Re: What make of Mandolin & who cares ?.
I have mixed feelings about this. As a listener at folk festivals well away from the stage only hearing the amplified sound, I'm unconcerned with the nuances of the instrument the player has. It sounds like a mandolin if person is banging a Rogue, Rigel, or Gil. Now, when I have a chance to sit at arms length after the show and listen to Mike Compton (Gil), Barry Mitterhoff (Buckeye), and Frank Sollivan (Lewis) playing together I can hear differences beyond style and technique.
Personally, while I really enjoy the Eastman mandolins I've had, I can appreciate the superiority of the Spira mandolin I had made for me. Granted, the flat back Spira is in the ball park of the Eastman Fstyle price wise and not a $8-20K instrument. I will never, begrudge a performer the tools they use to do their work. Just as I find it acceptable for Thile to have a Loar and a Dude and thought he sounded great on the Collings he borrowed from Edgar Meyer (see the Edgar Meyer Thile DVD, please) I understand personally how we bond to specific instruments. It may be irrational, but isn't a great deal of art and our muses, irrational?
There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946
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