View Full Version : Red Diamond Mandolin

Feb-22-2004, 4:12pm
Just would like to hear from someone who owns a Red Diamond F-5 mando. And what do you think about it....sound, tone, playability, ect....

Feb-22-2004, 7:57pm
Played a friend of mine's 2001, varnish, everything you would want, IMHO, regarding tone,volume, playability, and looks. Also was at a major festival and one of the headliner band's mando player had a new one (festival was June 2003), and he was "wild" about it. He played it at the festival's mando workshop, it sounded great. I think there are some new ones being made that are more exact to the Loar measurements. You can go to the Red Diamond Mandolins on your computer and check them out. I've only had the experience with the two mandolins, but either one of those would be great to own. I don't know about price???

Feb-22-2004, 8:06pm
Willy Mcraneys Red Diamond F is one of the best sounding mandolins I have ever played.

Feb-23-2004, 10:59am
i visited Don's shop and played several mando's while i was there, all sounded great. Don Rigsby play one too. a solid choice i think.

Feb-23-2004, 11:13am
tried one at larry s' (chime in larry)house last year and thought it was great - beautiful to look at, easy to fret, and sweet tone.

Feb-23-2004, 11:48am
I've only played two as well, but both were pretty awesome.

One of them was at least 5 yars old maybe more and is one of the loudest instruments I've ever heard from across the room. But when I played it, it wasn't quite the same it didn't knock me over quite like I thought it would. But still sounded pretty awesome.

The other one I played was only a few months old was really nice too. It had a pretty tight new sound but overall I would give it an A. You can't go wrong.

There are guys out there making about the same quality (in my humble opinion) for about half the cost. But all that aside I think Red Diamonds are still a pretty good deal, and from others reviews I've heard you are much more likely to get a killer one than a dud...in fact I don't if I've heard of Dud RD...

Don Grieser
Feb-23-2004, 1:35pm
I used to own Red Diamond #100. It's the only mandolin I wish I hadn't sold, especially after I heard it a couple years ago. Incredible wood, perfect fit and finish, tone to die for, and a beautiful color and vibe to the whole thing. Others I've owned and sold and don't miss nearly as much include Randy Wood, Givens, Duff, Flatirons, and Rigel.

Feb-23-2004, 3:02pm
I've got #141, F5 style. I got it in about August of 2002, and it has really opened up nicely so far. The bass on mine is getting to be pretty killer, and the other day I started to notice the highs are starting to really sing. The playablity wasn't the best at first - the action was a little too high at the nut, which Don promptly took care of, now it plays really nice. The chops are starting to woof nicely. And the fit and finish is unbelievable. RE: "the same quality at half the cost" from an above quote...I'd like to see that. I've seen mandolins at the same cost that weren't in the same ballpark. I love mine!

John Flynn
Feb-23-2004, 6:00pm
I have a follow-on question for you RD owners and others who have played them. RD claims to use the Buzz Feiten tuning system. I have read up on it and talked to some people who have tried it on guitars, so I am familiar with the intent and the mechanics of it. My question is: Did the RDs you have played actually have the Feiten system and if so, did you notice any difference in intonation across the neck compared to other good mandolins you have played?

Feb-23-2004, 11:17pm
Ah! Thats exactly what I was going to ask myself. I don't own anything with a Buzz Feiten set up on it but have read up on it. Seems like a good idea for mando's tho.

Feb-24-2004, 8:41am
If you are thinking about getting a Red Diamond, you would be making an excellent choice. When I got my A model last May, Don said "if its not your cup-of-tea, return it", and get this, "take as long as you want". I actually think he may even take it back now 9 months later, though there is NO chance of me letting it go anywhere. He is a superb builder! I have had some REALLY expensive mandolins in my hands over the last year that didn't exceed my #145 Red Diamond.

Feb-24-2004, 10:31pm
Not to be crass or anything, but what does a new one go for these days?



Feb-25-2004, 11:09am
I think on the website it say about $5k. If you click on builder and then click on the review of his mandolins there is a price list.

John Jesseph
Feb-25-2004, 9:02pm
Hi all-

I own a RD, varnish F-model. I usually try to refrain from piling on and hyping mandos that I already own. I don't think I'll make the same mistake that Mr. Grieser made, though!

I can't appreciate a huge difference in intonation between that and my Cohen mando (my other favorite). The RD is as good as you can get as far as intonation. As far as tone goes, anyone planning on being anywhere near East Central Indiana can come try mine out, and hear for yourself. Different people like to hear different things, and what it sounds like playing it is different from what your audience hears. Mine is certainly loud, as loud as the Cohen, which is commonly viewed as among the loudest of mandos. Not too much overtone, not too fundamental. I will avoid hyperbole, just go try and play a few.

Mine came in a little under 5k, but I think his prices went up since then. I don't recall seeing the prices on the website, but give Don a call. He is a really nice guy.

Feb-26-2004, 1:48am
John, Where are you at in East Central Indiana. We Indianapolis brethren get together and jam every once and a while and I could let you know next time we do some pickin' if you're not too far or into it. I would like to see that mando and I also have seen in the past that you build and I do as well. Would love to talk to someone else about the building addiction.

Feb-28-2004, 6:04pm
Here is some good info on RD mandolins Red Diamond (http://www.reddiamondmandolins.com/press/ReddMandoMagReview.pdf) for all who is interested in what comes on them and the prices. And I am getting one so I'll let everyone know how it goes.

John Jesseph
Feb-28-2004, 7:47pm
Hey Mandoryan- I'll PM you- I'm up here in Muncie...just got done graduating the back of my first mando...