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kyken
Jan-29-2006, 5:42pm
I just finished this one. It's the deepest mandolin I've heard. The top is also 100 year old red spruce. I'll be showing it at SPBGMA next week.

kyken
Jan-29-2006, 5:43pm
another view.......... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

kyken
Jan-29-2006, 5:44pm
forgot the pic. here it is. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

kyken
Jan-29-2006, 5:46pm
Hre's the top....

jasona
Jan-29-2006, 6:00pm
Ken, that looks great! Do you have sound clips?

Mark Walker
Jan-29-2006, 8:07pm
Ken - is that a tad bit thinner than your previous ones? #Doesn't look quite as deep in the photos! #But it's a beauty! #Love that angel and the 'scenery' within the way you stained on the back too. #Keep up the great work. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif #(Julie wants to know if you named it...?) - Mark

ourgang
Jan-30-2006, 5:32am
Great looking mandolin Ken. Another excellent Angel. Tell me about the tuner buttons.

Doug Edwards
Jan-30-2006, 3:42pm
Another fine one. good work!

bgmando
Feb-01-2006, 1:00pm
What kind of E and A string tone do you get from this one, especially up the neck?

kyken
Feb-01-2006, 7:42pm
It has alot of tone on the E and A strings all up the neck according to John Rigsby. He played it last night and thought it was a killer mandolin. The bass is so low it comes out also on the higher strings. Gives it alot of bite and meat to the treble side.

bgmando
Feb-02-2006, 12:40pm
Ken -- do you have a pic of the front of the headstock?

John M. Riley
Feb-04-2006, 1:02am
wow, Ken, that mandolin looks awesome
How, much???


I know its good if john said it was....

Mark Walker
Feb-04-2006, 8:42am
Traditional - I know Ken's at SPBGMA this weekend, (displaying no doubt) and I'd wager both this mandolin and the Two-Pointer he posted at about the same time are there with him. He'll reply when he gets back, but that mandolin might be gone! But he can always build another! (I know - I've had him build two for me!) http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

John M. Riley
Feb-05-2006, 8:37pm
do those mandolins really sound that good? How would the sound compare to a gibson or a rattlesnake??

Feb-05-2006, 9:30pm
do those mandolins really sound that good?
I didn't like any of the ones I played this weekend in Nashville. Don't get me wrong they were beautiful. Seemed more comparable to a Kentucky or a Washburn Jethro Burns model from the '80's. Not a banjo killer. Great for beginners.

mandoJeremy
Feb-05-2006, 9:38pm
I played them at SPBGMA also and they were definitely much, much better than a Kentucky or Washburn! They had great tone and Ken gets his own unique tone with them. The do have a very deep tone and I have NEVER played a Pac Rim import that had deep tone like his mandolins do. They were quite loud but you couldn't really tell since the room was one big mess of blending instruments all around. They were loud enough for me to hear while I played it and that is saying something since it was so noisy in the room. I definitely wouldn't call them beginner mandolins at all!

Feb-05-2006, 9:56pm
I definitely wouldn't call them beginner mandolins at all!
To clarify, by beginner mandolin I ment that I would recommend it to someone just starting out because it appeared well made and was easy to play. The ones I saw in the loud jam sessions were muted and I couldn't hear them... and mostly beginners or novices were playing them...

Just my opinon. I'll not debate the point further.

kyken
Feb-05-2006, 10:17pm
Well, this is the first time I've ever heard my mandolins being compared to chinese mandolins and being played by beginners. I just feel I should defend myself a little here. I don't think Bryan Sutton, John Rigsby, Shane Bartley, Dan Kelley (Alan Jackson group) are considered beginners, plus I'm working an endorsement soon with Alan Bibey. Thanks mandojeremy for playing my mandos this weekend at SPBGMA. Your quite a player and heck of a guy to.

jasona
Feb-05-2006, 10:21pm
Ken, Hutto's well known around here for being insistently counter the prevailing opinion (see threads on ToneGuards and arm rests for examples). I don't think his spouting off--regardless of how definite he sounds--will change the opinions of the many folks around here lucky enough to have played or heard one of your or Laura's mandos. I wouldn't feel the need to be defensive at all with respect to his opinion.

jasona
Feb-05-2006, 10:22pm
That said, if Hutto really did hear beginners in the jams, that might explain the muted nature of their playing. ;) Speaking as a fairly new player myself that is. It takes a while to learn to play.

mandoJeremy
Feb-05-2006, 11:02pm
I did listen in at one jam where a guy was playing one of Ken's older mandolins and it was loud and definitely cut through. He took it off and let me play it and I was quite impressed. Definitely had all of the volume and tone you could want in an instrument. And thanks Ken!

Doug Edwards
Feb-05-2006, 11:07pm
There have a good number of positive comments on the sound and playability of Ken and Laura's instruments. Are they the best ever sounding instruments, possibly not. Are they above many in their price range and some higher, quite possibly so. Mine is an earlier model, but I played it head to head with several other well known manufactor's instruments. It's as good #if not better than most of these. I am quite sure the current models are as good if not much better in their volume and tone.

Each to their own I suppose.

holdenzdad
Feb-05-2006, 11:08pm
Ken,

It's a beautiful mandolin...a real work of art...did you find a buyer for it this weekend...if not, would you mind posting the price and a picture of the headstock(I know someone asked for these as well)...or I could just email you idependently. I personally have heard great things about your mandolins...thanks for posting the pictures,

Steven

Feb-05-2006, 11:58pm
Well, this is the first time I've ever heard my mandolins being compared to chinese mandolins and being played by beginners. I just feel I should defend myself a little here. I don't think Bryan Sutton, John Rigsby, Shane Bartley, Dan Kelley (Alan Jackson group) are considered beginners, plus I'm working an endorsement soon with Alan Bibey. Thanks mandojeremy for playing my mandos this weekend at SPBGMA. Your quite a player and heck of a guy to.
I think I spoke to you and found you to be a very nice guy. You may remember me, I was with my father around lunch time on friday. Sorry for the criticism, but this is a mandolin cafe... I knew a head of time that you post here, I ment no disrespect on a personal level. Lets talk mandolins...

Your styling is great. I love your peghead shape and other original features. The distressed models were pieces of art to look at.

Granted, I have only played a very limited sample of the individual mandolins you have produced. I am only giving my honest opinion of the sample.

I look forward to seeing a picture of the Alan Bibey proto-type. He was my biggest influence as a boy. Best of luck.


I would also like to send a nod to the gentleman who played the Silver Angel and suffered through my bumbling version of Dinah while people were hitting me with the door while trying to exit the restraunt. One of the highlights of the weekend, and you sir are no beginner. Its a shame that string broke...

ToneDeaf
Feb-06-2006, 1:34pm
Lack of volume? #I never would have guessed.

When I got my Silver Angel (2001), I, and others I've since met, bought it for the power and playability, in spite of less than stellar fit and finish. #Ken has made great strides in the last few years to bring the looks in line with the tone. #I've heard and played quite a few Silver Angels (as I live in the same general area as Ken), and there is plenty of variation in them over time, but none I've heard could be described as quiet, or have the tonal characteristics of a Kentucky or Washburn. And I've got a Washburn.....for my kids to beat on.

YMMV, NFI, etc.

Feb-06-2006, 4:04pm
Lack of volume? I never would have guessed.

When I got my Silver Angel (2001), I, and others I've since met, bought it for the power and playability, in spite of less than stellar fit and finish. Ken has made great strides in the last few years to bring the looks in line with the tone. I've heard and played quite a few Silver Angels (as I live in the same general area as Ken), and there is plenty of variation in them over time, but none I've heard could be described as quiet, or have the tonal characteristics of a Kentucky or Washburn. And I've got a Washburn.....for my kids to beat on.

YMMV, NFI, etc.
You may just have a nice sounding one, I wouldn't know till I hear it. Glad you enjoy it.

http://home.comcast.net/~oandx/pics/me.JPG
Me and my Jethro circa 1983.

That old Washburn of mine is a better mandolin than any of the Silver Angels that I played last week. It would flat leave the 2 pointers in the dust. Of course, I play Bluegrass, maybe they are better suited to other styles of music... I have also played some fine Kentuckys... it is not a slam to compare them to a Silver Angel.

But I understand, you have a financial interest in defending these mandolins and Ken is your buddy, which is fine.

kyken
Feb-06-2006, 9:28pm
I need to correct myself, it's Alan Perdue that will be playing my mandos. Talked to him today. He's a heck of a player too. I consider him one of the best.

mandoJeremy
Feb-06-2006, 9:40pm
I am a little just disgusted with some of your remarks Hutto and I say that in utmost respect and restraint! #I would never, ever tell someone that my mandolin is better than their's and I would never tell a builder that his mandolins don't sound good on a public forum. #That would be like me or anyone else on here that heard you play saying that we were better players than you. #That's just not the type of thing I would ever do but that is the only comparison that I can think of. #And also, how is being someone's buddy a financial interest? #I now consider Ken my "buddy" after meeting him and spending some time chatting with him this past weekend but I definitely don't have a financial interest in defending his mandolins or anything like that. #The guy is a great builder and artist and I just call it like I see it. #I think you need to think a little more when posting around here because it seems that you are determined to just make enemies and be critical of everything here. #Of course, I have said things I shouldn't have in the past but I learned from my mistakes and moved on. #I guess my point here is that all people have feelings and we should be careful sometimes in what we say to them especially when it is a builder's work.

Doug Edwards
Feb-06-2006, 10:41pm
Let's see, mid thirties, first name Richard, red demon eyes. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Feb-06-2006, 10:48pm
I just call it like I see it.
Me too.

When you hang a price tag from something, you are putting it up for criticism.

I evaluated a product. Should I avoid giving an honest opinion, because the manufacturer might get his feelings hurt? Not a very responsible way to go through life. People evaluate their purchasing decisions a little more carefully and manufactureres are pressed to give the best possible product because of honest opinions and feedback.

The "financial interest" statement was directed at a gentleman that was defending the name on the headstock of a mandolin he owns. I never judge a mandolin by what is on the headstock or on the sticker inside.

I have no financial interest in any builder. I talk mandolins, just like I do when I encounter other players.

If I became your enemy over something I posted on an internet chat forum, I really didn't want to be your friend to begin with. Lets not let it get to that.

Best of luck in your picking.

mandoJeremy
Feb-06-2006, 10:58pm
I am not saying you should avoid giving an honest opinion at all. #I am saying there are more tactful ways of doing so. #How about "Well, they just didn't do it for me or something to that effect" instead of "pac rims sound better, my Washburn sounds better, they are for beginners, etc." #I also own a Gibson mandolin but I don't have any "financial interest" in anything they do. #I don't get paid if they sell a mandolin or not and that is what I would take "financial interest" to mean. #Something that is interesting to me because I would receive a financial gain from it. #Even if the guy and Ken were best friends he would still not have a "financial interest" in it unless Ken was paying him. #Lastly, I would never make an enemy over something you posted on an internet forum and if I would run into you I would love to sit down and pick a tune or two with you. #Best of luck in your picking also.

Feb-06-2006, 11:02pm
Let's see, mid thirties, first name Richard, red demon eyes. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
Don't let the picture of the innocent little boy lull you into a false sense of confidence when seeking to force an encounter with the grown man.

Feb-06-2006, 11:18pm
if I would run into you I would love to sit down and pick a tune or two with you.
I think we did a long time ago... lots of triplets if I remember correctly? If you are who I think you are, I met you the saturday night after you picked up your Ianuario. Ring a bell?

Your right, I am blunt and not always tactful. Not my best traits. I also don't "play the game" very well either. I try to make up for it by being genuine, truthful, and loyal. I guess it doesn't always work.

Doug Edwards
Feb-06-2006, 11:26pm
Just kidding, no harm meant at all. I apologize if you took offense.

I get a little amused over the fuss. Opinions are just that opinions. My dictionary states they are "stronger than impressions and less strong than positive knowledge". #Many types of opinions out there, some may be better than others. It's the passion behind them that amuses me sometimes.

Good picking.

pickinNgrinnin
Feb-06-2006, 11:32pm
Have to agree with Jeremy here. There are certainly more tactful ways to report your evaluations and opinions. I've read some of the other posts you have made on the cafe and it appears your lack of tact is not limited to this thread. Cafe posters seldom critize small builders in the way you have.

picksnbits
Feb-06-2006, 11:40pm
Ken,

Keep up the good work man. From what I've read on here, seems like all the other Silver Angel owners are as happy with theirs as I am with mine. I haven't encountered anything I'd consider trading it for that didn't cost at least 4 times as much.

Just wish I could have made it by SPBGMA to take a look at the latest crop.

I keep thinking the Nashvile-area cafe members ought to organize a mando-tasting sometime. I'd be glad to let folks try mine out. I'm confident it would hold it's own quite well.

Bart Nash (another satisified customer)

mandoJeremy
Feb-06-2006, 11:50pm
Hutto, that was so long ago that I don't even remember when I picked up my Ianaurio honestly. I was a lot younger then and yes I did play lots of triplets back in those days. I still like to hit them occasionally now but I had to mature as a musician and I got tired of just playing hot licks. Where was that at? Was it at Everett's Barn or where?

Feb-07-2006, 12:04am
Ok, this is getting pointless...

Everyone needs to seek out Ken and play the individual mandolins in question. Form your own opinions, its what I did. Maybe this will somehow increase interest and benefit Ken in the long run.


I am not opening this thread again, so if you have something to say to me regarding this subject, please send me a pm. It seems to be the best way to move on, for everyone. Thanks.

Scott Tichenor
Feb-07-2006, 7:58am
No replies back to Hutto #39 please. I'll handle this from here on. Continue the discussion if you wish, but keep the flaming out.

Moose
Feb-07-2006, 10:25am
THANK YOU!, Scott. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Doug Edwards
Feb-07-2006, 10:33am
Keep up the good work man. # From what I've read on here, seems like all the other Silver Angel owners are as happy with theirs as I am with mine. #I haven't encountered anything I'd consider trading it for that didn't cost at least 4 times as much.

I keep thinking the Nashvile-area cafe members ought to organize a mando-tasting sometime. #
Bart Nash (another satisified customer)
I feel the same way. I really got the bang for my buck. I would love to compare notes with other SA & Ratcliff owners. Especially the newer ones.

It would be interesting to see how the tone and or consistancy has progressed. There are way too many positive comments on the tonal qualities of Ken and Laura's instruments to indicate a hit and miss process.

I can make Nashville in a day's drive, plus I have relatives living there.

ourgang
Feb-07-2006, 11:15am
Doug Edwards

I have Silverangel #227. When Ken finished mine I went to his house and picked it up. I had Laura's #18. Each time while I was there he had a couple of finished mandolins and I got to look at them a little. From what I have seen of his work they are all pretty consistant with a nice deep, open sound and very comfortable action. Laura's mandolins are the same way and the tonal quality and volume of both are very consistant as coming from his shop. The only real difference I saw was with the distressed model he made for Shane Bartley and his was just a bit louder. I have shown #227 to some very good players and they were all highly impressed. The only negetive it received was from Wendy Miller and that was based on Ken's pattern, in that it was not EXACTLY like a Gibson F-5 in dimensions. Ken builds a players mandolin, and tho I am not a player, I really enjoy the time I've spent with #227. Just to preface a little bit, I am a guitar player but enjoy noodling on the mandolin, my favorite instrument. I think that if you got all of the later Silverangel mandolins together and tried to pick your's out based on sound, you would be faced with a difficult task since they are all so consistant.

Doug Edwards
Feb-07-2006, 11:36am
#The only negetive it received was from Wendy Miller and that was based on Ken's pattern, in that it was not EXACTLY like a Gibson F-5 in dimensions. #Ken builds a players mandolin, and tho I am not a player, I really enjoy the time I've spent with #227. #
I've had several play my mandolin. They liked the playabilty and sound, but not all were impressed with the style differences. I very much like the fact the SA is not a cookie cutter copy. The artistic qualities and individuality of many luthiers is very appealing. Tradition has its place but should not govern what is determined as considered to be a good instrument. Playability, tone, volume is what I consider important. Being able to make music is really the bottom line. It's such a joy. I've owned a couple and played many different imports. There are some really nice ones out there. My experience has been there is not a great deal of consistancy in them. Woods, setups, construction, and components are going to vary the sound of all instruments. You have to admire the luthiers that have it together to produce a quality consistant product.

BTW, I'm not much a player either. I do love it though.

Frank Russell
Feb-07-2006, 12:30pm
You know, I've always been on the fence about these. I didn't like the scrolls on the old ones, and I go back and forth on the angels painted on the back. Great artwork, but kind of an odd place for it. On the other hand, those I have heard sounded great, and I know Charles Johnson not only carries them, but has recommended them to me more than once. If you've got a mando authority like Charles J. behind you, I believe you've arrived. I favor the "darker" sound on mandolins, and the Silver Angels I have heard definitely had it. Plus, it's nice to see someone who's not afraid to try something new, and who supports his spouse's entry into his own field proudly. Frank

ourgang
Feb-07-2006, 12:53pm
#227 is the very traditional F-5 style with the F-5 peg-head. #No painting, no carving, but really nice wood. #The painting and carving are an additional charge that I could not justify since I'm not much of a mandolin player. #The birth 227 was a little shaky at first since Ken was bitten on the thumb by a Brown Recluse spider just before starting mine.

Doug Edwards
Feb-07-2006, 1:55pm
The paintings on the back are beautiful, but I'd be afraid to damage one. My son's an artist and I've come to respect the work and talent involved. OTOH, I'd love to have the relief carving on the back, very classy.

BTW, I have the older headstock, which I like a lot, and the simple scroll. The scroll is OK, but is not a great strap hanger due to it's design. It still plays and sounds great.

jasona
Feb-07-2006, 2:58pm
One of the other points that may lead to more newer pickers embracing Silverangels (if that perception is in fact correct) might be the value of these instruments--you get a great sounding handmade bluegrass instrument for an affordable price (about the same as a new Rigel or Breedlove). As a hobby picker, this is all of the mandolin I will ever need. Now to get all I can out of it! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

bgmando
Feb-07-2006, 3:35pm
There's a huge up and down in this thread for a certain kind of person: he or she who is on the cusp of ordering a Silver Angel.

I am one.

Scraping pennies from under the couch cushions to do so. But life is short, and I want a better mandolin.

I will move forward for three reasons. The positive comments.
A gut feeling about karma that's worthless to anyone but me.
A haunting memory of the wonderful tone coming from a left-handed mandolin about 2 a.m. at a small jam in the Pecan Grove at Winfield. I asked what it was -- Silver Angel.

Life has dice rolls. Makes it interesting.

But just wanted to say that input from those who know something about these instruments is greatly appreciated by those of us how here pondering them. And I doubt I'm alone.

jasona
Feb-07-2006, 4:04pm
A haunting memory of the wonderful tone coming from a left-handed mandolin about 2 a.m. at a small jam in the Pecan Grove at Winfield. I asked what it was -- Silver Angel.
This should be the penultimate deciding factor--not what I or Doug or Hutto or Ken say. Listen to your ear. The ultimate is: try one if you can.

If it speaks to you, grab it and don't let go!

Doug Edwards
Feb-07-2006, 4:12pm
I see you're in KC, Mo Bill(and it's good to be able know the name of those you post to). I think I've seen several posting from around your area, at least a little drives worth, that may let you test drive one. It's easy find some of the more prolific builder's models to check out. There are less than 300 Angels out there. You ought to start a thread to call some out close to your area if no one PM's off this thread. I drove 50 miles to meet the gentleman I bought mine from and try her out. Turned out to be the one Dan Kelly got from Ken and then went to Pete Stiles in Austin before going to the seller I bought from.

I keep hoping I'll run into a BRW, Brentrup, Hilburn, ect. to check out, but not yet. I'm surprised to not see more Eastmans around here. I see plenty of Gibsons, Webers, Flatirons, a Stiver and even a Dearstone at our monthly shows and area festivals.

I live in the mando poor side of town.

AND Jasona's right. It don't make no difference what anyone says about the SA or any other instrument. If it sings to your heart it's the right one.

bgmando
Feb-07-2006, 5:32pm
Good idea -- to satisfy my curiosity -- Any Silver Angel owners in the KC area?

Bill Graham

Mark Walker
Feb-07-2006, 5:50pm
I would be remiss if I didn't rejoin this thread and offer some comments on the current direction it has taken. #

Having owned two Silver Angels myself, I've had a number of people (what is it Ken, at least three or four now?) 'test drive' my mandolins and subsequently ORDER a custom-crafted mandolin from Ken or Laura BECAUSE of the volume and tone. #Obviously those are subjective and opinions will vary from player to player - and Hutto #39's comments are certainly valid and appreciated.

Having an 'arm's-length' relationship with Ken & Laura (I helped to create and sell Silver Angel embroidered hats and tee-shirts), I've developed a unique rapport with dozens of Silver Angel mandolin owners from all over this country. #I have YET to hear a single owner comment about volume, tone, brightness, chop - whatever - being anything LESS than 'above to far above average' on Ken's mandolins. #And frankly, most of them rave about how well they 'hold their own' against banjos and other mandolins costing far more.

As Doug Edwards commented, there will be some mandolins superior in 'raw' volume and tone to Ken's, and I'm sure there are a few of Ken's that for whatever reason don't have the same 'bark' as others. #I'd lay odds though that if you put any 25 Silver Angels head-to-head with 25 Pac/Rim mandolins, you won't find a single Silver Angel inferior in tone. # #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif #

Doug Edwards
Feb-07-2006, 6:10pm
You know, Dano took delivery of #237 not long ago. He's from Charleston, IL and I think drives a truck. Bill you might PM him and see if he ever makes it out your way.

Dano's SA thread (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=15;t=30558)

He's the big guy in the M.A.S. shirt.

Mark Walker
Feb-07-2006, 6:20pm
Doug - I wonder whatever happened to Dano? Haven't seen or heard a peep out of him since 27 December.... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Doug Edwards
Feb-07-2006, 6:27pm
I guess that's the last I've heard of him too. Perhaps the evil work routine has him down. I still don't have that problem. It's a shame, if I was working regular I might draw disability. My back has not been too good the last couple of weeks. Same song, ninth or tenth verse by now. Good thing I sold the banjo.

I just PM'd him, we'll see what comes up.

Mark Walker
Feb-07-2006, 6:29pm
Playing my banjo makes MY back hurt! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif #However, lately playing my mandolin while sitting down aggravates tendonitis in my left elbow (a result of another hobby - archery) - so I'll be standing up with my Silver Angel! #

Hopefully Dano will re-appear and grace us with comments about his Silver Angel mandolin soon!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

kyken
Feb-07-2006, 9:57pm
I heard from Dano. I think he'll be posting again before long. Had some sickness I believe in his family. hopfully all is well now.

kyken
Feb-07-2006, 10:12pm
To the guy wanting to know the price of this mandolin with the painting, it's $6000. I'll try to post a shot of the headstock tomorrow. Thanks to all for defending me, I really appreciate it. I know opinions can vary and I expect that, but Hutto evidently talked to me and played all my mandolins there at SPBGMA, but didn't say anything against them there, he waited to comment on a public forum, which I think is wrong, especially in the way that he did. I've been building mandolins since 1982 and have been through literally everything. I know I've experimented alot, but to me , that's the way to learn. Now, I've settled on what I'm doing and intend to stay with it. I've always strived for that deep woody tone, and I believe I have it now. My brother and Father make violins and they get the same tone that I do with my mandolins. I think it's ironic that one violin that my brother Steve has is especially deep and floor shaking. One man at SPBGMA played it and said it was "Tinny". All who heard this had a good laugh. Just goes to show you how far off some opinions are from reality.
Thanks again for all the nice comments...........

Mark Walker
Feb-08-2006, 11:23am
To anyone who took offense or issue with a comment in my earlier post (since edited) regarding my Silver Angel 'knocking the socks off all the mandolins in West Michigan' I must confess to overstepping my bounds there. #

Obviously I've not encountered EVERY mandolin in West Michigan; furthermore I've not played in public in nearly 18 months, and not at all with my current Silver Angel. (Which has an exceptional tone as well, though more 'woody' than my first I think.) #

My first one certainly had exceptional tone and volume, and when I was playing the 'festival circuit' in 2004 and jamming every weekend until the wee hours all over Michigan's Lower Peninsula, I only encountered one I thought could keep up with it - and none that surpassed it. #(That was in June of 2004 - at the DULCIMERFEST in Evart of all places...)

That being said, there are now at least four other Silver Angel mandolins that I know of in the Grand Rapids area, and I'm sure other exceptional-sounding instruments - Nuggets, Weins, Brentrups, BRW's, etc. - around as well that are equal to or better. #I've just not heard them, and again - it's a subjective issue.

So please accept my humble apologies. # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

I do maintain, however, that there are very few (if any) custom-made mandolins that consistently sound as good from both a tone and volume perspective at the PRICE POINT and value of Ken and Laura's instruments. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Moose
Feb-08-2006, 12:45pm
And again I say....,AMEN! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

ToneDeaf
Feb-08-2006, 1:16pm
Wow, this thread went to heck since I last looked. Two pages since I got fireballed two days ago. Just to let the rest of you folks know, Ken and I aren't what I'd consider buddies, although he seems like a nice enough fellow. I was trying to be as objective as possible in my post. #I think I've been to his place three times for some mandolin work after purchasing my SA from a classified here at the Cafe. #That is the extent of our relationship. I believe his work can speak for itself, good and/or bad.

I'm sorry if I contributed to a flame war.

bgmando
Feb-08-2006, 1:22pm
I'm glad Lloyd Loar wasn't afraid to experiment with sound and style, once upon a time.

Doug Edwards
Feb-08-2006, 1:39pm
I've been practicing with a mini disk recorder. Man it does not lie and tells it like it is. I've just changed strings to J74's from GHS A270's and was saving this mp3 to compare when I change back to the GHS. The J74's been on a couple of days and are still a little bright to my ear.

I don't see where you could call this thin and tinny. Also keep in mind a better player will produce a better sound.

J74's on my SA (http://webpages.charter.net/dedwards51/mp32/J74s.mp3)

mandoforme
Feb-08-2006, 2:12pm
Doug, it sounds good to my ears!

Mark Walker
Feb-08-2006, 2:30pm
Doug #- ditto mandoforme! #You can tell how yours has opened up. #It's got a really sweet sound. #And you don't pick all that badly either! #

Have you ever run J75's on it? Mine really barks with those rather than J74's...

I'll have to see about recording mine someday. #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Doug Edwards
Feb-08-2006, 2:59pm
They J75's were loud, but my hands don't do as well with them. Since I have stiffness, numbness, and some sharp pains in my hands and wrist the heavier strings wear me down. I can't bring myself to use a lighter set of strings. I use a medium/light or bluegrass set on my guitars. I still think the GHS mediums sound the best as far as volume and tone on the mandolin. The GHS set has a .016 A string vs the .015 on the J74's. I think it adds a little more to the tonal qualities. We'll see in a couple of weeks.

Oh, thanks guys. You are VERY kind. I'm pretty sloppy, but as Arlo Guthrie said "I ain't proud".

jasona
Feb-08-2006, 3:03pm
Its pretty similar in tone to my Ratcliff, although I think mine sounds a bit more open. I AB'd it next to a Collings MT2 and thought my Ratcliff had all the tone as the Collings but twice the bottom end. Of course, mine is 3.5 years old and the Collings new, so its not really a fair comparison.

I tried J-75s on mine, and thought the tone sounded dead (Arthur Stern and Joe Craven, who was playing it at the time, asked how old the strings were and seemed surprised when I said "less than a week").

Doug Edwards
Feb-08-2006, 3:10pm
I AB'd mine with a Weber Fern recently and had the same results. Mine was a lot more open, but the Weber was fairly new. I think that Weber will be really good when it opens up. Next week I'll have opportunity to compare with a couple F5L's at our monthly show. I'll have to get them on Mp3 with the SA.

bgmando
Feb-08-2006, 7:13pm
Doug -- sounds nice -- MORE!

BOO
Feb-13-2006, 2:45pm
I played the distressed SAs in Nashville. I thought they sounded great! They all had that dark sound and played easy. IF you dont care for them -you can always go pay Gibson 25000 for one thats distressed.