View Full Version : Driftwood Mandolins?

Mar-13-2004, 6:18pm
Hello Mandolin Cafe! Long time reader, first time poster.

Has anyone here played or owned one of Andrew Poe's Driftwood mandolins? Particularly the F models, but I'd enjoy reviews for either the A or F.

Mar-14-2004, 12:46am
Hey All,

I'm interested in a review also.

Beautiful looking work and a really keen shop! Web site is...


Don't know if he's built any more since these five but if these are his starters he's likely a builder to watch. Might have to contact him and see what his price range is!

Take Care! -Ed-

Coy Wylie
Mar-14-2004, 12:59am
Wow they look great!

Mar-14-2004, 1:28am
I e-mailed Andrew Poe (driftwood)regarding some of his work and who holds one of his creations.

>>> Response 1. from Andrew regarding where to get a testimonial >>>

#003 is at www.musicfolk.com. They would give you an honest opinion and
comparison. They deal Weber, Collings, etc. There is only on other owner of
one of my mandolins and he recently passed away. He had #002 and was very
happy with it.

>>>> Response 2. regarding price range, availability, etc. >>>

One like #003 directly from me would be $2000. The woods that would go into
it would be nicer then those used on #003. You are looking at 3-4 months. I
have another custom order that was just placed and 5 others that are looking
at having one done but I haven't received a down payment from them yet. Case
would be included. I will make a ebony pickguard bound the same as the rest
of the body for a extra $200. Thanks, Andrew


I may have to get a hold of one of these. If it sounds as good as it looks, it could be a keeper!

John Flynn
Mar-14-2004, 1:33am
I played #2 or #3, whichever orange F-5 is on consignment at Music Folk in St. Louis. For comparison, I played it against multiple Gibsons and Webers, with a buddy who is a professional guitarist listening on. Our consensus was:
Overall, very striking in apprearance, a real attention-getter. Fit and finish were fair. Playability was outstanding, he really got the neck/fingerboard profile right and it was perfectly set up. The mando was very loud, with crisp highs and strong bass. It seemed a little thin in the mids, though. I remember it sounded a lot like a one of the mid-priced Weber F-5s there, but I can't remember the model.

Mar-14-2004, 7:50pm
Hey All,

How bout this...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....hosting (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3710710392&indexURL=0&photoDisplayType=2#ebayphotohosting)

I guess we'll get some idea of what the market thinks about price. I really liked this mando and I don't generally care for this type of sunburst. Fit and Finish - looks good but who knows and we can't hear it. Also I don't think I like where the strap button was put on the back. Seems to be way in the way. Course I'm not sure where else would be good. I'll be real curious to see if this sells for a lot more than say Breedlove OFs or Riegel A naturals or Gibson A-9s.

Take Care! -Ed-

Mar-14-2004, 8:34pm
Let's see.......we are comparing that to an A9, A Nat or Quartz OF....... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif ....... I think I'd take chance on it, but the F is some fine eye candy to!

If that young man is cranking out mandos like that already,picture his work in 5 years. By then we won't be able to afford him.......This is exactly how Ben Wilcox (BRW) started out.

Mar-14-2004, 9:43pm
Hey All,

Dale your point is very well taken. I'm gettin seriously dangerously close to sending this builder an email. That being said I'm curious to see where this mando ends up. A Laura Ratliff A style has been on ebay a couple times - first for IIRC 1350 and a couple times at 1500 - no takers! This is only Poe's 4th mando. I would guess a price ranging from oh say $1100 to $1300 but who knows - since you never know who is loggin in.

As to the mandos I mentioned - as you well know most retail at over $1000 new and used are generally in the $750 to $950 range. Absarokas a bit more (a lot more if new). These are generally all proven performers.

The other point that has me thinkin is that Poe said on his website that he first got interested playing mandolin in 97. I guess my question is how much ability does he have to "judge" sound. I been playin about 18 mo and I don't think my ability to judge instrument sound is especially good (what's loud to me may be dull to you based on your more extensive experience) - of course part of that is my very very limited exposure to many mandolins. Of course maybe he's been researchin other builders "sound" an knows or has been playin other instruments since he was 3 - I don't know.

Anyway I'm certainly watchin and I do get your point. Maybe good advice from a flatlander - that's what I and my brother in Colorado call our native Texan brother-in-law who married our sister an now lives in the Texas hill country.:)

Take Care! -Ed-

Mar-14-2004, 9:49pm
"I'm gettin seriously dangerously close to sending this builder an email."

I did 3 days ago & I to am VERY interested....... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Mar-21-2004, 9:46pm
Well it looks like that gorgeous Blonde F went today on ebay for about the same price as getting one built. Hope to hear a report from "jaliauction", that's who won it. i'm on the waiting list now for one, Andrew said he had 2 ahead of me to build. I noticed Dale was going at it on ebay, kinda hoping he was going to win it.

Mar-21-2004, 11:51pm
I won this beauty this afternoon. 'jaliauction' is my ebay handle.
I was tempted to put my name on Andrew's growing list of customs last week, but I became so obsessed with the blonde on E-bay, I made a commitment to bid to win. My $bid limit was close though, as I would have opted for Andrew building me one if the bids went above $2000.
I will certainly send my take on it when I get it in my hands later this week! Whoo Hooo!

Check out the blonde bombshell here! (http://www.driftwoodmandolins.com/Mandolin005.html)

Mar-22-2004, 12:14am
Drop dead gorgeous!

Let us know how it plays/sounds!

Mar-22-2004, 9:38am
Well, I hit the same wall as some of you.....got to close to the price of a custom build. It's my sincere hope that it's everything the photos suggest. That F was the best looking mando to land on Ebay in a long while!

Now.....would someone order a Hummingbird & solve that mystery!

Mar-22-2004, 11:16am
I almost bit on the Hummingbird, but you know what they say. If it seems too good to be true...But they do seem nice. He offered me a lot of options such as a really base price that came in at around 500 bucks. The thing that set me off was the one month warranty. With everyone else offering lifetime that really put me on edge. He could be a great guy and I'll probably end up kicking myself later on, but that's my stance now.

Mar-22-2004, 12:00pm
The fellow who owned #002 and recently died you all may recall was "Mikey2". It's an F and he won on an only bid at $1000. I guess those days are gone, eh? He liked it very much. Excellent playability and good tone. A few very minor finish flaws. After #003 Andrew improved his workshop, organized the business end of business, and developed the web page. He seems up and running strong. I've corresponded several times with him and he's always been forthcoming and friendly.

Oh, Laura Ratcliffs #24 A-style sold on ebay for $1600.

Mar-22-2004, 6:21pm
I will also say that I've talked to the driftwood guy on a couple occassions. Talked to him about building a two point model mandolin. Replied quickly and worked through some different options with me. Opted not to go with him just because of lack of others experience. Probably be kicking myself for not going with him in a couple years. Someone like Scotti will get one and start a 12 page thread on how awesome they are and I'll be like I could have had one cheap...
Oh well,

Mar-28-2004, 8:07pm
Have you gotten the Blonde Driftwood in yet, Waiting for a report.

Mar-29-2004, 11:21am
Sorry I haven't had a chance to give my feedback sooner, but here is an initial review.
I got the 005 last Wednesday. Beautiful, just beautiful! Starting with the craftmanship, Andrew did a nice job. The pictures that you may see online don't do this instrument any justice. The Quilt back and overall finish is stunning and the binding is very well done. Playablility is excellent! Smooth as butter on the 12" radiused fretboard. Strung up with Thomastik-Infelds, the tone is very warm and well balanced. Not quite as loud or as much bark as what you would find with a Collings, but it held its own against a new Yellowstone at a local shop and certainly outplayed my Bitterroot. In a small trio, the 005 rings out and is easily heard. I haven't had a chance to drop in on a jam session yet to judge its ability to project in a large group, but I anticipate it will have enough cut, especially with the addition of a Tone-Gard.

For those waiting on their customs from Andrew, it should be well worth the wait! From what I understand, he is using an better quality stock of wood for his current/future orders than what he used on his previous builds.

My personal (Biased) ratings:

Craftmanship A- #
Finish # # # A-
Playability #A
Tone # # # # A-
Volume # # # B
Hard Case # #A # TKL Pro w/Humistat and Hygrometer

Customer Service and communication A+

Overall, I am a satisfied customer and would certainly recommend giving Andrew a look if you are hunting for a quality, affordable ($for now) custom mandolin.
Andrew could potentially become a star builder in a few years if he sticks to it.

I will try to post further reviews as I get more playing time on this mandolin.

I began playing classical violin and piano at age 5; French Horn at age 11. I continued playing violin until my mid-teens and French Horn through my first year in college. I picked my first mandolin in 1993. I was hooked. After a year of honing some old skills migrated from my violin days with new skills of picking and a fretted board, I began playing with a trio in 1994 and played until 1998. I unfortunately put my mandolin down to concentrate on hockey (what was I thinking!). This brings me to mid 2003, where my intrest in mandolin was revived with the news that I was going to be a first time daddy. I had to play for the unborn child! Once again I was hooked and as you can see, I came down with a severe case of MAS!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Mar-29-2004, 11:30am
Throw a set a J74's on that puppy.....I'll bet she will bark then.....

Mar-29-2004, 11:48am
Funny you mention it... Andrew also threw a set of J74's in the case. They'll be put on soon enough, I'm sure. Whoof! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/cool.gif

Scotti Adams
Mar-29-2004, 1:25pm
I will also say that I've talked to the driftwood guy on a couple occassions. #Talked to him about building a two point model mandolin. #Replied quickly and worked through some different options with me. #Opted not to go with him just because of lack of others experience. #Probably be kicking myself for not going with him in a couple years. #Someone like Scotti will get one and start a 12 page thread on how awesome they are and I'll be like I could have had one cheap...
Oh well,
..hey I resemble that remark http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif ....but I do call them as I see them.. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Apr-05-2004, 3:10pm
Hey Jeff,
Have you had a chance to change the strings on that "New Blond" of yours.
I have the next one comming and I understand there are five more on the list. This is going to be one long month or so. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Apr-05-2004, 3:38pm
I switched out from the TIs to J-74s which I played for a couple of days. Great volume; however, the tone was a bit tinny sounding on the G and D. Though, I'm sure a setup adjustment could dial that in. I then switched over to a set of FT-74s and love them on this mandolin. Very smooth transition between strings, especially between A/D. Volume was a hair less than with the J-74s but the Flattops produced a far cleaner tone for my ears, yet projected very well. In fact, a got a bit more 'whoof' and woody sound with these FTs than with the j-74s. Not to mention, my house sounds like a concert hall since removing the carpet on Saturday http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif I think I'm going to stick with these for awhile. Or I guess I could have a luthier dial-in the setup for the 74s. What do you think?

So your mandolin is bound for delivery in a month? Can't wait to view pictures! What are your specs?


Apr-05-2004, 6:38pm
I guess I'm kind of like you. The j74s have always seemed just a little to bright in places. I will be sure to try the flat tops.
The specs on mine are just like yours with a few minor changes. I chose to not have the internal volume mute installed on mine.
Just a personal preference. [Kidding]
About the only changes will be a different finish on the top, a three piece neck with ebony center and a little different binding combo.
looks like I'm looking @ about 2 Mo. so the rest of you guys be patient. Man, I hope mine turns out as nice as yours.
I have talked with Andrew a couple of times, he sure seems to know what he's doing .
B.Pat http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Apr-06-2004, 9:17pm
HI B.Pat,
I'm going to have #8, same blonde, was wondering what kind of finish you're going to have? My binding is going to be tort. shell,white,thin black with a small tort.shell pickguard. Andrew told me 3 to 6 mos. I have the Elixir nanowebs on my Rigel and like them, if anyone trys them on the Driftwood, let me know how they work. I don't like changing strings that much.

Apr-08-2004, 7:31am
I liked them so much I'v made a little montage for you guys...I do graphic artwork as a hobby

Apr-08-2004, 7:44am
i am an insomniac and made this collection for your desktops just right click and set it as your new wallpaper

Apr-08-2004, 8:14am
Looks great! Thanks! However, do you mind sending me a 1280x1024 version?