View Full Version : Dickinson f5 #9

Feb-26-2008, 12:39am
Here is my lastest, built for Christopher Ryan Jones of the "Bluegrass Mafia"
I'm curious to hear what Christopher thinks of it, should arrive today or tomorrow in the mail.
This mandolin is by far my best yet, I'm not sure what I did right, but this thing plays itself and is loud,clear,sweet right outta the gate. I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but I have never played a mandolin that felt and played so well, not to mention tone.
When I strung it up (in the white) I made zero adjustments (a first) it was right, the first time, didnt even raise the bridge!
I hope Christopher feels the same as I do about this one, I feel like it's in a different league than any of my others and by a longshot. I took alot of measurements off it before shipping in hopes I can re-create this feel playability and sound.
Hopefully Chris will chime in in a few days, maybe I have just never played a real good one and this is just a decent mandolin, but as soon as I played it I felt like there was something very special about it. I just hope now I can get the next one and next one to feel and sound like this!
Here are a few photos of the building process. enjoy JD

The start

Feb-26-2008, 12:41am
Got a nice fitting neck joint, hardly needed glue!

Feb-26-2008, 12:42am
Nice shot of the back flame, ready for the neck

Feb-26-2008, 12:44am
Heres the whole back and neck in the white

Feb-26-2008, 12:45am
The top, strung in the white

Feb-26-2008, 12:46am
And a pleased builder from the first note! I'm not smiling because I am in shock!

Feb-26-2008, 12:49am
Now it's time to add some color!
OH MY G-- That looks like #%@&#*##

Feb-26-2008, 12:52am
Photo on the left was sent by the customer, said to try and get close to this color. (Someones Loar I think) I got pretty close!

Feb-26-2008, 12:53am
A closer shot first coat of finish on it. (Spirit Varnish)

Feb-26-2008, 12:56am
And now its buffed out and strung up, the tone and volume seemed to stay about the same in the white and after,

Feb-26-2008, 12:57am
Heres a full frontal

Feb-26-2008, 12:59am
A full back

Feb-26-2008, 1:00am
In this light you can see the yellowing of the binding

Feb-26-2008, 1:00am
Wooowee, nice work, that's a great looking mandolin! You really matched up those colors, congrats on a job well done!

Feb-26-2008, 1:02am
SIde Shot

Feb-26-2008, 1:03am
Customer requested reversed binding (blurry)

Feb-26-2008, 1:05am
neck and side flame

Feb-26-2008, 1:09am
And last Fern Inlay, with customers name on the tru rod cover.
12" Radius fretboard
Shaller Tuners
Siminoff Bridge
Bill James Tailpiece
Sitka Spruce Top
Flame Maple from Washinton State

Skip Kelley
Feb-26-2008, 10:21am
John, the mandolin looks awesome! Great job! I love the side binding and your staining is perfect!

Feb-26-2008, 10:27am
<Inappropriate comment removed by moderator.>

Bill Snyder
Feb-26-2008, 12:53pm
Well John I can't tell from your posts, are YOU happy with it? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
I really think it is great that it turned out so well. All of your intruments have looked good and it is nice to know that all your efforts have produced something you can be so proud of.
Keep up the good work.

Feb-26-2008, 7:58pm
Very nice, John. I'm also impressed with the side binding.


Feb-26-2008, 8:02pm
Thanks Bill and skip!

Skip Kelley
Feb-26-2008, 8:31pm
John, you wouldn't happen to be a Beatles fan would you?

Feb-27-2008, 12:26am
How did you guess? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif must have been the 3rd or 4th 9 aye?
Yeah I've been a fan ever since I saw them on Ed Sullivan, 1st record I ever bought "I want to hold your hand" and "I saw her standing there" on 45rpm. Finally had something new, so I could quit listening to my Aunts Elvis records.Now 45 years later I still have every LP on CD still listen to them quite often. Too bad it took Paul 45 more years to pick up a mandolin! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Skip Kelley
Feb-27-2008, 6:45pm
I am a big fan of the Beatles as well! I have a bunch of their CD's in the shop and listen to them often while I work. I have always loved their music.

Feb-27-2008, 11:19pm
Very nice work! You have a talent for sure.

Eric Hanson
Feb-28-2008, 12:04am
Beautiful Instrument!!

Feb-28-2008, 8:43am
Great looking mando - love the finish.

Feb-29-2008, 9:06pm
Hey Folks, Christopher Ryan Jones here...

John told me he put a few photos up here on MandolinCafe of this fine mandolin and as I was looking over the photos and everyones thoughts on the way the mandolin looks, I thought I should say a few words as the lucky owner.

I had the chance to buy a Dickinson mandolin about a year ago. I waited around and the fellow who had it sold it before I got the chance to get it for myself. So I broke down and contacted John about building me one. And he did and I'm glad.

The first thing I noticed when I picked the thing up (and it still amazes me everytime I pick it up) is this is the lightest mandolin I've ever picked up. EVER. So I tuned it up and was impressed that it right away held its tune. As many of you know thats not so usual for a brand new mandolin, right after shipment.

This mandolin has a great neck profile that I very much discussed with John when building. In fact John went back and unbound the neck while building it so he could cut it down and get it just perfect. I think looking back John would even agree that even though it was probably a pain to redo it, it was well worth it. Right John? haha, because this mandolin plays itself.

I know that on forums like this there is a wide range of people who play different genres. I play 95% all bluegrass. This Dickinson mandolin is definately a bluegrass mandolin. After I tuned her up, I went in my normal key (B) to see what type of chop she has. This thing has so much power and vibration even my stomach was tingling and my ears were blown away by its volume and deep bark. Several years ago I had the chance to buy (yes another mandolin I let get away) a proto type of the Gibson Distressed Model Mandolin. At that time it was the only mandolin I'd ever played that when I played a B the thing chopped it self. And I've always kicked myself for not getting that mandolin. Well friends, my Dickinson #9 not only barks on its own, it's louder than the Gibson was.

Some of you that have contacted me have asked me to what other brand would I compare the tone. That's very hard to say because even within a specific brand you get various sounds. But as I've told John, it really sounds alot like a Gilchrist. Now while that is MHO, of all the mandolins I've played and owned through the years, it sounds the most like a Gilchrist.

So why I sit here beyond happy with my new mandolin I have two thoughts in my mind...

(1) If this thing sounds this good NOW and its only a week or so old...what is it going to sound like when it opens up?

(2) This is only John's 9th mandolin...so they can only get better from here on out...what in the world can he possibly do to make these guys sound any better? Is there a better tone? And if he does make these things better and better...in two years...is John even going to have room for me on his waiting list?

(3) #9? Really? Hmmm I think John might be trying to get over on this one. Just kidding John! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

I've owned some great mandolins. And I've played even greater mandolins. I thought I had an idea of a loud, deep, woody mandolin. But I don't recall one that surpasses this mandolin. The highest complement I can give is this thought... If I were to start making mandolins, I would want my mandolins to sound just like this one.

Well, I just wanted to say a few words about this mandolin for all you who may be wondering. And I wanted to publicaly thank John Dickinson for building me this fine mandolin and also for his friendship.

All The Best,
Christopher Ryan Jones

Feb-29-2008, 9:29pm
That's cool!

Mar-02-2008, 12:30am
Hey Christopher: Thanks for the kind words!
To be honest with you, I played the mandolin about 1/2 hour, then I put it away and wouldn't touch it.Then I shipped it Friday instead of Monday like I said I'd do.
I quit playing it and shipped it early because the longer I played it the more I wanted it! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif True Story! Lets hear some sound clips

Mar-05-2008, 5:03pm
beautifull work, I love the colors!!