Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Information about OMs.

  1. #1
    Registered User JWChilders's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Southern Cal, via Arkansas and NYC
    Posts
    3

    Post Information about OMs.

    Hi All,

    My first post, though I've been lurking and learning for a good bit of time. I'm looking into investing in an octave mando and thought as a beginning instrument I would try a used one, lower end. I'd love to buy a Weber, but right now that isn't in the cards.

    So, I saw a Johnson deluxe octave MA550 that I thought I might bid on (have to admit I like the two point look as well). However, I don't want to buy something that might be better used as kindling.

    All thoughts and feedback welcomed.

    Joe
    Joe


    Breedlove Quartz FF
    Eastman 815
    Epiphone MM30

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Conneaut Lake, PA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: Information about OMs.

    Johnson's have received very mixed review here. The default beginner octave for most seems to be Trinity College. Chinese made but all solid tone woods sturdy construction and decent sound. I have played one and they aren't bad. If you watch the classifieds they turn up from time to time for 300 dollars or so used.
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

  3. #3
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    16,473

    Default Re: Information about OMs.

    Haven't played a Johnson, so can only contribute hearsay.

    Word is, the Trinity College OM's get the highest grades as entry-to-mid-level instruments. They're shorter scale than the Webers, so if you do end up moving up to a Weber, you'll need to get used to bigger fretting "stretches."

    Johnsons and Fenders generally got lower marks.

    You might want to check out the Cittern, Bouzouki, Octave Mandolin Forum down the page. Lots of discussions of different brands, types, etc.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  4. #4
    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,309

    Default Re: Information about OMs.

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/67152

    Not sure about that crack, though.

  5. #5
    Registered User JWChilders's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Southern Cal, via Arkansas and NYC
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Information about OMs.

    Hi Jeff

    I saw that Weber ad, but like you that crack made me pause. My sense has been that Trinity College seems to be the choice in the Cafe for entry level. Good advice about the longer scale on the Webers.

  6. #6
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    5,035

    Default Re: Information about OMs.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChilders View Post
    I saw that Weber ad, but like you that crack made me pause.
    If the crack is where it shows in the ad photo, it's in the upper treble bout (upper right "shoulder"), not the lower bout, and that's an area where any good repair person could add a cleat and you'd never be worried about it again. Except for resale, maybe, but a cleated crack in that spot won't be a deal-killer for most folks if the price is right on resale. If the crack was down in the main body of the instrument, that would be another story...

    My sense has been that Trinity College seems to be the choice in the Cafe for entry level.
    Maybe, but not if you can get a carved archtop Weber for a good price!

    Good advice about the longer scale on the Webers.
    I beg to differ, on that advice. The stock Weber OM's float around a 22.5" scale, like the one I have (a Yellowstone F). That's a very manageable scale length for playing melody, unless you have very small hands. Anything shorter than 22" scale is usually considered a "short scale OM."

    These descriptions get goofy, because there is no standard for OM's like there is for other mandolin-family instruments. But I think somewhere around 22" is considered the closest thing we have to a standard scale length for OM's.

  7. #7
    Registered User Chip Booth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Hailey, ID
    Posts
    2,111

    Default Re: Information about OMs.

    I recently played a brand new 20" Weber Yellowstone OM.

  8. #8
    Registered User JH Murray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Burnstown Ontario Canada
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Information about OMs.

    I recently purchased a TC Octave. It is a well made instrument with good tone. The consensus is the strings they ship on it are terrible. So if you play one in store you aren't hearing it at its best. I put a set of D'addario J80s on it and it really came alive. For the money it is worth considering.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Conneaut Lake, PA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: Information about OMs.

    Not sure about right now but in the past Weber has made 2 versions of the OM- a short 20 1/2 inch scale and a long 23 1/2 inch scale. They are identical except for the scale length. Of course if you buy one you have to know which one you are getting as the scale length makes a significant difference in playability.
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

  10. #10
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    5,035

    Default Re: Information about OMs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Booth View Post
    I recently played a brand new 20" Weber Yellowstone OM.
    Yep, they make them in shorter scale versions too.

    I recommend trying both 20 and 22 inch scale lengths, if you can, before buying. It's a trade-off between ease of fingering, and sustain that lets you do things you can't do on shorter scale instruments.

  11. #11
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    5,035

    Default Re: Information about OMs.

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    Not sure about right now but in the past Weber has made 2 versions of the OM- a short 20 1/2 inch scale and a long 23 1/2 inch scale. They are identical except for the scale length. Of course if you buy one you have to know which one you are getting as the scale length makes a significant difference in playability.
    The current Weber web site says they build in 22" or 20" scale length. I'm not sure they ever made them as long as 23.5"?

    Anyway, my Weber Yellowstone F measures at a true 22.5" scale, but that was probably one of the early production runs on these things.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Conneaut Lake, PA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: Information about OMs.

    Sorry I think I meant to say 22.5. And if memory serves both short and long are 1/2 inch longer than the web site says .
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •