New mandolin - push-back from spousal unit
I went to Acoustic Music and played some of Brian's (the owner) own mandolins; a Weber Yellowstone F and two Collings, an MT and an MT2.
When all was said and done, Brian provided me with an estimated price for having a Collings MF5 built. The estimate is probably good to within $100 either way since he'd just ordered a very similar instrument for someone else. I took the information home and sat down with my SU to discuss.
The response was that I must be out of my mind to consider buying an instrument I'd never played and that it was impossible for the SU to support this plan. The kicker is that it has nothing to do with the price.
It's based on the two following reasons:
1. I'm extremely particular (read "fussy")
2. That I have a disastrous history of not getting what I ordered. And it's true. When speaking to vendors, manufacturers, craftsmen after the fact, I can remember responses like "Hmmmm. That never happened before.", "It wasn't supposed to be like that. I have it written down exactly as you ordered it.", "Wow... We've never had that problem with any of our XYZs before.", "I've sold 10 gazillion of these and this is the first one that's ever done that." etc.
And it's true; absolutely true. I can think of about a dozen big purchases that turned to **** for no good reason. Maybe I was a bad egg in a previous life. I dunno.
So while I have the SU's blessing to buy the instrument, I'd have to play it first- which means it'd have to be something either in stock or ordered by a dealer on spec.
This makes it far more difficult to get an instrument with a neck that I'd like since two out of three Weber/Collings instruments I played had far more V in the neck profile than I like. I prefer a more rounded back. The third had a custom neck shape.
So I guess my options are:
1. to buy an instrument that I find in a store (only three Collings dealers within 100 miles and none of them carry much stock)
2. to order one from a reputable company that does mail order and has a return policy (in which case, I eat 3-6% even if I call for a return authorization the next day)
3. convince someone to order one on spec and that I'd like right of first refusal.
In any case, the SU has a valid point and it's not something worth debating even if this wasn't the case. I know when an issue is negotiable and when it's not.
So, I actually do agree that I should only buy a particular instrument that I've actually played - not one like it but the actual instrument. However, this does severely limit my options.
CeeCee, Self-appointed arbiter of all that is good, just, and true
1 Spousal Unit, 4 cats
1919 Gibson A1, Collings MF, Northfield F5-S, Eastman 815, Eastman 514, Eastman 315
The difference between theory and practice is smaller in theory than it is in practice. anon