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Thread: Bulldog Mandolins

  1. #1
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    Default Bulldog Mandolins

    Tell me about your Bulldog Mandolins.
    What do you like??? what do you not like??
    How do they rate among other small builders?
    BB

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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    I’ll start this off by saying that Barry Kratzer is a friend of mine who I play music with often. I own two of Barry’s mandolins both of which were built to my specifications. One is an F4 hybrid (long neck) and the other is a brand new black 2 point which I picked up the day before Thanksgiving I have also played pretty much everything he has built over the past 3 or 4 years and what you get from Barry is a consistent sound. If you hear one of his mandolins he will build that sound into the next one. I have always been impressed with the wood grains and finish of his instruments as well.

    I own a Gibson Distressed Master Model which is one of the best “ Monroe” sounding mandolins I have heard. I play different styles so want different sounding mandolins. I also own a 2006 Duff varnish, tone bar, F5. Barry’s mandolins approach the sound of the Duff.

    Barry sells everything in his line for under $2,800. If that’s your price range and you want a custom builder he’s a good one

    Dennis Satterlee

  3. #3
    Registered User jim_n_virginia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    In my opinion is one of the best UNdiscovered Luthiers out there.

    I bought a 2-point mando from him a few years ago and I just love that mandolin. Good tone very similar to a Gibson maybe just a tad brighter and superfast slim neck.

    He knows how to build a good mandolin!

  4. #4
    Registered User Mike Scott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    I also have a 2 point that I bought about 2 years ago. I had a set up done on it and since then have really enjoyed the tone and playability. Unlike Jim's (I think his is #31 and mine is #30) mine doesn't seem that "bright"-more mellow than my KM 1000. I think that for the price, they are a really good value. Hope this helps.
    Thanks, Mike

    "Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!"-The Dude

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    Not knowing Barry personally I have seen a few of the BD mandos as well as others he has had a hand in building. Great bang for the $$

  6. #6
    Registered User jim_n_virginia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scott View Post
    I also have a 2 point that I bought about 2 years ago. I had a set up done on it and since then have really enjoyed the tone and playability. Unlike Jim's (I think his is #31 and mine is #30) mine doesn't seem that "bright"-more mellow than my KM 1000. I think that for the price, they are a really good value. Hope this helps.
    Mike I almost bought your mando but went with the more traditional looking head stock. My only other mandolins is a 1916 Gibson oval hole and a 2002 Fern and both of those mandolins are pretty dark even for Gibsons so compared to the Bulldog the BD sounds like a Taylor guitar! LOL!

    But that's OK that's the reason I bought it I wanted something different. I plan on installing a pickup and using it as an electric jazz mando as I have been playing occasionally with a singer songwriter who plays a lot of jazzy tunes. This mando is perfect for that.

    Nice to know where #30 went to!

  7. #7
    Registered User Mike Scott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    Jim, what's even funnier, is that I had originally planned to buy #31, but you had already pulled the trigger on that one, so I went for the one with the wild head stock. Now that I have had it for a while I am glad I got it due to it's uniqueness (is that a word?)
    Thanks, Mike

    "Hey, careful man, there's a beverage here!"-The Dude

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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    I've admired his mandolins for a while now, but have not had the resources or justification for getting a second mandolin. I like his approach to building, and have liked the sound clips i've heard.
    "If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark."
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    Registered User Pete Braccio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    I really like my Bulldog. It has a very even tone and is extremely easy to play. It is the mandolin that I pick up and play the most.

    I got this three and a half years ago in a trade. This is the only mandolin that I've hung on to for that long (and I have no intension of ever selling it). That should say something in itself.

    Pete
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    Registered User kirksdad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    Barry is a frequent poster here too. He offers a lot of insight on building, a lot of advice.....He has some stuff posted on youtube as well.
    One day I'll stop all this crazy buyin', practicin', and playin'........course I'll be dead.......

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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    Don't forget to give Barry's wife Sabine due credit. She does the inlay work on his instruments and gets better with each new instrument. I asked Barry for a picture of a bulldog rather than the script logo on the headstock of my new #45 and I still can't get over how great it looks.
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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    Just saw this thread and thought I'd add my two cents. I have two Mandolins, one of them being Bulldog #21 by Barry. He had it on loan to Travis Chandler for one year, and had just got it back from Travis when I saw it. Barry cut me a nice price on it, and gave me an as new warrenty with it. I have seen and played alot of different Mandolins, (which is only a drop in the bucket as to what is out there for sale), but the only two Mandolins I have played in my life time that rival it were a 1936 Gibson, and Brad VanLoenen's Mandolins from Turkey Creek Mandolin Works. I wouldn't part with #21 for any price. Would like to purchase two more Mando's, one more from Barry, and one from Brad. Good workmanship, good tone, & alot of bark. Forgot one thing, Barry is a peach to talk to, and to deal with also.
    Zane Briggs, Colo.

  14. #13
    Registered User Boge Quinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    I just yesterday acquired #45 (formerly owned by osb1945, see above), and I am VERY pleased with it. I bought it at a good price, mostly because I thought it looked very cool, but was immediately impressed by the workmanship and the tone. I am bonding with it today, and it has just what I look for in a mandolin - a powerful, deep bottom- end tone and a punchy mid- range. Very impressive! I hope to commission another mando from Barry soon.

    Thanks to Seth Rippey for making this mando available at a good price, he's a great guy to deal with.

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  16. #14
    Registered User edandjudy3946's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    I have had a Weber Yellowstone and a Flatiron F along with my 98 Martin HD-28 and my Taylor. That is to say I know quality when I hear it and feel it in under my fingers. I got Bulldog #74 the day after July 4th this year and it certainly falls into this category. I asked for a color to match #65 ( solid - don't care for burst) and a satin finish. That's exactly what I got for a more-than-fair price. I have read the 1000+ comments on tone change after some play-in time but I can say without reserve it certainly sounds more woody than when I got it. It sounded great when I got it - just sounds even better now. That's a GOOD thing for me. I asked Barry about sounding better after time and his comment was "if it don't sound good out of the gate it probably won't get better" It has curly maple sides/back. Engleman top and a Randy Wood bridge and radius. Plays ever so nicely. I don't think it will go anywhere for a while if ever.You just won't go wrong with Barry. Very easy to speak to (which I did) and answers emails really fast. He also installed a twin K&K internal pickup.
    Last edited by edandjudy3946; Dec-30-2013 at 3:54pm.
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    Default Re: Bulldog Mandolins

    I'm actually the owner of the Bulldog #65 mentioned in the post above...and yea, it's a damn fine instrument. Bought it off the classifieds here close to a year ago. It's my first good quality instrument, so I can't really compare it to anything else other than the $200 fender mando I owned before this, but the sound and playability is second to none as far as I'm concerned. At this point, the bottleneck is my talent, definitely not my tools...

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