View Full Version : Ellis #108

Chris Biorkman
Dec-28-2007, 4:32pm
Just picked this up from Smoky Mountain Guitars and couldn't be happier. It definitely lives up to the hype as far as I'm concerned. Here are some pics...

Chris Biorkman
Dec-28-2007, 4:35pm

Chris Biorkman
Dec-28-2007, 4:36pm

Chris Biorkman
Dec-28-2007, 4:38pm
Last one. It's much darker than it appears in the pictures. I can't get the colors right.

Dec-28-2007, 4:42pm
Aahhh....I wondered what was prompting the big sell off. Now we know! Awesome looking mandolin. I can't wait to play one sometime.

Dec-28-2007, 5:27pm
Beautiful workmanship... how about a good critique on the sound?

Rick Schmidlin
Dec-28-2007, 5:31pm

Dec-28-2007, 5:32pm
I'm drooling. Maybe next Christmas.

Chris Biorkman
Dec-28-2007, 5:38pm
Also wanted to say that Dan from Smoky Mountain Guitars was a pleasure to deal with.

Dec-28-2007, 5:48pm
Biorkman......the man with the plan!!!(that heals tendonitis) http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Im so happy for you! That is a magnificant looking instrument. I hate to be the one to ask for a sound clip, but how 'bout it?

Dec-28-2007, 6:05pm
Nice lookin axe! How's the woof? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Don Grieser
Dec-28-2007, 6:41pm
Exquisite. Bet the tone is too. Congratulations.

Dec-28-2007, 7:01pm
That's a real beauty! Love to hear a sound clip.
I am fortunate to own #86. #Tom and his associates are wonderful people and talented artists. #Had a change to visit his shop a couple of months ago to see everyone in action. Like I said, "fine people". #I try to play mine everyday. #You can't let a mando like that go to waste.

Dec-28-2007, 7:10pm
Gosh, that thing is beautiful. I'm a little jealous, that back is perfect, I love one piece backs and that one's as good as I've seen. Welcome to the Ellis family. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do mine and use it in good health. CONGRATS!

Dec-28-2007, 7:14pm
Congrats...give us a review soon when you can put it down a moment or two...

Dec-28-2007, 7:31pm

That's a GORGEOUS mando!! Congrats!!!


Chris Biorkman
Dec-29-2007, 8:25am
Thanks for the kind words, guys. Unfortunately I don't have recording equipment, so the sound clips will have to wait for now.

I'm still getting acquainted with the intsrument, but I am very impressed with the tone so far. It's really got it all, great bass and mids, and trebles that ring like a bell. It's got incredible sustain and really seems to love being played high up the neck. Pretty darn good chop too. I'm very, very pleased with it and thankful I have a wife who lets me indulge a pretty expensive addiction.

The playabilty is very nice. Coming from an MF-5, the rounded neck shape will take a little getting used to, but it's very comfortable. The varnish is very thinly applied on the neck and it feels great.

I don't think the fit and finish could be better. It really is a beautiful instrument that is immaculately constructed.

In other words, I like it.


Chris Biorkman
Dec-29-2007, 8:44am
Here is a picture of it from the SMG website that more accurately shows the actual color of the finish.

Dec-29-2007, 9:13am

Doug Edwards
Dec-29-2007, 9:14am
Nice! I played one earlier in the year. The workmanship is perfect.

Dec-31-2007, 11:37am
please keep the reviews coming and if you can get a sound clip that would be much appreciated and admired too... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Jan-02-2008, 11:37am
I got to play this instrument on Dec. 25. All I can say is you got one of the best mandolins I've ever played. I'm still in awe of it. Hope to have one of Tom's in the future. Congratulations!

Jan-02-2008, 11:40am
Hey PJ...you mentioned in a past thread that you put tone gards on your mandos...Did you put one on your Ellis #100? Did you notice a noticeable tone difference? What about damage to the varnish?

Jan-02-2008, 11:49am
Yes there's a toneguard on it from the first day, no damage to the finish at all and it helps a lot. I find that on most new instruments a toneguard allows things to open up much quicker. When I remove it now that it's six months old there's less difference almost a small enough difference that I could do with out it but it does protect the entire back so I'm leaving it for now.

Jan-02-2008, 11:56am
So did #100 sit anywhere for a number of months or did you get it from Tom right away? I know sometimes mandos can sit around awhile before shipping or in a store (and that's a very small amount of time)...Just curious...

Jan-02-2008, 1:00pm
It went from Tom's to Smoky Mountain to me in the space of seven days.

Jan-02-2008, 1:09pm
Thanks PJ...Now back to #108...Great mando lucky guy... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-03-2008, 5:56am
Nice looking - and surely nice sounding - instrument. Just out of curiosity: Did you compare it to the Duff they supposedly have at Smoky Mountain Guitars? If yes, please drop a line of comparison.

Chris Biorkman
Jan-03-2008, 7:16am
No. I live in California so I never actually physically went to SMG.

Mark Walker
Jan-03-2008, 8:33am
It went from Tom's to Smoky Mountain to me in the space of seven days.
PJ - you DO get your hands on a goodly number of fine mandolins, don't you? #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif # MAS, MAS, and MAS!

Chris Biorkman
Jan-03-2008, 8:47am
I think one Ellis equals several sold Ducatis.

PJ has it bad, but some of us live vicariously through him so I won't be discouraging his new acquisitions any time soon. I say go for it! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Rick Smith
Jan-03-2008, 9:00am
Beautiful Biork...Congratulations! Mr. Ellis is making some awesome instruments.

Jan-03-2008, 9:15am
Well put and the best part of the Cafe is that we can live vicariously through those who have MAS and get the beautiful and sometimes unattainable mandolins...

Jan-03-2008, 9:44am
Congratulations!! #Beautiful instrument. I have #103, built in May '07, and it is just starting to open up and come into its own. #I couldn't be happier. #Tom Ellis is a great guy, too. #Enjoy!!! #

Jan-03-2008, 1:00pm
Whoa...an Ellis just popped up in the Classifieds...I'm curious how long this one will last... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-03-2008, 2:23pm
It was a busy year for mandolins but #100 is my keeper. I will still go through some stuff, but the longer I have the Ellis the more I love and appreciate it and the MAS is not nearly as bad as it was. I'd almost call my Ellis the cure for MAS but I still enjoy buying, trading and selling so it's just the "ONE" while it gets visiting siblings pretty often. Just think of me a a foster home for wayward mandolins.

Chris Biorkman
Jan-03-2008, 2:46pm
What a great analogy. You wouldn't be willing to accept an annoying English bulldog into your foster home, would you?

Jan-03-2008, 2:58pm
Hey, I have an English Bulldog I'd be willing to foster out too...My Pitbull is a keeper though...

Jan-03-2008, 6:29pm
I guess for the right price I could take a dog http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-04-2008, 2:50am
Well...I happened to check out Smokey Mountain Guitars and low and behold Ellis #111 just popped up...Happy New Year to someone... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-19-2008, 1:07pm
Man, now there's two...111 and 101...If only I had some spare money...I'm curious about the 101 (just posted in classifieds)...Has anyone played that one? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-19-2008, 7:12pm
I just couldnt stand it......

Good Lord willing,I will be playing it in a few days http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Chris Biorkman
Jan-19-2008, 7:20pm
Congrats, Bradley! Which one did you get?

Jan-19-2008, 7:43pm
please post pics and reviews if you can...

Mando Morsi
Jan-19-2008, 10:13pm
Wow what a beauty!! Biorkman you must be one happy camper. I'm sure she sings.
Tom seems like he is making some of the best stuff on the market today defintely some of the prettiest, and hopefully one of his beautiful sunburst F-5's will be in my possession one day.

Jan-19-2008, 10:43pm
Chris, your new avatar is even better than the last. Pearl, which did you get? New or used?

Jan-20-2008, 12:03am
I am in the process of getting Ronns #101 from the Classifieds. Really excited to say the least.

Hope to have it in time for SPGMA in two weeks

Jan-20-2008, 12:07am

Chris Biorkman
Jan-20-2008, 1:09am
Thanks, PJ. That's my boy, Cole. As you can probably tell, I'm kind of fond of the little guy.

Bradley, are you planning on keeping your MM? If so, that's quite a stable you are building. I hope you love your new Ellis as much as I love mine.

Jan-20-2008, 6:36am
Even I couldn't pull that off with the wife http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

I will be selling the Skaggs DMM vey soon.I am considering
adding a MT2V to the fold very soon though. I have been playing for 20+ years and have just fallen in love with those Ellis Mandolins. I was fortunate enough to play one at Gruhns back around the time I got the DMM and havent been the same since. I am a loyal Gibson fan and have been for years so I hope that when I send that DMM away I wont have the blues.