View Full Version : He who hesitates...

Jan-26-2004, 3:13pm
I saw this last night shortly after it hit and thought about jumping but didn't. I'd played a friend's similar model for some Irish jobs and loved it. Did I really miss as great a deal as it looked to me?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....IT&rd=1 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3700335978&category=623&sspagename=STRK%3AMEBWA%3AIT&rd=1)

Steve L
Jan-26-2004, 3:35pm
I'd say it ws a really good deal assuming the instrument is healthy and the seller honest. I have one of these I bought in the early 80's (mine is birds eye maple). I got it used about 20 years ago and paid about the same. They play great, but are somewhat quiet and neck-heavy. Still, for $400, it's a nice instrument.

Jan-26-2004, 8:49pm
MAS stroke me again. Besides 5 mandolins I do own already 2 mandolas, 4 folk short neck citterns (bandola-waldzither, laúd tenor, cuatro puertoriqueño, oud), a bozuk saz plus a 1929 vega tenor banjo and a 1930 Martin O-T18 guitar.... I love every one of them using them for my ceilidh band Nimloth (you could see some pictures of the instruments with spanish descriptions at http://www. nimloth.tk).... and now MAS made me mad again.... #I felt we needed a flatback bouzouki for the band.... where I play for some of our music a long monster called bozuk saz.... just for droning.... a bit....

So.... I am the fortunate mad guy who could not resist temptation and got the final bid.... but I also had my apprehensions I asked to the seller who answered with a short note only after I had already hit the buy me icon.... (I could not sleep last night trying to resist temptation..... I failed but now I have some answers.... and new questions to share....
according to the seller the instrument:

"It is a 3K bouzouki, serial#8048*** The warranty card says Sept 1984"
Rp... #it is that possible..... serial number and warranty date do not fit.... I have heard stories telling that earlier Flatiron OM design had problems that were solved after a overhaul the did in Montana... So I wonder among my axes I do own a 1988 Flatiron 2MW mando I do love by tone and volume.... so #it is really a quiet OM this koa bouzouki? Any opinions....

Another thing it worries me:
"It does not have a truss rod. The action is very comfortable, and the short scale is nice.
I do have the tailpiece cover. It is in the case.
There is a hump in the fingerboard, raising the 19th fret. With the bridge in normal position, some strings buzz in higher position, but #it is not otherwise a problem".

Rp....Would you suggest new fret dressing? any ideas.... please.....

saludos locos,


Jan-27-2004, 6:35am
First and foremost - Congratulations. These are usually nice playing and nice sounding instruments. Koa instruments "normally" feel and sound a bit warmer and tighter and than equal instruments made of maple but are louder (normally) than one made of Mahogany. If you do have a problem with a high fret or a curve to the fretboard, it isn't a disasterous situation. Here (US) - factory trained Martin repairmen are taught a method of replacing (some) frets with slightly larger (thicker) tangs to straighten out the neck. This isn't an uncommon repair and - it is a worst case scenario. Most likely, a fret dressing and clean up will get your instrument playable up the neck. These are very comfortable to play and even with your large collection of instruments, will add a different texture to your playing.

Enjoy -

Jan-30-2004, 12:35am
Oh man ... that is a STEAL.

The best Flatirons I have heard were koas ... unfortunately, they're not all equal. I have also owned a couple of koas that weren't as good as other koas I have tried but not owned Oh, well.

One can hardly get a Flatiron 1N or Cadet mandolin these days for $400, let alone a 3K zouk. $1000-1200 would be the normal price.

Richard Singleton
Jan-31-2004, 10:14pm
Congrats! I have a 1984 Flatiron 3k zook that I bought new from Elderly that same year for $440,and Mandolin Bros had a couple of that vintage about 3 years ago for $950. Mine plays, looks, and sounds beautiful and has aged nicely. Enjoy!

Feb-05-2004, 2:36pm
Wow, fabulous price! Congratulations are in order.
I bought a Flatiron 3MB 'zouk brand new in 1995 and loved the deep warm tone. (Interesting; the terms octave mandolin and bouzouki are both used on the labels inside the instrument.) Mine self-destructed; it couldn't handle the humidity in the Philadelphia summers. Although I have a dozen other mandolin and mnado-related instruments that fared just fine. The top and back developed ripple warping parallel and near the neck. And the action raised until it was about 1/2" high at the 12th fret. My authorized dealer used dessicant bags to de-humidify it which helped the top/back warpage somewhat and also filed down the top of the bridge so much that there is no more compensation left. This made it playable but it soon developed a buzzing sound so much that it sounds like a sitar. The action is way high for it to be fret buzz. I got disgusted and put it in the closet for years. I recently called Gibson in Nashville, explained what happened and they issue a return good number and asked me to send it to them for evaluation.

Feb-13-2004, 7:09pm
This is a little late, but what the heck.

Steve, that's a great deal! I remember hearing a few years ago that my Flatiron was only worth about that much and was disappointed, but like others here, I've since seen them going for a lot more. I've only seen one of the older koa models, but it sounded great and was holding up well. BTW, I think it does have a truss rod, just not an adjustable one.

Lee, that's sad and strange about your Flatiron. My 3MC is the same vintage, and though I live in a very different climate, I've never had a second's worth of trouble with it. Maybe it just likes dry air better? Who knows. I hope Gibson can get things straightened out for you.

Feb-28-2004, 10:55am
Hi there: just an update on this flatiron bouzouki that is coming his way to Chile.... just hoping to have it ready to use it for a local St Patrick festival in a couple of weeks. hre another steal I didn´t see, Just look another super steal on a flatiron mandola.... look and see.... what do you think?......
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....ory=308 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3704753058&category=308)

Feb-28-2004, 2:07pm
Hi lucho - I'll comment, since you "outed" me. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

I'm the one who couldn't resist on the 1N mandola. I think I was only the 4th person to even see it, and I said "wow, at that price, this one won't last!" I got it in my hands last week, and it's real nice. Nothing wrong with it at all except for the too-heavy strings that were on it. It's got a real sweet voice with lighter strings, and I'm happy!


Feb-28-2004, 4:49pm
Congratulations bratsche.... superb deal. If you ever would like to trade that mandola.... keep me in mind in your awaiting list... I do own already a Flatiron 2MW mandolin I love and now a Flatiron 3K zouk on the way and I would like to complete the set for my ceilidh band Nimloth (http://www.nimloth.tk).... therefore, as I know you are more classically inclined maybe you could be interested in one of my mandolas, a vintage 1900's Breyer napolitan style mandola I don't play much in my group because I usually play standing up ...it has the great classical tone of the handmade instruments of that time.... just wishful thinking.....
enjoy the mandola.....salu2,