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RicPalmer
May-10-2013, 2:50pm
Anyone know anything good or bad about a J Bovier F5T Tradition mandolin? A new one is about $875,is there something out ther better with a radiused fretboard?

mandobassman
May-14-2013, 8:56pm
No one else has answered here, so I'll jump in. I have heard four J Bovier mandolins, including my own A5. One was a used F5 Tradition, two were brand new F5 Specials, and then my own. All of them are outstanding mandolins. The best of the bunch was the F5 Tradition, not because it is a better model, it just happens to have the strongest voice of the ones I've heard. I have heard and played many fantastic mandolins and the J Boviers are very good, indeed. I have never heard anything under $1000 that sounds as good or plays as good as the Boviers that I have played. I have only had my A5 for five months now but it is already opening up to a warm, but strong tone. It sounds better and better each day I play it. Haven't heard a bad one yet.

sachmo63
May-14-2013, 11:24pm
I will be getting a Special tomorrow. Im looking forward to it and will post review after it arrives.

DataNick
May-15-2013, 1:38am
Anyone know anything good or bad about a J Bovier F5T Tradition mandolin? A new one is about $875,is there something out ther better with a radiused fretboard?

Ric,

Sorry I missed your post before...I have an F5 Studio which according to Jeff Cowherd is the same guts/construction as the Tradition model, just the binding, finishing, metal work is different...and it rocks! (woody tone, full, punchy chop, etc)

I used to think my Eastman MD515 was the best sub $1000 mando; now I'm sure it's JBovier.

BTW, check out Kyle at The mando Shop
http://www.themandoshop.com/pages-jbovier/J-F5-Special-71201-1439.html


He sells the JBovier Special for $1099, sans case...let us know how it turns out...

shortymack
May-15-2013, 2:53pm
I wonder how they have avoided any legal problems with the name. http://www.jbovier.com/main/

mandobassman
May-15-2013, 6:55pm
I wonder how they have avoided any legal problems with the name. http://www.jbovier.com/main/

I don't think the J. Bovier in Paris is worried about any confusion with their products from the mandolin crowd.

DataNick
May-15-2013, 7:13pm
I don't think the J. Bovier in Paris is worried about any confusion with their products from the mandolin crowd.

Aw come on man!...don't they appreciate the "Mando scene!" ...LOL

gringosid
May-15-2013, 7:46pm
I'm about to pull the trigger on a F special. Should I do it? I'm starting to come to terms with buying a Chinese mando but its not easy. My budget is what it is. Nervous for sure. Kyle seems like a good guy and hopefully the JBouvier will be fabulous!

DataNick
May-15-2013, 8:04pm
I'm about to pull the trigger on a F special. Should I do it? I'm starting to come to terms with buying a Chinese mando but its not easy. My budget is what it is. Nervous for sure. Kyle seems like a good guy and hopefully the JBouvier will be fabulous!

Kyle will give you the straight scoop...re: my F5 Studio he told me that after he set it up he played it, which is what he does with all of them; and he said "I kept playing it and playing it which is a good sign"...that was an understatement! Mine rocks! (and that's not just my opinion:every mando guy in these parts from players to the guy at Buffalo Bros. says it's a keeper!) Can't mention names but another individual who sells a lot of mandos grudgingly admitted that the JBovier had more of a "woody" tonal quality vs the Eastman (MD 315/515)

If Kyle says the mando is good, you can trust him...more important than that though is the F5 Special has better tone woods than the F5 Studio/Tradition...don't see how you could go wrong...and the asian thing...they build meticulously to Jeff Cowherd's specs, and they seem to have the quality control methodolgy down; focusing on "voicing" and construction quality in every mando as Jeff told me.

I think you'll be happy...

gringosid
May-15-2013, 9:10pm
Done! I can't wait to get my new J Bouvier F 5 Special. Now....patience...not good at it.

sachmo63
May-16-2013, 12:01am
Just got mine and its beautiful. This is my first Chinese mandolin but I've bought many American mandolins and honestly it's really hard to beat this mandolin. Quality parts and woods great setup, I mean really all that for 1100 bucks? With a great case!
There are mandolins I've spent 3x that price and don't compare.

DataNick
May-16-2013, 1:15am
Just got mine and its beautiful. This is my first Chinese mandolin but I've bought many American mandolins and honestly it's really hard to beat this mandolin. Quality parts and woods great setup, I mean really all that for 1100 bucks? With a great case!
There are mandolins I've spent 3x that price and don't compare.

Shhhsssh!

Everyone will start wanting one and the prices will go up; at least no more praises till I get that A5 for $899...LOL!

almeriastrings
May-16-2013, 1:22am
I think the days of "Made in China" = low end rubbish are long gone. You have to remember, people also had that attitude with "Made in Japan" at one point. Now that is seen as a badge of quality. Times change.

From what I have seen recently, some of the Chinese made instruments (violins, as well as mandolins) are really getting right up there quality-wise. Certainly, I have a Northfield myself, and it is a truly first-class mandolin. Easily holds its own (and more) with some pretty serious 'names'. Unfortunately, not seen any 'J Bovier' examples over here, but it sounds like they are doing a great job right now and delivering quality instruments at great prices. Leaving the low end stuff to one side, because that will never amount to much no matter where it's made, there is no reason at all why you can't build a fine instrument just about anywhere if you can find the skill base and are prepared to work at it.

DataNick
May-16-2013, 2:06am
Done! I can't wait to get my new J Bouvier F 5 Special. Now....patience...not good at it.

Kyle @ The Mando Shop ships routinely by UPS Ground...that takes 5 business days (Florida to California), unless you're willing to pony up more than the $20 rate for ground and go 3 day shipping. Otherwise, it will be a week of constantly checking the website for shipping updates, been there done that...LOL

sachmo63
May-16-2013, 9:26am
Just got my Special and HOLY COW......I can't believe this was only $1100.........the traditional model is even less expensive.....

Just played it an hour or so and......

Set up perfectly
Frets are perfect (non sticking out or unlevel)
Color is great (i'm partial to sunbursts) but still really great.
High quality tuners
Sound is (unbelievably woody) for being brand new. Strings pop when you hit them. It is pretty Loud too. I'm sure these things will change when i start bangin' on it but for a brand new instrument its fantastic. Equal to many US builders costing many times more.(I can't believe i said that but honestly its true).

IF You wanted focus on the not so great here it is.

Some of the bindings are a little sketchy around the scroll but really you have to look HARD and by sketchy I mean they're just not absolutely perfect, I'll try to post pictures but if your that picky, you better buy a weber and spend $5K however I doubt it'll sound as good.

Thats all of my criticism that I can find, there may be something else but I haven't found it.

I also just played it side by side with a 2009 KM1000 and the J. is easier to play(probably due to bigger frets) and louder. The KM is a little "darker" but its been played for 4 years. I can't wait to play the bovier for a couple hours and see what happens.

$1100.......wow

BTW, Mandoshop, Kyle, kyle@themandoshop.com, Jeff@JBovier.net - no financial interest whatsoever

Florida to East TN shipped monday, arrived wednesday.

S

DataNick
May-16-2013, 11:33am
OK everyone,

Please don't believe a word of anything sachmo63 says; he's deleusional, please ignore JBovier mandolins...they're made in china, how good could they possibly be!

(Hope that puts enough doubt out there to hold off everyone till I can get ANOTHER ONE!) LOL!!!

Seriously sachmo63,

I concur wholehardedly; it's amazing isn't it?

BTW, I had the same observations re: binding around the scroll on mine; so it's not perfect...the thing (F5 Studio) is a little monster!...and the tonewoods are even better on the Special model...

Enjoy sachmo63...I know I will...but the rest of you; please ignore our rantings as we have no idea what we're talking about...forget JBovier even exists....think Collings, Weber, Gibson...aaah! those asian mandos can't be that good can they...naaah!

sachmo63
May-16-2013, 5:12pm
Yea, um on 2nd thought I should've spent Another 4 thousand dollars on a Weber. :grin:

mandobassman
May-16-2013, 6:50pm
Not that it really matters much, but the J Bovier's are made in Korea, not China.

dfalkiewicz
May-16-2013, 7:53pm
Can we hear one of these gems on youtube?

shortymack
May-16-2013, 9:23pm
Not that it really matters much, but the J Bovier's are made in Korea, not China.

You sure about that? http://mandoweb.com/Instruments/J+Bovier-F-5+Special/3024

And +1 on the soundbites.

pefjr
May-16-2013, 9:40pm
Check the classifieds, someone had a special on those mandos a couple days ago.

Nick Gellie
May-16-2013, 11:23pm
So Sachmo63, I take it you are being facetious and that the J Bovier will meet your needs into the near future. Do you feel the same way after playing it for a bit longer - the rush of the new has gone away a bit.

mandobassman
May-16-2013, 11:47pm
Check the classifieds, someone had a special on those mandos a couple days ago.

That ad for the F5Z mandolins is by Jeff Cowherd himself. He had a batch that were prototypes when he was looking for a new builder to make the mandolins to his specs. He wasn't satisfied with the cosmetics and is selling them very cheap. The ones coming from the builder he chose since then are terrific.

mandobassman
May-16-2013, 11:52pm
You sure about that? http://mandoweb.com/Instruments/J+Bovier-F-5+Special/3024

And +1 on the soundbites.

I stand corrected on the place of manufacture. They have been made in Korea until this year. I knew Jeff had switched to another builder, but I didn't know they were coming from China now. The previous ones had a sticker on the back of the headstock that said "Made In Korea". Mine was a first-batch prototype for the new builder and it doesn't have that sticker and it also doesn't say it on the label anywhere.

sachmo63
May-17-2013, 8:34am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KNmwASiIY8&feature=youtu.be


Recorded this last night during a thunderstorm and only got a signal to load it this morning......Anyway this has about 3 hours playing time. This was made in China.

Cheers.

sachmo63
May-17-2013, 9:17am
So Sachmo63, I take it you are being facetious and that the J Bovier will meet your needs into the near future. Do you feel the same way after playing it for a bit longer - the rush of the new has gone away a bit.

Yes this mandolin is as good as anything out there, I'm not even going to say For the money. It's just that nice. I mentioned earlier that I've owned many instruments looking for the One but what I've realized is that I don't need an expensive mandolin, I've given up trying to impress anyone and I don't sound any better with less money in my pocket.

Money aside I really like this instrument and forgot to mention the finish is pretty thin on this puppy. Once I get playing it more im certain it'll open up nicely.

DataNick
May-17-2013, 9:39am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KNmwASiIY8&feature=youtu.be


Recorded this last night during a thunderstorm and only got a signal to load it this morning......Anyway this has about 3 hours playing time. This was made in China.

Cheers.

Very nice playin' on a great-sounding JBovier...like your chops Bro!...very nice!

BTW: I'm sold....I want an F5 Special or the A5, which is the Special in the A model. Financially it makes more sense for me to get the A5, but that F model is just so sweet looking...aah!...decisions, decisions...

mandobassman
May-17-2013, 8:03pm
Very nice playin' on a great-sounding JBovier...like your chops Bro!...very nice!

BTW: I'm sold....I want an F5 Special or the A5, which is the Special in the A model. Financially it makes more sense for me to get the A5, but that F model is just so sweet looking...aah!...decisions, decisions...

Just think about whether you want to spend almost twice as much for the Special just because it's a F. My A is wonderful sounding. My friend who is a dealer got me a sweet deal on it too!!! I am very grateful for that.

mandobassman
May-17-2013, 8:05pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KNmwASiIY8&feature=youtu.be


Recorded this last night during a thunderstorm and only got a signal to load it this morning......Anyway this has about 3 hours playing time. This was made in China.

Cheers.

Another fine sounding Bovier. They are putting out some really great mandolins this year.

BTW, fine playing as well.

DataNick
May-17-2013, 8:11pm
Just think about whether you want to spend almost twice as much for the Special just because it's a F. My A is wonderful sounding. My friend who is a dealer got me a sweet deal on it too!!! I am very grateful for that.

I know dude!...I'm leanin' heavily, like 80/20 towards the A5...

DataNick
May-17-2013, 8:13pm
Another fine sounding Bovier. They are putting out some really great mandolins this year.

BTW, fine playing as well.

Ditto,


That playing was nicely done!

Again, kudos to Jeff Cowherd...dude is killin' and takin' no prisoners with his business model!

vegas
May-17-2013, 9:49pm
I think the days of "Made in China" = low end rubbish are long gone. You have to remember, people also had that attitude with "Made in Japan" at one point. Now that is seen as a badge of quality. Times change.

From what I have seen recently, some of the Chinese made instruments (violins, as well as mandolins) are really getting right up there quality-wise. Certainly, I have a Northfield myself, and it is a truly first-class mandolin. Easily holds its own (and more) with some pretty serious 'names'. Unfortunately, not seen any 'J Bovier' examples over here, but it sounds like they are doing a great job right now and delivering quality instruments at great prices. Leaving the low end stuff to one side, because that will never amount to much no matter where it's made, there is no reason at all why you can't build a fine instrument just about anywhere if you can find the skill base and are prepared to work at it.


I, for one, am flat out of patience with people who think ALL Chinese made musical instruments are junk. My eBay watch list was full so I put a low bid on a JBovier in order to keep track of it and to my dismay, I won the auction. To my great surprise, it sounded good and played the same way when it arrived.

I asked a question about a brand of Chinese made resonator mandolins and how they compared to Nationals. I was not only attacked for even asking the question, one of the attackers directed me to an eBay listing for an American made resonator suggesting I buy it, "before I'd ever consider a ___________ Chinese made resonator mandolin." One of the "American made" resonators he pointed me to had a SAGA resonator cone and said so in the listing. :))

I was discussing how the early twentieth century A style Gibsons were made to fill a specific market share with an old timer the other day. They were made to provide an affordable mandolin to the average person and being designed to fill that market, I'm sure they had their detractors back then. Today, they are highly prized and appropriately priced. They are testaments to the pride of American craftsmanship of that period. I also wonder how many Gibson mandolin workers of that period learned their skills in foreign lands and came here for jobs.

A lot of Chinese instruments are well worth their prices and I'm betting many people would find their sound pleasant if they couldn't see what was being played. American builders simply can't afford to produce high quality instruments in the same price range as most Chinese imports, or at least that's what they keep saying. Sure there are a lot of cheap ones I wouldn't use to paddle a canoe or swat an alligator, but labeling them all bad only because they originated in China is simply ignorant. Like it or not, globalization is here to stay. I look forward to having one built by an American builder one day, but I don't get to play enough really good ones to decide how to spend the money it would take and I'm betting there are more people in my position than not.

sachmo63
May-17-2013, 10:47pm
Thanks for the kind words folks, I must admit I was in the "asian market sucks camp" but I had a VERY expensive mandolin and started playing others to find out mine just wasn't worth 10x the price of everyone elses mandolin. Then as SPGMA I sat down at the kentucky booth, played every one of them and I was sold.

So now I have a Kentucky km1000 and the Jbovier Special, which btw I sold an Old Gibson A to get. (Nothing wrong with the A but just wasn't me) and I couldn't be happier.

I understand The Loar's are great too, I second Vegas' words. You just can't beat the quality of these mandolins.

Nick Gellie
May-17-2013, 11:30pm
I have listened to a lot of sound clips of Kentucky mandolins - KM 900 and KM 1000s. Having now listed to Sachmo63 play his J Bovier, I would have to say that the J Bovier F5 Special has a slightly richer mid range and is clearer in tone than the KM900s and KM1000s I have heard. They come with a flat fret board although now you can get them in a radiused fret board (e.g. KM 950 and KM1050) and was toying with the idea of getting the KM-950. But now having listened very carefully again, I would go for the J Bovier A5 Special which has exactly the same specifications of a F-5 Special.

Thanks Sachmo63 you have filled a void in sound clips for J Bovier mandolins, especially Jeff's more recent incarnations.

almeriastrings
May-17-2013, 11:48pm
Recorded this last night during a thunderstorm and only got a signal to load it this morning......Anyway this has about 3 hours playing time. This was made in China.



Nice picking - and I genuinely believe that if you recorded that in a studio, with a really good mic, it would be virtually impossible to distinguish that from other mandolins in the $5-10K price range. For a brand new mando, it sounds amazing.

RobP
May-18-2013, 12:18am
Wow! That thing sounds great! and what is that cool tune?

Rob





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KNmwASiIY8&feature=youtu.be


Recorded this last night during a thunderstorm and only got a signal to load it this morning......Anyway this has about 3 hours playing time. This was made in China.

Cheers.

almeriastrings
May-18-2013, 12:41am
The cool tune is Monroe's 'Old Dangerfield' (or as sometimes titled, 'Old Daingerfield'). From Monroe's 'Master of Bluegrass album.

sachmo63
May-18-2013, 7:56am
You know, i have that km1000, maybe i should do a side by side comparison of the two........thoughts?

Nick Gellie
May-18-2013, 7:57am
Hi Sachmo,

That is a great idea. I would love to hear you playing both mandolins. Go right ahead.

Cheers

Nic

avaldes
May-18-2013, 8:39am
Hi (first post), I have been playing mandolin since September last year, guitar a long time before that. I have been playing a Loar 520, but am about to take the leap and get an F5 Special. Hope I can do it justice. I am getting it on reputation (and there are no complaints about my Loar)

DataNick
May-18-2013, 11:56am
Hi (first post), I have been playing mandolin since September last year, guitar a long time before that. I have been playing a Loar 520, but am about to take the leap and get an F5 Special. Hope I can do it justice. I am getting it on reputation (and there are no complaints about my Loar)

Trust me, you can't go wrong with the current crop (2012-forward) of JBovier mandolins...happy pickin'

sachmo63
May-18-2013, 5:33pm
Here is a comparison between a 2009 Kentucky KM1000 with Sam Bush Strings and a brand new J. Bovier Special with (i'm assuming) J74's


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxqaMMP9fVw&feature=youtu.be

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the two.

S

Mike Bunting
May-18-2013, 5:43pm
To my ear the first mandolin had a much more developed tone if I'm expressing it correctly and the second one seemed thin toned by comparison. It is difficult to describe tone with words but that's the best I could do.

shortymack
May-18-2013, 7:09pm
Ahhhh, well that puts it in perspective. The KM has a much more balanced tone. The JB seemed really loud and thin on the higher registers and lacked volume and any warmth or depth in the lowers. Not sure how much age has to do with it but to me the KM is clearly a better sounding mando at this point.

pefjr
May-18-2013, 7:19pm
Same, no difference.

Nick Gellie
May-18-2013, 7:39pm
I have played the sound clip several times. The differences between the two instruments are minor. I would have to say the playing is suberb Sachmo. I would agree with pefjr that they are pretty much the same.

The question is do they feel any different to play. Does the radiused fingerboard make any difference for instance?

Charley wild
May-18-2013, 8:45pm
They sound very similar to me also. I like the mids and highs on the Bovier a bit better and the lows on the Kentucky a bit better. But I'll take either, no problem.:)

Nick Gellie
May-18-2013, 9:10pm
I did an experiment at home last night where I got out my old MD-909 Walkman and attached a stereomicrophone to it and recorded my SilverAngel and Bovier F5 in my cellar. I played two tunes once through on each instrument. I then listened with Stereo headphones afterwards. I could not differentiate between the two except perhaps on the higher registers. The Silverangel also had slightly deeper basses and the trebles did not resonate for long as the J Bovier.

My interpretation of this is that most people would not recognise the subtle differences in tone that a mandolin produces. Context also plays an important part - when in an outside environment there are no echoes so a mandolin does not sound as resonant as say in a cellar or a room. It really then comes down to playability and feel. The J Bovier seems to my way of thinking just a tad easier to play - due to the nicely shaped neck and slight differences in setup. Sometimes in some situations the highs on the SilverAngel do not project well, depending on the acoustics of the room. The J Bovier seems to cut through a bit better in those situations. I have done lots of A-B comparisons. If I can load some sound clips onto the web, it may help to clarify what I have been saying.

mandobassman
May-18-2013, 9:11pm
Surprisingly little difference between the two. The Kentucky seems a tad bit more dry and the Bovier a little more lively. I also wonder what difference the strings make. I have always found the Monels to be less bright, especially if they have been on for a few weeks, whereas the J74's, IMO are more metallic sounding, especially if they have been on for only a week. It would be interesting to hear the same comparison with both mandolins having the same strings on for the same amount of time.

Thanks so much for taking the time to do the videos. They are both very nice sounding mandolins.

sachmo63
May-18-2013, 10:53pm
Hey everyone thanks for the compliments i was happy to be able to help. As for the two, the ky has a thinner neck which im used to but the larger frets on the special make it easy to play. Remember, the ky is 4yrs old and does vibrate nicely when played so someone paid a lot of attention to this one. As for the special its already showing signs of life and i think it will crush the ky when it comes alive.

DataNick
May-18-2013, 11:14pm
Hey everyone thanks for the compliments i was happy to be able to help. As for the two, the ky has a thinner neck which im used to but the larger frets on the special make it easy to play. Remember, the ky is 4yrs old and does vibrate nicely when played so someone paid a lot of attention to this one. As for the special its already showing signs of life and i think it will crush the ky when it comes alive.

Is there a way to post mp3 files in the thread?

I've got 2 cuts from our rehearsal today with my band "High Mountain Road"...just a cheapy digital recorder in the middle of us as we picked...please excuse my sloppy playing (that's why I practice so much!), but you can get a good idea because of the mix what the JBovier F5 Special sounds like...

If you know how to do this please post how to...couldn't find it in the FAQ...

almeriastrings
May-18-2013, 11:30pm
I think they both sound very good, but there are differences. Some of that is likely down to strings and materials: red spruce on the KM vs. European on the Bovier, then of course, new out of the box vs. 4 years played in. The KM sounds drier. The Bovier somewhat warmer. It is pretty subtle. KM1000's are very good mandolins, and evidently, so is the Bovier.

DataNick
May-19-2013, 4:34am
Is there a way to post mp3 files in the thread?

I've got 2 cuts from our rehearsal today with my band "High Mountain Road"...just a cheapy digital recorder in the middle of us as we picked...please excuse my sloppy playing (that's why I practice so much!), but you can get a good idea because of the mix what the JBovier F5 Studio sounds like...

If you know how to do this please post how to...couldn't find it in the FAQ...

I figured it out...here goes, please post your thoughts about how the JBovier F5 Studio sounds:
http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?55700-Thread-for-Social-Group-MP3-posting&p=1166334#post1166334

avaldes
May-25-2013, 12:59pm
I took up mandolin last September, playing a new Loar 520. No complaints about it (well, the fretboard extension, see below), but maybe a bout of MAS, thought I might want to step up instrument-wise.

So I was intrigued by the Zebrawood specials that Jeff had directly from him, but also checked with Kyle at the mando shop to see if he had a 2103 F5T. I was a little reluctant about the Zebrawoods, but they seemed like a great buy. Kyle had no 2013 F5s, but he made me a sweet deal on a 2012 F5 Special, which is actually the next model up. Anxious checking UPS as noted above, but happily it arrived before the long weekend. Kyle set it up and it sounds great, noticeably richer than the 520 in higher positions. I also like that it does not have the fretboard extension like the 520, which always caused annoying pick-clicking. In fact, I can vary my tone by playing closer to or further from the bridge, and the Bovier allows much more flexibility in that area.

Clips when I can manage to play something interesting cleanly.

Bob Bledsoe
Jun-08-2013, 3:37pm
After reading this thread and some others, I've placed an order for an F5-T with Jeff Cowherd. He gave me a great deal on one he had there with a very minor blem...
When I ordered it, I was on vacation in Idaho so I asked for it to be sent there.
The day after ordering I get news that I have to be in Los Angeles in 3 days - and then Biloxi, MS for two months.
I asked him to change the shipping to Los Angeles, but then we determined that it's better to wait until I'm in Mississippi in case there was a shipping delay on the way to CA.
So I'll be in MS on Monday and was hoping the mandolin would show up at my hotel on Monday as well... But Jeff was in the path of hurricane Andrea last week. He's fine, but was understandably delayed in shipping last week. So my Mandolin will be shipped on Monday. I'm telling myself that waiting this long builds character.
Anyway, Jeff is great to work with and I'm excited to get one of his instruments in my hands. I'll do a review/video after I've settled with it a bit.
Thanks to everyone here who has given information and opinions about these!

DataNick
Jun-10-2013, 12:11am
OK, JBovier strikes again!

At Bluegrass Day at The San Diego County Fair yesterday (6/8/2013); not only did I win "Best Mandolin Player" of the 7 band scramble bands on my JBovier (no big deal there), but a really good local pro checked mine out while we jammed backstage. He could not put it down; was stunned re: the pricing, tone, construction quality, playability, on & on. I literally had to pry it out of his hands after about 30 minutes, and this guy is very reserved and low key. He was simply blown away by my JBovier F5 Studio and now wants to get a JBovier ASAP...I'll be putting him in touch with Jeff Cowherd shortly... Oh! and one of my band mates who was there as well now says he wants one too!

These mandos rock!

sachmo63
Jun-16-2013, 10:11pm
Last night I had an outside gig with the band and brought my bovier special and the km1000. I started the show with the km because its tone is just really great and traditional sounding but I really couldn't hear myself at all. I blamed the sound system. After the break I switched mandolins and boy what a difference. The bovine was hugely louder and while it still doesn't have the played in tone the ky has it does get heard and absolutely can cut through the band/banjo mess. As for sound, "to me" it sounds more like a grisman tone rather than anything else. So far I can live with that!

cayuga red
Jun-22-2013, 8:45am
Last night I had an outside gig with the band and brought my bovier special and the km1000. I started the show with the km because its tone is just really great and traditional sounding but I really couldn't hear myself at all. I blamed the sound system. After the break I switched mandolins and boy what a difference. The bovine was hugely louder and while it still doesn't have the played in tone the ky has it does get heard and absolutely can cut through the band/banjo mess. As for sound, "to me" it sounds more like a grisman tone rather than anything else. So far I can live with that!

Satch- I enjoyed your playing. In your hands, the Bovier is a winner!

DataNick
Jun-22-2013, 11:02am
... As for sound, "to me" it sounds more like a grisman tone rather than anything else. So far I can live with that!

I think you've nailed the descriptor for my F5 Studio as well...are we saying that a JBovier for $1K or less is equivalent to Mr. Grisman's Loar or Montelone...of course not, that would be insanely ludicrous! But what sachmo and I (if I read him right) are saying is that the JBovier tonal qualities tend to kind of take on that type of character. Think of it this way: if a Red Diamond can nail it at a price of $11-12K, why can't a JBovier begin to approximate it for substantially less?

Thanks sachmo63 for the insight!

sachmo63
Jun-22-2013, 1:54pm
Nick, your right on. By NO Means do I or would I ever compare the bovier with grismans axe, however if I would to put the sound of the mandolin in the category, that would be it. Same with the KM1000, it has a very traditional loar-ish sound to my ears. Its really impressive that these mandolins that sound so good can be had for well under 2K in this day and age.

I emailed the bovier guys asking of the 2013's were any different than my 2012 and he said they're all voiced similar and the all the tops are very tight grained European spruce which may take time to fully open up. I'm wondering if a toneright will help with the opening process. Does anyone have experience with these.

Thanks for the kind words Cayuga, truly appreciated.

DataNick
Jun-22-2013, 2:52pm
...I emailed the bovier guys asking of the 2013's were any different than my 2012 and he said they're all voiced similar and the all the tops are very tight grained European spruce which may take time to fully open up...

That's scary if my 2012 F5 Studio is European (I thought my model was Sitka Spruce), cause it's already a beast after just 9 weeks...Holy Toledo Batman! after it opens up!...Yikes!

grantini
Jul-05-2013, 8:13pm
I just picked up my first mandolin, a J Bouvier F5 Studio (2012). I got it from the best music store in the world, West Chester Music, in West Chester, PA. I don't know anything about mandolin, I'm a guitar player and have always wanted to learn. So, with the fact that I know NOTHING about mandolins, I have to say it is pretty, sounds great, and plays nicely.... I'm learning the chords and hope to have most down by the end of next week, kind of tackling a couple a day. Bottom line, I think it is a very nice instrument for the price. Now I need to figure out how to put a pick up on it.

DataNick
Jul-12-2013, 8:03pm
I just picked up my first mandolin, a J Bouvier F5 Studio (2012). I got it from the best music store in the world, West Chester Music, in West Chester, PA. I don't know anything about mandolin, I'm a guitar player and have always wanted to learn. So, with the fact that I know NOTHING about mandolins, I have to say it is pretty, sounds great, and plays nicely.... I'm learning the chords and hope to have most down by the end of next week, kind of tackling a couple a day. Bottom line, I think it is a very nice instrument for the price. Now I need to figure out how to put a pick up on it.

A good quality luthier/repair guy or music store should be able to help; unless you want to do it yourself.

Enjoy the F5 Studio, I certainly enjoy mine!

Ed Goist
Aug-09-2013, 8:31am
From the JBovier Stringed Instrument's Facebook page:
"Jon Conley, of Kenny Chesney's band, before concert on Good Morning America this morning (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=586366274735217)"
Sorry, don't know exactly what model he's playing.

cjspiteri
Aug-21-2013, 4:46am
Very nice playin' on a great-sounding JBovier...like your chops Bro!...very nice!

BTW: I'm sold....I want an F5 Special or the A5, which is the Special in the A model. Financially it makes more sense for me to get the A5, but that F model is just so sweet looking...aah!...decisions, decisions...

I agree with both statements. Very nice chops and A's are a great way to go to save a few bucks.

I am playing an Oscar Schmidet Om10 (think that is what it says, whoever wrote the label inside has bad handwriting) - my case cost more than the mandolin. I want to get a new mandolin mainly due to the horrible action I have been having to deal with (and the tone - mahogany sides and back, could be laminated on top of that). How is the action on the J Bovier Mandolins?


I am currently trying to by a J Bovier mandolin, no response back from emails. I enquired about an Antiqued satin finish A and cannot find the A Blacktop saved anywhere.

Nick Gellie
Aug-21-2013, 5:08am
Have you contacted Jeff direct? His email address is jeff@jbovier.net. Jeff would be more than happy to help you.

He will setup the action for your instrument as low as you want it. He does an excellent job setting up his mandolins.

gwh17
Aug-21-2013, 11:20pm
I was looking to upgrade from my starter "A" to an "F" a couple of months ago, and after talking to Lee Roy at a festival about JBovier mandos, I contacted Jeff directly. He was very helpful and answered all my questions. I was about to "pull the trigger" on a distressed F5 when a small shop F5 came up for sale locally at a reasonable (but much higher than the JBovier) price. I decided to go the small-shop route, and don't regret the decision. But, if I were looking for something in the JBovier price range I wouldn't hesitate. Good reviews here and Jeff struck me as a stand-up guy.

DataNick
Aug-30-2013, 2:52pm
I agree with both statements. Very nice chops and A's are a great way to go to save a few bucks.

I am playing an Oscar Schmidet Om10 (think that is what it says, whoever wrote the label inside has bad handwriting) - my case cost more than the mandolin. I want to get a new mandolin mainly due to the horrible action I have been having to deal with (and the tone - mahogany sides and back, could be laminated on top of that). How is the action on the J Bovier Mandolins?

I am currently trying to by a J Bovier mandolin, no response back from emails. I enquired about an Antiqued satin finish A and cannot find the A Blacktop saved anywhere.

Sorry for the late response: The action will really depend on the set-up; and mine was done by Kyle at The Mando Shop.

Outstanding set-up!

Hope that helps!..They're a great way to get a great sounding mando in your hands affordably!

rwij
Mar-25-2014, 1:14am
I purchased a F-5Z (zebra wood) summer 2013.
It is a prototype.
Cost about $1250 w/ excellent case.
I am extremely satisfied.
Cosmetically it could be better, up close there are minor flaws.
At a distance it's is gorgeous, the zebra wood is beautiful.
It is easy and fun to play.
And it's sound is awesome, amazing, ...
Can't wait for it to open up.
It replaced my Eastman 515 which served well, but doesn't come close to the J. Bovier.
The feature that caught my eye was the radiused fingerboard.
Don't think you will find better in the price range.
Jeff Cowherd is doing something right.
If you are considering purchasing one of his mandolins, STOP considering and BUY IT!
You won't be sorry.

Check his specials at
http://www.mandolins.ecrater.com

---
Eastman 515 (going sell)
Phoenix special

Capt. E
Mar-25-2014, 10:28am
Sounds to me like the switch in manufacturers was a good decision. In the past, Kentucky has consistently been rated better here on the forum, not that there have not been some good reviews.