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Thread: Mandolin Brothers Website

  1. #1

    Default Mandolin Brothers Website

    Their site is so frustrating. I have tried many times in the past, but I have never seen a single instrument on their website. Anyone know what the deal is? Does their site suck or am I an idiot?
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  2. #2
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    Since Stan Jay passed away in 2014, it really hasn't been the same. They are in transition. Sold to a new owner about 6 months ago, who basically bought the brand, but not the store. The store closed after liquidating their inventory. The last update to their website was 4/1/16, before the sale.
    The only things they have for sale now are through their eBay site, and the pickins are very slim.
    http://stores.ebay.com/mandolinbros
    No idea what the new owner plans to do with the name and online storefront.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    Well, I feel terrible given the tone of my original post. Hope things turn around. Thank you.
    Sullivan Sumi F-5 Mandolin 2003
    Weber Diamondback Octave F-Style Mandolin 2014
    Martin HD-28V Guitar 2004
    White Mandolin build underway. Expected December 2017

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    Don't feel bad. We can't all keep up with every change in the mandolin world, and without the Cafe, we wouldn't know half as much as we do.

    Here is the story that I wrote for the Cafe after meeting with the owner's family, three years ago: Stan Jay, Pioneer of Vintage Instrument Fame Fighting For His Life

    The loss of the store has been sad for NYC, but somewhat made up for by the rise of Retrofret in Brooklyn, and Tom Crandall in Manhattan.
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  5. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    I do miss Mandolin Bros. and Stan and crew.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    I miss them too. Nobody could write an instrument description like Stan Jay. NOBODY. And I suspect nobody ever will. He is the undisputed champion of instrument related descriptive prose. I visited there just once, and during a discussion with his son he mentioned that Stan usually wrote his instrument descriptions off the top of his head, no reasearch needed. He just KNEW all that stuff. Their catalogs made great reading. I have often thought that all of Stan's instrument descriptions should be collected into a book. I know I'd buy it.
    Don

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  9. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    Maybe they should put out a compilation of his catalogs. I'd buy that.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. #8
    Registered User AKA Frosty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    I miss them too. Nobody could write an instrument description like Stan Jay. NOBODY.
    So true. I received those old newsprint catalogs from Mandolin Brothers by mail for years. Stan brought intellect and a wonderful sense of humor to his business. When I lived within driving distance I would visit the shop at least once a year. Just thinking of it now I can almost recall the scent of the place when you walked through the front door. I bought my first Martin guitar from Stan... a few other instruments over the years, too.

  11. #9
    Registered User taptuned's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    Back in the day I purchased a Flatiron F5 Artist from Mandolin Brothers. Excellent service and delivery.
    At the same time I got one of their T-shirts that I still have. It is faded and thread worn...but I refuse
    to throw it out. I was on their mailing list for the catalogs as well and always had a good laugh to check
    out the rear photo shot the staff did to match original photo on the front cover. Sometimes they nailed it...
    other times.....not so much

  12. #10

    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    If anyone has some of the old catalogs, it would be worth uploading their famous cover photographs for internet posterity. Here's what may be the last one, with Stan and his son Eric in the modern recreation of J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    BradKlein
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  13. #11

    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    Does anyone have copy of these descriptions that Stan wrote? I think you guys might be on to something re a collection of his best write ups. Can anyone share his work? Maybe a picture of a catalog entry?
    Sullivan Sumi F-5 Mandolin 2003
    Weber Diamondback Octave F-Style Mandolin 2014
    Martin HD-28V Guitar 2004
    White Mandolin build underway. Expected December 2017

  14. #12

    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    If you search for a specific mandolin by model, there should still be listings on the web such as this one:

    http://mandoweb.com/Instruments/Ovat...olin-2009/2200

    Just look at any listings that show up with "mandoweb" after the http://

  15. #13
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    This part of the thread deserves it's own thread. Mandolin Bros catalog pages and Stan's descriptions.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  17. #14

    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bradford View Post
    If you search for a specific mandolin by model, there should still be listings on the web such as this one:

    http://mandoweb.com/Instruments/Ovat...olin-2009/2200

    Just look at any listings that show up with "mandoweb" after the http://
    I am absolutely spellbound. I must have more.
    Sullivan Sumi F-5 Mandolin 2003
    Weber Diamondback Octave F-Style Mandolin 2014
    Martin HD-28V Guitar 2004
    White Mandolin build underway. Expected December 2017

  18. #15

    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    The Internet Archive Wayback Machine has more of these than you can ever read. This one from 2005:

    88-1692 Gibson March 31, 1924 (signed and dated) Lloyd Loar F-5, #75846, bearing Virzi Number (one of the lowest numbers known although they seem to have been applied in no particular order) of 10002.

    This superb mandolin is in entirely excellent and phenomenally original condition. Housed in its original hard shell case it is a heart-warming sight, all that Cremona, it is a sunburst shower of sonic scintillation. It was played some, yes, the frets show normal wear (far be it from us to replace them with high, round imposters), mainly in positions one through five, the ebony board is slightly pitted in that frame, and the back of the neck shows some discoloration, from perspiration, also wear from frets one through five including some small scuffing at the black widow's peak. Other than that, and a couple of extremely light (almost not worth mentioning) dings and cursory surface scratches, and but few of those, plus two replaced screws, one very old and one newer, holding the pearl original buttons to the shafts on strings 5 and 8, this mandolin is 100% factual, indelible, ancestrally accurate Loar. Mandolin Bros' own Peter Becker did the set up and restring, and says "The sound is silky and beautifully balanced. Some Loars have a "hot G" string or a "hot E" but this one is 'good across the board.'" I asked if "board" was a pun. He ignored that, and added, "Although there are those who denigrate the presence of the Virzi, I feel that it makes the sound smoother, greatly lyrical and more complex. Although quite a few Loar labels were signed on March 31st, this mandolin, more than any I have seen, defines the Lloyd Loar F-5 mandolin of 1924." This is a silver-plated component Loar, with the engraved-plate tuners, the artfully filigreed, silver "The Gibson"-engraved slide-on tailpiece, unique to the Loar period, the single-ply side binding with creme-black-creme top and back border, with 3-ply bound tortoise color pickguard bearing the Mar. 30. '09 stamp with matching 3-ply-against-celluloid side clamp. It has three-ply neck and headstock binding as well. Its ebon headplate is suitably inlaid with the angled, inlaid pearl "The Gibson," and colorful single flowerpot, with the plain black truss rod cover there under. The typically Loar period bridge has the Jan. 18, '21 patent stamp on the foot, and the never-a-surprise small mark on the face in front of the bridge where it was mis-positioned for decades. On the inside of the original green, compartmentalized, plush-lined, unique-to-the-Loar period case are three Black Diamond strings (only 15 cents each), four celluloid picks and an ancient and interesting variable-note, single tube pitch pipe that seems frozen in "A#." The history of the mandolin as we know it is that the current owner's grandfather played it, and left it to her father. Her father recently presented it to her, in the hopes that it will be sold and the proceeds used to pay college tuition for the original owner's great-granddaughter, who is a music major in viola preparing to leave for freshman year this fall. The incredible part of the story is that on the intensely rainy night that I drove to Long Island, where this Loar lived, to see it, I was greeted at the gate by a small dog, a Scottish Terrier, I believe, who, although soaking wet, was quite happy to greet visitors. I asked what the dog's name was and the owner, without irony, said, "Her name is Gibson." Finding a previously undiscovered Loar (especially one this clean) is like finding a winning Lottery ticket in your nightstand drawer. "When you have the Loar, you need nothing more." This mandolin, regrettably for the rest of the mandolin-obsessed world, was placed on hold for its fortunate buyer within 4 days (96 hours) of our obtaining it, but fear not, we’ll find and offer more Loar in the future. We promise.

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  20. #16
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    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    I visited Mandolin Brothers several times. At some point I realized that I was taking the Staten Island ferry for a chance to chat with Stan as much as I was going to play the exquisite instruments his shop housed. It would be hard to find someone that, across the board, was more interesting than him. Witty, creative,and genuinely kind comes to mind when I remember him. Our community lost a good one when he passed away.
    It doesn't matter . . . I'm going to WINFIELD!!!!!

  21. #17
    Registered User Nathan Kellstadt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    If you skip to the 2:36 mark, you'll see Stan bust out a little Gershwin on a Phoenix bluegrass model. I always got a kick out it.

    Dear sir, I am terribly sorry, but I fear I must inform you that what you are playing is most certainly not any part of anything.

  22. #18
    Registered User jdchapman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Brothers Website

    I started out on an Aria Pro I bought at a guitar shop. (This was '93 or so.) I otherwise had only ever seen a few old Harmonies or Kays in the flesh, and only had the Elderly catalogue to serve for dreaming. I heard about Mandolin Brothers, and took the train into NYC (I was living in CT at the time), and then the ferry, and then walked up to that unpromising house.

    It was like a scene in countless movies, but I'm thinking Willie Wonka. It was glorious.

    Started me, along with Elderly, down a long road that's brought me a lot of pleasure. I married a NY girl before moving home, so I get to go back there a few times a year. I love Retrofret and Crandall, but I miss Mandolin Brothers.

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