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View Full Version : Phoenix Europa Neoclassical, #370



mandoman15
Aug-27-2005, 5:41pm
what are the special specifications for this phoenix, i.e. top back thickness, string recomendations tonal charachteristics....etc! love to learn more

Brad Weiss
Aug-27-2005, 5:46pm
Many, many thanks for pleasant correspondences with Rolfe Gerhardt, a fair and great deal from Stan Jay, and the welcome advice from fellow Café-ers.

(apologies for the false start!!)

Here (at last, I hope!) is the Europa!

Brad Weiss
Aug-27-2005, 5:48pm
more pics

Brad Weiss
Aug-27-2005, 5:49pm
and again- check out the wood grain...

Brad Weiss
Aug-27-2005, 5:50pm
and I LOVE the back

Brad Weiss
Aug-27-2005, 5:52pm
a lot...

Brad Weiss
Aug-27-2005, 6:03pm
Last one...

Oh- mandoman15. #I don't know about the graduations (but check out Rolfe Gerhardt's website for details- or email him, he'll surely reply).

The tone is what hooked me. #CLEAR as can be, loud, but not at all brassy, PERFECTLY even across the strings. #Bell-like I suppose, but more profund than that. Like a deep well. #The action is amazing- the neck is slightly V-shaped which took a day or two to get used to, but the action, radius, and neck combined are very, very easy to play. #The string spacing is what I love- nice and wide, without a hugely wide neck as a whole. I can't imagine a better classical instrument, and for Jazz, which I prefer, it is just stellar. #The string spacing and tone make chords very full, not at all percussive.

Moreover, it is immaculately constructed. #Each element- bridge, inlay, tailpiece, finger rest, the ebony stripe down the neck, even the perfect end pin and strap button- just cannot be improved upon.

I'm done looking. Well, ok, I'll LOOK, but this is what I'm KEEPING and PLAYING for good!!

Martin Jonas
Aug-27-2005, 6:10pm
Looks great. Is that a three-piece top and a one-piece back?

Martin

Ted Eschliman
Aug-27-2005, 8:31pm
Brad, I've got good news for you...
Speaking as an experienced (3 months) Phoenix owner, it only gets better!
Nice ax!

jasona
Aug-27-2005, 11:02pm
That is one of the nicest looking mandolins I've seen posted in the cafe. Stunning.

Jim Garber
Aug-28-2005, 11:56am
Interesting bridge... sort of the opposite of what you normally see. Is that a maple or a bone bottom with an ebony top?

Jim

jerrymartin
Aug-29-2005, 9:11am
Brad:

I'm the proud new owner (caretaker?) of Europa #371, which I've had for a couple of weeks now. My impressions are largely identical to yours. I had never understood the notion of "even across the strings" until I started playing this instrument, and now I've got it - the fifth fret on the D, and the open A, both sound like they're from the same string... yow! I'll also note that the unexpected volume available from extra-light strings will continue to take getting used to; that's not a complaint, of course... The tone and timbre remind me of a recording - "Homer and Jethro at the Country Club", I think - in which His Jethroness' mando was amped; I'm not sure I can describe it in words.

And - there's a clarity in each note that keeps revealing all the bad habits I've developed over the years (my main ax has been a Gibson A-50 I bought new in 1969), and I can feel my technique improving accordingly. I'm really pumped, and I'm rapidly learning why so few used Phoenixes seem to come up for sale on the classifieds...

http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Jerry M.

Brad Weiss
Aug-29-2005, 9:40am
Jim-

The bridge is something called Timeless Timber, which has been certified as old growth lumber, that was recovered after being under Lake Michigan (or maybe Superior?) for over a 100 years! It seems a bit gimmicky- but the tone sure works, so who am I too judge?!

Jerry-

Ah ha! I wondered who got the one from Elderly! One left at Gruhns, one at Dream Guitars, and Rolfe is keeping one- so where's the 6th? hmm...

I've loved playing T-I's for over a year now, but on the Europa they are astonishingly loud - like there's a resonator in the belly of the box! It just vibrates when you pick it up!

Yes, there are a bunch of us happy Phoenix owners (and darn few used ones available, as Jerry notes!)

Guitar Jeremy
Aug-29-2005, 12:11pm
Phoenix mandolins definitely have a resonator cleverly hidden by Rolfe. There is no other explanation for their projection and sustain. Welcome to the family.

Eugene
Aug-29-2005, 12:35pm
Congrats, Brad! It looks very fine, especially the back's maple and the groovy abalone in the headstock. I like Gerhardt's work and intend no disrespect, but why "Europa?" "New World" would seem a better name to me for Gerhardt's North-American based and relatively pioneering aesthetic.

jmkatcher
Aug-29-2005, 12:48pm
I think the name is due to the tonewood being of European origin.

Brad Weiss
Aug-29-2005, 12:51pm
I think the name is due to the tonewood being of European origin.
Yep- #the web says:

"The Europa Neoclassical is one of six Neoclassicals built with outstanding European tonewoods. A local luthier discovered a rare cache of planks of sycamore maple of the quality used in the finest hand-made bowed instruments."

Eugene
Aug-29-2005, 1:14pm
I see. Thank you for this entirely too logical explanation.

drelb
Aug-29-2005, 1:16pm
That is a beautiful work of art. Hope you can post some sounds from that battle axe!

Mandobar
Aug-29-2005, 2:13pm
i've been looking at one of these at dreamguitars.com

Ted Eschliman
Aug-29-2005, 2:29pm
I think the name is due to the tonewood being of European origin.
Silly me, and here I thought it was "Europa" as in the icy sixth moon (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/browse/PIA00502.jpg) (4th largest) of Jupiter.

Eugene
Aug-29-2005, 2:46pm
Silly me, and here I thought it was "Europa" as in the icy sixth moon (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/browse/PIA00502.jpg) (4th largest) of Jupiter.
Photoshop in a pair of f holes and you've got yourself a mighty odd "moonburst" there.

Brad Weiss
Aug-29-2005, 2:52pm
Silly me, and here I thought it was "Europa" as in the icy sixth moon (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/browse/PIA00502.jpg) (4th largest) of Jupiter.
Photoshop in a pair of f holes and you've got yourself a mighty odd "moonburst" there.
I was going to say it was impressive flame - especially for an ICY moon!

Dave Reiner
Aug-30-2005, 10:23am
Hi folks-

Spurred on partly by your enthusiasm, I just bought #372 at Dream Guitars. #I'm really looking forward to trying it in a few days when it arrives. #

Dave

Brad Weiss
Aug-31-2005, 12:33pm
Spurred on partly by your enthusiasm, I just bought #355 at Dream Guitars.
Dave

And then there were none! Let's have a Europa Reunion some day!

Tom C
Aug-31-2005, 12:51pm
I played a few of his mandos at Mando Camp North. From the neoclassical to the bluegrass. All very fine mandos. I hear alot on hear about the Europa being loud. I believe the neoclassical takes light strings compared to heavier ones that might be used on the bluegrass model. I believe he recommends light strings (maybe even on the label) as it is not made for heavy strings.

addcourt
Sep-01-2005, 10:26am
If I'm not mistaken, Rolfe had a Europa model at Mando Camp North along with several other models. #I owned a nice Neoclassical at the time so wasn't looking for another Phoenix. #I had to leave the room quickly after playing that model and listening to Rolfe explain the effort that went into building it(lest I own two Phoenixes). #Unfortunately, I've parted with the Neoclassical and am seriously wondering why I did such a dumb thing. #DAVID--if the Europa doesn't work out for you, please email me.

Dave Reiner
Oct-07-2005, 8:48am
Enjoying my Europa a lot... I guess I'll hold on to it (sorry, addcourt!).

My son Andy tried it out (he plays mainly Scottish, oldtime, and heavy metal mandolin), and immediately wanted one. He said it sounded great and improved his playing on the spot. I explained he couldn't have mine, but maybe we could locate a used Neoclassical for him instead. Anybody crazy enough to be selling one?

Dave

PCypert
Oct-07-2005, 9:20am
There's one at mandolin brothers used. I wanted to get it for myself but opted for Neil Dean. Will own a neoclassical one day. Too sweet.

Paul

Dave Reiner
Oct-07-2005, 1:52pm
The one at Mandolin Brothers is long gone, according to Rolfe. I guess they don't update their website too often.

Dave

RichM
Oct-07-2005, 9:12pm
The one at Mandolin Brothers is long gone, according to Rolfe. #I guess they don't update their website too often.
... and I happen to know where it went. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Dave Reiner
Oct-14-2005, 8:32am
No luck finding a used one, but I bought Andy the Neoclassical at the Music Emporium in Lexington. He's delighted and sounds great on it!

Dave

Brad Weiss
Oct-25-2005, 3:56pm
If anyone wants to hear this Europa, I've posted this (http://www.mandolinproject.150m.com/misc05.html) recording of the Bandolim tune, Reminiscencias on the Mandolin Project site. That's me on rhythm and melody. #The parts that sound good are the Europa, the horrible bits are all yours truly. For Godsakes don't compare this to Marilyn Mair's version on the MP3 page!! #Wish I knew of some technology that was more studio-like than playing straight into my iBook using Audacity....

jasona
Oct-25-2005, 4:25pm
Wonderful clear and bright tone! Nice playing Brad

Mark Levesque
Sep-18-2006, 3:06pm
I've decided to sell my excellent Phoenix Neoclassical Europa.
Anyone interested can reach me at mark.guitarduo@comcast.net

Cheers,
Mark

generankin
Sep-22-2006, 10:46am
I played a few of his mandos at Mando Camp North. From the neoclassical to the bluegrass. All very fine mandos.
[snip]
Mine's a Deluxe with Bluegrass trimmings. #Going on a year that I've had it, and it remains a joy & a delight. #Front: http://images.fotopic.net/yb9ac8.jpg and back: http://images.fotopic.net/yb9acc.jpg and close-up of front: http://images.fotopic.net/yb9ac7.jpg

Gene Rankin

Don Grieser
Apr-06-2015, 2:10pm
I picked up #368 off the classifieds a little while ago. Plays so easy and sounds so nice. And it's really beautifully made too. Here's a John Reischman tune on it from his "Walk Along John" CD called Little Pine Siskin.