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View Full Version : New f-style glenn mandolin



dave19er
Feb-10-2008, 10:04pm
Here are some photos of my recently received Glenn mandolin, #116. #It's basically the student F, with body binding, wider neck/nut, radiused fretboard, Glenn inlay, and ebony peghead overlay. #I upgraded from the stock stamped metal tailpiece to the Allen bronze AR-2 tailpiece (which installed like a breeze, sounds great, and makes string changing really easy). #Shortly after receiving the mandolin, I received an email from Allen Jones, of Glenn Mandolins, letting me know that mine will be the last Glenn mandolin (mine was the third in a lot of three, one of which at least, I believe, belongs to a fellow Mandolin Cafe member), as he's been hired by Gibson to build mandolins for them in Nashville.

The mando plays and sounds great. #I love the tone (can't wait to hear it when it really starts to open up) and it really holds its own with my cannon of a D-18. While very cool that Allen will be building mandolins for Gibson, it's a shame that he won't be building such great, reasonably priced mandolins on his own anymore.

http://lh6.google.com/dave19er/R6-wtpE8wuI/AAAAAAAAAFw/njCiNs7Cj8s/s800/IMG_1844.JPG

http://lh4.google.com/dave19er/R6-wvJE8wvI/AAAAAAAAAF4/rJ7K9JjAfIg/s800/IMG_1847.JPG

dave19er
Feb-10-2008, 10:05pm
http://lh3.google.com/dave19er/R6-wx5E8wwI/AAAAAAAAAGA/WUIS-DlQY90/s800/IMG_1849.JPG

http://lh5.google.com/dave19er/R6-wzZE8wxI/AAAAAAAAAGI/_7OtMgo7CR0/s800/IMG_1850.JPG

Here's the mando with the original tailpiece

http://lh5.google.com/dave19er/R6-wsZE8wtI/AAAAAAAAAFo/brUBej7X4Tc/s800/IMG_1838.JPG

Bill Snyder
Feb-10-2008, 10:27pm
Looks good.

Jonathan James
Feb-10-2008, 10:39pm
Love the finish on this one. I used to own a great Glenn A5 that was as loud as any mando I've owned...He makes (used to make) a nice, affordable mando. Enjoy it!

dave19er
Feb-10-2008, 11:18pm
Yeah, I love the finish. It's a varnish w/ French polish. Someone else on this board had one with the lighter burst, and I really loved it, so when I ordered mine, I forwarded him the photos. I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out. And it really is loud and projects very well - I didn't realize how not loud my old mando was until I got this one.

leathermarshmallow
Feb-10-2008, 11:33pm
It looks great!! I love my new Glenn too.

When I got my A mandolin, I was disappointed that I won't be able to get him to make an F for me. I hope that I can get a F with his signature from Gibson someday.

dave19er
Feb-10-2008, 11:46pm
It's funny - I was actually planning on ordering my mando from Allen later in the spring, but ended up getting a nice bonus from work. So I totally lucked out being able to place my order when I did. Talk about squeaking it in under the wire.

I, too, was thinking it'd be cool to get a Gibson built by him

Kip Welty
Feb-15-2009, 10:11pm
I had Allen make me a lefty F-5 Nov 2007. Love it, love it, love it.

Chuck Naill
Feb-15-2009, 10:18pm
YOu have a beautiful mandolin. I love the sunburst tone and finish. That tailpeice looks incredible.

Skip Kelley
Feb-16-2009, 10:03am
Dave, The mandolin looks nice! Now get off the cafe and start breaking in that mandolin!:grin:

Bill Snyder
Feb-18-2009, 12:19am
Dave, The mandolin looks nice! Now get off the cafe and start breaking in that mandolin!:grin:

Well he has had it a year now(original post from Feb 2008), so it might be fairly well broken in.

Roydw3
Feb-18-2009, 10:35pm
I will tell you that I am ever the more pleased with my Glenn. It has really opened up in the last few months and it just amazes me. The tone is good, the chop is good, the playability is good. I really love this mandolin.

I am happy that Alan has gone on to work for Gibson and that he is able to provide for his family. I am sad that I will not be able to get an A model that would be a twin to this F-5.

This is an old thread of course but I am still just tickled pink over this fantastic mandolin.

pjlama
Feb-19-2009, 12:15am
That's a beautiful no nonsense mandolin, congrats!

dave19er
Nov-20-2009, 11:04pm
I know this is an old thread, but thought I'd give an update. I really love this mandolin - the tone has really opened up, and it sounds great. I can easily out loud the three dreadnaught players in my group. I have lots of friends with a variety of mandos (nothing really nice - mostly in the same price range as the Glenn), and none come any where near the tone quality. While some of the finishing touches leave a little to be desired (the varnish isn't perfect everywhere), I've since played a ton of mandos, and I'm extremely pleased with what I got for what I paid, especially as a number of the features that mine has, such as a wider neck and radiused fretboard, aren't available on most other mandos in that price range.

The only thing that bothers me about the mandolin is that about six months or so after I purchased it, it developed a bit of a hump towards the end of the fretboard. The luthier I took it to said that the only way to really fix it was to replace the fretboard, which would have been mighty pricey, so he leveled the frets, and that took care of 98% of the buzzing that the hump caused. As I'm normally comping chords and doing runs around the first position, it doesn't bother me in the least. Now, I would normally have tried to get this fixed under warranty, but the Glenn warranty very clearly stated that the warranty was only good as long as Allen was in business as Glenn Mandolins (or something to that effect). As mine was the last one he built, that was pretty much the end of the road - plus, I didn't have a way to contact Allen, after he moved to Nashville.

So, all in all, I love my mando. I would certainly order it again, given the opportunity to go back in time. It's comfortable, plays and sounds great, and I really love how it looks. Love the varnish and the burst.

John Malayter
Nov-22-2009, 10:50am
The luthier I took it to said that the only way to really fix it was to replace the fretboard,


NOT True......

This is something that happens fairly regularly with smaller builders, I'm not sure why but I believe it has something to do with the neck joint. My Stanley had done this recently and its definitely fixable. When it happened to me, I was pretty bummed and considered selling the mandolin.

A good luthier can remove the frets and plane down the fretboard which removes the "bump". Once this is done, they replace the frets and waalllaa! back to new shape.

Depending where you are there should be guys out there to do this, its basically a fret job but instead of replacing the first 12 or so all have to go. Call Big Joe, I bet he's done thousands of these.

Good Luck

dave19er
Nov-22-2009, 11:37am
NOT True......

This is something that happens fairly regularly with smaller builders, I'm not sure why but I believe it has something to do with the neck joint. My Stanley had done this recently and its definitely fixable. When it happened to me, I was pretty bummed and considered selling the mandolin.

A good luthier can remove the frets and plane down the fretboard which removes the "bump". Once this is done, they replace the frets and waalllaa! back to new shape.

Depending where you are there should be guys out there to do this, its basically a fret job but instead of replacing the first 12 or so all have to go. Call Big Joe, I bet he's done thousands of these.

Good Luck

hey, that is some good news! When I discovered the bump, I was seriously bummed, and, too, wanted to sell it. I had talked to a couple luthiers here in Colorado, and ended up going to one who came highly recommended. However, I should have been tipped off that he probably wasn't the right guy for the job when I explained that the mandolin was handmade. "Handmade mandolin? Only way to fix these is with a fire poker." The fix he suggested - a fret level on specific areas - and did worked - he was reluctant to do anything more drastic for me, as he was "not sure the mandolin is worth it." Actually, the guy was an a**. He did do good work, and, as I said, the fix worked pretty well, but at some point, I think I am gonna want to do the fix you suggest, as I do think the mando is worth it. Oh, and I never went back to him (most of my instrument issues I can fix myself - it's just for the drastic stuff that I need a luthier).

Thanks for correcting me on this!

John Malayter
Nov-22-2009, 3:55pm
Colorado, call Don Paine from pomeroy mandolins, he can do it for sure.

There are some other builders out that way that escape me but look around and don't let "just anyone" handle this job. Its not rocket science however as my father used to say. Don't let a shoemaker build your house......It could turn fugggly quick.

The cafe has some great resources and worst case start a thread.

good luck, you wont believe what you've been missing.

JM

jim simpson
Jun-13-2010, 8:35pm
I picked up this Glenn today. It was made August 23. 2006. It is pretty stripped down in terms of no binding and matte finish. I like the way it plays and sounds.

grassrootphilosopher
Jun-14-2010, 4:48am
Broken in mandos require a soundclip/video post... (mando looks good)

jim simpson
Jun-14-2010, 10:03pm
Olaf,
I'm sorry I currently don't have ability/knowledge to post video and/or soundclip. I did take it to a band practice tonight and got a thumbs up from the bandmates. I really like the volume it puts out. The inside of the scroll was too tight for the strap I took with so I need to fit one for it. No complaints about this one. I understand that there is not an ajustable truss rod but instead, a carbon fiber rod.
Jim

Mike Snyder
Jun-14-2010, 10:34pm
Allen is back in Missouri building Glenn mandolins. Any problems encountered with his earlier builds can be referred to him. He is a real nice guy, and I feel sure that he would honor any warranty offered on his pre-Gibson instruments. He's that good a fella. His mandos sounded good before he worked at the big "G", and I have to believe that they will be even better after being dunked in the more fast paced, production oriented world of big-name building. Did I mention that he's a nice guy?

P.S.- He has a newly built F5 in the classifieds. His contact info, too. No web address yet.

walt1music
Jul-07-2011, 9:01am
I bought a mandolin from Allen in 2005 and had problems with the fretboard also I took it back to Allen a couple of times and he made neck and nut adjustment after a while I put the mandolin up because it was a pain to play up the neck and had a lot more guitar work . Pulled it out a while back and took it to Jerry Rosa since Allen was in Nashville working for Gibson and found out the neck was set crooked and the fretboard was unlevel . Jerry did a quick fix and filed the frets level but didn't crown the frets and the outcome was that the mandolin played up the neck better but took the life out of the mandolin it was easier to play but there was no response from the fretboard it felt dead. I found out Allen was back in town and called him and told him what Jerry had said and also wanted to order a James tailpiece for him to install Allen said he would and would call me when it came in , well he never did and when I went to his home in Dixon I found out he is back at Gibson in the electric guitar division so I got his number and called him and he said he doesn't have a space where he is at to fix mandolins and that was about it .I recently spent a lot of money to have what should have been a warranty issue repaired I wish that he would have been honest about the situation when I first took it back to him the luthier that repaired the mandolin said that was a shame he did that .I love the sound of the mandolin but truthfully a man is only as good as his word .The lesson I learned is before buying a mandolin or any instrument have a luthier or tech ( someone you trust ) check it out for structural issues before you buy .
Sorry if this offends anyone but I stand by what I said and would be more than happy to talk to Allen about reimbursement for the repair ( since he is working at Gibson and no longer covering his warranties )
Walt Miller

Tom C
Jul-07-2011, 10:05am
Nice mando. I would have kept the orig tailpiece on. I used to have that same Allen tailpiece. hated it. I was never able to get the "D" off the tab that is next to the G string without letting all the tension off that G string. the G string almost touched the D tab. Same with A and E strings. If I were to break a string it would stink as it would take too long to change.

Jim Garber
Jul-07-2011, 4:51pm
Nice mando. I would have kept the orig tailpiece on. I used to have that same Allen tailpiece. hated it. I was never able to get the "D" off the tab that is next to the G string without letting all the tension off that G string. the G string almost touched the D tab. Same with A and E strings. If I were to break a string it would stink as it would take too long to change.

Tom: I think this is a different Allen. I don't think Allen Jones (of Glenn) makes the Allen tailpiece. I think you are thinking of Randy Allen (http://www.allenguitar.com/tpcs.htm).