View Full Version : Sucek mandolin

Mar-23-2004, 11:49am
But the hardest wait just began. Philly's been in the 30's and 40's. The black rectangular case feels slightly cold. It's sitting here on the floor acclimating. My hands are shaking. There's just two silver latches keeping us apart.
Pavel tells me it's unstrung. I'll need to spend some time tonight to re-string, and adjust the bridge.
I wonder if Daikon received his yet down in Salt Lake City?

Mar-23-2004, 11:56am
Shoot Lee...just two sliver latches huh...now you have my hands shaking. Oh well just another mando right? (smile)

Mar-23-2004, 1:53pm
Whoa, #2004/53 is gorgeous. #Pavel includes a very professional full-color card; inside it lists the specs as shown below. #(Can anyone make out what he's written vertically off to the side?) Fretwork is meticulous, medium size fretwire, ends evenly filed and exceptionally uniform, small round markers. #Slight radius with a corresponding bridge radius. Rounded V profile. #Binding is immaculate, slightly yellowed (distressed): body top w/b/w/b, back is white, fretboard is white, headstop front is w/b/w/b. And of course there's a multi-striated ring around the oval hole. #The wood grain texture is ever so slightly noticable through the finish; golden tan at the bridge, very gradually turning almost brown towards the edges. #Back is beautifully figured with cool swirlies in the grain that sparkle in the sun. #One piece flamed neck. #There's no headstock veneer, only the script "Sucek" and a black truss-cover to interupt the pretty grain. Overall there's excellent attention to detail and it's strikingly pretty. #The build is definately of a high quality hand-made instrument; it's got a substantial and solid heft to it. #If the tone is there this is worth well more than the price he's currently asking. The bridge is installed but I haven't brought the strings up to pitch (I'm at work). #It has a rather chemical smell from the finish, less pleasant than some others.

Tom C
Mar-23-2004, 2:40pm
Pics, We need pics!!!!! yeah when I got my BRW you could smell the laquer for a
while but it does go away.

Mar-23-2004, 2:47pm
I took a couple pics but the darned "download" cord was not in it's usual location. Tommorow lunchtime I'll get 'em up.

Mar-23-2004, 2:48pm
The wait is over here in the land of Zion (Utah) as well.

My mandolin just arrived. I just strung it up and I'm still a little shaky.

It sounds, looks and plays awesome. In fact, it's much better than I expected. So much so that I'm going to need a day or two to collect my thoughts before I give out a full review. I'm on vacation this week so it may take me a few days to get pictures out, but I promise that I will.

The packaging for shipment was excellent. Pavel even marked the bridge location for easy placement.

I can't wait to hear what Lee has to think as well as those on the Sucek US mando tour.

Now I just have to remember how to play the thing; I've been without for almost three months.

If it sounds this good while I can still smell the lacquer, I can't wait to hear it in a few months.


Mar-23-2004, 3:24pm
Hey Daikon; Hah, the gamble paid off! I was hoping to hear from you today. You took the week off from work to greet your new mandolin. Making up for lost time?

Mar-23-2004, 4:31pm
Mike that is exactly the response i had as well when i played my first Sucek. What fun. So glad things worked out for you. Hope you enjoy the new mando. I'll keep my fingers crossed for yours sounding just as good Lee. Congrats.

Dennis Benjamin
Pavel Sucek Mandolins

Mar-23-2004, 9:19pm
Mike...Lee....have you guys come up for Air yet?

Mar-24-2004, 11:54am
lee975, if you mean the word "massiv" it's from German masiv= solid wood. Many european luthiers use this as they think it's the same in English.

Mar-24-2004, 1:15pm
Thanks for solving a little mystery HoGo.
Wow, deepest voice I ever heard in a mandolin. Makes me think I'm playing a mandola.

Mar-24-2004, 1:17pm
Pardon my photography

Mar-24-2004, 1:18pm
I'll try for some close-ups tonight. You got a camera Daikon??

Mar-24-2004, 1:26pm
Lovely instrument Lee thanks for the pix. Enjoy.

Mar-30-2004, 10:53pm
Hey Lee, when you say that the sound is deep (like a mandola), could you tell me what the trebles are like?
Now that you have had a while to play your mandolin could you expand a bit on the tone?
I am sort of considering a new oval hole and a Sucek might fit the bill.

Mar-31-2004, 1:33pm
Let me say first that I've not played any modern oval-hole mandolin before. And it's been several years since I spent ten minutes playing a 1930's Gibson and I have a bowlback from the 'teens,
The oval hole lacks that "pop" or "thwop" when plucking a note that defines a good bluegrass mando and it won't get nearly as loud or project like an F-hole mando. It seems to bring out the lower areas of the frequency range. It's really nice for strumming chords. The notes blend together and creates a very rich and complex tone compared to the f-hole chords. If I immediately pick up an f-hole it strikes me as not even being tuned the same and the f-hole will sound single-dimensional and thin. Even so, the oval hole is still balanced across all the strings. This one even sounds very good up the neck. All in all, it's a fascinating type of tone and would sound good accompanying a guitar but might not not cut through a bigger band mix.

Mar-31-2004, 10:36pm
Thanks Lee, good description.
I know that it is a hard thing to try to describe and every bit of info helps.
Anyone else out there with a Sucek that might want to offer up some info on their mandolin???

Apr-01-2004, 1:01pm
There's only three of us in the USA in posession of a Sucek mandolin. The other owners probably all reside in the vacinity of the Czech Republic. English might be their second lanquage. Contact Spare Change and maybe you can get yourself on the Sucek Mandolin Tour.
Hey Daikon; you back from vacation yet?

Apr-07-2004, 2:06pm
I've finally gotten around to posting some pictures of my beloved new Sucek Two-Point.

Review to follow.

Apr-07-2004, 2:09pm
Sucek Two-point f-hole.

Apr-07-2004, 2:23pm
Sucek Two-point f-hole.

Apr-07-2004, 2:23pm
Sucek Two-point f-hole.

Apr-07-2004, 2:28pm
Mike...that is sweet looking. Thanks.

Apr-07-2004, 2:36pm
I have only a few minutes before I have to get back to work so I'll post a brief review. I'll try to give more details later.

My Sucek Two-Point F-hole, which acquired just a few weeks ago is a fantastic instrument.

The overall workmanship and design are excellent.

The tone is, or course, hard to put into words. The most succinct description is "beautiful". The bass is very deep and rich and the trebles are clear. This is a very loud mandolin. It has a terrific chop and it is joy to play rhythym. It has a rich tone throughout the registers, all the way up to the 15th fret on the E string.

Like I said, this is a short review. Pavel has more than surpassed my expectations. I know that MAS is a hard ailment to shake, but this one may be my "keeper".

I'll be happy to answer any questions Cafe members might have. Also, I would like to extend the invitation to anyone living near or passing through Salt Lake, to come by and play it.

Apr-07-2004, 3:20pm
Daikon....nice review. Nice pix best pictures i have seen of your mando. Its hard to be a dealer and a fan of a builder in terms of coming across as believable to the community i think but, the one aspect that really stands out sound wise of Pavel's mandolins (to me) is the complexity of the tone. Amazing complex, rich sounding mandolins. Pavel's instruments are world class instruments. Very soon I will have a website w/sound files so interested folks can have a listen. Lastly, the Tour mando is being fitted with new tuners and tailpiece and will be shipped to the first stop in the next day or two......now what am i going to play?

Apr-07-2004, 4:36pm

What kind of tuners and tailpiece are you putting on the tour mando. #Just for kicks, I'm considering a new tailpiece. I'm curious to see what you think after you get the new one on the Tour Sucek.

Apr-07-2004, 4:56pm
Daikon...i'm having Schallers put on along w/a Keith Newell "sun" tailpiece. Should be nice. Isn't funny how little these mandos sell for? I've spent so much over the years loking for "the mando" and I've never been more inspired than by playing one of these Suceks. Go figure.

Apr-07-2004, 5:11pm
I'm excited over here after seeing these pictures and hearing all the good words. #I'm working with Dennis on the website, so y'all stay tuned for some sound bytes and more photos! #

If you're going to be at any Colorado/Wyoming festivals this summer I'll have an A5 Sucek with me. #I'll for sure be at these festivals:

Bluegrass on the River, Pueblo CO, June 4-6
Rockygrass, Lyons CO, July 23-25
Oyster Ridge Music Festival, Kemmerer WY, July 30-31
Keystone Bluegrass Festival, Keystone CO, August 7th
Happy Jack Music Festival, Curt Gowdie State Park WY, August 13-15
Oregon Train Wagon Train Festival, Bayard NE, August 27-29

Apr-08-2004, 12:25pm
In trying to refine Pavel's mandos to the American "taste bud" i've been listening to players about peferences in neck profiles....depth, width etc. I know these tastes can vary a great deal but in general do folks prefer a very thin profile or a little beefier neck to grab on to? Thanks.

Apr-08-2004, 10:11pm
Hey Dennis. So what profile and widths are the Sucek mandolins now?
Do they differ by style or does he have a set neck design?

Apr-09-2004, 9:42am
atetone....Pavel's mandolin have a pretty consistent neck profile. They all have some "meat" to them and a rounded back. A couple of people has asked about a smaller neck so thats why i'm looking into it. Feels comfortable to me but everybody deserves to have the neck they prefer.

Apr-09-2004, 8:01pm
Daikon....hey i'm curious if you feel like your Sucek sounds like any other mando you've had in the past or played before. I have my own thoughts about what they sound like but would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you woud prefer to PM me instead of making a public statement thats cool also. Thanks.