View Full Version : Buckeye Mandolins

Jan-16-2006, 5:18pm
Here's a of picture of a "The Buckeye" mandolin, made by Pete Hart of Guysville, Ohio, and played by Herb Applin, John Keith, John Rigsby, Johnny Staats, and me - to name a few.

Jan-16-2006, 5:52pm
I really like the rugged looking sunburst.
Ex-Buckeye livin in Idaho.

Jan-16-2006, 9:01pm
Very nice! As a matter of fact, most of us "buckeyes" are a little rugged around the edges. Wait a minute.......Or is that
"ragged"....Let me ask my "hoosier" wife.........
Where is Guysville by the way? It really has that "been around
awhile, played in look". I like it a lot. Thanks for sharing,

Jan-17-2006, 2:43pm
<...>Where is Guysville by the way? <...>Mike
It's east of Athens and west of Vienna ....

The back's very nice as well, working on resizing the photo (but with Windows 98, so I dunno).

Jan-17-2006, 3:14pm
The back's very nice as well, working on resizing the photo (but with Windows 98, so I dunno).
With a photobucket account it resizes it for you. Free account.

John M. Riley
Jan-17-2006, 4:16pm
So is this the one that John Rigsby was playing back in the summer?? If so, then I played it and it was quite nice. Ive got his Fern that he used to have befoe the buckeye..its great too.

Jan-17-2006, 4:44pm
Let's see if this works - hey, it does! #Thanks, Greenmando!

Trad - sorry, I didn't mean all those other guys had played this particular Buckeye, just that it was "as played by". #I'm just proud to be in such company, unworthy though etc etc etc #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Mar-12-2008, 12:02am
How old is the Buckeye in this pic?

Mar-13-2008, 12:23am
Nice flame on that browneye! I mean nice brown flame on that Buckeye! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif Oh! silly me!
What type of finish is on that, it looks kinda matte or semi gloss

Scotti Adams
Mar-13-2008, 11:03am
Pete makes a fine sounding mando...so much so that Buckeye mando is on my very, very short list when Im able to buy again. Nice fella too.

Brady Smith
Mar-13-2008, 11:31am
Very nice...my Buckeye is being made at the moment and should have it very soon. Congratulations....I don't think you'll find a better sounding mando anywhere!

Mar-13-2008, 11:39am
Go blue

Mar-13-2008, 5:31pm
Hello.I played a friends Buckeye that used to be Johnny Staats main mandolin.Late night jam with plenty of time to get the feel of the various old Martin guitars and a couple of mandolins.He told me the back and sides are laquer and the top varnish.That mandolin was very light in weight and has a killer throaty,responsive tone.That is one of the few instruments I would call a true "banjo killer".Just a all around great instrument that had been played hundreds of hours by one of the best mandolin players on the planet.Johnny Staats.That's the only Buckeye I've played and that one is special.The builder knows how to get the sound he's looking for.
Being that Johnny,my friend and I are WV natives I'll leave you with a joke I heard in the mountain state."Do you know what a buckeye is?"............"A useless nut."No offense to any Buckeyes as we West Virginians know how to take a joke.Eric

Brady Smith
Mar-13-2008, 7:06pm
Here's a of picture of a "The Buckeye" mandolin, made by Pete Hart of Guysville, Ohio, and played by Herb Applin, John Keith, John Rigsby, Johnny Staats, and me - to name a few.
Forgot one there - you can ad Sandy Cherryholmes to that list as well. #She's got one.

It's really been surprising that you don't here much about them here. #I imagine the smaller production has a bit to do with that but regardless....if your ever shopping around and looking for a high end mando...these may likely put an end to your searching.

Mar-13-2008, 10:18pm
pete hart is a great builder....i set in on his "building seminar" a few years ago and was thrilled...all of his mandos are worth the waite......keith

Jake Wildwood
Mar-27-2008, 10:53am
Great finish on that! In these parts we call it 'honey brownburst'!

Scotti Adams
Feb-19-2009, 9:43am
I will be visiting with Pete in the very near future to discuss a new mando. only makes since..a Buckeye for a Buckeye.:grin:

Tom C
Feb-19-2009, 10:48am
You can add Barry Mitterhoff to the list of Buckeye owners. Very fine sounding and great playin mando.

Feb-19-2009, 11:30am
That's a pretty stripey back, and it looks like more of a matte finish. Congrats and have fun playing!

Bernie Daniel
Feb-19-2009, 11:34am

Pete Hart makes something like 10 - 15 mandolins a year.

He adverises the new batch around the beginning of the year and they are usually all spoken for within a few weeks.

At least that has been the pattern in the past.

These mandolins are among the best kept secrets in my opinion -- they are purpose built with the needs of the bluegrass player in mind. I have never heard anything but praise for them.

Scotti Adams
Feb-20-2009, 11:34am

These mandolins are among the best kept secrets in my opinion -- they are purpose built with the needs of the bluegrass player in mind. I have never heard anything but praise for them.[/QUOTE]

..I couldnt agree more. Im looking forward to mine.:redface:

Feb-20-2009, 8:04pm
what kind of mandolin is that in your avatar scotti?

Scotti Adams
Feb-21-2009, 1:23pm
what kind of mandolin is that in your avatar scotti?

That would be a Buckeye.

Brady Smith
Feb-22-2009, 1:02am
Haha...not only that...it appears to be mine :). Mine was built next to Mitterhoff's.

BTW...Pete only makes four each year.

Feb-22-2009, 8:59am
I was able to try out Brady's Buckeye at the Monroe style camp and I was very impressed with the tone of what was then a brand new mandolin. Had the sound of a well played older instrument with tons of bark. Nice lookin instrument too.

Scotti, you must have gotten hold of another internet source, you mandolin cafe chatter has dramaticly increased.

Scotti Adams
Feb-22-2009, 2:23pm
I was able to try out Brady's Buckeye at the Monroe style camp and I was very impressed with the tone of what was then a brand new mandolin. Had the sound of a well played older instrument with tons of bark. Nice lookin instrument too.

Scotti, you must have gotten hold of another internet source, you mandolin cafe chatter has dramaticly increased.

Yep..back on line...courtesy of Verizon Highspeed.

John M. Riley
Feb-22-2009, 2:53pm
yeah, when pete built my buckeye for me in 07, he made 4 that year. and i reckon four in 2008 and he is currently working on 4 right now.... not sure about previous years though. if you want the old traditional bluegrass sound, it would be hard to beat a buckeye.

Michael Cameron
Feb-22-2009, 4:00pm
I would LOVE to try a Buckeye. Does Mr. Hart tend to make 'em one way? I'm curious to know about neck dimensions,as a sort of average feel,on the Buckeyes?

Sounds like Mr. Hart's atelier is pretty near one of my favorite mandolin-makers,Don MacRostie. Red Diamonds are made close to Coolsville,O.

I got a RD from Don about 17 years ago. Hadn't heard of Buckeye mandolins til much later(Johnny Staats). I don't have firsthand knowledge of this;but,hear thru the grapevine that Staats has a Red Diamond (?)

Like the MAS is ever gonna let up...now I find out there's some guy named Altman not too far down the road from me who,many say, is making SERIAL KILLER mandolins! gheesh.

Anyroad,I'm glad to see Buckeye mandolins have its very own "place" and thread.

I look forward to seeing more Buckeyes. Oh yeah.

Brady Smith
Feb-24-2009, 7:30pm
Michael...Johnny does play a Red Diamond now but did play a Buckeye. I understand he had to sell the Buckeye at one point but why the Red Diamond is beyond me. If I were him I'd be hunting down that Buckeye again.

Yep...Pete pretty much only makes the Buckeye one way and it's the right way. He's made one I'm aware of that was made differently and is very reluctant to sell it. It is a Buckeye but sounds different than his normal Buckeye's because of the materials used and just doesn't want it out there really because it's not truly a Buckeye. (It is a great sounding mando as well though). You may want to check with Pete about the neck and so forth but I believe he can make it any way you might want.

Michael Cameron
Feb-25-2009, 1:23pm
Brady Smith,do you think the Buckeye sounded better than the RD? Just wondering.

Staats has RD#195 which is a "Vintage '24" F-style.

Hard to fathom that Staats HAD to sell the instrument he played on his debut album...?

I'm thinking the Red Diamond HAD to cost more than the Buckeye...?

I can understand Mr. Hart not wanting to put out a mandolin that he doesn't think represents the Buckeye name. If that bees the case.

More Buckeye pics,please!

Brady Smith
Feb-26-2009, 9:29am
From what I have been told a major financial crisis (eliminating most of the details that I know purposely) forced Staats to sell about everything he owned instrument wise.

Red Diamond vs. Buckeye...it's hard to fairly compare the two or any other combination of possibilities between other makers. There's surely alot of good ones out there and each person of course is going to like something the other doesn't...lalala. I have heard and or played several mandos that I see people drooling over here on the cafe that I thought were very mediocre at best while others were very good. Personally I spent nearly two years looking for that perfect mando for myself and it was clear to me what the best thing available was.

I surely can't say a single bad thing about Red Diamonds, he surely makes a good mando. And I am surely not the best evaluator myself and often put more value in other's opinions rather than my own. Mine is only nine months old but has gotten around a great deal. Nearly every major bluegrass style mandolin player has played it by now and there hasn't been one who's expression has been any thing less than 'wow' at its, playability, tone and volume. I'm comfortable enough to put it up against the best of the best (whatever that is).

Surely never pictured myself spending that kind of $$ for an instrument but I did and haven't looked back.

Here's a couple pics for ya Michael: :popcorn:

Scotti Adams
Feb-26-2009, 9:52am
Thats a real good looking axe you have there Brady. I hope to meet with Pete next week...was planning on this week but he had prior commitments.

Brady Smith
Feb-26-2009, 12:03pm
Thanks Scotti....should be able to meet up with him in Wilmington in a couple weeks if you miss next week. :)

Jonathan Peck
Feb-27-2009, 12:54pm
Thats a real good looking axe you have there Brady. I hope to meet with Pete next week...was planning on this week but he had prior commitments.

Hey Scotti,

if you're going to be in Pete's shop, please check out my mando. It's #50 in the new batch

Scotti Adams
Feb-27-2009, 12:56pm
Hey Scotti,

if you're going to be in Pete's shop, please check out my mando. It's #50 in the new batch

I'll do my best:mandosmiley:

Michael Cameron
Feb-27-2009, 1:54pm
Brady Smith,
THANKS! Those are about the best pics I think I've seen of a Buckeye.
Shore is beautiful.
I've owned Gilchrists(2),Red Diamonds(2),Kimble(1),Gibson Monroe,Gibson Derrington,Nugget,snakes,and teens and Loar-era F4s.

I've just about made up my mind (what's left of it) to "play before I buy" the next mandolin. That way I'll probably never buy one again.

I am very interested in a Buckeye,thanks,in no small part,to Johnny Staats' sound he got from his Buckeye. Haven't asked about prices yet... I know,"Staats can pull tone from a cigar box." Plus,I happen to have been borned in O hi O.

Also on my teeny,wish list: Altman and Kimble. Sure,I have other "dream" mandlins;but,I pretty much know what sound and neck dimensions I prefer by this stage of the game. 'Course I could always change my mind...should I hit the Lotto,I would add many more.

When it comes to MAS,in the words of Howlin' Wolf..."I cain't BE satisfied."

While I have honed the fine art of hearing with my eyes,I think a mandoin should excite ALL the senses(includng taste and smell).

Mmmm,finger-lickin' gooood.


Jimmy Kittle
Mar-01-2009, 5:33pm
I was also lucky to get on Pete's list for this year. #51. He had a really nice piece of birdseye maple and he's using that for the back. It should be a great looking mando.

Michael Cameron
Mar-01-2009, 5:50pm
BIRDSEYE! My very favorite.
Man,a Buckeye with birdseye!


Hope to see pics of #51 sometime.

I got Buckeye-itis.

Pretty baad.

Bernie Daniel
Mar-04-2009, 12:46pm
Joe Clark playing the Grey Eagle on his Buckeye mandolin.

It is pretty powerful sounding to me -- see Joe's endorsement of the mando in response to my question.

Jimmy Kittle
Mar-05-2009, 8:47am
Buckeye # 51. First time at posting a picture. Really not sure what i'm doing. Hope it works

Brady Smith
Mar-06-2009, 1:19am
:) That'll be a nice looking back me thinks :)...but you could be different...make that the top.

Mar-18-2009, 7:10pm
Just thought I'd drop in and say that I'm in line for Buckeye #49. I absolutely can't wait! I'm really hoping for a strong chop and deepness coupled with an evenness across the strings that doesn't thin out with the trebles. I've never played one, but Alan Bibey speaks very highly of them, which was enough for me to fork out my $$. Nice to read about Buckeyes from you guys!

Michael Cameron
Mar-22-2009, 5:49pm
Tuner,if you don't like #51,please give me a holler(?)

It probably won't be much good,since,birdseye is not TRADIONAL like red maple...right?

Does Mr. Hart use hot hide glue construction? Not that I'm all hung up on that...just wondering.

Brady Smith
Mar-23-2009, 4:01pm
Alan who? ;)

Jimmy Kittle
Mar-25-2009, 4:40am
Yeah Michael, I'll sure let you know if I don't like it. I will be the at least the end of April before it's finished. I'm not sure what type of glue Pete uses, I never got that far in depth with it. I have played seveal of Pete's mandolins over the years and they have been monsters. The birdseye does have some quilting to it, and I was a little unsure about the wood until I seen it. I really don't think it's going to have any, or very little effect on the sound. I just returned to the states and have to sit patienly for it to be complete, it's going to be a long 6 weeks...

Mar-28-2009, 6:44pm
I'm just curious, what options are you going for with #50 and #51? Fern inlay or other? Standard or monroe/loar binding? Tuner choices? Other custom options? Just curious.

Jimmy Kittle
Mar-29-2009, 9:06am
I went pretty standard other than the wood. I ordered a radius fretboard, gold hardware, black ebony tuning keys, simple floral pattern, Monroe/Loar binding and an abalone truss rod cover. I would have liked to added waverly tuners, but I was already at my budget. I shopped and played many mandolins before making a decision. I've played a Stiver for past 12 years and have been very happy with it. However, MAS struck and it was time for a change.

Jimmy Kittle
Apr-06-2009, 5:48pm
There should be pictures of the new crop coming in a month of so. I talked to Pete this morning, he has the neck on #48 & #49. He'll be doing the same to #50 and #51 soon. Sounds like everything is on time. I had to call and add a pickguard. A great friend let me play his Weins with a pick guard for a show this weekend, I like the guard so much I had one added to my Buckeye.

Michael Cameron
Apr-06-2009, 7:03pm
I'm just bouncing back & forth between the birdseye and the Buckeye threads.

Oustanding instruments being made today. Too many choices;not enough money.

I'm almost out of things to sell so that I can buy more mandolins. May be a good time to stock up on strings...


Apr-06-2009, 10:57pm
I went with nickel hardware, waverly tuners, ebony keys, fern inlay, standard binding, radiused fretboard, scooped extension, and the back is going to be 1 piece. Pick guards look great to me, but always feel weird to me. I just have never gotten used to one. When I bought my Randy Wood from the classifieds here a few years ago, the original owner had lost the pickguard, or else he just kept it. Fine with me. That mandolin has a great dry tone with insanely strong trebles, but is a little short on the deep woof. This Buckeye should be a great complement to it.

Brady Smith
Apr-07-2009, 7:38am
You'll have more woof than you'll know what to do with this one.

Michael Cameron
Apr-07-2009, 12:53pm
I'm jealous. There I said it. I'm glad I said it.

A woofy(possibly birdseye) Buckeye would cure my blues,I'm sure.

flatpickit,what # serial,will yours be?

You will pst some pics when you can(?)

I hate you already.


Jonathan Peck
Apr-07-2009, 3:59pm
I went with nickel hardware, ebony buttons, top and side bound with a slightly radiused fingerboard and medium frets.

Michael Cameron
Apr-07-2009, 4:08pm
Show off.

Apr-07-2009, 4:39pm
I will certainly post pics when i can. It will be a few weeks at least before I have it, but didn't Tuner say to look out for pics soon? I'm not sure if that means the pics will come from Pete, or if
Tuner will just post a pic of his when he gets it. I'm 49, i mean I'm #49, but i don't know how he actually writes his serial number, umm well it's written on my reciept, but i don't feel like getting up. :sleepy:

Jimmy Kittle
Apr-07-2009, 5:26pm
Sorry guys, I didn't mean to confuse anyone. Pictures should be on here sometime the end of April of the first part of May. With my schedule that is soon! Especially after waiting for the past 5 months. I didn't mean to get anyone hopes up....

Michael Cameron
Apr-07-2009, 6:28pm
No worries. I didn't aim to be a pest. :redface:

My hopes were already up!

I despise taking pictures;wish I could take better ones.

Wish I had some disposable income...

Maybe I'll get to play a Buckeye someday. I'd like that,I'm sure.

Brady Smith
Apr-09-2009, 12:17am
I've gotta stop in at Pete's in a couple weeks if anybody waiting wants a peek I can get ya pictures. Just let me know.

Michael Cameron
Apr-09-2009, 1:59am
Hey Brady,I'm waiting...sorta. I hope to be waiting.

Go ahead and take pics of ALL of them.

I'm especially interested in the birdseye one.(not mine).

Please give my regards to Mr. Hart.

I grew up in the South;but,I was borned in O H I O.

Sooo,I'm a Buckeye!


Jimmy Kittle
Apr-09-2009, 3:31am
I would be great if you an get a couple pictures of #51. I curious to see the back of this one. Thanks

Apr-24-2009, 7:24am
Well I just bought a Buckeye!!! #43 and I am totally in LOVE! :grin: It has a chop like a freight train. and they honestly do sound 80yrs old..

You'll have more woof than you'll know what to do with this one.

that quote summed pretty much sums them up ..LOL
I have only had it a couple days but I already know it's a keeper!!! I will try to get some pics later.. :mandosmiley:

Apr-24-2009, 5:39pm
Have fun with that Buckeye Rob.

Jimmy Kittle
Apr-25-2009, 11:31am
Welcome to the Buckeye Family..

Jimmy Kittle
May-20-2009, 3:46pm
Just checking to see if anyone has recieved thier Buckeye from this years crop?
I should get mine late next week and will try to get some decent pictures.

May-20-2009, 5:43pm
Not yet. I'm expecting to get my hands on it Sunday or Monday!!!

May-25-2009, 10:16pm
Today was a fun day!

Jimmy Kittle
May-26-2009, 3:11am
Yep, looks like a fun day to me>
Mine ships today. Should be here by the Thrusday. Nice pictures!

Scotti Adams
May-26-2009, 7:52am
Very nice----Enjoy

May-27-2009, 5:17pm
I finally got some pictures of mine.. I had the frets changed to the .80 and it plays like butter! It was suppose to be a second or back up mando . It now is the only one I play! :grin: :mandosmiley:

John M. Riley
May-27-2009, 6:17pm
you sure are making me miss that mando rob!!

May-27-2009, 7:40pm
you sure are making me miss that mando Rob!!

:)) .. It is one of the best sounding mandolins I have ever played.. I guarantee I wont make that same mistake... :mandosmiley:

Jimmy Kittle
May-28-2009, 12:21pm
I picked up #51 this morning. This mandolin will peel paint off the wall. I will try to get pictures soon.

Jimmy Kittle
May-31-2009, 12:21pm
Buckeye #51

Tracy Tucker
Jun-03-2009, 6:02am
Buckeye #51

WOW, look at that back! Wolf whistle :whistling:

Jun-12-2009, 5:06pm
That is a beautiful back, definitely unique.

I'm wondering how everybody's doing with their new Buckeye's? I've logged quite a few hours on mine, and i'm more and more impressed as I go. It is very responsive, and has a good balance between throaty G and D strings and cutting trebles. There have been no problems hearing this one at any of my gigs. i had not seen one or played one before I ordered it, so I couldn't be happier! I hope everybody is equally as happy. :grin:

Jimmy Kittle
Jun-12-2009, 7:57pm
I'm really happy with mine. Tomorrow will be the first festival for me with the Buckeye and I'm looking forward to spending the day with it. I had played 4 or 5 of Pete's mandolins and ran sound for the Hart Brothers as well and John Rigsby when he was with Ralph and Melvin goins, so I was pretty familiar with Buckeyes and I never heard a bad one. The tone is exactly what I was looking for, it has the woof, and the high end is cyrstal clear and loud enough these old ears can hear it over the b^$^o.

Scotti Adams
Jun-12-2009, 9:20pm
Pete makes a very fine mandolin..and hes a hell of a nice guy to boot..Im proud to be a Buckeye as well as is Pete Im sure. Im very happy that Pete has now come into the recognition that he has so long deserved...due to the most part of this mandolin community. .. the crowd that frequents it and his fine craft.. the word has gotten around....Thanks Pete.

re simmers
May-24-2010, 7:28pm
I expect to be able to pick up #55 this weekend or next. This is the first I've ever had a mandolin custom-built.
I can hardly wait.


May-24-2010, 7:41pm
Congrats!.. I have 2 and would like a 3rd..lol

re simmers
May-31-2010, 12:46pm
I pick it up this Friday. Hopefully, I can figure out how to post some pictures.


James S
Jun-03-2010, 11:46am
Best of luck with the new mandolin Bob! I am picking my Buckeye up a week from today! #53!

- James

PS - I am going to request that you post some pictures and a detailed review - so I can withhold myself from going stir crazy until I get mine. :))

Jun-03-2010, 12:58pm
Congratulations to you on Buckeye 55, Bob. I hope it is everything you wanted and more. (I expect it will be just that.) Enjoy the heck out of it!

re simmers
Jun-06-2010, 5:27pm
I hope to get pictures on today.

I picked it up Friday. It exceeds my high expectations. I love it. It's incredible. It plays great. I love the radiused fingerboard. The sound? Wow. The tones fill the room and seem to bounce off the walls. My brother in law, Ian was over last night and we picked. He used to work at a music store. He admitted that it is even better than he expected. "It's just a mandolin." Ian said it was worth the wait and the trip, so he doesn't have to ask. Each note is crystal clear, very deep and big sounding. It doesn't have a chop....it has a BOOM!

Pete Hart is an incredible craftsman and built this exactly as I wanted.

Pictures coming soon.


Jimmy Kittle
Jun-07-2010, 10:59am
Congrats Bob..! Looking forward to the pictures.. Pete is not only a incredible craftsman he's a great person as well..