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btlnckr
Nov-02-2008, 3:35pm
Have any of you tried or own one of these? Opinions?

JEStanek
Nov-02-2008, 3:42pm
There is a nice review of the large mouthed one on Jazzmando.com (http://jazzmando.com/paris_swing_samois.shtml) . I posted the same message in your other thread! Welcome to the Café

Jamie

John Flynn
Nov-02-2008, 4:09pm
It's getting so you can't give anything but a glowing opinion on a brand/model without getting accused of "bashing," but you asked for opinions, so here's mine, FWIW. I've tried a couple in stores, can't remember what exact models anymore. Good points: Fit and finish seem very good and the price is nice. Bad points: I thought the tone was very unimpressive for any kind of music and the playability is just so-so. Also there are just such better options out there in the price range, I can't imagine why anyone would bother with them, unless they just liked the odd styling.

I'm not a traditionalist in appreciation of styling. I love new approaches, but IMHO, those designs don't seem to go anywhere that mandolin designs need to go. It's like a "Frankenstein" design: bits and pieces of other instrument shapes kind of haphazardly flung together.

btlnckr
Nov-02-2008, 4:16pm
John, Thanks for your candor! That's what it's all about in searching for something. FYI, I have my Flatiron A5 in the classifieds here & I just have to have a metal body guitar - as that's my primary instrument. So in selling the A5, I'll be able to purchase a gtr as well as another mando.
Thanks again.
Brian

mcH
Nov-02-2008, 5:12pm
I played one of the D / oval hole ones in a music store and thought it had a great old time / woody sound. Enough so that I actually looked into the line later [but did not get one]. I played the f model and wasn't impressed. It wasn't bad, it just didn't do anything for me.

JEStanek
Nov-02-2008, 5:41pm
Here's more review of the Paris Swing. (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20374&highlight=paris+swing) I thought Ted's review was nicely balanced. It pointed out the good and the not so good (to be expected on an instrument of this price point). Perhaps the error was mine in referring to the review as "nice" when what a meant was a "well done" review. I think the problem comes when someone reacts negatively to a brand or model in a way that can light someones fuse. I'm all in favor of someone offering a review of an instrument that didn't meet the expectations of it's price point. The other way someone can learn if these are good or not so good options for their money (and style) is to search, and if they start a new thread, the lack of voices says a lot, eh? Says the guy who says too much... :redface:

For the record I've never played a Paris Swing. They're not my cuppa nor is gypsy music what I play.

Jamie

John Flynn
Nov-02-2008, 7:59pm
I have my Flatiron A5 in the classifieds
Bummer on that, dude. You're gonna regret selling that someday.

allenhopkins
Nov-02-2008, 9:05pm
Bottlenecker -- before selling the Flatiron, you might consider that there are some quite acceptable import metal-body resonator guitars, at affordable prices. I had a Johnson tri-cone (since traded) that was OK, and Bernunzio is quite excited about the Republic line (here's an example). (http://www.bernunzio.com/item.php?sku=0812480)

I'd hate to lose one of those Flatiron A's...

TomTyrrell
Nov-03-2008, 10:27am
Unlike most of the "reviewers" of the Paris Swing mandolins, I actually own one. Mine is the oval hole. The fit and finish is very good, the sound is unique. I like it for what it is but I don't think I would want it to be my only mandolin.

In my opinion, if you are looking for a bluegrass mandolin none of the PS models will make you happy. If you are looking for something a bit different one of the PS mandos might be just the thing.

If you like the Flatiron A5 it is unlikely any of the PS mandos will satisfy you. There are many other imports that would probably do a better job for you. The "The Loar" 600 model (NOT the 500) is an excellent mandolin in the $750 range. Kentucky has several A models in the $500 and under range that would also work better for you than the Paris Swing.

btlnckr
Nov-04-2008, 4:46pm
Thanks Guys,
I really don't want to have to give up the Flatiron, she's a wonderful inst. I'm just not playing Bluegrass anymore, although it still suits just fine for Blues. If it doesn't move soon, I'll just have to pinch pennies, good things do come to those that wait, aint it so!!

Brian

btlnckr
Nov-04-2008, 4:47pm
John,
You're really making me consider hangin' on to the Flatiron.

Caleb
Nov-04-2008, 5:55pm
I played a Paris Swing a few months ago and it was one of the nicest mandolins I'd ever played. I thought it was hideously overpriced, but I really did like it. It was a blonde F-style with the oval soundhole. I'd not hesitate to buy one if I thought the price was fair.

JEStanek
Nov-04-2008, 6:04pm
I wouldn't trade the Flatty down for.... anything in the sub $1000 range. The Flatiron will only increase in value as it gets older. I can't say the same for anything sub $1k (in general). Hold that Flatty and try and raise $300 for a Kentucky oval hole or a used mid mo (or a used Eastman 504) Honestly, you can play whatever you want on an f hole (or oval hole instrument) and get away with it. It isn't broke... don't fix it. Try and get the better guitar another way.

Jamie

Ken Olmstead
Nov-04-2008, 7:24pm
Another yes vote (sorry, its on my mind today :) ) to keep the Flatiron. If you are going to keep playing mandolin, that is about as good as it gets in terms of quality of sound, fit and finish and playability. Save the pennies for the reso and while you are waiting, explore some other genres of music on the old trusty Flatiron if you are out of the bluegrass phase for awhile. I believe the mandolin is a great instrument for any kind of music you want to play! :grin:

Paul Hostetter
Nov-11-2008, 12:53am
The Paris Swings, for the moment, are pressed tops instruments - they are not carved. Think in terms of the Old Days and comparing Gibsons to Harmonys. This will change as the production shifts to a different bunch of makers in Shanghai who will carve them, but let's be real about what Paris Swing mandolins are: an especially nice bit of Greg Rich art, and a good deal for the money. My favorites of the current offerings remain the f-hole models.

There is no tradition of gypsy mandolin. I don't know why people feel compelled to equate the look with a style of music, since the connection is so superficial. Someplace I have a 10" LP of 50's French music concocted as a souvenir for American tourists flying on Pan AM or somesuch. It features Stephane Grappelli on mandolin. I wonder what kind of mandolin he played? :whistling:

delsbrother
Nov-11-2008, 1:16am
Geez, Paul, you can't drop something like that without further elaboration... How did Grappelli sound on mandolin???? Do you remember the name of the album? Is it worth looking for?

Paul Hostetter
Nov-11-2008, 1:35am
He sounded quite competent, as you might expect, and the repertoire was typically cheesy and calculated to support all Frenchy stereotypes. Accordion, mandolin, bass, drums, a chipper singer on some tracks. Pigalle, La Vie En Rose, you name it. Not Grammy material, but rather music-is-a-service-industry material. My friend Joe Weed's dad got it as a freebie when his family went on vacation over there in 1960 or so, when the dollar bought 20 francs. I guess with enough persistence one could turn it up on eBay. I have a crate of cassettes I haven't listened to in years, it's in there somewhere. Joe has the EP.

delsbrother
Nov-11-2008, 2:24am
What I meant was, was there anything Jazzy (or, Djazzy) about his playing?

Paul Hostetter
Nov-11-2008, 2:35am
Not really. :sleepy:

mandroid
Nov-11-2008, 3:02am
On the other hand, .. off topic drift..
I got one of the late David Hodson's Djangolins.
got it 2nd hand, off the classifieds, here, I quite like it .
weak U$dollar did double the price , since it was British made.
:popcorn:

Ted Eschliman
Nov-11-2008, 12:14pm
There is no tradition of gypsy mandolin. I don't know why people feel compelled to equate the look with a style of music, since the connection is so superficial.

Oh man. Now you're going to tell me that when you shave, your facial hair won't grow back thicker, or if you go swiming a less than half hour after you eat you won't get stomach cramps.

I'm bummed...

TomTyrrell
Nov-11-2008, 12:51pm
I don't know why people feel compelled to equate the look with a style of music, since the connection is so superficial.

Could it have anything to do with the Django-looking guy on the label?

allenhopkins
Nov-11-2008, 3:36pm
Could it have anything to do with the Django-looking guy on the label?

Or with the name itself? "Paris" and "Swing" -- are they supposed to evoke bluegrass, klezmer, Vivaldi concerti? Not so much, I think...

Though, come to think of it, not necessarily gypsies, either.

TomTyrrell
Nov-11-2008, 4:21pm
Of course there is also the marketing, not much question about the target market.

"The Paris Swing Co., a division of The Music Link, is a manufacturer of gypsy jazz style instruments."

"The Samois Swing Mandolin is the model that's most familiar to gypsy jazz enthusiasts."

"The Django-inspired Nuages Mandolin features a smaller, oval soundhole which gives the mandolin a brighter tone."

"The Parisian Swing Mandolin combines the gypsy jazz look with traditional mandolin soundholes."

"The Paris Swing Co. proudly introduces a signature mandolin model from a pioneer in the American gypsy jazz movement. "

"Each Paris Swing mandolin has a distinctive right-angle cutaway on the treble side that players associate with the great gypsy jazz instruments."

Paul Hostetter
Nov-12-2008, 10:18pm
Find me one 78 of a Manouche gypsy playing swing on a mandolin. Is someone trying to make a point? If so, what could it be?

The guy behind Paris Swing and the other Music Link products, not to mention Saga's Gitanes, Gibson's Custom Shop for many years, the Tsumura Collection and so on, is Greg Rich. He grew up with John Jorgenson and Raul Reynoso and that crew, we're talking from junior high onward. He had a real juicy internal-resonator Selmer before any of them did, and they all eventually got them (and knew how to use them):

http://www.fgmrecords.com/graphics/Jorgenson%203.JPG

And he's been really close friends with John and company ever since. He's always been totally gone on the music, and he's equally gone on finding new and creative ways to generate musical instruments for people who love to play.

If there's a tradition of gypsies playing swing on mandolins, I'd love to know about it. John's CD called "After You've Gone" with David Grisman sitting in on mandolin (brilliantly) dates to 1988. Anything from before that, say, the 70's that could be considered "gypsy mandolin tradition?" I suppose Jethro Burns must have had at it earlier.

But the point about the appearance of the Paris Swing mandolin connecting to the style of music is obvious and of course I get it. Did Mario Maccaferri design the Selmer guitar for Django Reinhardt? Did Lloyd Loar come up with the F-5 for Bill Monroe? I like to think that instruments are tools and really creative people will use them (or at least envision their potential) in less confined ways than what the most obvious associations dictate. Which is what Django and Bill did.

TomTyrrell
Nov-13-2008, 12:39pm
Find me one 78 of a Manouche gypsy playing swing on a mandolin. Is someone trying to make a point? If so, what could it be?

But the point about the appearance of the Paris Swing mandolin connecting to the style of music is obvious and of course I get it. Did Mario Maccaferri design the Selmer guitar for Django Reinhardt? Did Lloyd Loar come up with the F-5 for Bill Monroe? I like to think that instruments are tools and really creative people will use them (or at least envision their potential) in less confined ways than what the most obvious associations dictate. Which is what Django and Bill did.

I don't know what your point is. Regardless Mario's intentions or Lloyd's intentions, Greg very definately intended to design mandolins for the Gypsy Jazz market. It seems there is only one person who is having trouble with that.

Only a person incapable of creative thought would think Greg's intention somehow limits the possible uses of the Paris Swing mandolins.

mandroid
Nov-13-2008, 1:19pm
OK, it's a look, partially get away from the whole 'F' look, but still catch the scroll lovers.

D. Hodson's, sized Uke like, but made some what like the Selmers
of a similar rosewood & mahogany
laminate for the back and sides of the body, but diverging, as the top
did not get the induced arch top of curved braces .

as the section marked 'eye candy' indicates,

http://www.mandolincafe.com/archives/builders/selmer.html

several other builders
have made the hybridization of the look and the mandolin nature
a reasonable alternative.

Swing or Sousa is up to the player..

TomTyrrell
Nov-13-2008, 4:33pm
<< Swing or Sousa is up to the player.. >>

Absolutely! I play everything but bluegrass on this one. I don't play bluegrass on anything.

Jim Nollman
Nov-18-2008, 3:43pm
I'm with you Paul, ALTHOUGH, I love to play some of the tunes from that well-established genre on mandolin. A Paris Swing would be my 43rd choice.

To comment on the other side of this thread, I played a Flatiron A the other night at a jam. It was extraordinary. Moved more air than anything else I've played recently.

Jkf_Alone
Nov-18-2008, 3:59pm
wow Tom, I get a ton of " I love your little guitar" comments already with an F style, you must get even more with that! Do you have any soundclips of that instrument?

Jim Nollman
Nov-18-2008, 7:14pm
Josh, i own that same mandolin, it is a Godin A8 electro-acoustic. You can hear some songs I've recorded with it at the web address posted here. As you can hear, I tend to modulate my sound with effects and filters, mostly via software. I get more comments lugging around my F5 than the Godin. Who knows why.:popcorn:

Jim Nollman
Nov-18-2008, 7:16pm
on second thought, that is NOT a Godin. No holes anywhere on the Godin. It must be a Draleon.

bbain
Oct-10-2009, 2:05pm
Hi, Newbie here. I'm a guitar player intrigued by the mandolin and found one cheap to experiment with. Already picked out "Liberty" on it fooling around with it in the store.

On a whim, I picked up a Paris Swing oval hole mandolin locally for very little $$ (pawn shop find), and need to find a case for it. Reading he reviews on what I could find, I'm a bit confused as to what about the Paris Swing is different (in terms of size or body shape) from a "regular" F body mandolin.

In a perfect world, I'd like to find a lightweight case similar to the TRIC case I carry my guitar in at festivals, etc. I don't really need a true hardshell, but if that's what will fit, then that's what I'll get. Any specific recommendations are welcome.

Thanks in advance for helping the newbie.

Bill
Atlanta

jim_n_virginia
Oct-10-2009, 8:13pm
John,
You're really making me consider hangin' on to the Flatiron.

sorry dude but count me as another who would keep the Flatiron.

davidspalding
Oct-11-2009, 9:35pm
On a whim, I picked up a Paris Swing oval hole mandolin locally for very little $$ (pawn shop find), and need to find a case for it. Reading he reviews on what I could find, I'm a bit confused as to what about the Paris Swing is different (in terms of size or body shape) from a "regular" F body mandolin.

In a perfect world, I'd like to find a lightweight case similar to the TRIC case I carry my guitar in at festivals, etc. I don't really need a true hardshell, but if that's what will fit, then that's what I'll get. Any specific recommendations are welcome.

Back on topic.... Greetings from a fellow n00b. I bought a Jorgenson MS-140 and love it. Classy look, nice sound. It came with a Guardian CG-044-MS case, which fits it like a glove (it should, it's for the Paris Swing mandos). Authentic black with dark green lining, which I believe the Gibsons came in. I bought them as a pair from a dealer on eBay in MD who gave me remarkable pricing.

My brother bought a 1930s style tweed case, also Guardian, I believe he got CG-035-MA. He loves it. Said the lining is more plush than the standard 044-MS. I am envious.

Happy strumming....

bbain
Oct-12-2009, 7:35pm
Back on topic.... Greetings from a fellow n00b. I bought a Jorgenson MS-140 and love it. Classy look, nice sound. It came with a Guardian CG-044-MS case, which fits it like a glove (it should, it's for the Paris Swing mandos). Authentic black with dark green lining, which I believe the Gibsons came in. I bought them as a pair from a dealer on eBay in MD who gave me remarkable pricing.

My brother bought a 1930s style tweed case, also Guardian, I believe he got CG-035-MA. He loves it. Said the lining is more plush than the standard 044-MS. I am envious.

Happy strumming....

Thanks for replying. I'd prefer a lightweight case, but your reply at least gives me a couple of leads. Some calls around Atlanta indicates that *nobody* had mandolin cases in stock, so I'm forced to mail order one. I haven't seen the CG-044-MS case for sale anywhere. Haven't looked for a CG-035-MA. Will that one fit?

Still not sure what the size differences actually are between the Paris Swing and a "regular" F-style . . . .

On the plus side, I was able to pick out "Liberty" right off the bat, so maybe there is something to be said for being tuned in 5ths! :-)


Bill
Atlanta

davidspalding
Oct-13-2009, 10:08am
... I haven't seen the CG-044-MS case for sale anywhere. Haven't looked for a CG-035-MA. Will that one fit?

Still not sure what the size differences actually are between the Paris Swing and a "regular" F-style . . . .
I forgot to point out that my brother has the MS-130 "Samois" model from Paris Swing, and yes it fits into the CG-035-MA.

bbain
Oct-13-2009, 12:12pm
I forgot to point out that my brother has the MS-130 "Samois" model from Paris Swing, and yes it fits into the CG-035-MA.

Thanks so much!

frenchmando
Oct-15-2009, 7:27pm
Hi everybody i'm a french fiddler, and i just begun the jazz-mandolin
I have a stagg electro-acoustic moedl and I acquierd a paris swing D-hole. Being a newbee, i was wondering th best strings for that type of mandolin?

Charles E.
Oct-15-2009, 7:56pm
I know it's Hollywood but Dave Appolon appeared as a Gypsy ( playing mandolin ) in the 1940's I think. There are photo's in the liner notes from ' The Man with the Mandolin ' on the Acoustic Disk label.

frenchmando
Oct-16-2009, 5:12am
Hi everybody!
I'm a french jazz fiddler and i begun to play mandolin few months ago
i bought on ebay a D-home paris swing mandolin and i would to know which srings for this type of mandolin?
thanks and sorry for my poor english..

frenchmando
Oct-16-2009, 5:16am
sorry for the double post... i didn't remember i posted yet..

davidspalding
Oct-16-2009, 8:24am
I believe a few people posted here that D'addario J74 strings were fine basic strings. I found them cheap (Amazon.com) so have a set of those. As someone new (to strings) I wanted cheap strings until I get really proficient at restringing.


I know it's Hollywood but Dave Appolon appeared as a Gypsy ( playing mandolin ) in the 1940's I think. There are photo's in the liner notes from ' The Man with the Mandolin ' on the Acoustic Disk label.
Oh, like this?

http://www.emando.de/weblogbilder2009/sweet_sue_400.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4SFn5avl_E)

The picture links to a Youtube grab of the scene ... with someone playing a monster, what is that, a 14 string mandolin??

Charles E.
Oct-16-2009, 6:31pm
I was actually thinking of the 1936 movie ' Movie Mania'. It has the Gypsy scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4YoqjhXVww&feature=related

Great stuff.

delsbrother
Oct-16-2009, 7:33pm
It's a bandurria or laud. Those instruments are common in Filipino Rondalla music, and most of the men in that vid were Filipinos.

As far as mando not being part of the GJ tradition... Like it or not I think Grisman has linked the two. So what is that, since the '70s? To some of my students, that's positively ancient times! :)) I first learned about Django through Dawg music/interviews, and (as I'm sure John McGann is tired of hearing me say) I think anyone playing mando in a GJ context is going to evoke comparisons to Grisman's style.. Is this good or bad? I dunno. I'm sure there were people who lamented the introduction of banjo in ITM way back when... And look where it got them! :)

Charles E.
Oct-16-2009, 8:57pm
In the liner notes to the Dave Apollon CD, it mentioned that Dave was a big proponent of Gyspy music. He recorded a number of Gyspy tunes and even played with Django in 1946 when Django was in the states touring with Duke Ellington.

davidspalding
Oct-18-2009, 1:23pm
In the liner notes to the Dave Apollon CD, it mentioned that Dave was a big proponent of Gyspy music. He recorded a number of Gyspy tunes and even played with Django in 1946 when Django was in the states touring with Duke Ellington.
Haha, *bump*. Sorry Grisman, you weren't there first.

Of course, owning "The Pizza Tapes" (CD rlease) and growing up in San Fran, I cannot hold any grudge. :cool:

JeffD
Oct-18-2009, 6:27pm
I just got one. Pictures in my album.

I am having a ball playing it.

I will report back when I have a definite opinion as to whether I like it a lot or love it.

Charles E.
Oct-18-2009, 9:14pm
Jeff, that is a cool looking mando. I love black faced instruments, What is the inlay on the peghead?

davidspalding
Oct-19-2009, 8:22am
It's the Paris Swing logo (full moon) with Eiffel Tower.

http://chromejob.com/images/20090527-1765-6-7_viola_stand.jpg

When I got mine, I mused about replacing the clear guard with imitation tortoise shell (Gibson F4 style), or finding a way to take the name off. Makes it look a little like a skateboard with John's name emblazoned on it. :P

FYI, the case in the bg is the CG-044 Guardian case I mentioned earlier. I bought it from the same dealer on the cheap, didn't come free with the mandolin.


I just got one. Pictures in my album.
I envy you your Flatiron...

JeffD
Oct-19-2009, 12:33pm
I bought the thing on ebay, as a spontaneous MAS attack. I bought it for pure aesthetic reasons, it looks so dang cool. Its my only scroll.

My thoughts so far - I like the weight and balance of it, the fit and finish are superb of course. The sound is a little on the brassier side, but that is easily mitigated by using a "darker" pick like a Red Bear or Blue Chip. I am still getting used to the fretboard extension. It seems to be right under the sweet spot. But that is not unique to the Paris Swing mandolins.

Other than how it looks, I don't find anything about it that lends it more to jazz playing than any other kind of music. I have been playing OT on it for hours now and some medieval songs, and some Irish polkas, and it all feels good, sounds good. Lots of fun.

And it looks so dang cool.

bbain
Oct-19-2009, 1:02pm
It would be interesting to see how the JJ model stacks up against the "standard" Paris Swing oval hole model. On the standard model, the long axis of the "oval" is inline wth the the fingerboard, whereas on the JJ model the long axis runs perpendicular to the fretboard.

Other than the pickguard, I'm not sure of any other differences.

bbain
Oct-19-2009, 3:57pm
FWIW, there's a blemished JJ model (new) on eBay right now with a B-I-N of $315.

Paul Hostetter
Oct-19-2009, 4:15pm
I believe a few people posted here that D'Addario J74 strings were fine basic strings. I found them cheap (Amazon.com) so have a set of those. As someone new (to strings) I wanted cheap strings until I get really proficient at restringing.

The J-74s are an industry standard and most pro players use them. Once you get good at restringing, it's a safe bet you'll still be using them.


http://www.emando.de/weblogbilder2009/sweet_sue_400.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4SFn5avl_E)

The picture links to a Youtube grab of the scene ... with someone playing a monster, what is that, a 14 string mandolin??

Dave's playing a simple Lyon and Healy mandolin. Some of the rest of the band are playing bandurrias. His amazing band was largely a Filipino rondalla group, and their instruments reflect that heritage.

http://www.lutherie.net/apollon.band.jpg

mandroid
Oct-19-2009, 4:16pm
There's a British Hodson D'jangolin on the classifieds [not mine] I like the way mine sounds,
It's a keeper. ;)
bridge has the same notched fret on it's top edge. It has the Selmer look going for it too .

:popcorn:

davidspalding
Oct-20-2009, 9:55am
Ah, bandurria. That rings a bell ... my brother either played one or mentioned them way back when.[1]


FWIW, there's a blemished JJ model (new) on eBay right now with a B-I-N of $315.
I bought mine from the vendor (Tim) in Salisbury, MD, and I give him high ratings. He spent time on the phone with me, and when I bought a Guardian case from him (really great price), he threw in shipping for free. Your mileage may vary. Nice guy, guitar player who runs a little shop.

When I talked to him, he said he'd bought about 40 Paris Swing mandos when they ceased production, and was clearing them out. My "blemished" model simply had some scuffs in the clear coat that a little buffing with Gibson Pump Polish cleared right out. He didn't have the manpower resources to buff these before sale, so the buyer gains. The one I found today has more than scuffs, but for the price you can't expect perfection, right?

BTW, the "bubbles" on the pick guard are probably from the plastic protective cover.

My brother has a Samois (the huge "D" sound hole) and said it's plenty loud, with amazing bass, Tim said the Nuages is rather bright, the Samois is deep, and ... the JJ MS-140-DK is in the middle of the two. That was good 'nuff for me, I really like its distinctive look. Will probably lose the pick guard as I get more proficient.

I was seriously thinking of getting some Red Bear "seconds" picks to try out, can anyone recommend a beginner's pick from his offerings? Classic II Light? Medium? I'm currently using Dunlop Nylon .88mm greys. I'm a n00b at sizes and shapes.

[1] Disclosure: my brother is the stringed instrument fiend, plays hundreds, all genres and national folk traditions. I was happy to stick with percussion. Always wanted to strum a mandolin, and finally decided to since the economy has been (reasonably) good to me.

frenchmando
Oct-27-2009, 4:57pm
Hi everybody! I received my paris swing mando D-hole end I'm really happy!
I was wondering if the M100 fishman could be a good solution for this type of mando?
thanks

bbain
Dec-30-2009, 10:40pm
Just to close out the original question I posed on this thread about a case for the Paris Swing mandolins -- A Gator GL case fits well -- just a tiny bit bigger on the lower bout than the Paris Swing mando.

mandroid
Dec-31-2009, 12:07am
Hi everybody! I received my paris swing mando D-hole end I'm really happy!
I was wondering if the M100 fishman could be a good solution for this type of mando?
thanks
They are a Piezoelectric strip inlaid in the upper bridge section , price in
buying a Preamp designed for a Piezo too,

There are long discussions of various pickups to go back and read thru..

another built in option is something attached to the underside of the soundboard .
big D soundhole would make it easier to see where they are fitting an internal mount.

Verne Andru
Jul-29-2010, 6:20pm
Old thread, but right topic.

I've been looking for a while to replace my POS Johnson f-style and became intrigued with the Paris Swing designs. I have been using my Johnson for jazz standards and gypsy jazz, so these seemed like a nice fit. I contacted Tim [same fellow noted above] and he cut me a great deal on the last JJ he had, which is enroute as I type.

Contrary to what Paul Hostetter stated, Tim claims the Paris Swings are carved, not pressed tops. I asked specifically but can't verify until I get it in my hands to check. Tim also said that the reason the Paris Swing line was "dropped" was because the cost of the all solid woods became so prohibitive they were losing money, even at the prices people are complaining about. Seems the days of plentiful inexpensive instruments has sadly come to an end.

Paul Hostetter
Jul-29-2010, 7:42pm
Trust me, they are not carved, none ever were. And his tale about the reasons for the demise of the line is also purely fictitious. Music Link is making lots and lots of lovely—and truly hand-carved from choice solid woods—mandolins and guitars. They've chosen to pursue the ones they're now making in their own new shop in Shanghai over the budget items, like the LM-500s and the Johnsons and the Paris Swing items, that they'd been having made in contract shops elsewhere.

Verne Andru
Jul-29-2010, 7:59pm
I think the point he was trying to make was that the market wasn't willing to pay what they were asking [as evidenced by many of the posts about PS on this forum] and their costs - primarily in the woods, according to Tim - made it a counter-productive business proposition.

I'm not sure he was being disingenuous. I had already made the deal while this conversation was going on, so it wasn't to make a sale. Since he's the fellow who bought the last of the stock and has been selling it off over the past few years, he does have a level of first-hand knowledge that I don't think can be discounted out of hand. And I've noticed a few "errors" in posts here on these, particularly the issue of a radiused fretboard which, according to the PS website, is in fact radiused ebony in the case of the Jorgenson signature model.

Regardless who is right, the Jorgenson D-Hole is going to be a far better instrument than my POS Johnson, which stretches the definition of "instrument" beyond credibility. It sits somewhere between mandolin-shaped-object and mandolin, being closer to the former.

Verne Andru
Jul-29-2010, 8:06pm
They are a Piezoelectric strip inlaid in the upper bridge section , price in
buying a Preamp designed for a Piezo too,

There are long discussions of various pickups to go back and read thru..

another built in option is something attached to the underside of the soundboard .
big D soundhole would make it easier to see where they are fitting an internal mount.

My local electronics shop sells piezo contact mics in packs of 10 for $4. They are the same technology as the K&K's. I've attached them to the soundboard of guitars and my mandolin with great results. My luthier put one in my mando and said it sounds far better than the Fishman bridge-type pickups. They do turn your mandolin into a microphone, but they are a cheap and effective way to electrify your instrument.

Folkmusician.com
Jul-29-2010, 8:17pm
Paul may have a bit of firsthand knowledge as well. :)

I sold these before they were discontinued. The instruments were niche and didn't move all that well.

Paul Hostetter
Jul-29-2010, 8:23pm
I think the point he was trying to make was that the market wasn't willing to pay what they were asking [as evidenced by many of the posts about PS on this forum] and their costs - primarily in the woods, according to Tim - made it a counter-productive business proposition.

I realize you're conflicted about who to believe, but he's got it wrong.


I'm not sure he was being disingenuous. I had already made the deal while this conversation was going on, so it wasn't to make a sale. Since he's the fellow who bought the last of the stock and has been selling it off over the past few years, he does have a level of first-hand knowledge that I don't think can be discounted out of hand.

Neither do I. I do consult with Music Link on their mandolin production, after all.


And I've noticed a few "errors" in posts here on these, particularly the issue of a radiused fretboard which, according to the PS website, is in fact radiused ebony in the case of the Jorgenson signature model.

Scrape it when you get it and see if it's dyed rosewood or not.


Regardless who is right, the Jorgenson D-Hole is going to be a far better instrument than my POS Johnson, which stretches the definition of "instrument" beyond credibility. It sits somewhere between mandolin-shaped-object and mandolin, being closer to the former.

They were both made in the same factory by the same people and machines. Same level of everything, different aesthetic. I definitely prefer the Paris Swing mandolins for their art appeal, and hope that in time the Shanghai shop can take them up and do a zinger version of them. Meanwhile, you'll have a good time. Please report back when you actually have the thing.

Verne Andru
Jul-29-2010, 8:37pm
Paul - are you saying I should expect the same build quality from the PS as the Johnson?

When I got the Johnson the neck had separated about a 16th of an inch at the heel. There were paint bubbles all around the neck joint and after I sanded that off found there was separation there as well. Multiple places the paint had been "chipped" off and they merely painted over it without even bothering to sand it flush. There are 3 cracks right up the length of the "ebony" fretboard [which is really stained rosewood]. The "ebony" bridge is, in fact, rosewood as well. And to round things out - most of the frets are cut haphazard with about two-thirds of them barely long enough to sit under the outer strings - about 6 of them don't even reach that far. Having them wide enough to touch the fretboard binding isn't even in the cards. And the supposed solid mahogany top is really laminate with tone "logs" instead of bars.

If the PS is as even half as bad, it's going right back. The Johnson is truly a marvel in how badly an instrument can be made. It did come with a nice case though.

Verne Andru
Jul-29-2010, 10:06pm
Hey Paul, I found this quote by you in a different thread:

[http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?39770-Paris-swing]


The Paris Swing mandolins are actually still made in Korea, but not for much longer, as the MusicLink production is phasing into its own shop (not a contract shop) in Shanghai. That said, there are two iterations of the D-hole model, one with a really (really) big soundhole, and a subsequent one with a somewhat more restrained grande bouche. With regards to any made so far, think Samick: pressed top with carved details, aesthetics somewhat ahead of sonic output. Have patience, as the next generation will have the same name, much of the same cool look, and be entirely better soundwise. No more pressed tops!

I went through some flipflops with these items. I disliked them at first, saw them as structural timebombs. But I set a few up for folks and warmed up to them, because they actually sounded remarkably good after a real setup. Of the three main models, my favorite is the f-hole one. For the money, they're pretty darned good, but you'd have a hard time believing that as they come right from the box. I think Ted's review (http://jazzmando.com/paris_swing_samois.shtml) is right on. The Greg Rich art touch is almost worth the price. That collage of stuff on the headstock, floating in 3-D, is priceless.

I'm just trying to make some sense from the discrepancies. Here you say they are made in Korea and are pressed tops and allude to them making them better when they move production to China. Then you say they never were made in Korea, etc.

Were there 2 versions of the Paris Swing mandos? If so, was there a change in the production approach along the way? And I'm confused as to whether you think they sound good or not.

Not trying to make you wrong, just trying to understand.

Verne Andru
Jul-29-2010, 10:11pm
And to muddy the waters a bit further, this ad states: Paris Swing MS-120 Nuages Oval Hole Solid Carved Gypsy Jazz Mandolin

http://www.instrumentalley.com/Paris-Swing-MS-120-Nuages-Oval-Hole-Mandolin-p/ms-120s.htm

Paul Hostetter
Jul-30-2010, 1:49am
I'm just trying to make some sense from the discrepancies. Here you say they are made in Korea and are pressed tops and allude to them making them better when they move production to China. Then you say they never were made in Korea, etc.

I don't recall ever saying that, or thinking it. I can't see any evidence that I ever said they weren't made in Korea. What slightly muddies it all is that the entire Korean factory, lock, stock and barrel, was bought by a Chinese outfit and moved to southern China, where all the lines it had produced in Korea continued to be made in China, all specs and quality unchanged. Which is why I said "made in contract shops elsewhere." Whether it as the Korean shop in Korea or the same Korean shop in China is immaterial.


Were there 2 versions of the Paris Swing mandos? If so, was there a change in the production approach along the way? And I'm confused as to whether you think they sound good or not.

I wish you weren't so obsessed with what I think. You bought one, it's coming. You need to make up your own mind once you get it. They are what they are, and they're pretty darned good for pressed top instruments. I stand by the thing you dug out of the archives. When the Korean factory moved to China, they did change the D-hole model (based on my posts of experiences with them looking like they were going to cave in, which some of them did), and a few other details. The second D-hole model had a much smaller hole, and it helped. But the transplanted contract shop evidently didn't work well for Music Link, so they bought some land outside Shanghai and built a shop from the ground up, and that's where they're making their stuff now. Some lines just didn't get continued there.


And to muddy the waters a bit further, this ad states: Paris Swing MS-120 Nuages Oval Hole Solid Carved Gypsy Jazz Mandolin

Look at that ad again carefully and see what you can tell Music Link wrote and what the seller said. This is extremely common: the sellers pump it up, and their augmented description is a bit dishonest. Music Link, as usual, says: "The mandolin features select, solid AAA flamed maple back and sides, a flamed maple neck and a solid sitka spruce top." Which is true. They never claimed it was carved. It's only muddy if you don't read the ad hype critically.

davidspalding
Jul-30-2010, 9:11am
... When I got the Johnson the neck had separated about a 16th of an inch at the heel. There were paint bubbles all around the neck joint and after I sanded that off found there was separation there as well. Multiple places the paint had been "chipped" off and they merely painted over it without even bothering to sand it flush. There are 3 cracks right up the length of the "ebony" fretboard [which is really stained rosewood]. The "ebony" bridge is, in fact, rosewood as well. And to round things out - most of the frets are cut haphazard with about two-thirds of them barely long enough to sit under the outer strings - about 6 of them don't even reach that far. Having them wide enough to touch the fretboard binding isn't even in the cards. And the supposed solid mahogany top is really laminate with tone "logs" instead of bars.
:disbelief:

I don't have a trained eye, but I didn't see anything like these defects on my PS JJ....

Jim Garber
Jul-30-2010, 10:47am
John,
You're really making me consider hangin' on to the Flatiron.

I second that vote! I own an early 1983 A5-2 and it will be the last to leave my grubby hands.

Verne Andru
Jul-30-2010, 11:21am
:disbelief:

I don't have a trained eye, but I didn't see anything like these defects on my PS JJ....

Thanks. I'm not expecting to find these problems either. But I do get a bit concerned when I hear they are coming from the same place that makes Johnson. Horrible POS - but I have been able to learn on it and it's time to move on up, as they say.

Verne Andru
Jul-30-2010, 11:40am
I don't recall ever saying that, or thinking it. I can't see any evidence that I ever said they weren't made in Korea.

In that same archived thread, the next post down goes:


Hi Paul,

I have two here. An MA-110 and an MA-120. Both are labeled made in China. I don't recall seeing a Korean version. I thought I got one a while back that had a Daewon sticker on the headstock. I could be mistaken though.

Add to the headstock, a very cool tailpiece and tortoise binding http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

And your response was:


You're right, and I had it wrong - they are made in China. I had them confused with some other Music Link instruments which are still made in Korea. Thanks for the nudge.

-------------


I wish you weren't so obsessed with what I think.

I'm not obsessed, just looking for clarification. I spoke to a real person on the telephone who told me one story then you come on an internet forum saying he's wrong and telling me to "trust you." I don't know either of you from Adam so, as your government says, trust and verify - that's all I'm doing.


You bought one, it's coming. You need to make up your own mind once you get it. They are what they are, and they're pretty darned good for pressed top instruments.

Yup. I have no issues with a pressed top instrument if it's well done. Clarifying whether it's pressed or carved will be beneficial if I decide to sell it further down the line, otherwise the issue is moot.


... the transplanted contract shop evidently didn't work well for Music Link, so they bought some land outside Shanghai and built a shop from the ground up, and that's where they're making their stuff now. Some lines just didn't get continued there.

Is the Paris Swing one of the lines that didn't get continued? is what I'm asking.


Look at that ad again carefully and see what you can tell Music Link wrote and what the seller said. This is extremely common: the sellers pump it up, and their augmented description is a bit dishonest. Music Link, as usual, says: "The mandolin features select, solid AAA flamed maple back and sides, a flamed maple neck and a solid sitka spruce top." Which is true. They never claimed it was carved. It's only muddy if you don't read the ad hype critically.

I've made a very good living in the past as a professional copywriter and marketing guru, so I'm well aware of liberties taken when wordsmithing. But both sources seem suspect since you're calling out Instrument Alley for misrepresenting the "carved top" and earlier you alluded to the statement on Paris Swings website that the JJ model really has a dyed rosewood fretboard and not ebony, as they state.

Seems like nobody's shooting straight here - hmmm ~:>

Paul Hostetter
Jul-30-2010, 1:45pm
Well, you continue to hammer me while inferring that I'm among those not shooting straight—please stop. You're wasting a lot of time, yours and mine, trying to get clarification on something so insignificant in the real world I can't fathom why you bother. It's a cheap instrument, for pete's sakes. It's not a life investment, it simply doesn't merit the hairs you keeping insisting on splitting in your quest for The Truth. Pony up some real money and buy a real instrument and perhaps it's worth going on and on about it.

If you were such a good copywriter, you'd have already noted that I said:


Music Link is making lots and lots of lovely—and truly hand-carved from choice solid woods—mandolins and guitars. They've chosen to pursue the ones they're now making in their own new shop in Shanghai over the budget items, like the LM-500s and the Johnsons and the Paris Swing items, that they'd been having made in contract shops elsewhere.

And you wouldn't be asking again and again.

Get your mandolin and make up your own mind whether the board is rosewood or ebony, or if it's constructed to your satisfaction. You really must have a lot of time on your hands.

Verne Andru
Jul-30-2010, 1:56pm
Well, you continue to hammer me while inferring that I'm among those not shooting straight—please stop. You're wasting a lot of time, yours and mine, trying to get clarification on something so insignificant in the real world I can't fathom why you bother. It's a cheap instrument, for pete's sakes. It's not a life investment, it simply doesn't merit the hairs you keeping insisting on splitting in your quest for The Truth. Pony up some real money and buy a real instrument and perhaps it's worth going on and on about it.

If you were such a good copywriter, you'd have already noted that I said:



And you wouldn't be asking again and again.

Get your mandolin and make up your own mind whether the board is rosewood or ebony, or if it's constructed to your satisfaction. You really must have a lot of time on your hands.

Respectfully Paul, all I'm doing is pointing out contradictions in your statements. No need to get all defensive.

Your "Pony up some real money and buy a real instrument" remark is quite uncalled for. But as we both work in the trade, I'll drop it since our paths will likely cross at some point outside the internet and I'd rather we meet on a friendly note.

JeffD
Jul-30-2010, 2:06pm
Well I have been playing mine for a while now, and I still like it a lot. It doesn't have the amazing creamy sound of some of my others, and if I push the volume it gets brassy sounding, and I don't know how you guys work around the fretboard extension right over the sweet spot, but it is fun to play, so cool to look at and mostly does everything I ask of it. I bought it on ebay and while I did not get all the mandolin I could have wanted, I definitely got more mandolin than I paid for.

Ed Goist
Jul-30-2010, 4:23pm
Discussions about and advice on brands, styles, producers, and models of mandolin can only go so far.

Although I believe it is absolutely essential to be an informed buyer, and to get as much info about a product as possible in order to make an informed buying decision, I also believe that when it comes right down to it, the only thing that really matters is how you feel about the way the mandolin plays and sounds once you've been able to spent some time with it.

What good are brand accolades if one doesn't like the highly-touted, expensive INDIVIDUAL instrument one has purchased? How helpful are brand criticisms if one really enjoys the modest, inexpensive INDIVIDUAL instrument one has purchased?

Non instrument-specific, pre-play evaluations can only go so far...The proof is in the picking.

Ian Rossiter
Jul-30-2010, 5:14pm
I'm really diggin' this thread. I got into GJ Guitar about 1 1/2 yrs ago, and love the style. I've been eyeballing these for a bit now,and am paying close attention to all the comments. I still want to get a Nuages in my hands though, just to try y'know? Ain't it funny how musicians are; in the GJ/ Django world, 99% of GJ Guitars are Selmer-styled/inspired,with not alot of deviation save for a few instruments here and there ,but they all look alike at 10 paces.

Verne Andru
Jul-30-2010, 6:24pm
FWIW - if you're wanting one at a great price call Tim Mauery [you can get his # off his eBay listings]. He'll sell to you directly at a significant discount off what his eBay listings go for. I got his last JJ for $225 shipped [his last eBay JJ went for $270]. He still has a few of the other models but no more in natural - just bursts left. Even if it is a pressed top, it's going to be much better than what I have and a lot cheaper than similarly made MK's and others.

I'm just a customer and have no interest other than trying to help people out when I can.

As far as the mandolin "cork sniffers" are concerned - there is a nuanced difference between a high priced premium mandolin and these pacrim offerings. But - and this is a huge BUT - once you're playing with other instruments in a noisy environment they're all going to sound pretty much like mandolins regardless of price. I'd rather keep the extra dollars than spend it on something nobody is ever going to notice.

i-vibe
Jul-31-2010, 7:09am
I'd rather keep the extra dollars than spend it on something nobody is ever going to notice.

uh, oh...........

Verne Andru
Aug-05-2010, 9:17pm
K - just got my PS JJ. It's supposed to be a blem, but I can't see anything worth noting. It's got a very nice voice - bit different from F-styles but in a good way. And the volume is somewhere between my F and my reso mando. Needs basic setup work [as expected] - oil fretboard, lower bridge, new strings, that sort of thing. Nut is cut properly and machines are smooth and appear to hold tune. I've not gone in with a dental mirror to check the insides, but I don't really care if it's a solid pressed or carved. It's a nice mandolin.

OTOH I was in a music store yesterday and tinkered with a $4,000 Gibson. To my ear the sound was weak and tinny, the finish wasn't any better or worse than the PS and it needed the same setup work plus the nut needed attention.

It would be nice to A/B the Gibby to the PS to say for sure, but I think in a blind tone test the PS would come out the fave. For me at any rate.

So the moral of this story is you don't always get what you pay for and I'm glad I ponied up $225 and not $4K. But YMMV.

Verne Andru
Aug-07-2010, 1:57pm
I'm scooping the fretboard extension and can verify the fretboard is, in fact, radiused ebony. Either that or it's the densest, blackest rosewood I've ever seen and if it is a dye [I've dyed rose fretboards in the past] it's the most penetrating dye I've ever encountered 'cause I've scooped a good 1/8" and it's still black with no rosewood brown in sight!

Verne Andru
Aug-08-2010, 12:24pm
I finished the setup yesterday. It needed new strings, a fret level & dress, fretboard sanded and oiled and I removed about 1/4" from the bottom of the top part of the bridge. Action is super low all the way up the fretboard and there isn't much difference in tone between open string chords and closed string. A bit, but not a dramatic difference like my other mandos. The tone is loud and sweet and it now plays like butter.

I couldn't get any light inside to see the bottom of the top to confirm whether it's pressed or carved, but I did notice the top has a noticeable recurve to it - something you don't normally find on a pressed top as far as I'm aware.

Only niggle is the tailpiece. It looks cool but requires a capo to hold the strings while tightening the machines. It's designed to be a bit off-centre [an aesthetic thing I guess] but that causes it to pull the strings toward the treble side until the strings are brought to pitch.

Cool mandolin and definitely a keeper.

JeffD
Aug-14-2010, 6:37pm
Cool mandolin and definitely a keeper.

I don't know if mentioned or not, (and I can' find it if you did). Which one did you get? I got the black one. A real stunner to look at.

Verne Andru
Aug-15-2010, 12:27pm
Yup - mine's black as well.

Tele295
Sep-02-2010, 1:24pm
I'm really diggin' this thread. I got into GJ Guitar about 1 1/2 yrs ago, and love the style. I've been eyeballing these for a bit now,and am paying close attention to all the comments. I still want to get a Nuages in my hands though, just to try y'know? Ain't it funny how musicians are; in the GJ/ Django world, 99% of GJ Guitars are Selmer-styled/inspired,with not alot of deviation save for a few instruments here and there ,but they all look alike at 10 paces.

Ian, what heresy!!!!!! lol

How's life in the Great White North, buddy? Are you coming down for DFNW?

JeffD
Sep-11-2010, 10:51pm
Well I have wrestled with it and wrestled with it. I have finally decided I will get the florida scalloped out. I think some flush inlay pseudo frets to keep the look, but I am tired of picking so close to the bridge.

delsbrother
Sep-11-2010, 10:55pm
Do what Django would've done - just hack the thing off.

bbain
Sep-12-2010, 9:45am
Well I have wrestled with it and wrestled with it. I have finally decided I will get the florida scalloped out. I think some flush inlay pseudo frets to keep the look, but I am tired of picking so close to the bridge.

The sweet spot on my Paris Swing oval seems to be right smack in the middle of the extension, and I've often thought of having it either scooped or removed. Let us know how it goes and how much it cost to have it done.

i-vibe
Sep-13-2010, 7:41am
Do what Django would've done - just hack the thing off.

isn't that what sam bush did?

i've never really (read: not at all) understood the fingerboard extension bit. does any one ever actually play up there? certainly not on the unfretted exts.....so what is the point? is it a structural integrity thing?

seems losing that picking area is nothing anyone would want. so...what's the deal?

Ian Rossiter
Sep-13-2010, 9:08am
Ian, what heresy!!!!!! lol

How's life in the Great White North, buddy? Are you coming down for DFNW?

HEY MAN!!! Things are good up here. We moved about 6hrs North of where we were,( the Mrs and I got really great job offers),and between gigging all summer and trying to renovate a house and work.....not much is happening!!! How's the Tele/Pompe/and now apparently..Mando world treating ya??

Verne Andru
Sep-13-2010, 11:51am
isn't that what sam bush did?

i've never really (read: not at all) understood the fingerboard extension bit. does any one ever actually play up there? certainly not on the unfretted exts.....so what is the point? is it a structural integrity thing?

seems losing that picking area is nothing anyone would want. so...what's the deal?

I may be wrong but I believe the extension was part of the Lloyd Loar silliness. It's all about the look and nothing about the functionality. In fact, as you note, it detracts from getting the best performance out of the instrument.

On my POS Johnson I just took a hack-saw to the extension and was done with it. Since the extension is a big part of the Selmer GJ guitar look I thought I'd try scooping first and if that didn't work I'd pull out my hack-saw again. So far the scooping seems to have the pick-click under control.

Jim Garber
Sep-13-2010, 1:05pm
I may be wrong but I believe the extension was part of the Lloyd Loar silliness. It's all about the look and nothing about the functionality. In fact, as you note, it detracts from getting the best performance out of the instrument.

The original intent of the F-5 was the ultimate classical mandolin. In classical music you do play up there -- some upper-level professional mandolins meant for classical even had more frets than the F-5. Just remember that at that time in the early 1920s there was no such thing as bluegrass.

i-vibe
Sep-14-2010, 3:05pm
Since the extension is a big part of the Selmer GJ guitar....

one of the gtrsts in my gypsy jazz trio is having problems w his high E getting caught under one or two poorly seated frets on the extension of his GITANE. no way he's gonna cut off 'cos as you said it's a big part of the look.....i've suggested to him several times he can put something behind that ext to support it and then apply some light pressure to get the offending frets pushed in.

he always says he's gonna do it...but then sure as tues follows mon....next gig.... gadinggarrrrrrupgh as it happens again and he has to fumble around to remove it!

Paul Hostetter
Sep-21-2010, 12:31am
I am loathe to get into a detailed history of Selmer guitars (again), but know that this discussion has lapsed (again) into some of the usual common voids in understanding abut Selmer history and "What Would Django Do?" nonsense.

http://www.lutherie.net/d_hole.jpg http://www.lutherie.net/oval_soundhole.jpg

http://www.lutherie.net/dr_n_Joseph.gif

Suffice to say Django did nothing but play them.

delsbrother
Sep-21-2010, 12:59pm
Suffice to say Django did nothing but play them.

Well, I think Django would've gotten my joke, at least. :)

i-vibe
Sep-22-2010, 8:01am
one can only hope. :)

mandroid
Sep-23-2010, 5:28pm
probably do better if the joke was in French ..

JeffD
Oct-04-2010, 2:21pm
Well I did it. The florida is a mere fraction of its former self. I had it scalloped out and faux frets put in, and it looks good. More importantly, I can play over the sweet spot without all that pick click.

i-vibe
Oct-05-2010, 11:24am
good deal, jeff....but were it me, i think i'd have to say aesthetics be damned and i'd just have at it w the ol' backsaw.

now that i'm actually halfway interested in aquiring one of these....the guy who was selling them on the ebay seems to have sold off his inventory of them.

ah, well. )-;

delsbrother
Oct-05-2010, 1:54pm
C'est la vie! :)

i-vibe
Oct-05-2010, 3:56pm
ok, i'll say it.... la vie!

bbain
Oct-05-2010, 8:10pm
Well I did it. The florida is a mere fraction of its former self. I had it scalloped out and faux frets put in, and it looks good. More importantly, I can play over the sweet spot without all that pick click.

Was it expensive to have done? I too am tiring of pick clicks . . . .

JeffD
Oct-06-2010, 12:48am
Was it expensive to have done? I too am tiring of pick clicks . . . .

I don't think it was expensive, no. Under $175 for him to lower the action and set up in general, new strings, scallop the florida, and inlay faux frets flush with the new florida surface.

I hae been playing the thing all week and its just that much more fun to play.

delsbrother
Oct-06-2010, 12:47pm
Florida? Shouldn't it be Brittany? Or Korea, for that matter? :)

Glad it worked out for you - that seems like a very small price to pay to make the instrument more playable.

i-vibe
Feb-21-2011, 10:26am
time to revive this thread as i just purchased a MS 130 Grande Bouche (big mouth). i was going back and forth between this and the smaller oval hole hole 120 but i'm hoping this one really does have the extra bass ooomph it's touted as having. i also figure it'll be easier to extract my pick after it falls in!

i would have preferred one in natural finish but the sunburst was what was avail. and i can live with it.

it's due to arrive thurs (in 3 days) and i'll post my impressions then.

Ted Eschliman
Feb-21-2011, 11:04am
Spoke with the designer Greg Rich at NAMM last month. New tooling (new builder, actually) and they are going to reintroduce a revamped version of the Paris Swing in the near future.

i-vibe
Feb-21-2011, 11:55am
hmmm, hope i dint make my move to soon.

tkdboyd
Feb-21-2011, 12:13pm
I own a John Jorgenson and it is a keeper--no mods to the Fret Board extension...yet! I have heard that there was some structural issues with the Grande Bouche. I hope it doesn't cause you any problems!

On a side note-I recently, within the last year or so, purchased a Saga Cigano GJ-15, and the top is caving in where the bridge sits. I hadn't seen or heard of this happening with this guitar, but I would continually look at the top of your mandolin to make sure it isn't sinking--granted my guitar isn't an arched top so it may not be as much of an issue?

Good Luck and enjoy!

Verne Andru
Feb-21-2011, 12:23pm
Spoke with the designer Greg Rich at NAMM last month. New tooling (new builder, actually) and they are going to reintroduce a revamped version of the Paris Swing in the near future.

Sounds sweet. I really like my JJ. Sounds better the more I play it - guess that's what they mean by "opening up."

The one design "issue" I have with the line is they really should have a slotted peghead to match the Selmer style. I know they tout the headstock inlay design, but I think it's a bit low-rent side, design-wise. But that's just my 2 cents FWIW.

I like the concept of the Grand Bouche and really like the way they look in the natural finish.

HNPSD [Happy New Paris Swing Day]

i-vibe
Feb-21-2011, 1:00pm
"I have heard that there was some structural issues with the Grande Bouche."

uh, oh...can you be a little more specific about what kind of structuaral issues?

tkdboyd
Feb-21-2011, 1:19pm
Stolen from JazzMando:
January 25, 2007 Samois Gypsy mandolin. We were updated personally by designer Greg Rich on the revisions:

* Reduced the profile of the D hole to address potential long-term structural concerns.

From the Cafe: go about half way down look for a long post from Paul Hostetter
(http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?32579-Paris-swing-mandolins)

With any luck your model was built after they addressed the issue.

JeffD
Feb-21-2011, 1:33pm
..but were it me, i think i'd have to say aesthetics be damned and i'd just have at it w the ol' backsaw.



I know what you mean. But my feeling on this one is that it was the aesthetics that attracted me in the first place. The sound and playability are good, very good, but there are others just as good and better but that just don't look as cool. (I know I am a shallow superficial soul-deficiant materialistic grub with questionable taste if any. But my dog sure loves me.) Anyway my goal was to try and keep the look but increase the playability and I am pretty satisfied with the results.

Its a lot of fun to pull out at a jam and for playing in general.

It really sounds best with new strings, I have to admit. If anything this would be my only complaint. It seems as if the instrument is more sensitive to string condition. Its usually the first of my stable that needs a string change.

But I am loving it. Sounds good and feels good, and no problem that it looks so cool.

I need to get a slate grey fedora to wear while I play it. And take up cigarettes. This mandolin, (the black JJ for reference), looks amazing in black and white photography with that ubiquitous jazz smoke all around. I wish I could play to the level that such a photograph implies. I will scan and post it soon as I can.

Verne Andru
Feb-21-2011, 7:20pm
If anyone is looking there is a PS Jon Jorgensen on Guitar Centers used site.

i-vibe
Feb-25-2011, 9:38am
well, mine arrived yesterday and i have to say.....she's a keeper!

even w the old, funky cheap-ass strings it was apparent this is NOT your daddy's mandolin. i went for the big mouth version and fortunately this is one of the latter day versions where they adjusted the square part of the "D" (the side closest to the brdg) making the hole a little smaller by bringing that edge of the soundhole closer to the end of the neck.

it was pointed out to me that the earlier versions w the bigger version of the hole (almost extending to the brdg!) had trouble supporting the string pressure.

glad i went w this model as it really does have a nice tubby bottom end to it.

ok the cons first:

small and low frets. not a problem if you're a fan. me...not so much so. they are quite well finished too!
inexpensive brdg...not horrible but the slots for the G's are too close together....easy fix. and not the best seating w the top...but not too bad either....and another easy fix. i'll prolly replace the brdg down the road.

pros:

i love the look and aesthetics.
very good and impressive build quality for a mando in the price range. finish/binding/rosette/headstock "art'...all well executed
larger neck w 1 5/16" nut and good front to back depth
modern AXL ( or AXL style?) open one piece tl pc.
tuners seem to be pretty good quality....i thought i might have to replace these but they have great action/smooth feel to 'em.
very nice figure on the two pc back...pretty poor "bookmatching" though.
very, VERY nice figure on the neck and back of the headstock

most importantly....i really like the tone and very repsectable volume. the playability as others have mentioned is great!

i suspect i'll have to do something w the "florida"....a scoop or possibly an "extensionectopy". i'm gonna try to get used to it but i have my doubts.


i have a gig tonight w my Gypsy Jazz group and i'd love to bring it out but i'm saddled playing the doghouse tonight! i think i'll bring it to show the guys and perhaps get our gtrst/mando-ist to play it on one or two tunes. doubtful though. he just got his sweet little '20's A4 all refretted and setup back from Mass St. Music a cpl of days ago and i 'spect he won't be putting that thing down even on breaks.

JeffD
Mar-03-2011, 11:19am
woo hoo!!

Verne Andru
Oct-23-2011, 5:29pm
I recently finished modding my Paris Swing John Jorgenson and finally got a great deal on a descent camera, so I thought I'd share a few pics of how it came out.

I "scooped the Florida" added electronics and changed the tuning machines.

The floating fingerrest is made from ebony and mounted with the pickup/pots/switch underneath. Nothing touches the top and all wiring run's through the D hole.

It has 2 volume controls - 1 for the Lace humbucker and the other for 2 piezo's attached underside of the soundboard. The 3-way switch goes Lace/Both/Piezo. The output jack is a TRS [stereo] and runs a stereo signal [piezo and bucker out separate sides] when the humbucker is selected. That way I can EQ and/or record the pickups independently.

I replaced the tuning machines with Grover 18:1's in black. One of the stock buttons literally crumbled to pieces, so it worked out for the best as I wanted to change them out anyway.

The mandolin sounds great acoustically and electronically. And I think it came out pretty well, visually speaking.

http://www.verneandru.com/WebApp/Downloads/Audio/Paris-Swing/Paris-Swing-with-Lace.jpg
http://www.verneandru.com/WebApp/Downloads/Audio/Paris-Swing/Paris-Swing-with-Lace-3.jpg
http://www.verneandru.com/WebApp/Downloads/Audio/Paris-Swing/Paris-Swing-with-Lace-4.jpg
http://www.verneandru.com/WebApp/Downloads/Audio/Paris-Swing/Paris-Swing-controls-2.jpg
http://www.verneandru.com/WebApp/Downloads/Audio/Paris-Swing/Paris-Swing-Grovers.jpg

Paul Hostetter
Oct-23-2011, 5:53pm
Looks great - you are ready to rock and roll!

sachmo63
Oct-24-2011, 8:06pm
That is WAY cool.

JeffD
Oct-25-2011, 12:46pm
Looks great! Really great!

I have the same model (I think), and I had the florida scooped and faux frets put in. Makes it SO MUCH more playable over the sweetspot.

i-vibe
Oct-26-2011, 3:07pm
looks great and i bet that p/u combo gives you lots of choices. very clean work. but i'm curious...you mention "nothing touches the top".

soooo. that lace p/u is floating? mounted to the pickguard then? i have a similar p/u i sometimes use on my dobro but mount it w double side tape.

if your's is in fact mounted to the p/g....i'd love to see some pics and get an explaination of how pulled that off.

again congrats on a super clean job. love how the black buttons on the grovers look w the rest!

Verne Andru
Oct-27-2011, 1:18pm
It is the Lace dobro pickup. I bought it to use on my resonator mandolin. I mounted it to the underside of the cover plate but, while it worked, the output was too low. Lace did a custom hot-wound version that's in my reso and the original ended up here.

The fingerrest assembly comes by way of the magic of glue and ebony bits. The pickup is glued to an ebony strip that glues to the underside of the fingerrest. At the other end, the fingerrest assembly attaches to the neck by way of 2 screws through a small ebony block that's also glued to the underside of the fingerrest. I'll try to get a picture but it may have to wait until next string change as that assembly doesn't have much room to move [so I can get a good pic] with the strings on.

Thanks for all great comments. I'm very pleased with the way it came together.

Tele295
Oct-31-2011, 5:49pm
Lovin' my PS JJ. replaced the tuners, but it still needs to go to Mr. Repairman for a fret dress and pickup install.

All the mando parts on the Jill Martini Soiree CD "It's The Mood" are the PS JJ!

Verne Andru
Nov-01-2011, 11:37am
Lovin' my PS JJ. replaced the tuners, but it still needs to go to Mr. Repairman for a fret dress and pickup install.

All the mando parts on the Jill Martini Soiree CD "It's The Mood" are the PS JJ!

If you've not already tried it, take the stock pickguard off and play it for a while. The way it's designed there is a plastic block with a felt bottom that sits between the pickguard and the mando's top that I found compromises the tone and volume. That's why I made sure the new one doesn't touch anything other than where it's bolted to the neck.

Tele295
Nov-01-2011, 3:13pm
My psjj didn't come with a pickguard. Slightly used

Ian Rossiter
Nov-03-2011, 12:47am
Still keeping my eyes peeled for one of these.

Hillsdale Leroy
Jan-26-2012, 6:39am
I just bought the used one from Janet Davis Music. After playing guitar for 30 years I wanted to branch out so a couple of years ago I went to the Uke. Now I am on to the Mandolin. I won't be playing much bluegrass, mostly folk-rock and celtic stuff. I have studied violin as well for 20 years. I hope this meets my needs. I chose this over a Loar and a Kentucky. Both A styles. This thread was a good read.

Brutus1999
Mar-31-2012, 12:22pm
Just to stir the pot a little bit -- I know, I know "FRYE" isn't exactly an Indo-"Gypsy" (Roma) name.....


http://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Mandolin-Extraordinary-Artistry-How/dp/B000007LJ5



Then again, the violin wasn't used much for Southern "Negro" blues in the 1800's, the guitar wasn't even that commonly used in Southern "country" music back then, Segovia turned cello and even keyboard music into guitar music!, the tenor banjo was incorporated to be a loud rhythm background for jazz bands, and the tenor banjo, (tuned in fifths and not yet invented) certainly was not "traditional" for Irish music in the mid-1800's, and the electric guitar was incorporated into Jamaican music and Afro-pop later on .. actually, music migrates back and forth -- African rhythms into Jamaica, and Jamaican reggae going back and influencing Afro-pop...........

The mandolin has a long tradition of being used for violin music (which has a history going back to India). Everything changes. Some of it good, some not so good. The musicians we remember the most aren't the ones with the fastest fingers but rather the ones with the innovative ideas that touch us the most -- Scruggs, Monroe, Marley, Segovia, Django, Apollon, Jethro, Grisman, Fleck, Thile, lots of others (apologies for anyone I left off...)