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View Full Version : Gibson F-5G and Eastman MD-304 on an Irish tune



Leo37
May-30-2016, 5:18am
member Harper posted her arrangement of an old irish tune in this (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?120804-Mandolin-and-Tenor-Uke-arr-of-Pastheen-Fionn-%28Irish-Air%29)threat.

I am often unsure to decide which mandolin sounds best for some kind of music and so I record the tune and would be pleased to get some comments...

https://soundcloud.com/leo-dilemma/an-paistin-fion-eastman-md-304

https://soundcloud.com/leo-dilemma/an-paistin-fion-gibson-f-5g

Microphone is the AKG C414 B-ULS in cardioid mode for the mandolins and omni mode for the acoustic guitar. DAW software is the Studio One 3.2.

Astro
May-30-2016, 7:02am
No comparison to me after listening for 4 seconds. The gibson sounded way better on this one. The first one sounded like a hurdy gurdy. Great playing by member Harper though.

JonDoug
May-30-2016, 8:19am
Beautiful playing and a lovely tune! I, too, prefer the Gibson. I tend to see the the A5/F5 focused sound as making the most versatile and "the best"-sounding mandolins in a variety of settings, and point to players like Marshall and Thile as proof. However, that may be a cultural bias from within a mandolin tradition, and there are players/instruments that clearly challenge my assumptions--like Avi Avital. It would be interesting to get your hands on an oval hole instrument closer in luthiery skills to the Gibson for a third comparison--such as an old Gibson, a Collings, or Old Wave.

Bill Snyder
May-30-2016, 10:59am
No comparison to me after listening for 4 seconds. The gibson sounded way better on this one. The first one sounded like a hurdy gurdy. Great playing by member Harper though.

A hurdy gurdy? They sound more like a violin as they are not plucked but use a wheel to "bow" the strings.

For what it is worth I prefered the Gibson. I don't really think it is because it is an f hole, I think it is probably just the instrument as a whole sounds better to my ears.

jonny250
May-30-2016, 11:47am
Gibson for sure. good playing!

Johnny60
May-30-2016, 12:13pm
Lovely tune and great playing. I agree with others - to me, the F5 sounds a lot better. Nothing wrong with the Eastman, but the F5 has more depth and more authority.

LillianBelle
May-30-2016, 2:50pm
Isn't this a comparison of two instruments for which the cost is an order of magnitude apart? You can buy a new Eastman 304 for $450 from Mandolin Store. You can buy a used Gibson F5G for between $3,500 and $4,000 ($5,800 brand new with a varnish finish.)

liestman
May-30-2016, 4:13pm
I agree with the others and specifically LillianBelle. It's apples and oranges.

texaspaul
May-30-2016, 6:34pm
The Gibson! It has a fuller deepth of tone.
It confirms my experience with Eastman ovals. To me they sound tinny and thin. Some teens Gibsons have a ringing full sound. Eastmans are nicely finished quality instruments. I often wonder if played long enough and allowed to age if they will develope a richer sound, however I've not held on to 3 of them to find out.

Leo37
Jun-01-2016, 4:04am
Eastmans are nicely finished quality instruments. I often wonder if played long enough and allowed to age if they will develope a richer sound...

Yes, the Eastman is made very well and of better wood than many old cheaper Gibsons. It has a fine grained top and I cannot find structural issus. The sound is loud, full and with a quick response but there is no sweetness. It had come with EJ74 and I replaced them first with FT74 and now with medium TI. I am not unhappy with this mandolin, its good to have an alternative sound sometimes. Well, I am relative new on mandolin (bid more than a year) and have seen only two Gibson mandolins in my live (one of them you have heard). I would be happy if there were possibilities here in Germany to try better build oval hole mandolins. :(
BTW the F-5G is very suitable for many styles. Next project will be a tune from Calace.