View Full Version : CE Ward A Model, 1988
I broke down and bought an A model...
As for first impressions, it is a prettty damn good-sounding mandolin. Rough on the outside, but I knew that before I got it.
I have a chance to compare it to an F-style CE Ward here in town, so I will do that to see if the "A-vs-F" argument is still valid...
In the meantime...FRONT
Headstock...sorry 'bout the focus, the camera thought it might get sued http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
How does it sound compared to the Smart A?
Great looking neck on it.
Clermon makes some of the best sounding mandolins you'll hear. Notice that he has used the original A-5 specs in lieu of modern a style practices. The slightly larger f-holes likely give it a nice bright/loud "Bush" type of sound
Darryl..its interesting that you describe the big sound holes as giving a Bush type sound to the mando. Didnt Bush and Doyle both play these A5L copies in the 70's?....and judging by the claw marks on that cat could it have been Bush's?....just speculation of course.
..oops..after going back and reading that this mando is a 1988 model...I know that my question to you could not be possible. Come to think of it...CE Ward may not even be the builder I am thinking of.....man...a mind is a terrible thing to waste... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
This particular mando belonged to a guy, name of McGee, somewhere in the Carolinas...
As for the sound, it is a hoss. Still has that "intangible A quality" to it, but I think that might be the light gauge strings on it.
Pa, as for comparisons to the Smart, well...almost apples and oranges.
This is a well-broke bluegrass warhorse, very woody and very percussive. T'aint much to look at, and what you can't see in the pictures is the finish flake and ubiquitous checking and crazing, not to mention big areas where the top looks gnawed on...but I didn't buy it for looks. I heard it over the phone, played side-by-side with a $5000+ F-model that this thing destroyed.
So...there isn't anything really subtle about this axe.
Loud, poppy, woofy...everything I love in an instrument #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif
..I love 'em when they look like they have been dragged down a gravel road....shiny is pretty...but all the scratches, dents and dings give 'em character...
The A-model that Bush had was a very old A-50, regraduated and with a new neck...I think Randy Wood or Givens did it, but do not recall for sure. #I've know Clermon Ward since about 1967. #He had a shop in Charlotte NC for years..did repair and buiulding..worked out of a large music/piano store. #Tut Taylor, Rual Yarbrough and Clermon were quite close in those days and did a lot work and "horsetrading" among each other. Clermon, Myself, Terry Baucon, sometimes A.L. Wood and or Wes Golding and others played a lot of contests and school house gigs then
You gonna bring this puppy to Wintergrass?
I heard a guy with a band in NC called River Ridge that has a C.E. Ward F-style that sounded really great! Nice mandolins.
Alan Perdue used to (or stil may have) a great C.E. Ward F-model. But what do we NC boys know!!!!!!!!!?
I will be there, Ward in tow.
I finally got the chance to compare and contrast this A with the F-style Ward in town...quite suprising.
The F is louder, but a little on the "bright" side...it is an '89 that sat in the case for quite a few years (damn shame), and that might have something to do with the "acute" sound, as opposed to the "round" tones of the A.
The A sounded more complete to my ear, having a nicely "aged" timbre to it, with a poppy, woofy low end and a not-tinny-but-not-full-semi-bright high end (think Wakefield's "Mexican Stomp", and you will know exactly what this mandolin sounds like).
I played it with the full band just yesterday, and it sounded nice. The stuff we played is pretty polished and subtle, not really trad...this mando does better with 100mph-go-for-broke-and-make-it stuff than it does with the quiet nuances, but it is a joy to play nonetheless.
Oh yeah...still tryin' to get used to the "unbearable lightness of Mando"...the A has so little body mass, I seem to be throwing it around when I play.
Mebbe THAT'S the difference between A & F... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
Joined: Feb. 2003 Posted: Jan. 14 2004, 07:30
The A-model that Bush had was a very old A-50, regraduated and with a new neck...I think Randy Wood or Givens did it, but do not recall for sure. I've know Clermon Ward since about 1967. He had a shop in Charlotte NC for years..did repair and buiulding..worked out of a large music/piano store. Tut Taylor, Rual Yarbrough and Clermon were quite close in those days and did a lot work and "horsetrading" among each other. Clermon, Myself, Terry Baucon, sometimes A.L. Wood and or Wes Golding and others played a lot of contests and school house gigs then
Darryl--Something about this rings a bell. Wasn't Whitey or another of the old Briarhoppers involved in that shop somehow? I seem to recall picking with Clermon and some others in a piano store out on Independence and I have the distinct recollection that one or two of them were members of the old Briarhoppers.
I've seen and picked a few of Clermon's mandos and banjos. They all were powerful and, at the time, way out of range of my pocketbook! I don't know if he still builds mandolins. I haven't seen or heard of one in several years.
He had a couple of "in the white" F-5 mandolins at Denton a couple of years ago. Dewey F. has played a late model Ward since he sold his '26.
I know a ba*jo picker who does business with Mr. C.E. He told me he that he went to Concord N.C. to pick up his noisemaker recently and Mr. C.E. was working on a new mando. He's still in the biz.
I was at the Doyle in Denton also AlaN. I didn't see Mr. C.E. but I did see and pick one of his older efforts, a very dark brown F5 that was a cannon.
When I played with Alan Perdue he had a Clawson. When he was with Mountain Heart he played a Randy Wood. He must have had the Ward in between those.
I have a CE Ward A that he made for me in 2003. Excellent fit and finish. The tone is full and volume great. Varnish finish is perfect. Wonderful person to deal with.
EZ picker..I think you are correct. That store was home base for the briarhoppers (I believe)