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Thread: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Grieser View Post
    Here's a little sound clip, with a couple breaks on East Virginia Blues. As usual, recorded with a Kodak Zi8 video camera and recorded with the built-in mic. No EQ or any processing except normalizing the clip.

    Good playing!

    I have a question tho, how does the strap work like that? Does it muffle any sound with it touching the top like that? I have wondered about the best way to secure a strap to an A style, and that seems like it would be more stable than using a strap button at the bottom of the neck.
    2003 Kentucky KM630S
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  3. #27
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    Skaggs - That's usually called the 'strap under' method of attaching a strap to an "A" style mandolin. As the mandolin weight is supported by the strap in that area,it's right on the solid wood neck block & won't have any effect on the tone etc. of the mandolin.
    You're correct,it's a very stable way of using a strap. On my own "A" style,it's just as stable as using a strap on the Scroll of my "F" style.
    Left to right - what i use now / what i used to use, & a 'strap under' on a Collings "A" style.
    Ivan
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    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

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  5. #28
    Registered User Don Grieser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    My Heiden has a strap button on the neck and it feels more balanced to me--easier to keep the headstock angled up a bit. I now have the strap attached to the headstock on the Ellis--thought I'd give that a try. I may eventually put a strap button on it.
    the billyhawks http://www.thebillyhawks.com

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  7. #29
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    I think it does dampen it a bit. I got use to it on the peg head. I tried it just above the nut but didn't like the way the strap interfered with my hand so I went higher. BTW, your Ellis is a beauty and lovely sounding!
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  8. #30
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    Don, That mandolin sounds great. I just went by Tom's shop this past Friday. We aren't related but we have the same last name so I really wanted to go by and meet him and his crew and learn more about their story. I did get a few pics of the shop including a short video of him noodling on his new mandolin. I'll try to figure out how to upload here.

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  10. #31
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    Here is a picture of a Two Point Tom has in early Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	162269process. This will make #3 Ellis Two Point.

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  12. #32
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    These two room Walter (Tom's son) called Tom's Office - but really it looked more like the space Tom used to tinker around with new ideas.
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  13. #33
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    Tom Standing beside some inlay equipment.
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  14. #34
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    A couple of necks - maybe Ellis or maybe Pava.
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  15. #35
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    Pava - and Tom and Pava together in the workshop. Everyone was very gracious - generous with their time and patient for folks that were in the middle of their workday with lots to do. I really enjoyed my visit with everyone but especially with Tom and Pava.
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  17. #36
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    The shop was filled with so much to look at in addition to the inlay tools and process, mandolins in various stages of production, and some in for repair work. Steve Smith's Gibson Loar was in the shop for some work and I got to peak in the case on it but forgot to take a photo. I'm a big fan of Steve's and probably have some pictures somewhere on my hard drive of him playing it on stage in Williamsburg, VA a few years ago. I don't remember the year but I do remember it was Super Bowl Sunday and Steve opened his set with "Welcome Baseball fans".
    I didn't take any photo's of Tom's newest personal mandolin either and I should have - it was gorgeous. I loved the way it sounded and especially was impressed with the lower notes. I believe Tom said the one piece curly maple back was reclaimed out of a 200 year old mill. Anyhow the old wood gives it immediate great sound - or something sure does. Some work in process.
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  18. #37
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    The inlay business is a large part of Tom's business. Here is Tom's son Walter working on guitar inlay and one of the crew - Robert - sorting through inlay pieces. There were a couple of more people and Tom's wife we got to meet but unfortunately I didn't get everyone's picture.
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  20. #38
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    I also have been to Tom's shop and he is a first class person ! Great photographer too besides building great mandolins !
    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

  21. #39
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    And last but not least some sides residing in some jiggs. It was a great Friday afternoon with folks who felt like long lost friends. The whole crew could not have been more patient and gracious even though we were interrupting their work day. Thanks to all of them for the fun time and hospitality. Came away with M.A.S. real bad - but so far I'm resisting. Convincing myself I need to play more than once or twice a month before I can justify the investment.
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  22. #40

    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    Tom is a first class guy, will treat you like family.

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  24. #41
    Registered User Don Grieser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    Thanks, SlimJim. Those photos brought back many fond memories of my visit there. Tom's newest mandolin was at the finisher when I was there so I didn't get to see it. Glad to hear a little bit of it. Would love to hear it next to Tom's heron inlay mandolin. That was my favorite one to play while I was there. Couldn't put it down.

    I have to get back there one of these days. I'm trying to wear out the frets on #339-15 so I have an excuse.
    the billyhawks http://www.thebillyhawks.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
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  25. #42
    Registered User Don Grieser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ellis A5 #339-15 and a Visit to the Ellis Shop

    This companion to Tom's 40th Anniversary F5 didn't last long at TME. I got to see this one in the white when I was in Austin. That inlay is even more stunning in person.
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    the billyhawks http://www.thebillyhawks.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
    http://www.HillbillyChamberMusic.com

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