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Thread: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

  1. #1

    Default George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    I called today to ask about the '79 Henderson at gruhns. Ended up talking to George. He was very nice. He kept steering me toward the Newsons...particularly the one with the 1-1/8 in nut. He's a dealer (the dealer?) for newson mandolins and was really talking them up. I'm mean REALLY talking them up..

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  3. #2
    Registered User f5joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    He is in sales.
    ..... f5joe

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  5. #3

    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    I'm not naive. I just chose to report on the conversation and leave it to others to interpret.

  6. #4
    Registered User f5joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    Not implying that you are. George is driven to sell. That's all I mean. Good luck.
    ..... f5joe

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  8. #5

    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    But does anyone know about the mandolins in question? George sure did hit it right on the head with Gil's!

  9. #6
    Economandolinist Amanda Gregg's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    A player I greatly respect purchased a Newson recently and raves about it.
    Amanda

    -2001 Stiver F: http://acousticmusicworks.com/sold/s...f-model-sold-3
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  10. #7
    Registered User Mark Marino's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    newsons are really good mandolins. I own one and have played several others. I've also visited Paul several times; he's a great guy. go play one.
    "If you hit a wrong note, then make it right by what you play afterwards." - Joe Pass

  11. #8
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    I have a custom Newson LP, not an F-5, so I can't talk about "the bluegrass sound." I can say it is an incredible instrument: woods from the same forests that Gibson harvested a century ago, perfect (and I mean PERFECT!) fit and finish. Super-comfy to play, and amazing tone. I also found Paul to be responsive to emails. I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed with one of his mandolins.
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Andrew Jerman Irwin-style 5 string electric "Stealie", Paul Newson custom blonde SCW "Feivel", Eastman 515, Crafter M85E, Dillion 335 style, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
    Boards: Acoustic Electric
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Laney Cub 10

  12. #9
    Registered User JAK's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    Newsons have been "under the radar" for a long time. Just as good as anything out there, and priced below many high-end mandos. I know a guy who has one, and he won't give it up!
    John A. Karsemeyer

  13. #10
    Registered User Patrick Melly's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    At the time I bought my Newson F-5, in 2003, I did not think that I was going to buy
    an F-5; I just wanted to play a few. The sound of this Newson reminded me of the richness
    of my old Vega cylinderback, with the volume and projection I expected from an F-5.
    The sound haunted me until I went back and bought it. I have been very happy with it; I have bought several mandolins since then, but I have not even considered another F-5.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Patrick Melly

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  15. #11

    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    So does Paul Hoffman of Greensky Bluegrass:


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  17. #12

    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    well checking out the prices, at 8600,
    Imho
    they are closing in price wise on the best of the 'second tier' top mandos.

    And, with as yet largely unrecognized name to the vast majority of mando would-be buyers

    they had better be smoking good, not that far away from a new Ellis or MM, and on par with a fine Kimble.
    Last edited by stevedenver; Feb-25-2015 at 12:21pm.

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  19. #13
    Registered User Atlanta Mando Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    Its funny, I just talked to a guy who said he went to Gruhn's and had a Newsome pushed on him. Pretty hard selling he said. I agree with stevedenver...the luthier has obviously been doing this for a long time but, for whatever reason, he is still a little unknown when compared to the rest of the big name mando world. There is no hype yet. If we take the hypothetical that the Newsome's are on par with the top couple of tier makers in terms of quality, playability and sound, but are just more unknown, then I would think pricing them at say $6k would be more appropriate. You have the opportunity to create a buzz, a market, etc... this may naturally push up the prices in a relatively short time period. Pricing that close to say, a Kimble or Ellis, will scare many would be buyers away while at 6k, people looking for the next big thing may go out on a limb because they like the mando and see possible appreciation in the future. Just my view here and I haven't played a Newsome mandolin yet.

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  21. #14

    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by JWalterWeatherman View Post
    So does Paul Hoffman of Greensky Bluegrass:

    Nice tune. Looks like his top scroll is broken off a la BM--is this a new style statement that I missed out on?

    I realize the guitarist's moustache is an "ironic" fashion statement. To paraphrase the late Lloyd Bentsen, "Sir, I knew Salvador Dali, I served with Salvador Dali, Salvador Dali was a friend of mine....you sir, are no Salvador Dali! Nice threads, though..."
    Last edited by Jeff Mando; Feb-25-2015 at 12:47pm.

  22. #15

    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    It's probably safe to say that everyone that has played a Newson would agree that they are exceptionally fine instruments in all respects. I recently contacted the dealer with hopes of purchasing one of the F models for sale. A "hard sell" would be putting it mildly. In our last conversation the owner of the shop told me that the mandolins were better than others costing more than twice as much and suggested that I was an idiot if I couldn't see that. The deal sort of fell apart at that point.... As we ponder the "worth" of these instruments it is curious that one of the mandolins for sale spent some time in a west coast shop listed at about $5.2 K and now is offered at $8.5 K. Atlanta Mando Mike sums it up just right. I would be one of those going out on the limb if it were within reach.

  23. #16

    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    Well... New to forum, and here's what happened just yesterday:
    After 40 years of owning and selling many imports, a Rigel, a Ratliff, a Bacon, a June and a Weber (my current axe)... along with a borrowed Stiver and a Williamson,.. after countless hours of reading nothing but positive threads, after several conversations with the builder and the shop owner, after careful consideration that just a couple of years ago I could have spent spent considerably less... after all this, I just purchased one of the Newson's that was hanging in Mr. Gruhn's shop. I will receive it on Wednesday. If it is not all that I expect it to be... an instrument that will take me to the end of my playing career... I will eat the shipping and send it back. My gamble is that it will be worth the effort and expense.

    E. Jessup.. Now that this is a done deal, do you mind sharing with me which of the instruments Mr. Gruhn had or has in stock was/is the one that spent some time in the west coast shop listed for $5.2 K? It is my understanding the one I purchased (stock #MF8435..lighter/redder in color with highly figured 2 piece back) was completed and shipped about 2-3 months ago. They have another that they just received (one piece back)... and yet another that has been there considerably longer (two piece back, darker in color)... would the older instrument he still has be the one? I will report once I have received and played the instrument.

  24. #17

    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    Congratulations surfnpikr!! You are really going to enjoy that mandolin forever. Yes, the M8392 was the mandolin for sale on the west coast. Looking forward to your report when you receive yours and have some playing time in!

  25. #18

    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    Will do... and thanks much for your quick reply. I spoke to Mr. Newson in great detail about all three of these instruments. He seemed incredibly candid and more than willing to discuss nuances in great detail. Generally speaking.. ( and I do mean "generally"), he described the older instrument as projecting more in the higher register... the newest one being a tad "darker" and projecting a bit more in the lower end... with the one I bought being somewhat in the middle. Mr. Gruhn's assessment was the same, albeit he said there was little difference in tone and projection between # 2 and #3, and zero difference in action and playability. Based on those conversations, the pictures, and what I know about the Newson's.. I chose # 8435. Yes.. I will try to report back the end of next week... or the end of the following week after I've performed with it a few times. Thanks again.. Great forum. Sharing this kind of information is what it's all about.

  26. #19
    Registered User Bigtuna's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Nice tune. Looks like his top scroll is broken off a la BM--is this a new style statement that I missed out on?
    Last time I saw them he had it fixed or he has two Newsons. Life on the road can take its toll. Either way he pulls some great tone out of it and has his own style of playing.
    "They say the ocean, she is a woman, who waits for her man to come home." M.Houser

  27. #20
    Registered User Jackgaryk's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    If Mr. Gruhn recommends Newson mandolins...they must be truly fine instruments. Good luck with your Newson surfnpikr
    bet you will be pleased.

  28. #21

    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    Yes.. This is not the first instrument we have purchased from Gruhn. He gave us a good deal on a fine 100 year old Gibson mandola that has appeared on several songs recorded in our studio. Anyway.. will report later on whether or not the Newson ends up being a "keeper".

  29. #22
    Registered User
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    "incredible instrument: woods from the same forests that Gibson harvested a century ago,"

    Interesting, and what forests would those be ?, and
    Are the trees the same vintage as the Gibson trees ?

    Curious ?

  30. #23
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    Gryphon has had a few for sale over the years, but I haven't seen one recently. I think I recall that the description of one of the last ones I saw there said something about how they felt the builder was pricing them too low. Maybe he's finally come around.

  31. #24

    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by surfnpikr View Post
    Well... New to forum, and here's what happened just yesterday:
    After 40 years of owning and selling many imports, a Rigel, a Ratliff, a Bacon, a June and a Weber (my current axe)... along with a borrowed Stiver and a Williamson,.. after countless hours of reading nothing but positive threads, after several conversations with the builder and the shop owner, after careful consideration that just a couple of years ago I could have spent spent considerably less... after all this, I just purchased one of the Newson's that was hanging in Mr. Gruhn's shop. I will receive it on Wednesday. If it is not all that I expect it to be... an instrument that will take me to the end of my playing career... I will eat the shipping and send it back. My gamble is that it will be worth the effort and expense.

    E. Jessup.. Now that this is a done deal, do you mind sharing with me which of the instruments Mr. Gruhn had or has in stock was/is the one that spent some time in the west coast shop listed for $5.2 K? It is my understanding the one I purchased (stock #MF8435..lighter/redder in color with highly figured 2 piece back) was completed and shipped about 2-3 months ago. They have another that they just received (one piece back)... and yet another that has been there considerably longer (two piece back, darker in color)... would the older instrument he still has be the one? I will report once I have received and played the instrument.
    So... Here's the follow up on the Newson Mandolin I ordered from Gruhn's: I found that the instrument was accurately represented by Mr. Gruhn.. both by the pictures posted on his website and his verbal description. Upon first opening the box, tuning it up and playing.. it sounded "OK". I liked it, but not "blown away".. THEN about 4 hours later I picked it up and an amazing thing happened. I found it was about a half step below pitch. I loosened the strings, dropped the action a tad, and brought it up to correct pitch. Wow.. what a difference. After 40 years of playing I thought I had experienced everything, but the difference 4 hours, lowered action and tuning up a half step was astounding. It truly is a wonderful instrument.. Certainly the best I've ever owned, and maybe the best I've ever played. Worth the price regardless of the fact that I could have bought one for less money two years ago,...or what forest the trees came from.

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  33. #25
    Registered User Atlanta Mando Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn sure likes newson mandolins

    That's all that matters really!! Congrats and enjoy

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