Dry and woody

    https://themusicemporium.com/product...e-a5-used-2017

    But an F hole. Iím not sure there are a lot of Ellis oval hole Aís around. An old snakehead might be what you are looking for, but Iím noticing that oval holes seem to pretty scarce right now, in terms of modern makers.
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

  7. #6
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    May I suggest you check out Pomeroy. There are many sound samples on his site.
    Cary Fagan

  8. #7

    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    I have a BRW two-point oval that sounds just like what you’re looking for.
    My daily driver right now is a Morris oval, but it’s an A style. I love the sound of it. I saw him building a two-point last time I visited.

  9. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    I believe that most modern oval holes are hybrids: longer neck (not scale) and often x-braced. When I was looking for a modern oval hole I wanted a modernized Gibson sound with transverse bracing and shorter neck. I found what I wanted in my Brentrup A4C. Very different in tone from my f-hole mandolins. Hans is no longer building and there are few of those around for sale but I think there are a few builders out there who do build that configuration. In any case that would give you a very different tone from your Collings.
    Jim

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  10. #9
    Registered User Bob Buckingham's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    I recently got a Pomeroy 2 point made by Don Paine in Colorado. It has more heart than Weber Vintage F which is their top of the line oval hole. I love the sound and playabiltiy of this mandolin. I got it after playing one of his oval hole A's in a side by side comparison with my Weber.

  11. #10
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Here’s a second for Pomeroy. Don makes an oval hole A model, same dimension, etc, as old Gibson As, but with his proprietary X-bracing. I have a mandolin and a matching mandola, both favorites!

  12. #11

    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Iíll be finishing a round hole A soon and sending it off to TME if a longer scale, 14.37,Ē and larger body, 11.5,Ē is something you want to explore. Please delete this and correct me if this kind of self-promotion isnít allowed.

  13. #12

    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Toole View Post
    Iíll be finishing a round hole A soon and sending it off to TME if a longer scale, 14.37,Ē and larger body, 11.5,Ē is something you want to explore. Please delete this and correct me if this kind of self-promotion isnít allowed.
    Sorry if Iím ignorant but can you post a web link so I can see the home page of the mandolins you make?

  14. #13
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Or you could get another Collings...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/195542#195542

    NFI
    Last edited by Charles E.; Nov-21-2022 at 4:07pm.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  15. #14

    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    You can pretty much knock Gibson off your list unless you decide to buy an antique one. Except for a short run of flat top Army-Navy reissues and a very small number of custom order modern instruments, they have not built any good oval hole instruments since WWII. They did build some two point oval hole A-5's in the 1960's, but they are not strong instruments.

    It appears that right now the only oval hole model that Ellis lists is an "A-4 Special."

    The best oval hole carved mandolins that I have encountered were either built by small shop builders, the occasional better grade Weber, or the old pre-war Gibson and Lyon & Healy instruments.
    Thanks for all this info. I didnít look that carefully at the oval hole offerings. TBH I was maybe overstating my preference for the oval and mostly interested in a tonal difference. I realize the oval is one way to achieve that but I have also seen makers with oval a f variants that sound quite similar. So Iím not married to an oval hole. I pretty much believe in picking up and falling in love with an instrument. In this day/age of online sales itís hard so we are reduced to YouTube, which isnít so good for assessing tone even when doing a side by side. That said, itís better than nothing!

  16. #15

    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buesseler View Post
    Here’s a second for Pomeroy. Don makes an oval hole A model, same dimension, etc, as old Gibson As, but with his proprietary X-bracing. I have a mandolin and a matching mandola, both favorites!
    Iíll check them out! Several of you have recommended them and Iíve looked at their stuff (visually) but Iíll find some sound clips.

  17. #16
    Registered User usqebach's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    NDO, Just sent you a PM.
    Jim Sims

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  18. #17

    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    I'm very happy with my Girouard A4. Max and Lauri are great to work with.
    Girouard Concert A5
    Girouard Custom A4
    Nordwall Cittern
    Trillium Mandola
    Dunwell B-1 Bouzouki
    www.singletonstreet.com

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  20. #18
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Fagan View Post
    May I suggest you check out Pomeroy. There are many sound samples on his site.
    Iíll second that!
    Pomeroy F5 2003
    Weber Madison F5 2013
    Weber Sweet Pea travel mando 2006
    Eric Ouren open back banjo
    Bart Reiter open back banjo

  21. #19

    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sothoth View Post
    Sorry if I’m ignorant but can you post a web link so I can see the home page of the mandolins you make?
    I can vouch for Patrick, and his work can be seen here:

    https://www.instagram.com/toolestudios/

    I bought the first set, octave and mandolin, that became available last year. A friend of mine became enamored with the mandolin and bought the next mandolin that became available. You can hear that one here:

    https://youtu.be/rMgsPwwViXk

    He is listed in the Builders Database here on the Cafe also.
    Sorry, I am no longer suffering fools

  22. #20
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Fagan View Post
    May I suggest you check out Pomeroy. There are many sound samples on his site.
    Iíll second that! I would also keep Weber on the short list.
    Pomeroy F5 2003
    Weber Madison F5 2013
    Weber Sweet Pea travel mando 2006
    Eric Ouren open back banjo
    Bart Reiter open back banjo

  23. #21

    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Toole View Post
    Iíll be finishing a round hole A soon and sending it off to TME if a longer scale, 14.37,Ē and larger body, 11.5,Ē is something you want to explore. Please delete this and correct me if this kind of self-promotion isnít allowed.
    Took a look at your stuff on IG. Looks beautiful!

  24. #22
    Registered User seankeegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  26. #23
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    You already have a good Collings. I'd want something utterly different. If I had the dough-ray-me — and it sounds like you do — National is making a nice reso these days. And I'd love an old Harmony batwing, a la Yank Rachell. What a vibe!

    Or I'd scandalize some of my friends and delight others via the electric solid-boy route. And there's always breaking out of the carved-wood/f-hole scene with a good flattop. Those things are sorely underappreciated and need a few good evangelists.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  27. #24

    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    You already have a good Collings. I'd want something utterly different. If I had the dough-ray-me — and it sounds like you do — National is making a nice reso these days. And I'd love an old Harmony batwing, a la Yank Rachell. What a vibe!

    Or I'd scandalize some of my friends and delight others via the electric solid-boy route. And there's always breaking out of the carved-wood/f-hole scene with a good flattop. Those things are sorely underappreciated and need a few good evangelists.
    That Batwing looks crazy!! Never heard of that one before.

  28. #25

    Default Re: 2nd Mandolin. Ellis? Gibson? Clark? Weber?

    Quote Originally Posted by seankeegan View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Those Kimbles are supposed to be quite good. I’ll check prices….

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