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JEStanek

Me and My Mandos

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Well, I'll bite at the blog bait. I don't think I will write very many but this may be a worthwhile place to store information on me and my mando collection. Not to brag (maybe about the skills of the builders not my ownership) but to let others know what I've had and how I liked them.

First Mandolins 2001
Lone Star Venice. Tuners weren't the best and needed a good set up. I've read these don't make good first mandolins because of the tonal complexity. Dunno, it looked nice. I passed it along to a nephew after I awaited the arrival of

Johnson Oval Hole A Style. All laminate. Once I got new strings and a set up it plays just fine. I still have it for my kids to play on. This was to fill the need for a vintage Gibson oval. There weren't many oval options in 2001.

Kentucky KM140s. Solid top only. Again Post set up this was a nice starter. It intonated well and was easy to play. That's all you need to get started.

2003
Morgan Monroe Collectors Edition Cherry Burst. All solid woods (fancy quilted maple under all that finish!). My first F style. I traded the KM140S to help fund it. Sold it and donated the proceeds to a OR school for their mando orchestra.

2004
Trinity College Octave Mandolin Great Starter OM. Nuff Said. Not my primary instrument.

"The Globe" bowl back. Not really playable but a nice wall hanger.

Weber Sweet Pea. I really like this little travel mando. Fun to play. Not much bass, imagine!


2005
Eastman 814. Oval hole F style. A wonderful instrument I thought I would never part with. I loved the JazzMando strings on it. Nice tone, great looks. When I got some custom instruments I felt this should go. Whoops. Only regret... Skinny frets and wouldn't fit in the cool Eastman Fiberglass case.

2006
Stradolin Jr with a really bad neck. I bought it in hopes of getting that Stradolin Mojo but it never worked out. It wasn't worth the $300+ for the neck reset.

Weber Beartooth The neck had a bow and the folks at Weber fixed it up right for a tiny bit of money. Great service. I got this as a steal. But the wider chunkier neck never fit me. Got too used to the narrower necks, I guess. I may not be a huge Weber player but they have the best customer service of a mandolin company I've ever used. I moved it along.

2007
Jack Spira cant topped mandolin. My first custom instrument. I got it at his shop in Gembrook, near Emerald and Melbourne, Australia. Such a wonderful sounding instrument. Full rich tone. Engleman over WEstern Australian Sheoak. Read more here.

2008
Labraid L&H style A inspired mandolin. Second custom build. Holy cow. I was able to pull the stops to get a warm dark mando that had the look I really wanted. Engleman over Walnut. You can read more here. It has 3 virzis in it. One in the soundhole and two additional plates suspended from the soundboard. I had to let this one go to meet some family needs. It happens and it stinks but there is still a lot of life to live.

American Conservatory by Lyon & Healy (I believe) from a swap for that Stradolin Jr. Sounds great and plays well too! Everyone should have a bowl.

Breedlove KF Traded for my Eastman 814. This mandolin was very pretty in a Shaker way to me. Plain an unadorned with beautiful woods. However the neck was chunkier like the Weber and didn't agree with me. To me, it didn't sound significantly better or worse than my Eastman.

Eastman 805D Two Pointer F holes via trade of the Breedlove KF. Fits the Eastman FG case and is my only F hole instrument. I'm a fan of the Eastman products. I like the fit of their necks in my hand.

My wish list includes: a Commodium, banjo mandolin, a dola, and maybe a Wishnevsky Mandocello. Other instruments in my house include a couple of ukes, and a guitar (that I don't play).

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Updated Nov-28-2011 at 8:56pm by JEStanek (Updated 11/2011)

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