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Thread: Gail Hester Mandolins

  1. #26
    Cultural Infidel Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    [QUOTE=allenhopkins;808807]
    But finding and reporting this instance of dissatisfaction, and calling it "independent research" that avoids "love fests," seems a bit gratuitous to me. Is this action meant to contradict Glassweb's opinion of Gail H's mandolins, or to say that she's not all she's cracked up to be? I haven't played a Hester mandolin, and I'd hazard a guess you haven't either, since you don't "want to deal with this particular luthier." So, really, what's the point -- other than stirring up the pot?
    QUOTE]

    +1

  2. #27

    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    Will Kimble humbly stated it best in the original thread on this situation. Loosely, he said it was part of any good luthiers learning curve.

    And he's right. In any industry one mistake does not constitute failure. I don't know Gail and know little about her other than what she posts here on the forum and the fact that her instruments are gorgeous. But the fact that she has dealt with an issue like this, in my mind, makes her more accountable and someone I would turn to, knowing that shes a lot less likely to take on something she doesn't feel comfortable with again. No one is perfect and no one becomes an expert without blazing new trails and learning the ropes.
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  3. #28
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by blueron View Post
    You have ME interested in your recommendation, Glassweb, but a quick search for Gail's work only brings me back to a gallery here at the Cafe. I'd love to learn more and see more images; does she have a web page?
    I don't think she has a website... just lots of orders for new instruments!

  4. #29
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    While I've never has the good fortune to see and play one of Gail's mandolins, and though I've never met her in "real life", I've been in contact with her several times over the last few years and I just can't stand by and observe a thread about her being pulled in what I feel to be inappropriate directions without expressing my admiration for her as a person and luthier. I think there's good reason for people to come to her defense, and I think her mandolin work needs no defense other than the reaction of those who play and own her mandos.
    Sure, "love fests" sometimes get started for questionable reasons, and sure, sometimes people with personal vendettas start campaigns for questionable reasons, but the truth will nearly always lie somewhere other than the extremes. People who know mandolins praise Gail's work, and people who know Gail praise her as a person. That says a lot, as far as I'm concerned.

  5. #30
    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    I met Gail and played several of her instruments last year, the same day Alan Bibey tried a few, with results available on Youtube. They were really fine instruments.

  6. #31
    Site owner Scott Tichenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    I personally stand by Gail's tremendous skills.

    The site in question is sorely missing a lot of important factual information. Unless that information is absent, that site doesn't have a leg to stand on. Boy, something sure looks familiar to me.

    Carry on.


  7. #32
    Henry Lawton hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    From what I'm reading here, this negativity isn't aimed at Gail at all but at us the Cafe' Forum members. Piper is venting he had a bad experience with a luthier from our forum that we like and trust. Now it doesn't matter who we praise, it is another reminder to him that we are to blame for his purchase of his "permanently damaged instrument". Piper is venting and finding fault with the same group he is trying to warn. Sounds pretty human to me. Piper even though you have good intentions I think you might be barking up the wrong tree. I wouldn't give up on the luthier who built your mandolin. It's to his and your advantage to have you feel like you have been treated fairly. Work with him, meet him half way. If he is held in high esteem here at the Cafe' there is a reason. We are all human here and make mistakes but being human we can also work them out. Contact your Luthier again. If you both try you can work it out.

  8. #33
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    I have less and less patience for anonymous posters who want to dwell on negative information! I have a firm belief that if no one knows who you are or where you're from you'll be much quicker to criticize situations you know nothing about. YMMV

    I have not yet played a Hester mandolin but I look forward to the day I have the pleasure!

  9. #34
    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    This thread reminded me that I'll only be a couple hour drive from her next week when I'm in Victoria and I'm thinking I should go down to look at some mandos, always a good thing to do.
    Mike
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    Canada.

  10. #35

    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    The A-style mandolins of Gail's played by Alan Bibey on the YouTube clips are creations of considerable beauty.

    Yet another addition to the list of things I'll pick up the day after I win the lottery. Maybe if I actually bought a ticket once in a while....

  11. #36
    Registered User Chris Biorkman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    Exactly.
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  12. #37
    Registered User Sandy Beckler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    I called and spoke with her day before yesterday and she was very gracious in answering a number of questions...I would consider her a friend.

    Sandy

  13. #38
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by hank View Post
    From what I'm reading here, this negativity isn't aimed at Gail at all but at us the Cafe' Forum members. Piper is venting he had a bad experience with a luthier from our forum that we like and trust.
    OK, but that experience is no basis for him to make insinuations about Gail. Piper has no experience with Gail at all; he's only taking swipes at her based on what someone else said. I've heard the other side of the story directly from Gail and Chuck, which is something I don't think Piper has done. The beef was over a customization job—not a repair job, not a restoration, and not an original build. I think it's important to make that distinction, even if Piper doesn't. Gail hesitated to take on that job in the first place and assured me she will never take a similar job again.

    Gail doesn't have a Web site because she doesn't need one. She has built up a customer list based solely on the quality of her work. No marketing at all, other than the instruments themselves, the way they sound, and word of mouth. Time permitting, she'll do repairs on vintage Gibsons if the work interests her. Both my Gibson snakeheads have been through Gail's shop (well, one's still there) and all of her repair/restoration that I've seen has been absolutely top notch. I've played something like a half dozen Hesters and they're all killer instruments that any player would be proud to own.

    If Gail ever builds a mandolin that doesn't already have someone's name on it, she has a standing offer from a certain prominent dealer to take it on consignment for a very healthy sum. I don't know of anyone who's actually tried one of her instruments and not been impressed. She has my complete confidence and unconditional support, for whatever that might be worth.
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  14. #39
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    Well, i know about a certain Mr.William Smith Monroe being less than pleased with the work done by the BEST KNOWN Mandolin Co.out there. I've seen a YouTube clip re.Gails work, & personally i really didn't understand why the guy didn't just go to see Gail in person, to get any problem(s) sorted out.
    I've only seen photos.of her instruments & read the comments about them on here. Gail is a great builder for certain, she's also a very generous hearted person with her help as a 'Cafe member & amateur builder friend of mine would testify. I wouldn't hesitate a second if i wanted one of her Mandolins,
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  15. #40
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    For what it´s worth... read up the mandolin restoration challenge about Gail Hester´s work (including pics) here: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...tion-Challenge, a referrence Hester A-5 mando and Lloyd Loar pic here: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...the-Day/page27, and as referrence a thread about the mando the Hester A-5 was modeled after here: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...it-with-the-A5.

    There are some further referrences on the café that are enjoyable to read. I didn´t have one of her mandos, have none on order, don´t plan on buying one etc. But I do enjoy threads about her mandos.

    I asked about a video/soundclip of the A-5, didn´t I. Anyone could post one? Mr. Brown, I´m sure you´ve got a Zoom Q3 by now, ain´t ya´?
    Olaf

  16. #41

    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    <removed by site owner. inappropriate.>
    Last edited by Scott Tichenor; Jun-10-2010 at 7:26am.

  17. #42
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    How did I knw that was coming?

  18. #43
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    Gail is an excellent person, builds top notch mandolins and is a first class repair peson. 'Nuff said.
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  19. #44
    Registered User jim_n_virginia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    Piper I do not know Gail personally but I have watched her progress from doing a few finish repairs to building mandolins from scratch. I have read many happy posts from players who have commissioned her work. She is a well respected and long time member of this forum. I would not hesitate to bring her a mandolin to fix or build one from scratch.

    Also I looked at that website and the pictures. Personally I feel like Gail should have never taken on a luthiery task so difficult. I am pretty sure she knows this now. Channeling the back of a refinished mandolin and install binding without chipping the back finish all up? What kind of request is that? You want a back bounded Gibson then sell your dang F-G5 and buy a Fern! SHEESH!

    She should have told this guy this right in the beginning! But to call him an idiot or a hole as some on here have done I don't think that is right either. As a contractor in the past I've had people ask me to build crazy outrageous things and I just say "NO CAN DO!" I didn't build it and then if it doesn't come out right I don't blame the guy and say he never should have asked me to build a wooden Ferris wheel (serious) in his backyard in the first place!

    I should have never agreed to do the job in the first place. This is where experience kicks in. Experience that Gail hopefully has now concerning stuff like this.

    You don't judge a person by one mistake! You gotta look at the whole picture! She has done some beautiful work. I wish that guy would take the website down. She doesn't deserve that.

  20. #45
    Plank Spanker outdoors4me's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by jim_n_virginia View Post
    Piper I do not know Gail personally but I have watched her progress from doing a few finish repairs to building mandolins from scratch. I have read many happy posts from players who have commissioned her work. She is a well respected and long time member of this forum. I would not hesitate to bring her a mandolin to fix or build on from scratch.

    Also I looked at that website and the pictures. Personally I feel like Gail should have never taken on a luthiery task so difficult. I am pretty sure she knows this now. Channeling the back of a refinished mandolin and install binding without chipping the back finish all up? What kind of request is that? You want a back bounded Gibson then sell your dang F-G5 and buy a Fern! SHEESH!

    She should have told this guy this right in the beginning! But to call him an idiot or a hole as some on here have done I don't think that is right too. As a contractor in the past I've had people ask me to build crazy outrageous things and I just say "NO CAN DO!" I didn't build it and then if it doesn't come out right I don't blame the guy and say he never should have asked me to build a wooden Ferris wheel (serious) in his backyard in the first place!

    I should have never agreed to do the job in the first place. This is where experience kicks in. Experience that Gail hopefully has now concerning stuff like this.

    You don't judge a person by one mistake! You gotta look at the whole picture! She has done some beautiful work. I wish that guy would take the website down. She doesn't deserve that.
    Agree with Jim. I thought about this post last night and I just see this as an impossible job that she should have turned down. Starting any business is tough and you have to go with your bread & butter. Do what you do best. I'm sure she'll never deal with anyone like this guy again.

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  21. #46
    Site owner Scott Tichenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gail Hester Mandolins

    Time to move on here. Dredging up old hate sites and arguing with disgruntled anonymous trolls is not going to be the purpose of this forum.

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