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Thread: Summit Mandolins

  1. #1
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    Has anyone played a Summit mandolin before. Paul Schneider, who used to work at Gibson, is building them and I hear they are a great mando for the price. #I believe they are in the 3-4k range which is what I am looking to pay. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

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    Registered User Kevin K's Avatar
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    I have an '01 F100 Custom that I've owned goin on three years now and truly enjoy it. Loud, balanced and easy to play. I've played about 10 different ones and all had basically the same characteristics but each a little different.
    If it sounds and plays like you want it, get it.
    "Can I have a little more talent in the monitors please?"

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    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    I'm pretty much of the opinion that my (and other) pre-Gibson Flatiron A5-1 (signed by Carlson) was actually made by Paul Schneider. So, I was aware that he worked for Flatiron, but not sure when he left to form Summitt.

    f-d
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    '20 A3, '25 A, '30 L-1, '84 1N, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5

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    Registered User pickinNgrinnin's Avatar
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    For some reason, Summit Mandolins don't seem to get many props here. I've played a number of Paul's A's and F's and they sounded great. Mass Street seems to have a fairly steady supply of Summit's. Paul is a Kansas guy now living in Nashville. Check out thisarticle

    Interesting Mando history from the 80's. Paul has worked with some of the top builders. At the end of the article, it makes mention of his friend, Bill Davis - another Kansas guy that makes great Mandolins.

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    Gilchrist (pick) Owner! jasona's Avatar
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    I played a Summit at McCabes. It was more open and loud sounding than the Collings next to it--but I think the Collings had a more complex tone and would develop into an outstanding mandolin. Definitely the Summit a mando I enjoyed playing and is priced correctly with respect to the Collings.
    "...while a great mandolin is a wonderful treat, I would venture to say that there is always more each of us can do with the tools we have available at hand. The biggest limiting factors belong to us not the instruments." Paul Glasse

    Stumbling Towards Competence

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    Registered User WJF's Avatar
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    One of my students has a Summit F (not sure of the exact model). It is a **really** nice sounding instrument ... great tone and volume. His particular instrument has a flat fingerboard that doesn't thrill me but aside from that it's a very nice instrument. If it's representative of the "typical" Summit mandolin, then they are certainly worth serious condsideration I would think ...

    Hope this helps ...
    Bluegrass ... "It's Folk Music With An Overbite" (Robert Shelton)

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    I had a A5L made in Nashville signed by Paul in 1998. I still kick myself for having sold it in a bind. It was a great mando.

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    Registered User mingusb1's Avatar
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    I've played the Summit A-style that is for sale in the classifieds right now. #It's a nice one, plays easily, and is at a good price.

    I'm not the owner of it.

    Z
    Member since 2003!

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    Registered User Jim Gallaher's Avatar
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    Ah...it was early August of 2002. I was on vacation in southwestern Michigan. I made a pilgrimage to Elderly's in East Lansing -- my first visit to the famous music store.

    Left alone with the mandolins, I tried them all. The best of the bunch? A beautiful Summit F-5. I think it was a signature model -- Jesse McReynolds or Bobby Osborne (can't recall). It was way out of my price range at the time -- around $4,000 I think.

    But when I played it I finally realized the difference between my modest Weber and a professional-grade mandolin.
    It was all there -- the loud, even volume all across the strings, the easy playability, the clear upper range and the woofy chop.

    I lusted after that mando every week, checking the Elderly internet site to see if it was still "available". Surprisingly, it sat for almost a year before someone purchased it.

    I've moved on to other mando's, but I still have fond memories of holding that Summit and imagining myself pulling it out of a Calton at my local jam session, then hitting that first "chop" chord and watching the heads turn...
    "Got time to breathe, got time for music" -- Briscoe Darling

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    Registered User Joe Mendel's Avatar
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    Paul makes very nice mandolins, I've had two of them, an A-100 and a F-100 Custom. The A was very early, # 36 or so and the F was close to # 100. I wish I still had them, but my MAS is #relentless. If (when) I'm in the market for another mandolin I'll certainly take a look at the Summits.

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    Registered User goldtopper's Avatar
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    I 've got #222,- an F100- and wouldn't ever get rid of it. It barks, sounds full and the chords and vibrato are sweet and warm. Every time I play it I get excellent comments on the sound.
    Best deal going in the price range, IMHO.
    Staying Tuned

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    Thanks for all the comments. I was lucky enough to play an F-100,F-200, and an artist this weekend and was blown away by all three. There was a collings mf-5(I think that's what it was, it was their high end) in the same shop that I was able to compare it with, and truth be told there was no comparison. Though the collings was a nice mando and may well open up to be a great mando, the summits were much better in all aspects out of the gate. They were all very loud with a great chop and best of all they had great playability from top to bottom. Paul also offers a lifetime warranty on all his instruments which says alot for his workmanship. We may have something here folks! Don't let the secret out.

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    Default Re: Summit Mandolins

    I have a Summit F5 Custom Signature model "Bobby Osborne" a very fine instrument. Beautiful construction with multi binding front and back, awesome figured maple, soft tobacco sunburst. Attention to detail is remarkable. Sound quality is warm, loud, clear high end and no buzz or fuzz from the bottom end G string. Paul Schneider owner & master luthier makes his instruments the old fashioned way, one at a time. I have had 4 or 5 other mandolins, this one is the best.

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    Troglodyte Michael Weaver's Avatar
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    I played one after I had only been playing a year. I fell in love with it but I was not in the market for one at the time. Very nice mandolins.
    The Favs
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Summit Mandolins

    A Summit F-100 was my primary mandolin for a long time....just didn't really care for the "X" braced sound but they are great mandos.

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    Default Re: Summit Mandolins

    correction: my Summit Custom Mandolin is a (Rob Badger) model. I have no idea who Bobby Osborn is.

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    Default Re: Summit Mandolins

    So I saw this thread and joined...

    Summits? Love them! Here's why:

    I was living in Michigan and taking regular lessons at Elderly and had a chance to play every mando they had weekly. Ignoring what headstocks say and using my ears Summits blew all the others away. They are open, loud, woody and good for much more than bluegrass chops. They are dynamic -- meaning they can play as soft as a feather falling then be a banjo-killer all in the same song!

    I too found the Jesse McReynolds instrument -- and couldn't get it.. so I shopped about and found an early Artist Model (1996) in Montana. So I got that. Turns out it was the first Artist Model Paul ever made! ( A-braced) So I played that for years, then I found (again at Elderly) a GREAT "A" -- also Summit -- from '96. For $1k I got that one (A-braced too).

    As one long-time Elderly employee said ".. that's the BEST sounding mando for the price that's been through here in over 10 years." Doesn't matter what he said I love that A. At Jam sessions many have liked that more than the F's that are there, and it's louder than most of them (smirk).

    SO just 4 years ago I'm visiting Elderly (see? it's a neat place... ) living in Ann Abor.. and what is there? the Jesse McReynolds I missed out on all those years ago (X-braced)! So, I bit the bullet and got that too! So I have THREE Summits -- all different, all deep complex and wonderful. I'll never ever need or want another mandolin. Yes I've played Nuggets, Duff's, Loars, and Gilchrists and Dudes... and for me, (and ironically to some others who listened) Summits sounded better than all of them.

    Biased? perhaps but I'm biased to the SOUND of what I play, not what others like or say is good, or what a headstock says.

    And Summits are surprisingly consistent -- the new ones sound very close to the older ones..

    So if you find a Summit -- esp one with a varnish finish try it.. and see what your own ears tell you.

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    Default Re: Summit Mandolins

    Played one at Gruhn in Nashville....outstanding and very loud....a real Banjo killer.
    A year later I had the money together and went to Paul's shop to play a few and buy one.
    Couldn't do it!!!
    Tried a few and went home. I don't know what went on in the period from Gruhn to Paul's, but something changed. Opinion...try it before buying...no mail order...no ebay etc.

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