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Thread: List of 4/5 String Builders

  1. #1
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    Just wanted to see what's out there in terms of a quality 4 or 5 string emando....The MOST I could afford would be $2000...I've drooled over the eye candy section at the Cafe many a time, but I was wondering if I could get some opinions from my fellow posters on builders in this $$ range...Thanks

  2. #2
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    I'd talk to Roger Bacorn first -- I think his range is right around $2000.

    But there are many answers to the question: Schwab, Ryder, Eckhaus, Russ Cudney, Ron Lira, Ron Oates (well, maybe not, considering your other post) ...

    You might try clicking through the Builders list at emando.com and seeing what grabs you. Only a handful of builders (Stevens, Pentasystem, Rigel) are going to charge you much more than $2000.



    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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    Any 8 string will work as a 4-string. A Blue star mandocaster comes in 4 or 5 string configs, and goes for something like $600 from Elderly Instruments. Lots and lots of makers have something for less than $2000, but I'd check out mrmando's recommendations in the above post. What kind of music do you want to play? What have you got now? These are important questions. I have to tell you, I have a vintage Gibson EM-200 that cost around $2000 that is an absolutely kick *** 8 or four string.
    Forget with the cowbell, already...

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    mrmando,

    In my disgruntled state of mind when composing my Rono post, I neglected to:

    1. Thank you for your response
    2. Thank you for running an excellent/informative emando website

    Thanks for your suggestions regarding these other builders....I've heard very good things about Roger Bacorn (btw, any idea on the pronunciation of "Bacorn" so I don't butcher it when I call?)

    Sincerely and more than just "that bitter Rono guy,"

    Mike

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    The BlueStar Mandoblaster is without-a-doubt the best deal for the bucks in the ~$500 price category. The Schwab is much more refined and has two pick-ups but now we're pushing $1500. I've never played a Bacorn or Ryder; has anyone else??
    Wye Knot

  6. #6

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    Here is one very very nice mando, made by Shick Guitars(Czech Republic).. I think, that there are to varietes of the mando: 8stringer(the sound is more acoustic) and the 4stringer.. enjoy
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  7. #7
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Tres cool. Is there a neck pickup or is that just the end of the fretboard?

    What are the 5 knobs for?

    Does the builder have a Web site?
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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    I have a 4 string Ryder that I've been playing for about a year. I paid $700 used. I love it. It has both a lead and rhythm pickup (single coils arranged like a Fender telecaster), unlike the Blue Star Mandoblaster which only has the one pickup. It has a 3 way switch to select either pickup or mix them. The pickups are very quiet and have a nice solid tone. I think they're about $1100 new now. I recently purchase an octave mando version for $1300 from Ryder...it's due to arrive tomorrow and I'm anxious to give it a spin.
    Obsessed with four strings...

    Alan Duncan

  9. #9

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    The website of the Shick Guitars is there!. Regarding to the pickup - look at the topic "developing new bouzouki pickup" in CBOM - there is pickup, that was particullary designed by me, and is dedicated to all 8str. instrument with oval soundhole.. the pickup, used on that mando is very similar to my pickup, the only difference is, that my pickup is mountable to the end of the neck instead the body..




  10. #10
    Registered User if6was9's Avatar
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    I am very happy with my Earnest Boomerang and highly recommend Joel Eckhaus as a builder. Here is the link:

    http://www.earnestinstruments.com/mandolins.html

    A 5-string Boomerang sells for $1100. He has other models, too. All of them well within your price range.
    Hear Scarborough Fair with mandola and mandolin
    HobbyhorseMusic.com

  11. #11
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    I have the only Earnst Little Red Mandola in the world.


    In my humble opinion Joel Eckhaus is about as good as you are going to get. I own two instruments from him and both are outstanding.

    Only problem is he has such a back log of business, it can take 6 to 8 months to get your instrument.

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    Hey 4StringMania, can you post a picture of your Ryder emando; or point me to a similar one on his website? What model is it? What pick-ups did you choose? Tell us more...
    Wye Knot

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    Another Eckhaus/Earnest fan here. I've had my Junior Deluxe 5 string for 2 1/2 years and continue to be delighted with it. It has the best C string intonation of any 5 string I've ever played (and I played a bunch). The Mini-hum with coil tap gives me a wide range of tonal choices. Joel builds top quality axes that are well worth the price and the wait.

    --seth

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    You guys rock! My acute MAS thanks you for all of your input!

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    Lee957,

    Sure...how do I add a picture to the post. I have a digital picture but can't figure out how to add it to the post.
    Obsessed with four strings...

    Alan Duncan

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    OK...I think I know how to add the picture now so here goes.

    The Ryder 4-string electric mandolin (yellow) has two single coil pickups arranged like a Fender telecaster and a 3-way switch. The pickups are very quiet and have a beautiful tone.

    The Ryder 4-string octave mandolin (sea green) has two humbucker pickups. It has Schaller tuners and an ebony fretboard. I just received it today. It looks and sounds awesome. I believe it's a 20" scale length so it's a bit of a stretch on the low end for scales, not as long as my tenor guitar though. I hooked it up to my son's Gibson tube amp and it sounds terrific.

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    Obsessed with four strings...

    Alan Duncan

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    Very nice! I like the sea foam.
    Is it my eyes, or are the strings closer together on the octave?
    Wye Knot

  18. #18
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    The strings are a little closer at the top but about the same at the base. The photographs are a bit deceiving since the scale is different; the mandolin looks bigger than it really is relative to the octave mandolin.
    Obsessed with four strings...

    Alan Duncan

  19. #19
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Here's a good price on a Ryder 5-string:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....y=10179

    Knock yourselves out.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  20. #20
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Well, the eBay Ryder (see above) went for $498.99.

    Not too shabby, considering that with the options listed it cost $945 new. Someone got a deal...
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  21. #21
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Someone else got an even better deal on a Bacorn 5-string. Roger tells me the base price for this baby is $1250...
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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