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Thread: Poor Man's Siverangel

  1. #1
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    Default Poor Man's Siverangel

    My disclaimer : I haven't had the opportunity to actually play or even hear live many of the mandolins talked about here on a regular basis . My knowledge and familiarity is mostly through recordings or videos . Saying that , I think if I had to narrow down MY favourite tone....the one that speaks to me .... it would be the tone of the Silverangel mandolin .
    I've never played one , I've never heard one in a live setting but anytime I see/hear video of one it reaffirms my preference in that particular tone .

    I know that in the grand scheme the Silverangel is a relatively inexpensive instrument . Still , its out of my reach , unfortunately . I'd welcome experienced opinions on what you might consider a " poor man's Silverangel " in terms of something comparable to its warm , woody, dark tone . much thanks......

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    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    The poor man's Silverangel is also a Silverangel.
    Contact Ken and ask him about his Silverangel Econo A series.
    You might find one used. They come up in the classifieds now and again.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    I have not played anything quite like a Silverangel that would be cheaper. I've played a lot of oval hole mandolins from the Pac Rim and they don't come close. The SA has a pretty unique sonic signature, a more pronounced arch, and most have cross bracing. Many, like mine, have a redwood top. You either like them or you don't. I'm guessing more don't than do.

    I find most cheaper mandolins go for a bright voicing, or just have one.
    Silverangel A
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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    Agreed... I have not heard anything else with that voicing... Used SA 'A' models do crop up in the classifieds from time to time, as noted above, and they are excellent value. Very nice mandolins indeed.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

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    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    What is you budget?

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    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    ''I have not played anything quite like a Silverangel that would be cheaper. I've played a lot of oval hole mandolins from the Pac Rim and they don't come close.''

    That's what I was afraid of ....haha
    I like the sound of Kentucky mandolins over the other pac rim instruments ...they seem warmer/fatter/louder than Eastman's ,Michael Kelleys, Ibanez etc. I wondered if a lower priced Kentucky might compare to Siverangel ?

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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    Quote Originally Posted by roysboy View Post
    I wondered if a lower priced Kentucky might compare to Siverangel ?
    Sadly, not.
    Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern, Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
    Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
    Northfield Big Mon #127
    Ellis F5 Special #288
    '39 & '45 D-18's, 1950 D-28.

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    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    Quote Originally Posted by roysboy View Post
    ''I have not played anything quite like a Silverangel that would be cheaper. I've played a lot of oval hole mandolins from the Pac Rim and they don't come close.''

    That's what I was afraid of ....haha
    I like the sound of Kentucky mandolins over the other pac rim instruments ...they seem warmer/fatter/louder than Eastman's ,Michael Kelleys, Ibanez etc. I wondered if a lower priced Kentucky might compare to Siverangel ?
    Right now there are three silverangel at Reverb. The least expensive is 1700. Built by Laura Ratcliff. At least 2 are used and I believe are overpriced. Accepting offers. Never hurts to make an offer. I got my new Northfield F5S for about 17% below normal list just by making an offer.
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  11. #9

    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    There was a Silverangel recently in the Classifieds from Ken himself for around $1200, which I thought was a great deal. They do come up fairly often under $1500, with F styles as low as $2200. Those are tempting.

    They remain one of the best bang for your buck mandolins out there, provided you like the tone and the pre distressing that comes with most of them. You won't find that tonal quality anywhere else, and if it makes you happy for the next ten or twenty years, a very economical perchase.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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  13. #10
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    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    Thanks to all for your thoughts . I'm up here in the great white north so yeah ...the 'American ' dollar costs all come with a 30 % additional exchange rate and shipping and perhaps import duty . Gets expensive in a hurry . This is why I wondered if , perhaps , a company like Kentucky may offer something voiced similarly to a Silverangel as they are distributed her through retail outlets .

    Guess I'll just have to buckle down on the savings plan .....or find a REALLY easy bank to rob ......

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    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    Ken and Laura's mandolins are great values in quality, hand made mandolins. I own two of them. They are well worth the money, IMO, but aren't everyone's cup of tea. Ken offers a trial period on the ones they sell themselves, so there's some insurance there.
    Scott Rucker
    Silverangel F5
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  16. #12

    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    I feel your pain regarding the exchange rates, but a company like Kentucky is going to try to replicate the most popular mandolin tone as best they can. They would go broke fast trying to copy the SA sound, which I believe would be harder. They would need the proper materials for one. Easier to replicate bright than rich IMHO.

    Anyone who gets the chance should play one for sure. I just took the plunge on a used one and really like it, but as I've said before, I'd like a good MT in addition to my SA. I would not prefer one to my SA.

    There are quite a few mandolins out there I'd like to try but have never had the chance. I do see the point in buying and selling all the time. It really is the only way to know. Fifteen minutes in a store is good, but three or four months at home is better. My problem is not wanting to part with them.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    I agree with everyone above. I own an Econo model that has been an exceptional "step up" mandolin. I previously played a Kentucky 675-S (built the first year they moved to China, and had some issues...current offerings are light years ahead of mine, though mine was still decent for the price). When I bought the SA, my wife asked what was so different about the two as I was opening the shipping box up. I tuned up the SA, then played her a few short runs and chords on the Kentucky, followed by the same stuff on the SA. She says, "Oh, wow, yeah, that one sounds a lot better!" She sings and plays piano but not plucked stringed instruments, but she could tell immediately. The SA is woodier, darker, has a much better bass response, and doesn't lose tone up the neck like the imports I've played tend to do. My current beater is an Eastman 315 that I like, but, again, the SA's tone is more complex and "better" to my ears. For those that prefer a more modern, bright sound, the SA may not satisfy...

    Sorry about the exchange rate and import issues. They really are great values, and I got mine used for US $900. It's staved off MAS for quite a few years now, though the MAS is not a beast to remain quiescent forever...
    Chuck

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    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    [QUOTE=roysboy;1636845]Thanks to all for your thoughts . I'm up here in the great white north so yeah ...the 'American ' dollar costs all come with a 30 % additional exchange rate and shipping and perhaps import duty . Gets expensive in a hurry . This is why I wondered if , perhaps , a company like Kentucky may offer something voiced similarly to a Silverangel as they are distributed her through retail outlets .

    Guess I'll just have to buckle down on the savings plan .....or find a REALLY easy bank to rob ......[/QUOTE

    I'd put the Kentucky KM-900 I just bought, up against the Silverangel Econo I sold, any day of the week. Not sure what the KM-900 would cost you locally?
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  19. #15

    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    I can understand you liking the KM 900, but the OP wants something that sounds like a SA, which the Kentucky does not. You don't like the tone of a SA, but we are in the realm of subjectivity here.

    Nothing I've played sounds like a SA and many have the basic sonic quality of a Kentucky. The crux of the matter is Kentucky is emulating the more popular tone to appeal to more players. No import is trying to replicate the SA tone that I'm aware of.

    I'm curious as to why you bought a KM 900 when you have a Northfield, which I think is a significantly better sounding mandolin. If that's your idea of a beater, I'm just going to puke
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  20. #16
    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    I can understand you liking the KM 900, but the OP wants something that sounds like a SA, which the Kentucky does not. You don't like the tone of a SA, but we are in the realm of subjectivity here.

    Nothing I've played sounds like a SA and many have the basic sonic quality of a Kentucky. The crux of the matter is Kentucky is emulating the more popular tone to appeal to more players. No import is trying to replicate the SA tone that I'm aware of.

    I'm curious as to why you bought a KM 900 when you have a Northfield, which I think is a significantly better sounding mandolin. If that's your idea of a beater, I'm just going to puke
    The two things I liked about the Silverangel were the tone and distressing. As far as I can tell, Kentucky was trying to replicate the Gibson A5 when they made the KM-900. I find it to have an excellent Bluegrass tone and a woody quality. One man's beater, is another man's beast.
    Last edited by willkamm; Mar-02-2018 at 7:33am. Reason: Condensed
    Gibson F5G (Dave Harvey 01/29/2016)
    Redline A5 (2015) #10
    Gold Tone GM-110 A/E

    Hohner Marine Bands (various keys)

    "Me, Billy and George are two of a kind."

  21. #17
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    Default Re: Poor Man's Siverangel

    I'd just say be cautious on making decisions based on recordings. Most recordings if not all, use compression, which ultimately makes them sound punchier and more focused than they actually are. Then of course you have the addition of room acoustics and quality of the recording. The House of Fine Instrument videos on Youtube are some of the best to compare if you have nothing else to go on.

    You really need to find a way to test in person, especially with that 30% import tax...

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