View Full Version : kettler mandolins?

Jan-24-2004, 11:27pm
ive been playing a kettler for about two years and know very little about it. i have also never seen another one for sale. if they all sound like#0158 i may never.
tell me what you can.

Jan-25-2004, 12:01am
Personally don't know a thing about them, but I did find a listing on the web.

Kettler Mandolins
Rd. 1, Box 136
East Calais, VT 05650


Skip Kelley
Jan-25-2004, 5:32pm
I owned one for a couple of years. It was a tone monster! I think that is why you rarely see one for sale.

jim simpson
Jan-25-2004, 7:00pm
A good friend of mine has one. It too is a tone monster. He recently had the neck trued and refretted at Mandolin Bros. I guess the repairman had never played one and admitted to playing it for a couple of hours after finishing the work on it. I have tried to get it off of his hands but no deal. These mandos were usually stained a plain finish with a sharp fingerboard extension. The maker has not made these for quite a number of years.

Jan-25-2004, 10:37pm
mine is dark brown all over and lightens just barely gold where the yellow would be in a burst. also, the f holes are very petit and close to the edges of the soundboard. ill try to get a digital camera and get some pics up. wait till you see the torch. ill make an attempt tomorrow but cant promise anything

Frank Russell
Jan-26-2004, 10:40am
A fellow here in Southern California named Peter Feldmann plays one, a sort of natural-colored Kettler, and it is to my ear the sweetest, loudest mandolin I've ever heard in person. I tried to hunt one down last year, but they are hard to find. Frank

Jan-26-2004, 12:51pm
There are five of them that I have played here in NC and they are all LOUD! The loudest one that I have played was actually an A model that belonged to Glen Bowman. Glen also had an F that was the same dark color as the one you describe and it was my favorite one out of the ones I have played. His actually had a frog inlaid in the headstock. I have never seen any for sale either.

Jan-26-2004, 10:14pm
sorry guys and gals, still trying to get my hands on a camera. by the way, thanks for the adress. im going to get a letter off soon.

Jan-27-2004, 1:55pm
I'll second everyone on the tone and playability. FWIW, there was a thread last year sometime....if'n I remeber correctly the builder is no longer building. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif ......but don't tell that to my jammin buddy who might let his go! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Jan-31-2004, 1:31pm
hey here are those pics i promised thanks to my buddy eric.ill also put the peghead on that thread for evryone to see.

This is the link to the images (http://www.erm909.com/aaron)

Jan-31-2004, 3:09pm
I like the Statue of Liberty-style torch!

Feb-01-2004, 12:52am
thanks, me too. so im thinking about getting a new mando. id like a gibson because ive never owned one but none of them ive played cant touch the kettler. im also not looking to spend ten thousand bucks. im coming into a budget of around five thousand in may for a new (second) axe, mabye a little less. id like suggestions?

Feb-01-2004, 1:04am
mandoh, I can honestly tell you that it is going to be very hard to find a new mando that will compete with a Kettler and I should know since I have played a few of them. The Kettler I player years ago always left me with the impression of what a "home" built mando should be until I got my first Chestnut mando....the Chestnut blew it away! Now, after 12 years, I own my Bush model Gibson and in my truly honest opinion, it blows away any mando I have ever owned; but only depending on the sound you want. Loud: the Bush has it....Deep and Woody: the Bush definitely has it....but there is a difference in the Bush, my others, and the Kettler. I prefer the difference but you may not. Feel free to PM me and I will discuss it even further with you.

Feb-03-2004, 1:01pm
The Kettler is indeed an excellent mandolin. They were made by Everette Kettler in Vermont. You are correct that he is no longer building these. I spoke to him once and he said his investment of time and attention to detail made profitability impossible.
Frets mag did a nice review of these in 1984 or 85. At the time Orrin Starr was quite enthralled with them, but I do not know if he still plays one or not.
Mine went from very good to excellent in 1990 when Carl Mcintyre refretted it with a slightly heavier gauge fret and planed the fretboard.
I have owned mine since 1986. During that time I have seen two for sale. One changed hands in the mid 1990s at BGFC Asheville, NC. I highly recommended it and a fellow (from SC I believe) purchased it for around 2500.00. If he doesn't like it I would consider having a second one! The other was posted by Skip Kelley in Thomasville, NC on the Cafe about a year ago and I do not know if he sold it or not.
The tone of mine is a little different than the traditional Gibson sound. My daughter always said it was a great jazz sound. The quality is more bell like and it is very loud. Mr. Kettler said this was due to the slightly smaller F hole design and the result of considerable expermintation. It plays very easily, especially after Carl's work.
Mandojeremy (I once finised second to him in a contest-my mando claim to fame) has played mine and I think he would confirm that Kettler is indeed a fine mandolin.


Feb-03-2004, 6:02pm
Hey Doc, you are right about your Kettler being a monster and every other one I have played! Are you ready to sell yours to me yet? When are you going to come by the store and check my Bush out (and give me a Kettler)?

Feb-03-2004, 11:01pm
hey folks, i just got home from a jam in ct where i had the chance to check out a dearstone f5style with a varnish finish. i had noticed the f holes immediately. they were the same as my kettler. and i thought this particular mandolin had great tone for being new. it wasnt as loud, though not many are. this fella really liked the kettler.

Feb-03-2004, 11:23pm
I have always loved smaller F-holes (the Kettler experience started this 11 yrs. ago) because I have always had this theory that I think the sound is more compressed because it doesn't have as much of a space to escape from. The Kettlers are some of the loudest mandos I have played and I attribute part of that to the F-holes. It's sort of chemistry and physics at the same time thing....something has to escape, it has two holes to escape from, the smaller the escape route the more it builds up before it finally does escape. Would any builder agree with me? Probably not but they probably haven't experienced a Kettler. Just my mind thinking and searching! I do love Kettlers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!