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Thread: A Trip to Carter Vintage

  1. #1

    Default A Trip to Carter Vintage

    My friend Gary and I drove down to Carter Vintage Guitars in Nashville yesterday. My purpose was to check out a Breedlove Premier 00, an American made oval hole A model the store had in stock. As I had previously owned a Breedlove Quartz 00, which I liked, I was hoping to find a mandolin with a fuller and wider neck than my skinny necked 1994 Flatiron Festival A.

    After searching through Carter's large inventory of mandolins old and new, I found the Breedlove. I was somewhat underwhelmed. The neck was only slightly wider than the Flatiron, but still quite small. The unbound body woods were only okay. But what really bugged me was that the tailpiece was mounted cattywampus. I could remove it, plug the holes, redrilled and mount correctly.

    The tone of the mandolin was sweet, but quieter than the Flatiron. It was also quieter than my oval holed Lafferty LA-2.

    Walter Carter offered to trade for the Flatiron if I gave him $100 boot. I decided that I liked the Flatiron better in almost every way.

    Carter Vintage had several mandolins, among many, which interested me. He had two Collings oval holed A models which I could enjoy, but they were priced at $2800. He also had an Eastman MD-305 which was excellent at $475. It had great tone and a hefty neck.

    But in the end, I came home with what I already had. No use moving backwards.

  2. #2
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Trip to Carter Vintage

    If you're still in the area, Cotten Music has a used Collings MT-O for $2195
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/cottenmu...75647039114466

  3. #3
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Trip to Carter Vintage

    From George Henry - " But in the end, I came home with what I already had.." Hi George - been there ! (several times). Isn't it such a disappointment when we find that our expectations are dashed ?. However,isn't in great when we discover that 'what we already have' is great any way ?.

    Regarding neck width - i've played a couple of mandolins that had a 'wide neck',but they were only a 1/16" wider at the nut than standard. Could your Flatiron have a new nut with slightly wider string spacing fitted,or is it the actual neck itself that doesn't feel right ?,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
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    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  4. #4

    Default Re: A Trip to Carter Vintage

    Every time I go mandolin shopping I take along my Ellis, just for comparison

  5. #5
    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Trip to Carter Vintage

    I have a feeling if I went to Carters they'd have to throw me out! They have every great instrument there is, for me old Martins, vintage fender electrics and of course the crème de la crème of mandolins! Right there just in mandolins that would take a day! Best leave the checkbook at home..Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  6. #6

    Default Re: A Trip to Carter Vintage

    I already have a perfect mandolin, the Lafferty (actually a Summit). The Flatiron's neck is both thinner and skinnier. The Lafferty is heftier in both regards and plays like a dream. I liked the neck on the Eastman MD305 (and the tone), but it had a "noisier" tonal character than the Flatiron (like it's a cheaper instrument). The Flatiron has a wonderful tone.

    I need to see if someone would be interested in trading an f hole Lafferty like mine for my Flatiron.

  7. #7
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Trip to Carter Vintage

    Quote Originally Posted by ~jrs~ View Post
    Every time I go mandolin shopping I take along my Ellis, just for comparison
    Yep. Taking along my favorite mandolin for comparison has saved me lots of money over the years.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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  9. #8
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Trip to Carter Vintage

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasser78 View Post
    I have a feeling if I went to Carters they'd have to throw me out! They have every great instrument there is, for me old Martins, vintage fender electrics and of course the crème de la crème of mandolins! Right there just in mandolins that would take a day! Best leave the checkbook at home..Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    I don't think you have to worry about that. I have camped out there many days and they have always been hospitable, helpful and accommodating. They seem to know that treating their customers right eventually leads to sales. (I should note that while I do not have any financial interest in Carter Vintage, I do have three instruments there on consignment, for the reasons stated above and not wanting to fool with selling them).
    Tony Huber
    1930 Martin Style C #14783
    2011 Mowry GOM
    2013 Hester F4 #31
    2014 Ellis F5 #322
    2017 Collings MT2-O #3666
    2017 Nyberg Mandola #172

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  11. #9

    Default Re: A Trip to Carter Vintage

    I guess I'll keep the Flatiron until what I really want comes along. I took it to a jam tonight. It sounded great but the tiny neck cramps up my arthritic left thumb. I'm gonna work on the set up some.

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