View Full Version : Tim O'Brien

Dead Head Fred
Mar-07-2006, 11:57am
A few pics of my new favorite mandolin

Dead Head Fred
Mar-07-2006, 11:58am
the front

Dead Head Fred
Mar-07-2006, 12:00pm
Baby got back!!

Dead Head Fred
Mar-07-2006, 12:02pm
Thanks to Germain for his picture posting tutorial or I never could have figured this out.

And yes, she plays as great as she looks. A long wait worth every second.

Mar-07-2006, 12:07pm
Man! I'm happy you got to post these thanks to my tutorial. It looks gorgeous! The back is fantastic and I've always loved the understated nugget peghead. Very nice, congratulations!

Chris Baird
Mar-07-2006, 12:27pm
Is that all Nugget, or does Collings have in on it? Looks fantastic.

Mar-07-2006, 1:34pm
I think Nugget carves the top and Collings puts them together and finishes them. But someone with more info please correct me if I'm wrong. However it's done, they sure are might fine lookin' mandolins.

Mar-07-2006, 1:38pm
That's my understanding - is that they are assembled by Collings after Nugget carves the top. Fred - did you get this recently ? New or used ? MAS rears it's ugly head - again !

Dead Head Fred
Mar-07-2006, 1:46pm
my understanding from the dealer I got it from, as well as a trip to the Collings factory back in May, is that Nuggett carves & tunes the top & back and then Collings does the asembly and finish. #The fit, finish and tone are all that you would expect. #

It came new, after a long, long (but worthwhile) wait. #I think I put in an order in November/December 2003 when I first heard about the project. #My understanding is that mine was a part of a batch that got the total number produced up to #25.

G. Fisher
Mar-07-2006, 3:39pm

You are a lucky man not many of the O'Briens are available. I also heard rumblings the Collings is less than happy with the way the project has been going.

Mar-09-2006, 12:45am
Its now my new favourite mandolin too. Can I have it? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Gorgeous! Is the neck the same as Tim's Nugget?

david blair
Mar-09-2006, 6:02am
Well I have a third in line right of refusal for one of these, and I'm trying to get the wive's phone numbers of the ones in front of me!
Which number is yours? Is it flat or radiused? Varnished?

Mar-09-2006, 8:24am
That's a beautiful piece! All you need now is that worn spot right below the E strings...... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Tom Sanderson
Mar-09-2006, 8:25am
[QUOTE]I also heard rumblings the Collings is less than happy with the way the project has been going

Would you please elaborate?

Jonathan James
Mar-09-2006, 8:52am
I think from Collings side, they had ambitions to crank out more of these Tim O models than have indeed been produced. Collings is a high-production shop and Nugget is an independent luthier working at his pace...bound to have production slow downs with that approach. But, the final product is indeed sweet!

Dead Head Fred
Mar-09-2006, 9:56am
It is #22. #It is laquer, not varnished. #The neck is radiused. #I do not know whether the neck was done at Collings or Nuggett. #It feels very Colling's like to me, but then again I have only had the opportunity to play one Nuggett, so I could not really say.

As to any unhappiness between the parties I have no idea. #I #can say that no bad vibes found their way into this one. #I actually thought the wait would be longer, so it was quite a surprised when I got the call that it was being shipped. #That 48 hours seemed to last as long as the two some odd years I had already waited. #It was well worth the wait, and it sounds better every day. Now if I could just put it down in the morning and make it to work on time. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

G. Fisher
Mar-09-2006, 12:31pm
From what I have heard Collings was expecting to have more producted per year. I believe it was suppose to be 10 per year which is not a large number. Nugget is only making the top and back the rest is made and assembled by Collings. Also, the consistancy of sound is less than Collings expected.

Russ Jordan
Mar-09-2006, 1:31pm
[QUOTE]Also, the consistancy of sound is less than Collings expected.

I have communicated with 2 Collings/Nugget Tim O'Brien owners, and they both are very pleased with their instruments. And I look forward to getting my own before too long!

Dead Head Fred
Mar-09-2006, 1:37pm
Russ, make that three, #I could not be any happier. #My co-workers on the other hand... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Mar-09-2006, 2:08pm
Lovely...good luck with it! A black mando is next on my M.A.S. radar.

FWIW Tim 'O says his mando "has a neck like a baseball bat". So it sounds like you indeed have a Collings style neck.

How does it compare to say a Collings MT-2?

david blair
Mar-09-2006, 2:59pm
this Ome mandolin seems interesting...

Tom C
Mar-09-2006, 3:15pm
One member bought that OME from mando Bros for 3K. Later when he found out Mike Kemnitzer's only involvment with this particular mando was the inlay, he returned it and blasted mando bros. It seems this was built very shortly after Mike's involvment but he carved enough inlays for additional OMEs. Personally, if I liked if before knowing that I would have still kept it. Tone and playability are still more important to me than a name. I may go down there in near future when I have a freee afternoon.

Russ Jordan
Mar-09-2006, 3:17pm
You might ask Jim Richter about that Ome. I think he had ii for a short time. There was a thread about it a few months ago.

Mar-22-2006, 12:48pm
I owned that mandolin a year and 1/2 ago. The price was $3500 and Stan Jay was very insulting. Regardless of tone, who among you would be willing to spend $3500 on an Ome w/ no Kemnitzer involvement. Jay built up the Kemnitzer connection to sell the mandolin. When, through the help of Jim Hilburn contacting Kemnitzer, I found out the mandolin had no Kemnitzer association other than cutting the inlays, I told Stan Jay I was returning it. I told him the story told to me and pointed out that he will have a hard time selling the mandolin at $3500. Stan Jay said I didn't understand tone and the mandolin would speak for itself. Does he still have this mandolin? I haven't looked but I know up to a year after I returned the mandolin he still had it and had reduced the price on it.

Very nice mandolin and it had good tone. Problem is, there are many other A5 mandolins with equally nice tone from small builders at the same or lesser cost. I would prefer to get one of them. I only bought this mandolin because I, through Stan Jay's hyperbolic descriiption, thought I was getting a pre-Nugget.


Tom C
Mar-22-2006, 2:17pm
I still think that OME is one of the nicest A's I've seen visually. I should go down and check it out some day.

Mar-22-2006, 2:23pm
It's a very pretty mandolin--the finish is flaking off the neck. Great sound. Thick neck. My argument with Jay was regarding the pricing and some of the misrepresentation that led to his initial price point. At the right price, someone would be getting a heckuva mandolin.


Lane Pryce
Mar-22-2006, 3:03pm
Jim what do you think of as a fair price? Before I'd plop down that kind cash on an OME I'd have to save a little longer and go with one Hans' A's. Do you have any idea who crafted that OME? Lp

dove mandolins
Mar-22-2006, 4:42pm
I purchased that mandolin in 1977 from an Ovation sales rep at Giant Music in Falls Church Va., I was considered the original owner and would be happy to share what I know of the history of the instrument with anyone interested in purchasing it. Mandolin Bros. are off on a couple of details, but its a great sounding instrument. I traded it in 1997 for a guitar thats long gone. The volume and tone blew everything else in the store away at the time I bought it . I have regreted letting it go numerous times over the years, but had I kept it I might not have built my own.

Jim Hilburn
Mar-22-2006, 5:43pm
I believe Paul Schneider who later made the Summit mandolins took over the Ome mandolin project after Mike went out on his own.

Ken Berner
Mar-23-2006, 9:40am
Well, Paul Schneider is no slouch at building mandolins. I have played a couple of his instruments and they were fine sounding, with quality workmanship. His involvement might explain why this OME sounds so good!

Jim Hilburn
Mar-23-2006, 9:49am
Here's an article about Paul.

Schneider article (http://www.infomagic.net/~bluemoon/summit/mq.html)

Apr-08-2006, 1:06am
I have #16 and could not be happier. I have spoken to Mike K, the folks at Collings and Tim in my travels and this is what I have learned -

- The TOB model is made from wood from Mike's private collection. This is saying alot because of the results that Mike has produced over the years with his private stash of spruce. He cuts and tones all parts for the head and body. My mandolin sounds very different from Collings A and F mando's (I own both). I attribute this to Mikes private spruce, bracing, toning and slightly different sizing of F holes.
- The neck is Collings all the way and it is excellent. The same neck they use on their production models. Tim plays his TOB on the road and I have seen it up close; the neck is the same as the other TOB's. His reference to a "baseball bat" neck is his original Nugget.
- Tim loves the production TOB that he travels with. Told me that is sounds very much like the original and that it needs a fret job already because he plays it so much.
- While Collings might like to see more kits, there is no breakdown in relationship here that I could see. Mutual admiration all around. Mike takes his time and that is that. He has earned the right to take his time I guess.
- To my knowledge, none of the 25 have come on the used market and all sell 10 times over before the store ever receives them. This means their value will rise quickly.
- The one thing I wonder is whether Mike or Collings does the headstock inlay. I think Mike does it but forgot to ask when I spoke with him. I guess something has to be a mystery.

BTW - If you do like a baseball neck, that Ome at Mandolin brothers has one. I played that mandolin and the neck is huge.

Tom Sanderson
Apr-20-2006, 11:58am
I own #17. I bought it directly from Mike. I have owned 2 Nuggets, a 2 point, and an F5 Standard. I am currently waiting for a new F5 Deluxe that should be done in a few weeks. I have also owned 2 Collings Mandos, an MT2 (#16), and a MT. Those Collings Mandos were great, but the TOB is definately in a different league, so much like my Nuggets that I consider it to be a Nugget.

Apr-21-2006, 12:00am
Great TOB info...I have been wondering about the "ballbat" type neck, it is what I am looking for, I custom ordered my Hyalite to have a full neck and 1 3/16th nut width, and she is a ballbat. What is the nut width on your'all's 16 and 17? Post a few pic's if poss...thanks, I think I may call up Acoustic Music Works...later, dy.