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Thread: Martin 1920s mandolin

  1. #1
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    Default Martin 1920s mandolin

    Does anyone have any experience with Martin b style mandolins from the 1920s regarding tone, playability, music styles that fit the mandolin? I've heard they're better for classical and celtic music but not so good for bluegrass chopping.

  2. #2
    giuseppe severini
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    Default Re: Martin 1920s mandolin

    Is your mandolin like this?
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    A friend of mine living in New Jersey, has one Martin Mandolin, 1929, that sounds very well, but he uses it for any purpose because of its strong volume.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Martin 1920s mandolin

    I don't have a Martin - yet. I was interested in getting one but wanted to find out a little bit about them first. Thanks for your reply.

  4. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Martin 1920s mandolin

    Giuseppe: that looks like a Lyon & Healy not a Martin.

    There is a very nice looking style B Martin in the classifieds right now (NFI on my part). the seller has a video where he plays it so you can get some sense of the tone.

    They have nice sustain which makes them the antithesis of a bluegrass mandolin.
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    Jim

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    Ca. 1923 Washburn (L&H) Pro A -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- 1904 Embergher Type 3 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Martin 1920s mandolin

    Thanks, Jim. I'll check the classifieds. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

    Jo

  6. #6
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Martin 1920s mandolin

    Those are not my pictures -- they are from the ad I referenced.
    Jim

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    Playing lately:
    Ca. 1923 Washburn (L&H) Pro A -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- 1904 Embergher Type 3 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Martin 1920s mandolin

    Yeah, I realized that as soon as I checked out the ad. Nice looking any way.

    Jo

  8. #8
    Registered User Fstpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Martin 1920s mandolin

    I've been taking note lately of Martin Mandolins with rather avid interest. While I realize they are not made to be BG mandolins, they still seem (from a few of the videos I've watched online) to have their nitch with some models that seem to have a decent depth in their tone/timbre. Some of the older brazilian ones seem bassier (and perhaps somewhat richer sounding in the highes) than the newer later-made brighter mahogany ones. And, of course, some videos were better made than others where you can actually get a better idea of their truer tone. Probably not as versatile as other more traditional mandolins out there, there still seems to be a legitimate place for them to fill in the mandolin world, and especially in the Celtic or the Old Time traditional arena.

    I'd love to pick up one for around $700-800 in great condition some day, and see if I could find in it a worthwhile spot to justify using it on a regular basis in my repitore.


    Jeff

  9. #9
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Martin 1920s mandolin

    I like these two pictures of a few Martins that Charles Johnson posted on another thread. The f pic with five in it includes one each of every style: A, B, C, D, & E.

    I think he may even have more of these now.
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    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
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    Playing lately:
    Ca. 1923 Washburn (L&H) Pro A -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- 1904 Embergher Type 3 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo

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