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Thread: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

  1. #1

    Default New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    As a happy customer who only recently (at the beginning of this year) received my new Mix carbon fibre A4, I'm delighted to see Peter Mix advertising a new A5 in the classifieds.

    My A4 has turned out to be everything I hoped for. Great ringing tone across all courses, tons of volume and a beautiful radiused fretboard that makes playing it even more of a pleasure.

    One of the reasons I opted for a carbon fibre mandolin is that I live where temperatures routinely hit 40 degrees C, and where humidity is frequently north of 90%. Unlike wooden instruments, the Mix is totally unaffected by weather, and I am surprised that there is not more made of this in the American market, where it can be vital to use humidifiers at home to protect instruments from the dangers of central heating, and when out of home, there is the worry about extreme cold or heat when transporting instruments in cars. The Mix is near bullet-proof and impervious to heat, cold or humidity.

    None of which would be of any value if the mandolin itself was only moderately good, but when added to the fact that it stands up to some of the best wooden instruments in its price range on the market, its appeal gets serious.

    When they were first introduced a few years ago, Peter's creations received great reviews from people who really know what they are talking about. I suspect that sales since then might have been of the 'slow burner' ilk, but speaking as an owner, I would not be surprised in the least if that were to change.

    Are some people put off by the 'unknown quantities' of carbon fibre? I took a chance on it - and I am very very glad I did.

    ron
    Last edited by Ron McMillan; Apr-13-2012 at 11:37pm. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Registurd User pjlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    I had one and really enjoyed it but the neck was just too clubby on the a5 I had. I'd have one again if the necks came down in size a hair. The sound was quite good and really fun to play.
    PJ
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  3. #3

    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    Maybe I'm not sensitive to the size of the neck, because it has never occurred to me that the Mix might be a bit chunky in that department. I just measured the circumference at the second fret, and it is indeed a couple of millimetres bigger than my no-name Japanese '70s F5's neck, but when I switch from one to the other I don't notice that at all. I have small hands and the Mix feels fine.

    rm

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    Registered User trevor's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    I had an A4 in stock until recently. Because I play so many different mandolins on a daily basis I don't usually notice neck width, profile or size but I did notice when I picked it up, once I started playing it was fine.

    As to tone, agreed, up there with some of the best wooden instruments. If I lived in a climate like yours Ron I wouldn't hesitate.
    Trevor
    The Acoustic Music Co (TAMCO) Brighton England
    Over 100 mandolins in stock.
    www.theacousticmusicco.co.uk.

  5. #5

    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    Quote Originally Posted by trevor View Post
    As to tone, agreed, up there with some of the best wooden instruments.

    Considering the calibre of instruments that you routinely have in stock, Trevor, that is a gigantic compliment to the sound quality of the Mix mandolins - and makes me all the more pleased at my choice

    ron

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    Registered User bdeivert's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    I have played on Ron's Mix in sessions in Chiang Mai, Thailand and it is a great little mandolin without the danger of becoming infected with humidity and all the problems associated with it in the tropical climate. He has some YouTube clips of some of it. A friend of mine there some years back had a Gibson J-45 that developed a big bump that swelled up behind the bridge and the lacquer got sticky and ruined from the humidity. Another friend's National had all the metal parts corroding, despite nickel plating! The Mix seems indestructible, the action great and the sound very strong and mellow with a solid bass and not too much treble --- which is what I feared before I tried it. I think it was kind of cute too, but the RED color grabs me! As for the thick neck, well I play a National Rm-1 and vintage 1910's Gibsons and those are chunky so I never noticed! To me it was probably THIN! :-)
    BERT
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    As long as they're treated with respect (as any good instrument should be) the Mix Mandolins should stand up to all but the most extreme temps. But,as per all things CF,they are prone to impact damage.Most people seem to think that because an item is made from CF,it's as tough as h**l - they don't consider that in order to impart really good impact strength into CF,that it needs to be 'mixed' (no pun intended) with Kevlar.That's the material which gives the impact strength to CF.
    From Fibreglass Materials - Exotics - "Besides being weak in impact strength, carbon fiber is weak in sheer strength and must therefore be shielded from abrasion. This quality alone rules it out for......." . Simply type in a web-search for 'Carbon fiber Impact Strength' & read all about it. That's why i said treat any CF item with respect - you only usually get one chance. Personally,i wouldn't hesitate to buy a Mix mandolin if i wished to do so,CF or not. I'd simply treat it the same as i do my other instruments,
    Ivan
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    Registered User trevor's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    Ivan,

    I believe they are mixed (excuse the pun) with Kevlar. Though I am not sue that that was the case from the beginning.

    From Peter's recent add.
    "Another stunning A5 in carbon fiber and kevlar is about to emerge from the finish shop! It's gorgeous, great-sounding and practically bullet-proof!"
    Trevor
    The Acoustic Music Co (TAMCO) Brighton England
    Over 100 mandolins in stock.
    www.theacousticmusicco.co.uk.

  9. #9

    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    they look great and I would consider buying one but they are not inexpensive .

  10. #10
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    Peter said the pattern, the mold was made from, did not take into account
    the way the mold would result in a growth in the piece coming out of the mold
    being bigger than the pattern.
    the F pattern made later, compensated for that ..

    My Mix A5 has still issues with the wooden fingerboard, not staying flat, .
    it has a hump I have to get planed back, flat, and re-fretted.

    will ask the fingerboard be lacquered like Maple neck Teles
    and Rickenbacker Guitar fingerboards ..

    Kevlar takes Dyes, like nylon. so coloring is possible..
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    Long , Strange Trip Jim's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    If I had an xtra 4K I would own this one already.
    Jim Richmond

  12. #12

    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    When my A4 arrived I was confused by an inscription in the tailpiece to 'Tom & Tony'. Peter Mix had to explain to me that his grandfather Tom Mix was the first cowboy movie star, who made more than 500 movies, many of them with his popular co-star Tony the horse.

    Only then did I find out that Tom Mix used to visit friends at their holiday home in Wilmington Mass in the late 1920s. One of those friends was a Boston policeman called James Troy, who was killed in the line of duty in 1930. Eighty-two years later, my Mix A4 was hand delivered on the last leg of its long journey from Vermont to north Thailand by my friend Bert Deivert, the mandolin blues maestro and Café member. Bert is the grandson of James Troy. A great 'small world' story that crosses half the world and three generations.

    ron

    A couple of days after delivering it, Bert gave the Mix a work-out at a local blues bar here in Chiang Mai. This clip was shot on a small stills camera with only mono sound, and the bar's sound system is pretty rudimentary, but I think you get the idea anyway:

    Last edited by Ron McMillan; Apr-16-2012 at 12:19am. Reason: inserted video clip

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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    Quote Originally Posted by blueron View Post
    Peter Mix had to explain to me that his grandfather Tom Mix was the first cowboy movie star, who made more than 500 movies, many of them with his popular co-star Tony the horse.
    I didn't even think to make the connection. Butr Mix is not that common a name. Wow.
    As much as I post, I pick a whole lot more. Just sayin'

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    Hi Trevor - If that's the case & the Mix instruments do contain Kevlar,then apart from hammering nails in with one,they should be tough enough for most situations. If they do contain Kevlar,then Peter Mix has adressed one of the main failings of CF,that of low impact strength,something i've been rabbiting on about for ages in the 'case' of the CF case makers. I did explain to Blueron, that CF will oxidise if he plays it in temps.around 600 deg. F.He says he'll pass on that !,
    Ivan
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    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    So what if it's not bullet proof, the thread is about its ability to stand up to the climate in the tropics.
    Mike
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  16. #16

    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    It sometimes feels like 600 degrees F up here, but I am reliably informed that actual temperatures do stay a bit lower than that.

    And while the Mix's ability to withstand climatic extremes is one thing in its favour, I'd argue that its ability to stand alongside seriously expensive wooden instruments in terms of its tone (see Trevor's comment above) is the brand's real ace in the hole.

    ron

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    Fred Gilmartin Fred G's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    Ron, Like the video, it sounds really good plugged in.

  18. #18

    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred G View Post
    Ron, Like the video, it sounds really good plugged in.
    Thanks, Fred. There are two or three more under the same 'properjob' account, again with Bert playing my A4. Despite the limitations of the compact stills camera, the sound comes through pretty well.

    ron

  19. #19
    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    I'm still I fan of my Mix A5. I own #5 with the fatter neck which does not bother me.
    I've played mine a lot (had it refretted once already...stainless steel). I couldn't see my self ever selling it....voluntarily at least. The finish still looks like it did the first day I got it. So compared to varnish instruments they are "bulletproof". Hauling around a Mix in a Calton is overkill to say the least.

    Funny thing is that mine has developed it's tone over the years.

    It sounds GREAT plugged in and I am always pleased on it's plugged in tone when I hear it back.

    I always thought they are the perfect instrument for that touring guitar player who wants to double on mandolin.

    But besides all of their utilitarian benefits they are fine instruments and they look cool too.

  20. #20
    Registered User danny_ga's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    Totally agree with Perry and Blueron. I'm still very happy with my Mix F5. I've been playing it for over 4 years now onstage and in jams in the hot and humid Southeastern US and haven't had any problems.

    I've had a chance to play quite a few very good wooden mandolins lately (Gilchrist, Hutto and others). Don't get me wrong, those were some great mandolins but I've gotten so used to the tone and feel of the Mix that I wouldn't trade it for any of them.
    __________________________________________________ _
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  21. #21
    Different Text eadg145's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    So, what do these things sound like *unplugged*? I've been interested in these since they came out, but all of the rave reviews were along the lines of "sounds GREAT when it's plugged in!" I play unplugged way more frequently than I do plugged in, so my instruments must sound superb when unplugged. So far, I haven't seen any specifics on the Mix mandolins unplugged. I sure would appreciate your experiences there, particularly on the F5.

    I'm a fan of wider necks, as long as there is a good radius on them, so it sounds like the configuration of the Mix would be good for me (I don't know the actual specs). The bigger issue, of course, is the price tag on an instrument that's really hard to hear live or try out. They're still pretty rare birds.

    Thanks!
    Think globally, bike locally.

  22. #22
    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    Quote Originally Posted by eadg145 View Post
    So, what do these things sound like *unplugged*? I've been interested in these since they came out, but all of the rave reviews were along the lines of "sounds GREAT when it's plugged in!" I play unplugged way more frequently than I do plugged in, so my instruments must sound superb when unplugged. So far, I haven't seen any specifics on the Mix mandolins unplugged. I sure would appreciate your experiences there, particularly on the F5.

    I'm a fan of wider necks, as long as there is a good radius on them, so it sounds like the configuration of the Mix would be good for me (I don't know the actual specs). The bigger issue, of course, is the price tag on an instrument that's really hard to hear live or try out. They're still pretty rare birds.

    Thanks!
    The chunkier neck comments refer to the thickness of the neck rather then the nut width which I'm pretty sure is standard width. I have a very early one; after that I believe they changed the mold and the necks are not as chunky. Some folks like the chunkier old Gibson feel.

    There are many sound samples on the website

    http://new-mad.com/videos.html

    I've never had the pleasure of playing a Mix besides my own. I think the oval hole is an interesting option. Though personally I feel an F hole mandolin is more versatile.

    I'm wondering if the additional sound chamber of scroll makes more of a difference in carbon fiber then on wood? I'm not one of those people that needs a scroll so an A model suits my purposes just fine aesthetically.

    Regarding the tone...it's unique....really has it's own timbre...not totally unlike wood by any means but then again every wooden mandolin I've ever played seemed to have it's own unique tone too. As an exception maybe Collings; they seem to be very consistent tone wise. Mine is loud and hold it's own in a jam.

    Also unlike some wood CF does not compress when you lay into it. Which depending on your point of view can be a good thing.

    Like all makers I've seen some incredible values on used Mix's right here in the classifieds. Heck a Schertler alone cost $400.

  23. #23

    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    It's worth remembering that the Schertler pick-up is an optional extra on Mix mandolins, which of course means that they are designed first and foremost to be played acoustically, just like wooden mandolins.

    My A4 almost never sees an amplifier, and is loud, clear and a delight to listen to without use of the pick up. Perhaps some of the other owners (or maybe Peter Mix) have sound clips of their mandolins played without amplification?

    There is a review of an early A5, complete with a (short, jazz) sound clip, at Ted Eschliman's Jazz Mando site here.

    rm

  24. #24

    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    I was wondering why Peter Mix hadn't added to the conversation, but today he emailed me to say he had been having difficulties logging in to the Café, so with his permission, I add some of his thoughts below:

    I serendipitously discovered the tonal virtues of Kevlar woven with carbon fiber a few years ago when I saw some of the material at the fabricating shop. I was struck by its beauty and intrigued by the prospect of adding Kevlar because of its energy absorbing properties (think bullet-proof vests). No one could give me any sense of direction in terms of the potential results as no one had ever built a stringed instrument utilizing Kevlar.

    Several owners of my instruments had commented from time to time on the brilliance of the voice and while I took that as a compliment, at least one owner felt his instrument was too bright, saying something to the effect of too much energy being transmitted through the bridge and the top. While that is ideal for many, I know that some players like a darker and more complex voice. Kevlar’s energy-absorbing properties seemed like a potential solution and I built an F5 with red/black Kevlar woven with carbon fiber. The voice is not quite as brilliant as pure carbon fiber, but has a richness and darkness of character that is quite wonderful.

    Carbon fiber can neither shed nor absorb moisture. This means among other things that carbon fiber cannot take a stain. That’s why we applied color coats over clear to accomplish the finish color on your A4.

    Kevlar can absorb stain and comes in a variety of colors. When it is woven with carbon fiber, the result is always black with whatever color the Kevlar has been stained: black/red, black/blue, black/green, black/yellow….all gorgeous! Kevlar is more expensive material and is also much harder to work with, especially applying finish is concerned, so the Kevlar instruments are more expensive. I love them all!

  25. #25
    Registered User Peter Mix's Avatar
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    Default Re: New-Mad Mix A5 in Classifieds

    Thanks very much, Ron, for posting my reply. I'm pleased to have found my way back to the Forum! Thanks to you all for the very kind comments.

    Ivan raised the question of impact strength and I admit I've not done as much experimenting as I might. The amazing gent who builds our bodies punctuated his description of the virtues of synthetic finishes by slamming a newly-finished instrument on the corner of a steel down-draft sanding table. After I recovered from the shock, he smiled and said "If that had been lacquer, I'd have left a dent". There was not a mark on the instrument and he hit it hard.

    My understanding from the car-racing world is that you don't want to crash anything made of carbon fiber at 200mph because it will really, really not like it. Food for thought....

    The scroll of the F5 is hollow, but sealed off from the sound chamber as is the hollow neck. We would otherwise be altering the sound-chamber to a significant degree. I greatly admire the Loar sound-chamber and did not want to alter it.

    I play these instruments every day and gig with them constantly. I play solo acoustic gigs with the prototype A5 and F5 and they are just wonderful instruments in that environment. I also use them with my band which consists of two guitars, bass and drums as well as mandolin. We're fairly loud and the Mix mandos are also perfect in that setting.

    I love the beauty and virtues of wood instruments. I also love carbon fiber with or without Kevlar. It's a gorgeous material that entrances the eye and feels great in the hands. The proof is the voice. Once the market supports such an extravagance, NewMAD wants to built mandolas, octave instruments, tenors and m'cellos. Each prototype costs not nearly as much as the GSA spends on champagne, but it's still a major investment.

    Each instrument is built entirely by hand and the investment of time is significant which is why they are comparable in price to fine carved instruments.

    Thanks for your interest in our work! Peter


    Quote Originally Posted by blueron View Post
    I was wondering why Peter Mix hadn't added to the conversation, but today he emailed me to say he had been having difficulties logging in to the Café, so with his permission, I add some of his thoughts below:

    I serendipitously discovered the tonal virtues of Kevlar woven with carbon fiber a few years ago when I saw some of the material at the fabricating shop. I was struck by its beauty and intrigued by the prospect of adding Kevlar because of its energy absorbing properties (think bullet-proof vests). No one could give me any sense of direction in terms of the potential results as no one had ever built a stringed instrument utilizing Kevlar.

    Several owners of my instruments had commented from time to time on the brilliance of the voice and while I took that as a compliment, at least one owner felt his instrument was too bright, saying something to the effect of too much energy being transmitted through the bridge and the top. While that is ideal for many, I know that some players like a darker and more complex voice. Kevlar’s energy-absorbing properties seemed like a potential solution and I built an F5 with red/black Kevlar woven with carbon fiber. The voice is not quite as brilliant as pure carbon fiber, but has a richness and darkness of character that is quite wonderful.

    Carbon fiber can neither shed nor absorb moisture. This means among other things that carbon fiber cannot take a stain. That’s why we applied color coats over clear to accomplish the finish color on your A4.

    Kevlar can absorb stain and comes in a variety of colors. When it is woven with carbon fiber, the result is always black with whatever color the Kevlar has been stained: black/red, black/blue, black/green, black/yellow….all gorgeous! Kevlar is more expensive material and is also much harder to work with, especially applying finish is concerned, so the Kevlar instruments are more expensive. I love them all!
    Peter Mix
    Carbon Fiber & Kevlar Mandolins
    Based On Lloyd Loar's Designs
    http://www.newmad.net/
    Waterville, VT 05492

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