Writing from Cincinnati....................First of all here are 6 loars in the Cincinnati /Dayton area
Being a life long resident of the area and being a player for almost 30 years, I will say why would you expect to find any good acoustic stores in Cincinnati? There is one Collings Dealer on the east side, and yes we do have Will Kimble who is a great guy and builder. But other than that we have Guitar Center and Sam Ash and a few mom and pop stores and thats it.At times I have even struggled finding mandolin strings let alone a high end mandolin. If you are a Rocker and like Marshall Stacks, Les Pauls and distortion Pedals you will be in Heaven here, but if you are looking for an assortment of Acoustic Stores that cater to high end intruments then you are looking in the wrong direction. Some of the stores are Martin dealers but have no idea what makes Martin different than the cookie cutter Taylor or Takamine guitars. I would venture to say that the F5G that was played was at Guitar Center as its the only Mandolin in town. I have played it and it was just OK, Needs strings for sure....But let me tell you the one they got right after the flood rebuild was phenominal to say the least. It was probably the best F5G that I have played and I am not particularly fond of them for the sake of those big necks.
Ellis A5 Deluxe #231
2012 Gibson F5G
Martin HD28V (custom prototype)
A big part of quality instrument-making is how instruments mature.
I'm a piano player too. In the piano business, it's generally acknowledged that fine German pianos such as Steinways, Schimmels and Bosendorfers sound their least impressive in the showroom, when they're brand new, then get progressively better sounding as they're played. By contrast, most Asia-built pianos sound their best in the showroom, for which they're optimized, then sound progressively brighter, tinnier and shallower.
Having played many new and non-new mandolins over the years, I see (and hear) a parallel. If I had the dough—which is highly imaginary, but bear with me—I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new Gibson even if it didn't immediately knock me off my feet. As long as it had that basically beautiful woody tone, I'd trust its volume and depth to increase naturally, and without compromising its overall sound.
In fact, I'd be so bold as to say that if you bought a new Gibson and it didn't mature into the mando you thought it would, odds are you hadn't played it enough. :?)
I wasn't trying to start a fight about anything at all! I was posting my thoughts and opinions. Like I said earlier I am sorry I jumped to conclusions and for now on I will not post anythig that will start WW3 like this thread has with some! I'm sorry again.
P.s. Earlier in this thread someone wrote they are tired of people bashing Cinci. I never once said anything bad about Cinci. Just the mandolins I played!
Auburn mandolin (Hand carved in W.V.)
Kentucky KM 675
Blue Chip Picks
Generalizing about all mandolins made by a major manufacturer, on the basis of trying two of them, is pretty risky. As we're seeing. Individual instruments differ greatly. My 1954 F-5, while quite serviceable, is really just an "OK" mandolin. My 1906 3-point F-2 is a sweetheart, and my Carlson-signed A/N Custom "pancake" is pretty special. All Gibsons.
Generalizing about Cincinnati, however, is fine. Is it true that the city's motto is, "Hey, ya gotta be from somewhere"?
Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
Natl Triolian Dobro mando
Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
Stradolin Vega banjolin
Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
Flatiron 3K OM
What The ....
I would venture to say that the F5G that was played was at Guitar Center as its the only Mandolin in town. I have played it and it was just OK, .[/QUOTE]
I'll bet it would sound great if you took it out of Cincinnati......
Never, ever play a mandolin of any kind whatsoever in Hyperbole, OH. The sound is always exaggerated beyond reality.
I saw Homer & Jethro once. This mandolin therapy isn't helping me get over it.
'04 Andersen A (for keeps)
Amateur Gibson F copy (for travel)
Santa Rosa student model A (for the neighbor kids)
Mike: Yeah I agree / Big names have big targets in anything we live with. Does seem Gibson is a favorite to kick around. Great mandolin makers work there.
If the 70's Gibson F5 I tried in Denmark street some years ago had been the standard bearer, it would have spelt disaster for their mandolin production;-)
I had the pleasure of meeting and greeting Chris Martin IV in aforementioned Denmark St last week, but that's another story althogether but still slightly mando-related. Great guy!
One of the best, maybe the best, mando I've ever played was a long neck F-12 that had been re-worked by Randy Wood. The owner loaned it to me for a couple of gigs in '72, and then had the gall to want it back.
BTW, love Cincinnati Skyline chili. We get the little seasoning packets shipped out to us. It is good to have friends in Ohio.
I don't presently own a Gibson mandolin, but like many of you, I am surrounded by many folks who play Gibsons. Most of them sound very good and some of them sound great! Some of the best mandolins I've ever played were in fact, Gibsons. I know it's easy to generalize about the big company's products, particularly one as big as Gibson. I think the mandolins that David Harvey and his team are turning out right now are difficult to beat in the $3 - $5k range. Just my opinion.
Gibson F-9 Custom - Monster!
Collings MT2v - Killer!
Distressed Silverangel #257
1948-54 Gibson LG-3
2011 Gibson J-45 True Vintage
2007 Martin D-21 Special
Bailey Mandolin Straps