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Thread: Arrow "Jazzbo" Mandolin

  1. #1
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    What fun! I was give a couple weeks with a fabulous instrument. The intent was to write a review on it, a very dangerous proposition for someone like me, diagnosed with chronic MAS...



    This is one of Paul Lestock's "Arrow" mandolins. It's a 4-stringer from his "Jazzbo" mandolin line. What a treat!

    No financial interest; and if you want to read our review: Jazzbo.

    BTW: This guy liked it, too!
    Ted Eschliman
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    Site owner Scott Tichenor's Avatar
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    I played it Tuesday night before the Jazz in June with John Jorgenson. What a fantastic mandolin, and one I wish I owned. Great work there on that ax.

  3. #3

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    Maybe I am missing it, but I do not see in your review, or on Mr. Lestock's website just what the "longer" scale length is. Please enlighten us.
    BTW it is a beautiful instrument.



    Bill Snyder
    Vintage Tools, etc

  4. #4
    Mary Yanocsko Mandobar's Avatar
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    paul is a great guy and i think you will be seeing a lot more of his mandolins in the future.
    so many mandolins, so little time.

  5. #5
    Registered User jmkatcher's Avatar
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    If it's like his other "G" model the scale is 14.66".

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    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Too cool. Too, too cool. Makes me wanna swing like a pendulum do!

  7. #7
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    It's pretty, but it's missing a few strings.
    Mandolins:
    Mid-mo M11 (#1855)
    Ovation MM68 (#490231)
    New flute CD:
    Wellsprings 2: Joyful!

  8. #8
    Registered User arrowmandolin's Avatar
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    Aw shucks......thanks everyone.
    Hey by the way,the fretscale is 14.866" and they come in 5&8 string versions as well.
    Paul Lestock
    Arrow Guitar & Major 5th Instruments

  9. #9
    kyswede Magnus Geijer's Avatar
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    Very nice!
    How much different would you say the sound is between the 4-string and the 8-string?

    /Magnus

  10. #10

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    A question about strings for this mandolin. Since it is a 4 string instrument and the scale length is about 1 inch longer than the "standard" scale length what strings (gauge) d o you find works best?
    My understanding of why acoustic mandolins are strung in pairs is in part due to a lack of volume from one string, yet reading Ted's review it sounds like volume is not an issue with this instrument. I take it Mr. Lestock's choice of scale length was to tackle this as well as the tone he was looking for.
    Bill Snyder
    Vintage Tools, etc

  11. #11
    Registered User arrowmandolin's Avatar
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    SOME ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS....
    The real diference in the tonality comes from the Yellow cedar top/walnut back and sides, as well as string[nickel or stainless] selection. the 4 and 5 string models have a more focused, warm, dark tone. The 8 string, though still "darker" has more of a crossover,traditional mando tone, you can actually get away playing fiddle tunes on it.
    As to diferent string guages, I carve the single string model tops proportionally thinner to be driven with less string tension. The range that owners are using varies from .009-.033 to .012-.052[five string] I prefer the stainless .011,wound.016,.024,.039.
    Paul Lestock
    Arrow Guitar & Major 5th Instruments

  12. #12
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Curious @ June 17 2005, 16:30)
    My understanding of why acoustic mandolins are strung in pairs is in part due to a lack of volume from one string, yet reading Ted's review it sounds like volume is not an issue with this instrument.
    Most definitely not an issue with this instrument!!!
    I didn't write this in the review, but the back is also EXTREMELY resonant. One can significantly muffle the sound (not that anyone would want to...) simply by moving the mando snug to the player's body. (I'd highly recommend a Tone Gard for someone who "cuddles" their instrument while playing.)
    Three of us who own/owned Hodson Djangolins tried the Jazzbo together, Scott T, John Jorgenson, and myself. It would be no exaggeration to say this had three times the volume.
    Nothing against the Hodson, it's apples and oranges, as those gems have their place, too, their own subtle charm (and about a third the price).
    Paul has made this instrument amazingly loud and full, yet not uncharacteristically piercing.
    As I wrote, it stands on its own as a solo, melodic instrument in any acoustic environment quite competently!
    Ted Eschliman
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  13. #13
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Paul also builds a killer J45 clone (along with a lot of other stuff), for those of you so inclined...

    I've been looking for a J45 to record with for many years now, mentioned it to Paul, and he showed up at Wintergrass this year with a guitar that took me one strum to OK....

    Just a great instrument....

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    Very nice indeed!
    I wonder what case it fits into.
    Wye Knot

  15. #15
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    I could not resist; it had to be mine:



    I had Paul install a custom Kent Armstrong humbucker (and pickguard), and needless-to-say, it did not disappoint. Incredible "jazzbox guitar" tone plugged in, uniquely more of a soprano register.

    Hard to describe in words, but run through a good tube amp, there's tremendous potential for new sonic ground I hope to explore. I'm becoming a huge fan of single course mandolinning.

    What a killer ax, and you'll not find better bang for your buck anywhere!
    Ted Eschliman
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  16. #16
    _________________ grandmainger's Avatar
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    I spent some time with Paul at the symposium. He's a very great guy, excellent fun, and with a really cool perspective on life.

    I played the Jazzbo too.. Yum. Very different play, very nice!

    I picked on one of the mandocellos he had there. I can't stop thinking about it now... It felt and sounded so right!
    Paul makes really nice instruments




  17. #17
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    Very nice! Only problem is that you will here that "nice uke" comment even more often. I would love to try a high end 4 string. The slightly longer scale is the trick? Hmmm...
    "First you master your instrument, then you master the music, then you forget about all that ... and just play"
    Charlie "Bird" Parker

  18. #18
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    So Paul or Ted---is this model named for Al "Jazzbo" Collins? I used to enjoy his radio show(s) many years ago.

    Steve D.

  19. #19
    Cambridge Mandolinist Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (grandmainger @ Aug. 19 2005, 04:04)
    I picked on one of the mandocellos he had there. I can't stop thinking about it now... It felt and sounded so right!
    Paul makes really nice instruments
    Not to steal the thread really, but I just wanted to second Germain's statement regarding Paul's other instruments. I played a guitar shaped octave mandolin and fell in love with its deep, powerful tones.

    Wonderful instruments, every last one.

    Daniel

  20. #20
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    I'm kind of burned out on sunbursts in general, but the overall profile and design of that instrument is positively a "###### Moment" par excellence....

    Ron



    My wife says I don't pay enough attention to what she says....
    (Or something like that...)

  21. #21
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    Way to go Ted! You made the right decision.

    Seriously though, I am loving my G-style mandolin (8-string) Paul built for me and if I had any extra $$ at the moment I would be getting an archtop guitar octave from him. I played a 4-string through an amp that Paul had at his house and you're right, I got ideas left and right experimenting with that tone, even if only for a few minutes. If you come up with anything interesting I'd sure love to hear some clips.

    Enjoy
    Patrick Gunning

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    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    I'm curious if any of you Arrow owners have considered a Tone-Gard.
    I wrote Tony, and surprisingly, he hasn't done one for a Jazzbo yet, and I think it would really make that walnut sing. (Especially for those of us horizontally enhanced, with built-in stomach "mufflers.")
    I can do the tracing and all he's needing to design one, but are there any of you out his way (CA) that can loan him one to measure?
    Ted Eschliman
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  23. #23
    Brentrup Evangelist Larry S Sherman's Avatar
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    Hey Ted,

    Any chance that you'll be bringing the jazzbo to Rigelfest?

    Larry

  24. #24
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Now that I have a Kent Armstrong Humbucker installed on it, here is a casual recording:
    Jazzbo through a Presonus TubePre preamp, no other effects.
    Ted Eschliman
    Writer, Music Industry Consultant


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  25. #25
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    Paul is really building some killer instruments. He was gracious enough to loan me one of his 'cellos to play for the ensemble piece during the symposium (I still owe you a couple beers for that, paul!)
    Others seemed to like it, too.
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