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Thread: How many Mandolins to own

  1. #1

    Default How many Mandolins to own

    Hey ya'll! Ok, here's a quick question. How many Mandolins do you think a pro mando player should/ or how many they own?

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  2. #2

    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    A pro should have as many as they possibly can collect; like Grisman's legendary collection. A regular mandolin player like me has an F-4 for the oval hole sound, an F-12 for the f hole sound, an H-5 for the mandola sound and a 5 string solid body for the electric sounds. I also have a "beater" Kentucky A model with f holes. I love mandolins but can't imagine really needing more variety of sounds than that.

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

  3. #3
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    I have more than I need but fewer than I want. At least they all have different voices.

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    Registered User wreded's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    i periodically get this question from my significant other. The only response i can give is that; "When they start sounding the same, i'll stop." i've got my original Kentucky KM-180s that i'm saving for my grandson, an A-style Flatiron, a Flatiron F-5, an Eastman 514, and an Eastman mandocello. i'm far from a pro, but have got a "herd-lette" going on here. As long as they all have different sounds i'll keep looking.

  5. #5
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    Not sure. I'm not a pro and I have three. Just read that Jackson Browne had/has 14 guitars kept in different tunings. Mostly I would think finances and space allotment would dictate how many you could have. (Or spouses wishes )

  6. #6

    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    I have only had one at a time Prucha F, Weber Bitteroot Cedar,Collings MF5 and now the keeper of the flame a Red Diamond A is on it way.

  7. #7
    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    I have no idea about the recommended arsenal for a pro player, but my current philosophy/goal for myself is to own three, broken down as follows:

    * Bright, Choppy (plosive), Loud, able to cut through at a jam (Bluegrass type songs, fiddle tunes, etc.).
    * Dark, Woody, Sustained, focused on the lower register (Blues, rock, and blues-oriented Old-Time).
    * Something right in the middle (Good for Jazz, Gypsy, and Celtic).

    Of the three, one will be the "main" mandolin. This mandolin should perform best on the owner's 'favored' or preferred type of music (So, for me, the main mandolin will fit into the second description). It will also be the most valuable ($) of the three, and should have the most versatility tone-wise, as it will get the most work.

    The least expensive of the three mandolins (though it should still be quite good) will be the 'traveler' or the 'out of the house' mandolin, and it is also the prime candidate for the installation of a pick-up down the road.
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    Keep buy'in them until you get to the one that has "divorce" written on the headstock!

  9. #9

    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    For the serious player, I recommend owning at least one--but as many as you want--with the best number being whatever impels you to play all the time.
    Randal Scott

  10. #10
    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    If you are married you need to stockpile as many as your budget will allow because someday you may wake up and only have half of them. Is there end? Not if you are someone like Neil Young/Steve Stills/Steven Stegal/David Grisman/Jimmy Page/etc. For the average joe pro picker that makes a living at playing mandolin they need more than one but no less than two. I can't think of one pro mandolin picker that has less than two goodin's. Even Big Mon had several back ups!

  11. #11
    Gilchrist (pick) Owner! jasona's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    At least one for sure.
    Jason Anderson

    "...while a great mandolin is a wonderful treat, I would venture to say that there is always more each of us can do with the tools we have available at hand. The biggest limiting factors belong to us not the instruments." Paul Glasse

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  12. #12
    Registered User Dan Margolis's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    I would assume that a true touring pro would want at least two, the every day instrument and a backup.
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    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    Quote Originally Posted by f5loar View Post
    If you are married you need to stockpile as many as your budget will allow because someday you may wake up and only have half of them.
    Damn straight, and not just mandolins either.

    Oh, and Jackson Browne uses 14 different tunings? Hmmmm . . .
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
    --Leslie Daniel, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die."

    Some tunes: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa1...SV2qtug/videos

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    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    Quote Originally Posted by wreded View Post
    i periodically get this question from my significant other. The only response i can give is that; "When they start sounding the same, i'll stop." i've got my original Kentucky KM-180s that i'm saving for my grandson, an A-style Flatiron, a Flatiron F-5, an Eastman 514, and an Eastman mandocello. i'm far from a pro, but have got a "herd-lette" going on here. As long as they all have different sounds i'll keep looking.
    What's the year/model number on that A-style Flatiron? It looks a lot like my '84 A5-1 (which I love).

    f-d

    p.s., to the OP. You need a few more.
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    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    If you think Jackson Browne's 14 guitars is a lot, check out David Lindley's collection of 35 instruments:
    http://www.davidlindley.com/instruments.html
    Living’ in the Mitten

  17. #16

    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    I can't imagine any scenario where I would want a different mando over my Ellis, unless I'm going in some extreme conditions and I have to take a beater.
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  18. #17
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    David has quite the collection.

    Apropos of which (not?), I saw this ad on NYC Craigslist:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - 94% OFF - INCESSANTLY LOW FIGURE!

    Duct Flute
    conch
    Khene Northeast Thailand mouth organ
    Kissar West African lyre
    Babendil Philippine gong
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    Mbira/ Sanza/ Thumb Piano African stringed instrument
    Valiha Indonesian and Madagascan zither
    Diyingehu contrabass gehu
    Piccolo
    Appalachian dulcimer
    cowbell
    Tsuri-daiko Japanese hanging drum
    Tjelempung/ Celempung Javanese zither
    Lirone
    Aeolian harp
    Mandocello large mandolin
    Melodeon
    bongos
    Yun Lo Chinese gong
    Transverse Flute Traditional Flute
    Subcontrabass saxophone
    Oboe d
    Sorna Afghan serunai
    Trompeta china Cuban suona
    ----------------------------------------------
    I suppose a hanging drum is better than a hanging judge.
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
    --Leslie Daniel, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die."

    Some tunes: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa1...SV2qtug/videos

  19. #18

    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ostrander View Post
    If you think Jackson Browne's 14 guitars is a lot, check out David Lindley's collection of 35 instruments:
    http://www.davidlindley.com/instruments.html

    I'm sure that these are just some notable items from a much larger hold--those are some sweethearts. Look at that tele. And hardanger..

    Check out that snakeskin Sanchez custom lap steel--David's design scheme for sure!
    http://www.davidlindley.com/cgi-bin/...html&pi=g7.gif


    I'd like to have a few of those--the charango/ronroco, for example:
    http://www.davidlindley.com/cgi-bin/...tml&pi=g20.gif
    Last edited by catmandu2; Feb-09-2011 at 4:22pm.
    Randal Scott

  20. #19
    Hester Mandolins Gail Hester's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    How many Mandolins to own
    Three or four...no wait five...well maybe six...no wait... At least that's how my husband does it.
    Gail Hester

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  22. #20
    Registered User Chip Booth's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    Calling AllenHopkins...

  23. #21
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    You need at least three mandolins if you are a bluegrasser. Two F-5's (one extra for when the other is in the shop). I think you also need a round hole Gibson for old timey stuff (preferably a snakehead).

  24. #22
    Registered User John Hill's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    I'd like to think 1 really nice mando would set me right....haahahahaaaaa...whew...I kill me.
    There are three kinds of people: those of us that are good at math and those that are not.

  25. #23
    MandoHog MandoHog's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    How many do you NEED?..... Just ONE more.

  26. #24
    Registered User Steve-o's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Booth View Post
    Calling AllenHopkins...

  27. #25
    Celtic Strummer Matt DeBlass's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many Mandolins to own

    I've only got one playable mandolin right now, but think I'd like to have one decent flatback for the Celtic/Folk/Acoustic Rock bands and one bowlback for classical/renaissance stuff. One is obviously the minimum, but it's good to have a backup.

    More than that's just a bonus. A delicious, hand-carved, sweet-sounding, wonderful bonus.
    If I call my guitar my "axe," does that mean my mandolin is my hatchet?

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