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Thread: TKL Mandolins

  1. #1

    Default TKL Mandolins

    Does anyone have experience with these mandolins? They seem to be pretty new and while the first batch has been pretty well sold through (by what I have been told) I can't seem to find a review on here. Has anyone dealt with the shop for other mandolins? It seems to me that much of the value is based on his knowledge of mandolins and the pro setup. I am interested in them and would like to see if anyone has played or owns one OR has dealt positively with the store. It looks like he used to sell J.Bovier but opted to source out his own line instead which he (of course) says is superior to the Eastmans and Boviers. Thanks!

    http://themandoshop.com/tkd-mandolin...mandolins.html
    Last edited by Johnny-Alien; May-11-2016 at 6:48pm.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    Johnny-Alien,
    I just sent you a PM.
    Last edited by Franc Homier Lieu; May-11-2016 at 6:49pm.

  4. #3

    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    I realize this looks like it was my first post...I actually was a member previously but the old account was tied to an old email address and I forgot the password. The password reset would go to my old email so I was stuck creating a new account. This is a great community that I hope to be a part of once again!!

  5. #4
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    Another post about the Mando Shop by a members' first post. Hmmmm??
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  6. #5

    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    I was just warned about this. I tried to explain that I am not actually "new". I was facing a few choices of what to get and there were just no searchable reviews so I thought I would ask. If it makes things better I am 100% OK with people posting negative opinions.

    The fact that there were potential shills from the company makes me have way less faith in the shop though.

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  8. #6

    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny-Alien View Post
    I realize this looks like it was my first post...I actually was a member previously but the old account was tied to an old email address and I forgot the password. The password reset would go to my old email so I was stuck creating a new account. This is a great community that I hope to be a part of once again!!
    Is this your old member name?
    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...ibson-mandolin

  9. #7

    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    Yes. That was me.

  10. #8
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    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    I didn't know The Mando Shop has their own house brand mandolins; I guess everyone is doing it now. I have not heard anything about it before. At first glance they remind me more of those Morgan Monroe Rocky Top models than Eastman or JBovier. Just my own impression and what struck me first.

  11. #9

    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    A well kept secret indeed! A quick something search yields a couple of interesting results, including this

    http://www.mandohangout.com/topic/42596



    And this

    http://www.theplathfamilyband.com/micah-plath.html


  12. #10
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    I merged your old account with your new account. By the way, this is a legitimate request for information if anyone has any. Hopefully you'll get a legitimate answer and not a first time poster.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; May-11-2016 at 9:14pm.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  14. #11
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    some correction to the title of the thread may help future searches. TKD is the brand of mandolin. TKL is a brand of cases.

    f-d
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    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Dunn at The Mando Shop
    I am tap tuning each mandolin after the build is complete by using hand tools through the sound holes. Adjusting wood thickness to tune the top to the A440 Hz pitch standard improves volume and sustain, increases overtones and makes the mandolin more responsive. This is one of the reasons why the TKD mandolins’ sound can compete with some mandolins costing thousands more.
    is this effective?

  17. #13

    Default Re: TKD Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    I have a friend in Thailand who bought one last year. He is very happy with it.

  18. #14

    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Wilson View Post
    is this effective?
    I was going to post a question about this in the builders section. The tiny bit I know of tap tuning (including how controversial it is in the first place) is that it is done during construction. I mean, common sense would dictate that with a completed instrument there would be advantages to, you know, plucking those wire things to see what kind of sound the instrument makes.
    Last edited by Franc Homier Lieu; May-12-2016 at 8:52am.

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    Default Re: TKD Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny-Alien View Post
    Does anyone have experience with these mandolins? They seem to be pretty new and while the first batch has been pretty well sold through (by what I have been told) I can't seem to find a review on here. Has anyone dealt with the shop for other mandolins? It seems to me that much of the value is based on his knowledge of mandolins and the pro setup. I am interested in them and would like to see if anyone has played or owns one OR has dealt positively with the store. It looks like he used to sell J.Bovier but opted to source out his own line instead which he (of course) says is superior to the Eastmans and Boviers. Thanks!

    http://themandoshop.com/tkd-mandolin...mandolins.html
    Better check old threads regarding the Mandoshop. I have dealt with the owner with horrible results ! There are others with positive results but I would never buy there again or have Kyle set up a mandolin. Enough said !

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny-Alien View Post
    Does anyone have experience with these mandolins? They seem to be pretty new and while the first batch has been pretty well sold through (by what I have been told) I can't seem to find a review on here. Has anyone dealt with the shop for other mandolins? It seems to me that much of the value is based on his knowledge of mandolins and the pro setup. I am interested in them and would like to see if anyone has played or owns one OR has dealt positively with the store. It looks like he used to sell J.Bovier but opted to source out his own line instead which he (of course) says is superior to the Eastmans and Boviers. Thanks!

    http://themandoshop.com/tkd-mandolin...mandolins.html
    Better check old threads regarding the Mandoshop. I have dealt with the owner with horrible results ! There are others with positive results but I would never buy there again or have Kyle set up a mandolin. Enough said !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain

  20. #16
    Mando-afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: TKD Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    I purchased a J Bovier mandolin from Kyle and he was great! He was professional, kind and supportive in allowing me to make choices as the buyer. His set-ups are really nice, he makes the instrument comfortable and the voicing is enhanced by his methods, I believe. I recommend Kyle highly and I hope to someday have the opportunity to play one of his house brand mandolins.
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  21. #17
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: TKD Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    A Cafe member has purchased one of these and he is very happy with it. I have played it and heard it up close and in jams....nice tonal qualities; reminds me of my old JBovier...right in the same class as a Kentucky, Eastman, The Loar, etc.
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  22. #18

    Default Re: TKL Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    Quote Originally Posted by Franc Homier Lieu View Post
    I was going to post a question about this in the builders section. The tiny bit I know of tap tuning (including how controversial it is in the first place) is that it is done during construction. I mean, common sense would dictate that with a completed instrument there would be advantages to, you know, plucking those wire things to see what kind of sound the instrument makes.
    I don't know if it would be effective. The changes, physically speaking, are going to be very subtle (if not negligible). The wood selection, air volume, break angle, port aperture size, and plate graduations are more significant by an order or two of magnitude than the amount of wood on the tone bars.

    But our brains are weird. A $200 bottle of wine is essentially impossible to distinguish from a $20 bottle, even by experienced tasters. Presentation, price (higher price = better), good service, and a hands-on approach lend an expectation of quality. When we have an expectation of quality, our experience is better. So whether it has any physical benefit or not is difficult to prove and largely irrelevant. The fact that he cares enough to do it means that people will enjoy the instruments more. Carry on.
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  24. #19
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: TKD Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    I may be entirely wrong about this, but I thought tap tuning was something done to the top plate during carving and before assembly. Why would you tap tune a mandolin that is already built?
    Larry Hunsberger

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  25. #20
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: TKD Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    Quote Originally Posted by mandobassman View Post
    I may be entirely wrong about this, but I thought tap tuning was something done to the top plate during carving and before assembly. Why would you tap tune a mandolin that is already built?
    A short-cut way of doing it because the factory workers are not trained to do it.
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  26. #21
    texaspaul texaspaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: TKD Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    How is this different from what Stelhen Perry does. Does't Kyle clean up the edges of sound hole make sure there are no rough finishes on the inside of the plates and smooth any rough spots and glue off the tone bars?

  27. #22

    Default Re: TKD Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    A short-cut way of doing it because the factory workers are not trained to do it.
    I bought a Givens Legacy (actually one F and one A) that needed to have the frets seated before it was playable, so there's some work that needs to be done on even domestic made mandolins to make them closer to 100%
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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  29. #23
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: TKD Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    I bought a Givens Legacy (actually one F and one A) that needed to have the frets seated before it was playable, so there's some work that needs to be done on even domestic made mandolins to make them closer to 100%
    Mary,

    I think final set-up work is not the same skill set as tone-bar graduations; if I'm wrong and the skill-level/difficulty is the same, I stand corrected, but I don't think so...
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  30. #24
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    Default Re: TKD Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    I think tap tuning (or a variety of it) was done during Steven Perry of Gianna Violin's Mandovoodoo process / set up. He taps the top and uses a small scraper inside the chamber of a finished instrument to remove a little wood to change the plate's responsiveness. Maybe that's what they mean... maybe not. The language of building isn't always uniform.

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  31. #25
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: TKD Mandolins (TheMandoShop)

    Quite a few instruments get "voiced" (which is what we call it around here), by having tops thinned, brace or tone bar sizes reduced, braces "scalloped" so that 1950-75 Martins are braced more like older guitars, etc. I have a 1957 Martin D-18 that's been "voiced," and it sounds really great. Idea is to reduce top mass, so that the top's more responsive to string vibrations.

    But that's not exactly "tap tuning." I don't see how it would be possible to tap-tune a mandolin top when attached to the back and sides. Doesn't the top have to be a separate piece of wood, which is then made to vibrate, and its vibrating frequency modified by carving or sanding wood from its thickness -- either from the overall top, or from the tone bars?

    I assume the vibrating frequency of the top of an assembled mandolin would be influenced not only by the top's thickness, but by the mass of attached sides, neck and back. Hope that some of the real builders on the Cafe will correct me if I'm off base.

    Thinning the top of an instrument -- in general -- may well produce more volume. But is that "tap tuning?"
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