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Thread: Trying to learn what makes a great new build (not vintage) ...

  1. #26
    Registered User Marcus CA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trying to learn what makes a great new build (not vintage) ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Snakum View Post
    Can someone articulate what it is, with respect to the feel when playing, and wrt the tone, when evaluating a high end custom build that makes one go "Wow!"
    As the builders and players here have mentioned, there is a lot of subjectivity in this, which is why people generally advise against buying an instrument that you haven't played unless you're willing to shell out the shipping costs if it doesn't work out. What's better: Eastman or Kentucky? Collings or Weber? Gilchrist or Heiden? Good luck getting over 70% agreement on any of those questions. However, I think you'll get 99% agreement on any comparison involving a pairing of two of those instruments from different pairs.

    For me, mandolin or guitar tone is like dealing with chocolate or red wine or stereo systems. With the really good stuff, there's just a richness that is absolutely stunning and makes me wish that the room was empty and my checkbook was full. My hands can't stop playing, while I stop my brain from heading down the path of Meg Ryan at the deli.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

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  3. #27
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    Default Re: Trying to learn what makes a great new build (not vintage) ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Snakum View Post
    I was blessed to keep an early 60s Burst for over a month and it was glorious.
    That should have been 'early 60' not '60s'. It had the thinner neck that I prefer but but was before the non-fading tomato soup burst finish. So late 59 .... early 60 er sump'n.
    _________________________________________________
    My wife drank too much wine last night and inadvertently invented slide banjo, played with a Bic lighter. I'm so proud of her.

  4. #28
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    Default Re: Trying to learn what makes a great new build (not vintage) ..

    Thanks for all the feedback. Much appreciated. I especially appreciate Walter, John, and Steve pitching in to the discussion. You guys all have excellent reps as builders. Looked into a used June Psalm 40 before I called Ken Ratcliff. Also saw the carbon fiber mando from Soreson and thought that was an awesome idea. I've seen a CF acoustic guitar, but didn't get to play it. Love that kind of thinking outside the box. Hope to hear it one day.

    It'll be interesting to compare my Ratcliff A model that's on the way to the Collings, Eastman, and Kentuckys that I have access to. But I hope to have the opportunity to play more of the custom built axes once I start jamming. I'm deaf in my left ear thanks to the US Army. But my right one still is an excellent tone guage.
    Last edited by Snakum; Jan-27-2023 at 8:14pm.
    _________________________________________________
    My wife drank too much wine last night and inadvertently invented slide banjo, played with a Bic lighter. I'm so proud of her.

  5. #29
    Registered User thesecretmandolinist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trying to learn what makes a great new build (not vintage) ..

    I think what makes great instruments so great is that they are more than the sum of their parts. My Apitius smokes just about everything it is put up against. A good luthier knows that each piece of wood is different and needs to be treated differently. There are no one size fits all and no exact measurements. For me, and I'd guess a great many players, a great mandolin not only sounds and plays excellent but is also extremely touch sensitive and responsive.
    Apitius Grand Classic
    D’Addario EJ74’s
    Madura Triangular Tortoiseshell 1mm

    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/bearplaysmandolin

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