MAS Alleviation Field Trip Report

  1. HonketyHank
    Just over a week ago, I noticed yet another batch of classified ads here at MC from one Bob Page, Port Ludlow, WA. His ads have attracted my attention several times in the last year. He always has really interesting stuff, often offbeat, often old, often spectacularly adorned, always something that makes me say "I wish I could just play that thing and see how it sounds."

    Last summer Bev and I took a several day drive up the Olympic Penninsula and I made a slight detour and drove through Port Ludlow just to see if I could spot his shop and say "Oh, honey, look -- a music store. Let's stop and stretch our legs and check it out." Well, it turned out that there aren't any stores in Port Ludlow. It is a marina, a golf course, and a bunch of nice residences. Oh well.

    So last week I saw his ads again and clicked on "Reply to Ad" button of one of them and asked if he entertained visitors to look at mandolins and kinda, well, browse. So we started a back and forth email conversation.

    Long story, shortened somewhat: He is a former owner of a music shop and a collector of stringed instruments. He has no current shop but he has several storage units full of instruments that were inventory from his former shop and / or part of his collection. He is disposing of all that piece by piece. He invited me up (to his home) and asked a bunch of questions to find out what I liked and didn't like so he could dig around and come up with a selection of mandolins I might be interested in.

    I visited him day before yesterday. What a treat. To start with, Bob is a really friendly guy. I would have enjoyed the afternoon I spent with him even if there were no mandolins to caress. But he sent me a list of five or six that he had selected. I got to play a Gilchrist oval hole A, a Kimble A, a Eastman Dawg DG-1, a Levin A, a Gibson H-2 mandola, and a Gibson F-2.

    The Gilchrist was a dream, of course. Out of my price range for TWO mandolins, but still a great price for a Gilchrist. All I can say is that my Red Diamond compared favorably enough that I was not tempted. Not too strongly anyway. Man oh man was it nice.

    Then, the Kimble. That was the one that really piqued my interest. It was a very fine instrument but it did not reach out and grab me like I thought it would.

    The H-2 sounded good and played nice but again I didn't have any earth shattering experience while playing it.

    The Eastman, well frankly, it was not to my taste, visually or tonally. Good instrument, it is just not me.

    The Levin A was very similar to a late 40's or early 50's Gibson A-50. I had an a-50, a nice one too, and I didn't really want another one. Too "Gibson-y", if you will.

    And then then F-2. I was prepared to be unmoved. I played it a bit and wow. I loved it. It does sound like a Gibson, but it sounds like a mellow Gibson. Somehow that makes a big difference. I have bought and ended up selling 3 Gibsons and I had frankly given up on them. But I really liked this one. We hashed out a deal and I brought it home.

    Here it is:

    I might be listing one of my other mandolins sometime soon to help fund it.
  2. Kevin Stueve
    Kevin Stueve
    drool, so the H-2 didn't have the sound or you don't see the need for a mandola?
  3. HonketyHank
    I was afraid of MMAS (mandolin and mandola acquisition syndrome). MAS is bad enough.
  4. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    Says the guy with a waldzither, for cripes sake.
  5. Greg P. Stone
    Greg P. Stone
    I'm very close to Port Ludlow, in Sequim. But for a typo my ID would be "Sequimite" like all the other forums I'm on. My first mandolin arrives Monday so I'm the newest of the newbies. I am a longtime drummer and sometimes guitarist. Anyway, I'm going to check out those ads.
  6. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Welcome to the group, Sequimite!

    Hank, goodness gracious, what a fun thing to do - playing all those fine mandolins in a sitting!

    And wow, that Gibson oval is definitely drool-worthy. I need to plan a trip to visit you soon.
  7. HonketyHank
    Sequimte, welcome! Bev and I spent a very nice several days at a B&B in Sequim last summer and thoroughly enjoyed the area. Mark, you are welcome, of course.
  8. SOMorris
    I'm with Louise!

    Anyway, welcome to the group, Sequimite! Good luck with learning the mandolin.
  9. burnham
    Congrats! That is a gorgeous instrument. I'm very new to the mando world, but love the look of those old round hole Gibsons, especially in black! But I have NO idea what they sound like.
  10. MikeZito
    I'm with Kevin - that F-2 is drool inducing. You need to post a video.

    Congratulations; (he said with much envy in his heart . . .)
  11. HonketyHank

    ps: I still love it.
  12. Ellsdemon
    The bear even enjoyed that tune Hank
  13. MikeZito
    Gotta love oval holes . . . thanks for posting the video.
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