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Thread: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

  1. #1
    Registered User fredfrank's Avatar
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    Default Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Okey, dokey. I'm going to attempt to post some sound files for these two Red Diamond mandolins. I had hijacked a thread on Ellis mandos a while back, and I apologize for that. Feel free to hijack this one if you'd like to pay me back!
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    Registered User Rooster59's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Nice! Thanks for the post.
    I had all the clips open so I could switch back and forth to compare.
    I had trouble hearing any difference on the first tune but to my ear, the A5 sounded like it had a bit bigger bottom on Rosewood Casket. How do they compare in real life?

  3. #3
    Registered User fredfrank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    That's my take on them in person. The F-5 has a bit more cutting power, but the A-5 has a nice full spectrum of tone. They are both pretty fun to play.

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    Henry Lawton hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Fred you got it rough! You redefine as good good as it gets.
    Really nice pickin on some mighty fine examples of American made. Thanks for sharing.

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    Registurd User pjlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    What a pair! They both sound and look great. You should be very pleased.
    PJ
    Stanley V5

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    Registered User Gary Alter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Fred, I see your A-5 is listed in Don's owners file as being a Vintage 22. Is the Vintage F a 22 or 24? On his list he also shows a prototype Vintage 25 F in the works, I guess he's working on a Fern replica? BTW, fine picking and the A sounds a little looser to my ear.

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    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    There you go. Thank´s for the music. You play well!

    My sleuthing took me over to Don McRostie´s site. It indicates that your F-5 style mando is No. 175 (his take on Loar stylistics) as the A-style mando is No. 203 (indicated as Vintage 22 though I wouldn´t know what the 22 stands for as opposed to 24 which is also an option for a Red Diamond).

    I had the impression that the A was a little more tight than the F (before I checked the serial no). What I especially liked about the mandos was the etheral ringing of the strings when you slide. This was especially evident on the F-Big Sciota clip. One of the indicators of a good mandolin I think.

    What kind of recording setup have you used (microphone, recording device, aditional gadgets [EQ, reverb etc.; I suppose it was recorded without any...])

    Finally, congrats on two very fine mandos.
    Olaf

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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Nice playing. To my ears, A beats F.

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    Registered User wildpikr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Nice picking and they both sound good but the A seems to have a fuller tone. How do they sound with chords - chopped or not?
    Mike

    Those who think they should think, like they think others think they should think, need to think out their thinking, I think.

    No envejecemos, maduramos. -Pablo Picasso

  10. #10

    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    Nice playing. To my ears, A beats F.
    Same here....the A seems clearer. Both sound great though.

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    Registered User fredfrank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    The Vintage 22 is the "Crusher " voicing. The 24 is the "Reischman" voicing. My F was neither until recently when I sent it to Don and he re-voiced it to the Reischman voicing. So it seems a little like a new mandolin right now. Apparently, he had to build a new back to re-voice it. In the past four or so months, I've been playing the A a lot, so it does sound more open to me.

    My recording setup is as follows:

    Zoom H4.


    I haven't been playing a lot of mandolin lately, as I've been moved to banjo in our group, but I did get a chance to play the re-voiced F in our practice the other night. Boy does it ever cut well. I've always thought that the best mandolin for a band situation may not always be the full, warm sound. In order to be heard well, I believe that mandolin in a band has to have more top end. Even the chop from the F has more power to carry through the rest of the group.
    Last edited by fredfrank; Jan-28-2010 at 9:00am.

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    Registered User Yellowmandolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Great picture, it seems your photography is right up there with your playing!
    Play, play, play!

    Jacob Hawkins

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    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    Nice playing. To my ears, A beats F.
    Same with me. Both sound great and your picking is awesome as well!

  14. #14
    Registered User Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Amazing sound! I really like those clips! Thanks!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Wonderful tone on both, same on the picking. Slight preference here for the A also.

  16. #16
    Registered User fredfrank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Thanks to everyone - I appreciate the compliments - clams and all!

    Jacob, if you are working with Don, I'm sure you had a hand in working over this Vintage F.

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    acoustically inert F-2 Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Both sound great. I like the A better. Nice clean pickin'.

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    Henry Lawton hank's Avatar
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    Question Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    What's up with the difference in the Email and cafe' post? Ex.
    Cafe'
    Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Thanks to everyone - I appreciate the compliments - clams and all!

    Jacob, if you are working with Don, I'm sure you had a hand in working over this Vintage F.
    __________________

    Email

    Thanks to everyone - I appreciate the compliments - clams and all!

    Jacob, if you are working with Don, I'm sure you had a hand in working over this Vintage F.

    Here's a clip from a couple of years ago before the mando was re-voiced. Boy, youtube sure mess up the sound on stuff - my DVD of this sounds much clearer.

  19. #19
    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Have not listened to the clips above yet but will...

    I had one of Don's early A's circa 1998; I had many a guitar but was new to the mandolin but it sounded better then fine to me. Back then Harry and Jean West had one of the only mandolin centric stores around besides Mando Bros. Anyway I brought it to the the local music store for an opinion (the owner had a Monteleone) anyway they were sort of wishy whashy about it so like an idiot I sent it back....I bought a Flatiron A5 instead...let's call it the Red Diamond that got away.....

    The Red Diamond A had a bit of a birth mark in the wood behind the bridge......Always wondered what it would have sounded like had I been thomping away on it for the last 12 or so years...Flatiron long gone; so is a Collings MT2H

    Anybody here have that mando and if so how's it doing?

  20. #20
    Henry Lawton hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    I guess it's an edit without an explanation.

  21. #21
    Registered User fredfrank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Hank, I thought I'd put up a youtube video of our band with me playing the Vintage F before the re-voicing, but the sound quality was so bad, I thought I'd take it down. It really didn't help this discussion much since you couldn't really hear the tone of the mandolin that well.

    Don't know about any e-mails.

  22. #22
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    I've owned three Red Diamonds.....crazy huh?? My biggest mistake was selling the first one. It was a hoss of a mandolin. I tried replacing that tone with two others but it just didn't work for me. One of them was a Crusher voiced A5 and that thing was a nice mandolin. Perfect note separation and crystalline trebles. Don makes a fine mandolin and is great to work with!!

    Nice playing Fred and I'll jump on the bandwagon and give the slight edge to your A5 based on those clips. That is certainly a pair to draw to!!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Nuther vote for the A Fred, although both are very fine.

    Nice sounding notes that's not got that harsh, edgy tone that I hear a little too often from some recent builds. I suspect that your hands has something to do with the wonderful tone.

    Good work.
    Bill

  24. #24
    Henry Lawton hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Thanks Fred, I guess this is what happens when we enter a post that members are receiving as email. I did the same thing with the dirty laundry thread, told it like it was and then did an edit out to remove some fuel from the fire.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Red Diamond Vintage A-5 & F-5

    Fredfrank has here has a sound clip of a Red Diamond A Vintage 22.
    Last edited by Rick Schmidlin; Feb-20-2011 at 4:43pm.

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