View Full Version : Laura ratcliff "a"

Nov-11-2007, 1:01pm
Talked about this in another thread. Some shots.

This is the 200+ year old cedar top.

Nov-11-2007, 1:02pm

Nov-11-2007, 1:03pm

Nov-11-2007, 1:46pm
I followed the other thread as well. It looks beautiful and from your description in the other thread...it sounds that way as well. Congratulations!

Nov-11-2007, 1:48pm
Thanks. I'm really enjoying it.

No better excuse so not work for a weekend than a new mando!

Nov-11-2007, 1:49pm
Very nice! I love a one piece back!

Bruce Clausen
Nov-11-2007, 4:43pm
Looks like a fine mandolin. I'm a little skeptical though about the 200+ year old top, if that's supposed to mean the wood was harvested before 1807. The seller's ad claimed "This is a signature "A" model with cedar top done from a telegraph pole dated pre-1830's." But commercial telegraphy in the U.S. began in 1845.

Enjoy your new instrument!


Nov-11-2007, 8:25pm
I believe it means that the age of the tree, NOT the date it was harvested. Telegraphy began in the U.S. in the early 1840's. My understanding from the builder is that the cedar top is from a tree that was alive and growing 200+ years ago, and at one point was used as a telegraph pole. I don't think he meant to imply that telegraphy was around in 1807.

Not important.

Interestingly, one of the problems with wood of this age and usage is finding pieces that haven't been ruined by all of the nails, etc., used for posters and such.

A beautiful sounding and looking instrument, to say the least.

Mark Walker
Dec-10-2007, 4:30pm
LI - That top is beautiful! Is that the 'British Tan' finish Ken & Laura use?

That back is beautiful too for that matter!

Congrats! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Dec-10-2007, 4:40pm
Gotta be honest, I don't know what the top color is called.

I just can't put it down. And I've just been told I need to wear a wrist brace to combat tendonitis, so I have to lay off it for a while. Since I've gotten it, I've doubled my playing time, and apparently inflamed a tendon.

and - WORTH IT!!

Thanks for the nice comments.

Steve Cantrell
Dec-10-2007, 4:43pm
I agree 100%. That's a classy looking mandolin. I especially like the headstock design.

Dec-10-2007, 4:47pm
You're kind. It is a beauty.

This sounds kind of stupid, but I find myself practicing more on instruments that are more 'striking' to my eye. Of course, the tone has to be there, but it seems that if it's pretty I'll go to it more often.

That make sense in any way?

Dec-10-2007, 6:58pm
The world needs more pointy headstocks!


And that does make sense about how a good looking instrument just draws you in. My teacher plays this ridiculous looking BRW and I whenever I look at it I just start getting this silly grin on my face...

Dec-10-2007, 7:00pm
Great photo!

How could you NOT want to play it?

And I agree - my BRW is striking and gets a LOT of pick time as well.

Dec-10-2007, 7:14pm
How would you compare the tone of your Ratcliff to the BRW?

Dec-11-2007, 7:51am
Real different - you can't really compare the two. Each one is unique.

I am fortunate enough to have 4 great mandolins: Pomeroy F4, BRW Lt-H4-E, Ratcliff "A", and an Eastman 904D. They are each very different - not in bad ways.

The Ratcliff has a real deep tone, the BRW can play any type of music beautifully, the Pomeroy sounds like a chorus, and the Eastman has a wonderful cutting quality.

I often wonder if I was to limit myself to one, which would it be. And the answer I always come up with is the one I happen to be playing at the moment. I suppose that's a good thing.

Dec-11-2007, 1:01pm
Who'd want to limit themselves to one pair of shoes?
Nice collection, by the way.
What's next? (Come on, you must have your eyes on something or another.) http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Dec-11-2007, 1:11pm
You know I would like to say, you really can NOT go wrong with anything from Ken or Laura. They are such good people. And there mandolins really speak for themselves. They really are serious bluegrass mandolins. LOUD, Powerful. And sound great. Easy play..and nice looking to.

Dec-11-2007, 1:33pm
Who'd want to limit themselves to one pair of shoes?
Nice collection, by the way.
What's next? (Come on, you must have your eyes on something or another.) http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Lee - you will NEVER meet my wife! She wouldn't have thought of that!

Real tough question. Maybe a Phoenix? Played one at Mandolin Bros. this summer (believe it was a Jazz).....(or maybe the NeoClassical?)

MANDO83 - what makes the Ratcliff more astounding to me is that I don't play bluegrass. The tone is perfect for everything - it's truly a marvelous piece of work.

Dec-12-2007, 5:38pm
Funny, I was gonna suggest a Phoenix for you next. They're certainly unique looking and you need a two-pointer anyway. I had a Deluxe for a while and really did appreciate the ease of play, light responsiveness, clarity of tone. I wish the Jazz weren't so steep.

Dec-13-2007, 5:33pm
Yes, they are a bit steep, which is what stopped me from picking up the one in Mandolin Brothers.

REAL sweet sounding instrument, though. I wouldn't mind one at all. Very rich,resonant, "Tone Poems" sounding mandolin. It really drew me in. Actually, the other one that caught my attention was an old cylinder back, but compared to the Phoenix, there was no competition.

I'll probably have to sell another guitar or two, which I'm okay with.