View Full Version : Pomeroy flattop (and friend)

John Goodin
Mar-21-2009, 12:11pm
I'm the proud owner of a new Pomeroy Mountain Rebel flattop. This is one great sounding mando! Amazing sound for an amazing price (no, Don isn't giving me a kickback). I've owned a Pomeroy A-2 for 2 1/2 years and I love it as well but I've convinced myself that this flattop fills a functional spot in my collection and I will get to try it tonight at a contra dance in Minneapolis. It's very live sounding and pretty loud but the real test (as always) will be when I see if I can hear it over that darned Wheatstone English concertina!

Here are some ultra non-professional photos taken this morning, nicer photos of this model can be found at the Pomeroy website.





John G.

Jill McAuley
Mar-21-2009, 12:25pm
Post some audio clips of it if you get the chance - I'd love to hear what it sounds like.

The A-2 is a real beaut as well. Someone here in the East Bay is selling a blackface Pomeroy oval A on Craigslist but it's unfortunately out of my price range at the moment....


Mar-21-2009, 1:20pm
Yes, please post some sound clips. The body looks almost bandolim like. I am interested in hearing how it sounds.

Mar-21-2009, 1:31pm
What a lovely looking flat top, congratulations!


John Goodin
Mar-22-2009, 8:52pm
A brief report. I've had a couple of folks ask about sound clips and I'm not likely to get around to that for a while but, when I get the chance, I'll try and post something. I did play this flattop last night for most of the 3 1/2 hour contra dance at Tapestry in Minneapolis and I was extremely pleased with both the sound and playability. Not only did it blend well with Pat's concertina it also held its own with a visiting tenor sax!

I found the instrument very responsive and it didn't seem to distort under hard playing. It seemed to have a little more volume and therefore allowed me a little more dynamic range than usual, although if you were there you might argue that I was just banging on the thing all night :)). I'm very pleased.

You need to understand, though, that I don't have much experience with F5 type mandos. I really prefer the oval sound.

John G.

Apr-02-2009, 10:16pm
I am anxiously awaiting a Pomeroy F5 should be next week. I am about 1 1/2 hours from Decorah in Wisconsin near Gays Mills, would love to hear your two. I also love the oval sound, but have just gone to the f holes for a different purpose.

Apr-03-2009, 7:29am
John, thanks for posting and congratulations on the great new flattop. I have a question. It looks loke the body may be a littel bigger on the flat top than the A2, is that so? I wonder if that's what, aside from a well built box, is helping to give it that sound?

Also being a flat top instrument owner myself, I'll attest to the great voices they can have. I'm happy to see many builders getting into this segment of the market. I hope they remain available and in demand after the economy frees up more folks cash for the great arch tops too.


Apr-03-2009, 9:52am
A very good looking flattop. I would love to hear some soundclips of the instrument. I really like Don's craftmanship.

Jim MacDaniel
Apr-03-2009, 10:26am
Congrats, John -- what a beaut! I love that body shape: somewhere between a typical tear-drop and a Bandolim. And I like that he offers a rosewood model as well in the Ruby.

John Goodin
Apr-04-2009, 10:31am
I will attempt to attach an mp3 to this message that I hope will demonstrate the tonal qualities of this great instrument and not simply draw your attention to my deficiencies as a player. I like to use a yellow tortex pick which is a good deal lighter than what many players prefer.

pops1, I'm glad to hear that there is another Pomeroy owner in the neighborhood. I've never actually been to Gays Mills although I've met some folks from there. I have been to Viroqua a couple of times. My understanding is that there are some real similarities between Decorah and GM. I know from Don's website that there is another Pomeroy owner in Iowa City.

Jamie, I think maybe the flattop body is slightly larger with the bandolim body shape and I agree that maybe a bigger chamber produces a little more volume. But I don't really know anything about the art of the luthier except what I read or hear. I owned a Flatiron back in the early 80s, which I loved, and I think that this instrument has a richer sound. I still have an early Flatiron octave that I play frequently.

Anyway, here's what the Mountain Rebel sounded like on a Saturday morning in Decorah, Iowa. If you hear a faint machine noise there's a guy running a back hoe about a block away.

John G.

Apr-04-2009, 10:59am
Nice sounding instrument and very nice playing, in spite of your protestations to the contrary.

Apr-04-2009, 11:20am
That sounds great. Nice and even balance across the strings. Nice playing too, my friend.


Jim MacDaniel
Apr-04-2009, 11:36am
That sounds great John, and very nice playing.

What sort of case are you keeping that in; did you order one of the custom Cedar Creek cases with it? Given its larger body, I trust that it is too big for standard cases available in the US that were designed for Gibson body shapes?

Jim DeSalvio
Apr-05-2009, 7:12am

Very nice playing. I wish I could play as well as you do. I have a Ruby on order and should see it by the end of April. Looking forward to the rosewood experience.

Apr-05-2009, 1:03pm
Nice job "Pickin". The Flattop really sounds good, clean and clear, I like the sound a lot. Enjoy the music.

John Goodin
Apr-05-2009, 1:53pm
Thanks to all for your kind comments about my playing.

Jim, when I talked to Don all he had were FQMS gig bags for this model and that was fine with me. I may upgrade to a real case but, so far, the bag is good enough. It actually fits in the Canadian case that my Pomeroy A-2 came in, in fact it's a little loose in there, as is the A-2.

John G.

Apr-07-2009, 12:25pm
Great sounding/looking instrument. Love your playing. Ever play in Marshalltown/Ames/Des Moines area?

John Goodin
Apr-11-2009, 10:58pm
Thanks Paul. It's been a few years since I've played over in the Ames area but our band, Contratopia, has played for the September dance weekend a couple of times in the past. The last time we were there we got to share the weekend with Mary Lea and Russ Barenberg(!) who, along with playing incredible guitar also played beautiful mandolin.

A brief Pomeroy update: I'm still having a great time with this flattop and I'm looking forward to playing it in Minneapolis again next weekend with Contratopia at the Tapestry folk dance center. We're doing a mostly waltz afternoon dance and the evening contra on Sat. the 18th. Anyone who wants to try the Pomeroy out should stop by and say hello.

John G.