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Thread: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

  1. #1
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    Default Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    I am convinced that there are wine connoisseurs who can tell the difference between $2.99 Charles Shaw wine from Trader Joe's and the more expensive wine but I'm not one of them ! That's the reason I buy Charles Shaw ! Now, if mandolin players were to play a wide variety of mandolins and not look at the name on the head stock, I wonder if they could really pick out the top mandolins ( twelve to twenty thousand plus dollar) from the five to six thousand dollar mandolins ? I would bet ( not very much) that a lot of players would be shocked/surprised if they went to a place like Gruhn's that stock a lot of mandolins and played without looking at the name of the builder and rated these instruments ! Just a thought !
    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

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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    Tone throughout the entire scale , playability which includes shape of the neck, looks which include fit and finish. Yes I imagine some sets of ears are both more educated and more accurate than mine. R/ ........
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    People are happy with different things. Makes the world go around.
    Play it like you mean it.

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    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    I'm willing to test your theory, both at the same time. You supply the wine and the mando collection. But I'll need to try lots of both
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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    I'm willing to test your theory, both at the same time. You supply the wine and the mando collection. But I'll need to try lots of both
    Only if you like two buck chuck !
    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

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    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    to the OP: Yes!

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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    A month ago I would have agreed with you only through my ignorance. Then I went Gruhns played and listened to several 7K-22k mandolins and the 22k mando was clearly the winner for volume and projection. There was a pro in the room looking for the loudest mandolin (to replace his Gibson) and a few bystanders who weren’t looking at the logo all gave the nod to the 22k mando. As far as tone that’s a bit more subjective but if I had the money I would have bought the 22k mando it even sounded good when I played it !
    Tone is too subjective and I’m sure guys with better ears than me would be able to pick out differences from the 7k to the 22k but saying one is better is only personal just like your 2 buck chuck.
    Lou

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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    What are you willing to wager?

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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    I fully understand your point cause I have had same thought before.

    And I've consumed enough Charles Shaw and Rex Goliath to know that it is a good enough red wine for sub $5. That worked for me until I consumed enough higher quality red wine to appreciate the subtle complexities that it brings to the party. Not all higher cost red wine has that mind you - some of it is just red wine disguised by it's label and price tag. But once you've have a bottle or 6 of something really special and begin to understand why it's really special, you tend to want it again. Sometimes Charles Shaw is all I need btw.

    I don't think you can fully appreciate or judge a mandolin by playing it in a store with others. I can only tell you what I don't like in 30 minutes not what I'll like tomorrow.

    If I was buying mandolins by the bottle, using them up and tossing in the trash, I might still buy the Charles Shaw but I would keep the good stuff around as well.

  15. #10

    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    While not fond of two buck chuck, there are many, many $7-12 wines that are really quite good. Many are just blends of red table wines from Spain, France, and Portugal. But a great Chianti Classico is really, really good.

    As for mandolins, it is just a matter of small but very noticeable increments that seem to jump in $2000 increments. I remain blissfully ignorant of plus 4 grand mandolins.
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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    I've always looked at it as paying for membership to an exclusive club -- in addition to getting better sound......

    Working in the vintage retail market for years showed me that besides rarity, there is a reason that $30K guitars sound good, beside just being expensive...

    Now, is it something that you can live without once you've heard it? For me, sure! I can live within my budget. But, with some people it haunts them.....

    One of my "sales tricks" I use at vintage guitar shows is to put a sign next to an old amp stating, "best sounding amp of show." Some people laugh, some people are threatened by such a statement. Some want to argue. Some have to prove me wrong. (all the while, creating more attention for the amp....) Usually, somebody just ends up buying it, to eliminate the competition, I'm thinking...

    One of my pet peeves is watching "comparison" videos on youtube -- you know, does this wood sound better than this wood?, etc...anyway 11 minutes into the video I realize the guy can't play his way out of a paper bag! I love the democracy of youtube, but some people have no business posting videos, IMHO.....

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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    I`m a Boone`s Farm and Kentucky man myself....Lol

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    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    The comparison of two buck chuck to a $5-6k mandolin doesn't seem quite right.

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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    I was watching Brian on Mandolin Store You Tube video playing various mandolins the other day and I know that the recording process has a lot to do with it, but the Kentucky KM150 sounded better to me than the Gibson F5s he played. I dunno.

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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    I have always thought (and stated) that if you cannot tell the difference between a cheap and an expensive mandolin then consider yourself lucky. You have no need to reach further into the market to buy a more expensive instrument. The same would hold true for wines. Unfortunately there are industries where people do sell things that are primarily snake oil. Years ago there was a blind test between very expensive speaker wire and coat hanger wire. The coat hanger wire won the blind test. To be totally transparent here my entire house is wired in Monster Cable speaker wire. I fell for it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    Quote Originally Posted by Torpedotom View Post
    I was watching Brian on Mandolin Store You Tube video playing various mandolins the other day and I know that the recording process has a lot to do with it, but the Kentucky KM150 sounded better to me than the Gibson F5s he played. I dunno.

    2 buck chuck wins!

  27. #17
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    I cook with 2 Buck Chuck all the time, but generally go with something a little fancier for drinking. I'm not sure what the exact mandolin analogue would be. But it's getting chilly in here, gotta go throw another Samick on the fire.
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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    The topic of "value" is going to be different for everyone's situation. If you make $30k a year you might think a few hundred bucks is as much as you'd ever want to pay for a mandolin and you can't see the value in a $5,000 upgrade. If I was sitting on a few hundred thousand in the bank then I'd sure think about getting a "next level" instrument even though I am very happy with my $5-6k option.

    The blind test also wouldn't figure in some other aspects such as fit and finish details, quality tuners, etc. that can certainly make a big difference in the overall enjoyment.

    Another aspect is the actual function of the instrument in your life. Are you going to strum a few chords and maybe go to a jam or two once in a while, or are you playing gigs regularly, etc. I have found for my particular tastes that I need to be in that $5k+ range to get something I really enjoy playing and take out to gigs. I do think it's probably harder/more about personal preference to distinguish the added value once you get above that range based strictly on sound.
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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    My dad always said that he only needed two things in a beer...12 ounces and cold.

    I started getting into craft beer back in the mid to late '80's.
    Pretty sure I can tell the difference between PBR and Pilsner Urquell - and it's worth it!

    But, to each his/her own.

    Kirk

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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    Well, I have to say: I was perfectly happy with Two Buck Chuck for a good many years -- and especially when I was in grad school, and had a net negative income! Eventually, though, my wine-tasting experience broadened, and in parallel with that, my bank balance also increased. As I tasted and appreciated wines more broadly, I learned that -- as good as the Charles Shaw selection from Trader Joe's is -- I could do significantly better by spending more money. In fact, I discovered that I could do A WHOLE LOT better! Ah, but was the "value" any better, if you define "value" as the "taste goodness per dollar spent"?! Hard to say! It depends a whole lot on what kind of a subjective scale you use for "taste goodness." But the fact is that the value that I perceived went up, no doubt about it. Today, I no longer buy Two Buck Chuck. I belong to some wine clubs in California and get some of their best offerings. I buy French, Spanish, and Italian reds, too. I can afford (some of) them, now, and have decided that they are worth it. To me, that is, at my current stage of development in (1) taste and (2) income. But there are still wines I have decided I cannot afford. I don't tend to buy Petrus or Opus One or Harlan estate or Chateau Margaux or Screaming Eagle. Out of my league, still.

    More or less the same is true for mandolins. When I was first learning, I would have been very, very happy with a Kentucky or Eastman or The Loar. In fact, I would have even argued that these offered me the best value at the time! And back then, I would not have fully appreciated the responsiveness of a high-end mandolin. Both my ear and playing level were not up to it. But now? Well, currently I have an Altman F5 that I love. And a Pomeroy. And a Mowry. And I can certainly both hear and appreciate the differences from my older Weber -- and from an entry-level Kentucky, Eastman, or The Loar. I have gotten to the point where, on a visit to Carter's in Nashville, I could hear and appreciate the sound of a Loar-signed Gibson, a Gilchrist, a Nugget, a Henderson, and so on. But these beautiful instruments are currently too rich for my blood, and not a real "value" to me -- for now. But someday, as my appreciation for tone grows, and (hopefully) my savings account, I may yet spring for one of them.

    That's how MAS works. Your musical tastes and appreciation mature. Your funds accrue -- and then get spent down!!

    Think of Two Buck Chuck as a gateway drug. Then you'll understand.
    Last edited by sblock; Dec-01-2017 at 7:50pm.

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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    Well, I have to say: I was perfectly happy with Two Buck Chuck for a good many years -- and especially when I was in grad school, and had a net negative income! Eventually, though, my wine-tasting experience broadened, and in parallel with that, my bank balance also increased. As I tasted and appreciated wines more broadly, I learned that -- as good as the Charles Shaw selection from Trader Joe's is -- I could do significantly better by spending more money. In fact, I discovered that I could do A WHOLE LOT better! Ah, but was the "value" any better, if you define "value" as the "taste goodness per dollar spent"?! Hard to say! It depends a whole lot on what kind of a subjective scale you use for "taste goodness." But the fact is that the value that I perceived went up, no doubt about it. Today, I no longer buy Two Buck Chuck. I belong to some wine clubs in California and get some of their best offerings. I buy French, Spanish, and Italian reds, too. I can afford (some of) them, now, and have decided that they are worth it. To me, that is, at my current stage of development in (1) taste and (2) income. But there are still wines I have decided I cannot afford. I don't tend to buy Petrus or Opus One or Harlan estate or Chateau Margaux or Screaming Eagle. Out of my league, still.

    More or less the same is true for mandolins. When I was first learning, I would have been very, very happy with a Kentucky or Eastman or The Loar. In fact, I would have even argued that these offered me the best value at the time! And back then, I would not have fully appreciated the responsiveness of a high-end mandolin. Both my ear and playing level were not up to it. But now? Well, currently I have an Altman F5 that I love. And a Pomeroy. And a Mowry. And I can certainly both hear and appreciate the differences from my older Weber -- and from an entry-level Kentucky, Eastman, or The Loar. I have gotten to the point where, on a visit to Carter's in Nashville, I could hear and appreciate the sound of a Loar-signed Gibson, a Gilchrist, a Nugget, a Henderson, and so on. But these beautiful instruments are currently too rich for my blood, and not a real "value" to me -- for now. But someday, as my appreciation for tone grows, and (hopefully) my savings account, I may yet spring for one of them.

    That's how MAS works. Your musical tastes and appreciation mature. You funds accrue -- and then get spent down!!

    Think of Two Buck Chuck as a gateway drug. Then you'll understand.
    You hit the nail on the head !! I agree totally !
    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

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    Life is short. Play great mandolins and drink good wine. There’s plenty of both at my house!

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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    "You are what you eat" ,,me,,I'll take a tomahawk steak any day...

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    Registered User Tomando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    Anyone who'se happy with 2 buck chuck, (which included me for a year…), NEVER GO WINE TASTING IN NAPA! That will ruin you just as surely as a Gil or Ellis will ruin your mando satisfaction. Just sayin'… ��

  39. #25
    Notary Sojac Paul Kotapish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reason I Buy Two Buck Chuck !

    I completely agree that there is no absolute correlation between quality and cost in most material objects--food, drink, homes, cars, or instruments. There will be outliers on both sides of the curve: relatively inexpensive instruments that sound fabulous at one end, and bank-buster lemons at the other end. (I'm sure we all have our anecdotes about both extremes.)

    Still, if you remove the outliers, my experience is that there is a reasonably strong correlation between cost and quality ... to a point. I won't rehash the details of those qualities that we've discussed (and argued about) ad nauseum in other threads, but it's there.

    Once you add rarity and collectability into the equation, though, I agree that the cost-to-quality index goes to the dogs.
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