View Full Version : Monroe Master Model

Jan-30-2004, 1:18am
Hello Fellow Musicians,
I've finally got enough $$ together to purchase a Master Model Gibson Mandolin. I've played Gibson Mandolins for over 20 years. I currently have a F5-L. I'm confused over the issues of "brand new" vs "used." I'm impatient and don't want to wait for the instrument to "open up." Although I do realize that any mandolin will sound better the more it's played.
I've priced the Master Models anywhere from 8K to 15K.
Has anyone played a brand new Master Model? How does it act right out of the box? Let me know your thoughts...and thanks!

Jan-30-2004, 7:40am
There's no reason I can see to buy one new, unless you want custom features. You don't get the registered lifetime warranty with a used one, but I gather that Charlie won't leave you high and dry in any case. However, Gibson is planning on going public, so prices will increase and policies may change.

Jan-30-2004, 7:49am

I am waiting for a Master Model to arrive any day....

I have played 4-5 brand new ones and they all were really "tight" out of the box.From all that I have gathered it takes 6+ months for them to open up and start coming alive.This comes from people that I know who have gotten brand new ones.
Reasons that I have heard are the Varnish,the Glue, and general breaking in of the instrument.

If you have the dough, take the plunge on the new one.Its kinda like watching your childs first step,first words...etc. You are not gonna save that much money buying used -vs_ new anyway,and you get the warranty.Just my .02

Good Luck in your Search

Jan-30-2004, 9:21am
I received my new Master Model around April, 1, 2002. #Yes it does take some time to break in, and you will notice definite
changes every 6 months or so. #Coming up on it's second year or life (born 2.28.02), it's just starting to sound the way I
expected it to be. #I had the chance to compare it with a
1923 Loar #(belonging to a well known mandolin player back east here in N.Va) a week or so ago, and I was surprised how well it did sound compared to the "holy grail" of mandolins.

One thing: it did take some experimentation with string action and finding the optimal string angle before I started to
fully realize the potential of this mandolin. #String action of around 7/64" on the G string at the 12th fret seems to be the
optimal setting for bluegrass on my MM. # Enjoy!! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Jan-30-2004, 9:29am
However, Gibson is planning on going public, so prices will increase and policies may change.

This is very interesting, could be a separate thread. I've wondered a couple things. (a) How much higher can Gibson mandos really go up before people stop buying them? (b) if building mandolins yields as little profit as we are led to believe, is it possible that the move over to public ownership could stop ot reduce mandolin production? © if I buy Gibson stock, can I vote to have them start building F-4s again?

Jan-30-2004, 9:35am
Oh, I forgot to mention that the owner of the Loar upon playing and inspecting my 2002 Master Model remarked how
Gibson had "gotten it right". I didn't expect to play a Loar that day.....I was practically speechless (which is hard for me to do).

Ron Kaye

Jan-30-2004, 9:39am
that's funny you mention the string height on your MM. I just got an A9 and it doesn't start to really come into it's own untill you get the strings that high. then it REALLY sounds great.

Jan-30-2004, 2:42pm
My master model arrived maybe a month ago. I orderd it through Tony Williamson and have nothing but praise to give Mr. Williamson. He knew what I wanted and worked with Gibson to get it. I would have to say that my master model is a work of art. I have owned several very good mandolins and this one is by far the best to me. My master model had great volume and tone right out of the box.


Jan-31-2004, 12:48am
The MM's I've seen, and it has been quite a few, sound great from day one. They do open up with time and just get better and better. However, they still sound great from day one. I just like the idea of having one that sounds great the day I get it and then see it just get better. Each day in a new and wonderful experience. Oh, I have a Master Model. I got it the old fashioned way. Good ole cash. I could have bought anything but I got what I thought was the best and I have no doubt I was right.

As far as new vs used, there are good points for each, however, as someone pointed out earlier there is not that much difference in price from used to new. I like the idea of being the first and only owner of my MM. Maybe I'm a snob, but I like that http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif .

goose 2
Jan-31-2004, 1:16am
I bought my Master Model two years ago. It sounded good the first time I hit a note on it but it was about 9 to 12 months before it really started to open up and sing. At two years of age and countless hours of playing it will knock your socks off. It is still getting better. I am glad I bought new. I think it would be very difficult to find a used instrument that played and sounded like mine for the simple reason that the vast majority of people with an exceptionally fine instrument hang on to them for dear life.

Jan-31-2004, 7:51am
I think the idea of a fine instrument sounding better over time is actually a combination of 2 things: the maturation of the instrument via absorbtion of sound waves seasoning and mellowing the wood, and, equally important, the player's appreciation and love of the instrument. I know my appreciation increases each time I pick it up. Ask Alan Bibey about his Loar, his standard response is "I love it more everyday".