View Full Version : Newguy with new Ratcliff A

Dec-17-2005, 8:41pm
Hi all. I'm a first time poster to the site, but have been reading posts for a a long while. I've learned so much from you guys and gals. Anyway I just received my new Laura Ratcliff A style. It's an amazing instrument. The sound is beautiful, woody and deep. It is VERY loud. I wasn't expecting it to be as loud as it is, but works out even better for me. Laura and Ken are class acts. Laura sent me pics of the building process, and kept me updated frequently. I will not hesitate to reccomend them to anyone wanting a fine custom mando for a great price. When the funds are available, I am going to order a 2 point from Ken. That is a sweet looking instrument.
Just a little about me. I'm 37 and have been playing guitar for 30 years. I also play dobro, banjo and now mandoling has taken over my life. I play in 2 bands around the St. Louis area, a old timey/bluegrass band, and a singer songwriter type duo. I'll try to attach pics that Laura took over my mando before I received it this past week.

Michael http://http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v460/adlerian/mike5.jpg <a href=" target="_blank">http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v460/adlerian/mike3.jpg[/IMG]</a>

Dec-17-2005, 8:45pm
Sorry, let me try the pics again.http://photobucket.com/albums/v460/adlerian/th_mike5.jpghttp://photobucket.com/albums/v460/adlerian/th_mike3.jpg

Mark Walker
Dec-17-2005, 9:00pm
CONGRATULATIONS! #You can't go wrong with a Silver Angel or Laura Ratcliff mandolin. #I'm on my second F-style - both crafted by Ken, and several friends and relatives of mine have A-styles (from Laura) and a 2-pointer as well. #For the money, they are certainly among the best-sounding mandolins (both in volume and tone) and all offer fine craftsmanship (and craftswomanship). #As you discovered in your efforts working with Laura, working with either of them is a treat. #Ken has taught her well, and she is among the most meticulous luthiers for quality of finish and details.#They are among the most humble and friendly luthiers in the business, and are genuinely wonderful people. #You'll only grow happier with your instrument as you play it! #Cheers! # # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Dec-18-2005, 12:25pm

Need these a little bigger...

Very pretty mando!

Dec-18-2005, 2:15pm
Thanks Jasona. I'm "image challenged." I've been playing this thing all morning. I can't beleive how nice it is.


Mark Walker
Dec-18-2005, 3:55pm
I can believe how nice it is! I was the same way with both of mine! A friend of mine has Laura's #33 - what a beauty THAT one is! Plays great and sounds like a 100-year old mandolin! Have fun with your new baby! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Dec-18-2005, 4:20pm
Thanks. This one is #39.

Lane Pryce
Dec-18-2005, 5:37pm
Weller welcome to the A club and the cafe'. BTW nice A. Lp

Dec-18-2005, 9:24pm
Thanks for the welcome JLP. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Dec-19-2005, 4:04pm
PRetty mando -- can someone post a larger pic of the front, as you did the back of it.

I've love to see both sides close.

Dec-19-2005, 4:26pm
Let me see if this worked.

Dec-19-2005, 4:27pm

Dec-19-2005, 4:28pm

Dec-19-2005, 6:22pm
Thanks for posting more pics. Beautiful.

I really like the look of the neck and fingerboard. Is it radiused? How does it play for you? Big frets?

Very impressive A.


Dec-19-2005, 6:38pm
Yea, it has a 12" radius,oversize frets, and has an oil varnish finish. It plays great up and down the fingerboard, very easy, even though the action isn't super low. I can't beleive how fortunate I am to have an instrument this nice. I hope someday to do it justice with my playing.

Mark Walker
Dec-19-2005, 7:37pm
Wow - that's an impressive inlay that Laura did too! Regarding the action height, after you get her broken in a bit, you could either tweak it yourself or have a local luthier work with you on the action. On my first Silver Angel (#192 or something like that; my cousin actually has #197, which I think I've mistakenly mentioned as being MY first one) my wife and I actually visited Ken and Laura at their beautiful home, and he lowered my action and she played even BETTER. (I'd had her about 18 months at that time - the mandolin, not my wife. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif ) On my latest one (#231) I've had her a few months, and have tweaked the setup a bit and have her as low as my earlier one! I've got the 12" radius and the oversized frets as well. What a treat to play. Playing my old Lotus A-Style (A Kentucky A-style clone I bought about 15 years ago just to learn how to play) now after playing two Angels is like playing a 2x4! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif Enjoy!

Dec-19-2005, 8:44pm
That is a BEAUTY!!! Love that burst.

Dec-19-2005, 9:51pm
Are your soundholes bound?

Very nice finish

Dec-19-2005, 9:58pm
No, they're not bound, the finish is slightly distressed.