View Full Version : Stanley in Classified
Did you all see that classy- Stanley in the classified. Wish I could see / hear one in person!
Played one recently, really great mandolin . It belongs to a friend, it has opened up big time since he has had it.
Great workmanship, playability, woody
I have played 3 Stanley mandos and I guess I just don't get it. They are a nice mando but I don't get all the hype. The fit and finish need work. The binding on each peghead is very different as if all the pegheads are all different sizes. I found them hard to play and not very loud at all. There are several mandos available for around $6500 that I think are much better but that is just my opinion.
I don't agree. I have a Master Model and a Gilchrist Model 5, both superb instruments, to compare my buddy's #11 (?) Stanley to. I'll just say that it hangs with those much higher priced mandolins in tone and this one is very loud. You don't notice as much while playing it but it thumps you pretty good if you are across the room in a loud jam. The fit and finish are not as clean and perfect as the Gilchrist. Great mandolin that one is. Never played or seen any others.
J. Mark Lane
It would be nice if, somehow, when people were commenting on instruments, you could see what their experience level and points of reference are. Like what goose does here, pointing out what he has to compare.
I have played quite a few good mandolins. I was on a serious and seemingly endless "hunt" for a real keeper F5, and frankly enjoying the search. I have no real interest in the search any more, since I got the Stanley. The best comparison I can think of is a Gibson Distressed Master Model that I played a couple of months ago....The Stanely actually sounds better than that mandolin did (albeit, the Gibson was new and kept in a cold display case and needed to be played).
Fit and finish problems. Nonsense! They are individually hand-crafted instruments, and of course, they will not look "CNC perfect," so if that's what you want, buy a Collings. But as hand-crafter mandolins go, these are very well put together, and the fit and finish are exquisite (certainly better than the...uh, DMM <G>). For tone, volume and playability there is nothing in the price range to compare.
I saw that one in the Classifieds. Of course, we know the seller (Cafe regular). If I was in the market, I'd grab it fast. It would likely be the best F5 you'd ever acquire for anywhere near that kind of money...and maybe at any price.
.....hummm mlb, I cant buy this one, and especially not 3 and have the same opinion of all three.
I have heard nothing but good things about a Stanley mando. Sure you might have one every-now and then that is not up to par -but almost every builder has that issue. I would not really expect the fit / finish to be the same as a Gilchrist, dude, or similar level mando -all be it I would expect quality craftsmanship, fit, and finish. I would love to have a Stanley in my hads to compare it against something like an Ellis, or Duff.... etc.
However, each to their own.
...maybe other Stanley owners or those that have had the opportunity can chime in here.
Well, I'm kind of curious of The Stanley now. This one showed up in the classifieds and one is currently listed on the popular auction site. They both seem to have a good price. I have heard both positive and negative reviews of fit and finish.
J. Mark Lane
...#Sure you might have one every-now and then that is not up to par -but #almost every builder has that issue.
I'm fairly confident that Chris would not let an instrument leave his shop if it wasn't up to his standards. I'm basing that statement on specific conversations I've had with him.
I have seen several for sale recently. I think Chris experienced an increase in demand, and I think he placed a few instruments in good hands -- like Charles Johnson, who has had several.
Anyone in the NY area is welcome to come play mine.
JML et al.,
I did not write as clearly as it was in my head....
After many conversations and emails with Chris, I do not think he would EVER let an instrument go that was sub-par. I should have been more clear and was referring to what you said, "They are individually hand-crafted instruments, and of course, they will not look "CNC perfect,""
I agree, if you want this type of CNC "perfect" buy a Collings. My $$$ is on Chris.
I just wish I could hear, hold, and play one of Chris's mando's!
I have to agree with MLB in not getting the hype. I have played 4 Stanleys and think they are a good mando but nothing I'd trade any of mine for.
I found them uncomfortable to play compared my mandos but that may have to do with the neck size,shape, etc. Fit and finish I agree need work if you are going to use the phase great workmanship.
This is just my opinion so take it for that.
As for point of reference I have played or owned just about every brand of mando known to man.
Maybe I have missed what MLB & G. Fisher are referring to as "hype" ...please fill me in on the "hype".
To me is it when a lot of people talk about how wonderful something, it is the best ever, you should get in line for one, #etc.
Remember this is just my opinion. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
I understand & we all have different opinions -hey it's one of the things that make the world go-round --so to speak. However, what you said can be equally said for almost any new mandolin maker that comes along --at least from what I have seen on this message board, then the hoop-la dies down.
...just my .02 worth.
I thought that this was a good balanced review of these mandolins:
I see on Ebay that #12 is for sale as well or at least it was up yesterday. #Buy now price of $5700 and starting bid of $5200. #I believe it was also there a couple of weeks ago asking a buy now of $6000.
I wish I was in NY to take Mr. Lane up on his offer. #I would like to experience the Stanely in person. #Alas I am stuck in Kansas. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
I'd also like to try a Stanley, a Collings, a Rose, a Wiens, a Smart, a Brentrup, etc., all of the wares from builders I likely would never have heard of had it not been for the web (and this site!)
Less than perfect small details on the Stanley included a few binding edge seams, finishing around the neck button, final fret dressing, bridge and nut slotting, and overall set-up. - from the review referenced above.
Sorry, but for $6500, I do expect more. And, there are several others at this price range that deliver tone and the details. IMHO, ymmv. In particular, I wouldn't expect to have to have someone else replace the frets, as the reviewer evidently did.
The best advice is don't fall for hype. Photos can be deceiving as well as reviews. Play one, and form your own opinion, regardless of whether you have expert credentials. We all have eyes and ears.
And, when you find one you love, keep it. No one else has to love it, right?
I do have to agree with Paula (FWIW) on this point. Fit/Finish at 6500.00 smack-a-roos must be there. I wonder if the frets and any other work done was for personal reasons. I surly would not expect it to be needed to play/review the mandolin --especially a new one.
I am also left wondering how much has changed from the early mandolins to the most recent in terms of the referenced fit/finish (binding edge seams, finishing around the neck button, final fret dressing, bridge and nut slotting, and overall set-up.)
I took possision of a Stanley mandolin about a year ago. I just can't recall what the number was - it was either 4 or 7 with a beautiful quilted back and great tone. I got it for a great price and returned it during the 48 hour trial period. During the last year, I've seen MANY posts on the Stanley mandolin and in some quiet sort of way can relate. In retrospect, had I kept the one that I bought, I'd be able to sell it right now and make a nice profit. That said, here's why I returned it - I just wasn't enough of a player for it. I "A"-"B"'d it against my Flatiron and "eyes closed" didn't need whatever difference it offerred. When I get better - well then - maybe.
On the matter of the fit and finish, I also made some observations on the binding and a few other hand-made irregularities. These items didn't matter to me. The nut sloting, string spacing and flat fretboard were so off (from what I was used to) that I figured (for me) it would have to go to a luthier for some rework. I guess this was part of my thinking - for a bench-made mandolin, maybe I just wasn't into immediate shippment for rework.
I have a feeling that during those brief few hours, the Stanley may have been the "best" mandolin that I've owned. That said, I have no regrets. At least for now, if I don't have enough time to practice, I sure don't have time for regrets - ha.
J. Mark Lane
The best advice is don't fall for hype. #
And the best advice that I can think of is don't take advice on a particular make of instrument from someone who has no experience with them.
In my experience, there really are very few hand-crafted instruments that wouldn't benefit from some careful setup improvement, especially after having been played in for a while. I'm about ready to have some fret work done, and a new nut cut, for my Stanley. I don't consider that a problem at all. It's part of owning a musical instrument, at least if you have any appreciation for precision... and if you have a particular setup that you like. I'm happy to do it. I suppose if I had paid $25k for it, I *might* feel a little differently....but then again, probably not. It would still be the reality that basically any instrument made to the tight tolerances of F5 mandolins would require.
Everyone is different. But for me, the issue -- the primary, driving issue -- with any mandolin is *how does it sound*? I really don't care about minor imperfections in the binding and stuff like that (and as noted above, don't mind fine tuning setup issues). That said, again, I don't find any significant imperfections in my Stanley.
To each his or her own....I repeat my invitation...happy to hand mine to any and all visitors to inspect and play.
I personally believe that the key issue when evaluating a mandolin is "the sound." That to me is the key issue. #I believe that the review referred to above notes that there were fit and finish issues, but that the over-all tenor of the review is reflected in this comment, "What do I mean by 'the sound?' I'm referring to the tone of a vintage Gibson F-5 from the Lloyd Loar period between 1922 and 1924. Now I'm not saying that this particular mandolin sounds exactly like a vintage Gibson F-5, but it does get closer than most new mandolins I've played, including many made by Gibson." #I think that the reviewer was impressed by the sound. #Now, whether this all hype, I am unsure and perhaps not everyone is looking for a vintage Gibson sound.
I wrote the Vintage Guitar review. liked Stanley #7 enough to buy it, at no discount.
I kept it for almost six months and I'd still own it except I had to come up with the cash, a lot of cash, for my 1931 Gibson F-5 Fern. The current owner is very happy with it, as they should be.
Chris has a great ear and builds mandolins that represent a great option for players who want a vintage Gibson tone but don't want to spring for a Fern or Loar, or a Master Model, or want a mando to play at gigs while leaving their vintage mando at home.
As for hype, the nature of a board is that message strings come and go, and sometimes owner's enthusiasm can seem a bit, umm, overenthusiastic.
Very good replies on this one....................................
I am glad to hear and understand better about another custom builder. You know I have seen Duffs, and other high end builders that have some fit finish issues, allbeit small.
I would love to see any pics of the fit/finish you all are talking about if possible.
From what I've read here it seems that a great deal of it boils down to personal preference--particularly when phrases such as "hard to play" come in. Personally I don't like Rigel mandolins, the neck feels like a baseball bat and they're hard to play. Does that mean it's a bad mandolin? For me, Yes, but for a large percentage of mandolin players no. Also, my Rattlesnake seems very quiet to the person playing it, but to anyone standing in front of it it's blasting out (at a band practice the other day our lead singer said she could feel my chop chords in her soda can) so volume can per a matter of whether you're listening to yourself play or someone across from you. So yes, one should try out the luthier's work before committing to buying and see if it fit's one's personal preferences.
Hype: Promotional publicity of an extravagant or contrived kind.
Possibly not the best choice of words to use when referring to an owner's enthusiasism about their new mandolin. If that is the case we've heard "hype" about Gibsons, Brentrups, Nuggets, Gilchrists, Roses, BRWs. . . . . I don't believe it was meant to imply that people were making up great things about their mandolins, but that's the downside of communicating via threads rather sitting down over a beer, it's much easier to misinterpret. We've heard fit and finish complaints about much more expensive mandolins, and we've heard rave reviews about the same mandolins, so any complaint or complement would get the same grain of salt.
Xcellent points you make....... in comparison I just noticed a Gibson MM in the classified at what looks to be a really good price -first impression and all. To some they may be able to comment the same thing, but others may love it. If my playing ability was to that level (or close) and being a CD signed I would buy the mando after I played it and approved it.
As the permanent owner of Steve Stone's old #7, I should validate how good I think my Stanley is. It has great tone and lots of volume (seems to have more each day). I have played lots of "great" mandolins, and this one is right there with all of them. I personally own a MM and an MF5 and some others which are each great mandolins.The Stanley compares very well with each one in terms of tone,value, and fit and finish. You know a new Stanley is about $6K while a new MM is about $18K. Is the MM 3 times better? How can you possibly decide about that? Anyone who wants to try them side-by-side is welcome to come over and judge for themself how good the Stanley is. I live in Chester County in PA.
Thanks for the info..... is it possible for you to take some detail pics (or anyone else) or the peghead, scrool, etc -especially the binding.
Does anyone have any .mp3's of there Stanley they would like to post in the Stanley fit/finish/sound shoot-out
If its up to snuff with Collings it is first class in fit/finish.
...guess no one has any pics of the claimed fit / finish. ...just curious on my mandolin learning adventures.
This is the third thread started by xbangerman about Stanley mandos. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif
....and your point is?
Do you have any useful information to contribute to the thread?
Perhaps if my question(s) would have been answered there would not have been a 2nd or 3rd thread.
In reality is Mandolini Cafe not the place to come and ask questions about mandolins, their builders, their fit/finish, and have overall general mandolin discussion.
If it's not the place then I need to hear it from Scott -then I will not post anything else here and move on.
You are right: #If there is a problem, Scott or one of the moderators will let you know.
I think there are people, myself included, who begin to question the motives of people when we see recurring themes in their posts. #There have been people who have used the Cafe to build up hype on instruments for later sale, etc. #And, of course, there are the trolls. #
I think because your're relatively new to the Cafe, it just taps into the suspicions that some of us have based upon past events. #Don't take it wrong. #This is the place to learn a lot of what you need to know about mandolins, so don't let any of this hinder your questioning.
First of all a big thank you sir! You are one of those I have come to respect at Mandolin Cafe.
It's funny the logic of thinking, guess after all it's the "human aspect" I may not have been posting here very long, but I have been lurking for long time before I started to post. Have been through sooooo much of this site that I probably know know it better than most folks here.
I will not let anyone person hinder anything I really want to do or learn for that matter. I may not learn it hear but I can promise anyone I will learn it (or die trying) --guess it's the old stubborn headness that my wife claims I have (whereever she got that from I don't know) http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Hey, thanks again Jim!
There's hype, and there's pushing back too hard in return. Question is, does either side realize it when they're doing it? I wouldn't assume the answer is always yes.
Do you have any useful information to contribute to the thread?
I think its very useful in terms of the part of this thread that deals with how much of the recent Stanley discussion is hype, how much is just enthusiastic users and how much is objective information. #
But on the other hand, even if Stanley is just this month's BRW, that doesn't mean his mandolins aren't good, it just explains that volume of discussion.
I think you said it well..... I still stand by the fact(s) that have been posted.
1) Stanleys sound great as others have posted.
2) Chris has "the tone" as others have posted / written a review
3) Fit / finish some say yes it could be better some say no it's ok ...I still am looking for some pics -either way just like with other mando builders I have been learning about (Duff, Ellis, BRW, Driftwood/Poe, etc, etc).
someday I hope to try out a Stanley mandolin. For now, I am very happy with the used Gibson I bought from him... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Thanks for the info..... #is it possible for you to take some detail pics (or anyone else) or the peghead, scrool, etc -especially the binding. #
I have several pictures of my Stanley #11 and Goose's MM and new Gil. At the moment I don't have anyway of hosting these pics. If you would like them, or if someone would be willing to host them, PM me.
FWIW, and I don't want to add to the "hype." I've played lots of great mandos in this price range, but this is the one that delivered what I wanted in terms of sound. That beautiful flamey would didn't hinder my decision either http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif
Thanks a million! I have PM'ed you. Thanks for not adding the hype.
My guess is with replies like yours it will not be long before Scott has to lock the thread --really hope not.
If you have a Stanley you want to give me then I will have one. Until then it will just be on the wish list like a lot of other things -like most of us.
BTW, next time you might try a more courteous approach and simply ask me if I have one and if so I like it -so forth and so on. Just a bit of common curiosity advice 'dats all http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif
Perhaps you can spice up the post if its boring with some really good information or just move on to another topic.
J. Mark Lane
Well, I wasn't going to wade back in here...but for a limited purpose:
First, xbanger, you are way off base in how you are "interpreting" Moose, imo. A nicer guy you won't find around here. You are, I believe, misreading what he is saying. Take it easy and be careful who you kick.
Which brings me to my second point...which is kind of a continuation of what my friend Jim "The Ignorant Slut" Richter was saying. <g> It is always wise, when you are relatively new to a discussion group, to move slowly and gently for a while...sometimes a long while. You need to get to know the players, the pace of discussions, the tone, and the assumptions that predominate. Otherwise you risk misunderstanding, and you risk offending.
Finally, it probably *doesn't* really help a builder to keep repeatedly posting about them, if it rises to the level of annoying others. (Especially if the posts raise no new information, and especially if you really don't have any experience with the instruments in question.) People will tend to see it is "hype," even if it's not (which is why I didn't initially respond to this thread...since it seemed a mere repeat of prior threads....I only stepped in when someone made a comment that I didn't think jibed with my experience...and I shouldn't have even done that).
Your enthusiasm is great, and enthusiasm is always contagious...and as you know, I share it. I would just say, take it easy, especially when coming down on others here. There's a lot of great people here. I've learned from painful experience that it is easy to offend, and I've offended people I wish I hadn't (hello <g>).
OK, I got that off my chest....Back to your regularly scheduled hype
FWIW, M.H.'s Stanley sold on Ebay yesterday for $5,200. That's looking like a pretty good buy.
fwiw: If you want pictures of a Stanley, Charles Johnson has them on his website:Mandolin World Headquarters (http://www.vintagemandolin.com/05stanley_16.html) along with his glowing review (note: two grains of salt to be taken prior to reading review--he is, after all, a dealer) #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
Thanks, J. Mark. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
I would rather not stand on the curb and let folks kick me (FWIW) and I certainly do not agree with your stance. We have exchanged some good emails over the time I have been on MC, we are in agreement about most stuff --but on this one we just have to simple agree to disagree and hope that is does not hurt the nice MC relationship we have formed. Perhaps you can enlighten me as to how I should have taken the comments. I am a fair minded person and if I am wrong have no problem saying so.
I am not here asking about Stanley (these builders do not need my help) trying to help any builder as you said, just myself with the dozens and dozens of builders out there that I want to learn as much as I can about. Maybe Scott should limit everyone to one question about a specific topic -this way its fair across the board.
This is not about all the great people here, I agree there are some nice folks here and some jerks -just like life in general, shoot I am sure sometime I can be one. It seems more and more to me that there are more "clicks" here than I would have ever thought. Maybe the thread should be locked -I will move on and never have the question(s) answered that I thought would happen. After all it appears that the thread has done like others and veered off course into the abyss.
Greg H: Thanks, but I was looking for a bit more detail.
them ain't cliques...thems valances http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
Okie Dokey folks. Everybody time out...
The topic can be taken up on a different thread, and it's worth it; I've personally tried one of Chris' Mandolins, and they are the "real deal." No hype and no financial interest. (I don't even particularly care to own an F5.)
Since we're increasingly footing on the slippery slope of the politics of personality, rather than instrument (the original topic), we'll clear this thread, ask everyone to move on to another. Feel free, but let's leave the intangible second-guessing of "intent" or "motive" to private speculation, and not print.