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Thread: what are the regular folks playing.

  1. #76

    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Jim you did not answer the question, what would you want ?. an as for you Astor no guitars only a mandolin, what would you want. lets not dance around the subject.

  2. #77
    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

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    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

  3. #78

    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Just traded up from an eastman 305 to a pava satin a5. I also have a mid-mo m4 and a trinity octave.

    I would add that mandolin can get to be an obsession. I work in a non-profit and live at the poverty line. I prioritized my pava over seeing a doctor. lol i feel like i made the right decision.
    Last edited by Em Tee; Apr-16-2018 at 8:18am.

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  5. #79

    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Tony I would look for a Pava, Northfield, or Collings at that price.

    There are of course other great mandolins at around the same cost but these three seem to be very consistent. If you are buying without trying I think you would be be safe. Might get a great one but will get a good one and a good value for your buck. You will get a mandolin that should be enough for a lifetime of playing. If you NEED anything more it's cause you're a great player or you're having fun trying out different mandolins.

    I wouldn't go any "higher" than that without hearing first.
    Northfield NF5S
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    Registered User mee's Avatar
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    I consider myself just a regular person, I have an F9, it was my second mandolin and my niece got my starter, a Fender because I am a one mandolin regular person. Until I got caught up in MAS and grabbed a nice Eastman 505 from guitar center because it was a too good deal to pass. But guess what, it sits on my coffee table unplayed since about the third day because I love my F9 that I was so blessed to receive several years ago. So the Eastman will be going back to GC with new J74's before my 45 day trial is over and I will once again be a one mandolin person.

  8. #81
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    My Gibson A40, bought from another guy in 1973, was $150.00..
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  10. #82

    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    If I had a 3k windfall, it would be a tough choice between an ivory Gibson A3 and a Northfield F5S.

    I'd have to wait and see how my Arches kit turns out.
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  11. #83
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    there is no need for any one here to get bent out of shape. its just a simple question. why can't you just answer it like this. hey Tony I have a Weber that I bought used or I have a Nice Kentucky km-900 or a Eastman 505 . also I don't care a rats butt about the people that buy mandolins for investments . God only knows there must be a few of them here, and one more thing if you can't answer the question in a nice way move on & have a nice day if you can.
    Well, I have to disagree with your premise. And also with your seemingly hostile tone and poor choice of words. In reality, it's never "just a simple question" to ask how anyone with a fairly modest income chooses to spend their money! It's complicated. This is especially true when you're talking about what might be a substantial outlay for a fine instrument. In the final analysis, it becomes a matter of luck, skill, circumstance -- and priorities! And your definition of "regular" folks deserves some modest push-back, too. I think most of us would consider ourselves to be "regular" folks in some sense or other. As for being mandolin freaks, I guess that makes us all weirdos... And some collectors who sometimes buy mandolins as investments, but are also excellent players themselves (David Grisman is in the category, and so is Tony Williamson, not to mention Adam Steffey and many others) are not exactly "rats-butt" types.

    Some "regular" folks slowly trade their way up to better and better instruments, and this means adding only fairly modest sums at each trade, over a longer time. That way, they can afford it. Eventually, they wind up with great instruments, and some of these are also valuable instruments. Some are less valuable, but they happen to sound great (but the majority of the less-valuable instrument brands do not, as a rule, which is a key reason why they tend to be less valuable).

    Some "regular" folks just save and save and eventually spring for a great instrument. It is their MAIN purchase in life, and it's their pride and joy. They prioritize their music over other things. They don't happen to own a new or fancy car (see the thread on your mandolin costing more than your car; there are many of us in this category). They don't have a fancy home (many rent). They don't have a boat or a chopper or collection of whiskeys (or anything except musical instruments). Some "regular" folks even go into debt just to afford a better instrument.

    Some "regular" folks just get good and lucky. They bide their time and wait for opportunities that allow them to leverage their limited funds to get extraordinary deals or trades. Or they win a mandolin in a contest (like the Pava that's currently up!). Or they're gifted a mandolin because they're such good players, and someone wants to see them succeed (e.g., a parent or fellow musician). Or they get something as an endorsement because of their playing reputation. Or they inherit something of value from a relative. Or they buy a fine instrument early in the career of a luthier (or a company) before they attain a great reputation, and get a great deal. (I sold an early Northfield F5 for about $1,000 more than I'd paid for it; I was lucky. Or was I smart?). And so on. You can be good. Or you can be lucky. And it's better to be good and lucky.

    Anyway, there are plenty of great mandolins out there in the hands of "regular" musicians. They don't just play a Kentucky or an Eastman or a similar PacRim instrument that might generally be considered entry-level. It may not be easy (they're not rich), but they eventually get something that's a lot better-sounding -- at least to their ears. And their tastes may well change over time, as they get better and older and more experienced.

    To my mind, there is nothing especially heroic about choosing to play a mediocre instrument. Most of the musicians I know have experienced some serious financial pain, at one time or another (by not buying some other things they might liked to have had), just in order to get a better instrument. These are my heroes!

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  13. #84
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    This thread actually reminds me of a night at Woodstown, New Jersey at the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival. It was about 2:00 AM and I was jamming with a group of folks that were all better than I was on the mandolin but I was holding my own when a young man stepped out of the darkness with a Flatiron pancake mandolin. It came around to the mandolin break and I nodded at him to take it and he pretty much smoked anything I could do at that Point. He was really good and for a brief moment I contemplated handing my F5G to him and walking away until I realized he didn't need a better mandolin, he was fine. My mandolin however deserved a better player.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  15. #85
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    This thread actually reminds me of a night at Woodstown, New Jersey at the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival. It was about 2:00 AM and I was jamming with a group of folks that were all better than I was on the mandolin but I was holding my own when a young man stepped out of the darkness with a Flatiron pancake mandolin. It came around to the mandolin break and I nodded at him to take it and he pretty much smoked anything I could do at that Point. He was really good and for a brief moment I contemplated handing my F5G to him and walking away until I realized he didn't need a better mandolin, he was fine. My mandolin however deserved a better player.
    Apologies for briefly hijacking this thread, but saw John McEuen Friday evening. One of his sidemen was Matt Cartsonis who did triple duty with occasional lead vocals, guitar, and mandolin. His mandolin was a Flatiron pancake -- and he smoked the stage with it, including McEuen when he played mandolin and John Cable when he played mandolin. Terrific show; simply terrific.

    Now back to regularly scheduled programming.

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  17. #86
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    My $2,000 mandolin (1920 Gibson A3) cost $75 bucks 35 years ago. It needed work, so I had to add another $150.

    When I wanted to add an A5-type mandolin I had to start saving. $80/mo was my limit and I thought after 4 or 5 years I'd be onto something!

    I made a custom order that took 2 yrs and saved my money. Along the way, I bought and sold $200 pac-rim instruments. Heck! A few times I even made $20 or $30 bucks!

    Very happy with my $2 and $3K A5s! Happier than when I just had my pac-rim instruments!

    Not to be too wealthy that is. . .

    f-d
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    Jim you did not answer the question, what would you want ?
    All right, a 1921 A-4 would be nice or even another Loar-era A-2 (though mine is plenty). I haven't played one but I like Marty Jacobson's sensibility as a builder and would love to work with him, though I also have a feeling that we would be at the higher end of the range or perhaps even go over it when we would be done. I am never one for lots of ornamentation—I would prefer to invest in the tone and playability aspects.

    I essentially have what I need for the most part and many of my prime playing instruments are within the above-mentioned cost range. Obvious exceptions are my Brentrup and my Embergher.
    Jim

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    there is no need for any one here to get bent out of shape. its just a simple question. why can't you just answer it like this. ...and one more thing if you can't answer the question in a nice way move on & have a nice day if you can.
    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    ... lets not dance around the subject.
    ????

    Perhaps the question is not simple. Perhaps there is more to it.

    If you want to know what I own, check my pics. I need to update with a few more pictures, nothing grand or exceptional.
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    so lets look at it like this. if I was to win the lottery this week & I could give every one here 3k, what would most people here buy. or should I say what is the most popular amateur mandolin between 2,500.00 & 3k.
    As an aside, I don't think the distinction of amateur/pro is useful, or legitimate, here. There are many "professionals" making money performing, and even making their main grocery money performing, with mandolins under $3K.

    There are a lot of options under $3K, especially when you include secondary markets. There may be a most popular, but it would be a slight plurality, not an overwhelming majority. Certainly not enough of a consensus to guide someone's choice, I don't think.

    The best bet might be to peruse the classifieds and get a feeling for what is available under $3K. A wide range of offerings.
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  23. #90
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    If you want to know what I own, check my pics. I need to update with a few more pictures, nothing grand or exceptional.
    Yes, but very admirable!
    Jim

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    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

  24. #91

    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    I was thinking I could get be right nicely with a $3K mandolin
    MAS Fund.......Up and running again

  25. #92

    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    ????

    Perhaps the question is not simple. Perhaps there is more to it.

    If you want to know what I own, check my pics. I need to update with a few more pictures, nothing grand or exceptional.
    That Stiver is kinda grand
    Northfield NF5S
    Bayard Guitar bodied octave mandolin
    Breedlove Revival 000 guitar
    Gernandt Irish Bouzouki
    www.singletonstreet.com

  26. #93
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    ????

    Perhaps the question is not simple. Perhaps there is more to it.
    If I ever meet regular people, I'll report back to the OP what they play. If I find out how to recognise them, that is.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Leyda View Post
    Tony I would look for a Pava, Northfield, or Collings at that price.
    I didn't quote your entire comment, which was spot-on, but to your very sensible list I would include Max and Laurie Girouard's fine mandolins.
    Chris Cravens

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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    If I ever meet regular people, I'll report back to the OP what they play. If I find out how to recognise them, that is.
    It's easy. They're, you know, ordinary looking.

    You can spot 'em a mile away ...

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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    I do not have deep pockets, so I spent YEARS saving up. I currently play a Brentrup. Rich people don't always play expensive instruments and many times folks who do have expensive instruments aren't all that rich.

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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    In the 3000-ish price range, Skip Kelley A style or Phoenix Select.
    Chuck

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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    If I got a windfall of $3000 it would go into my retirement account, I have all the mandolins I would ever need.

  35. #99
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
    If I got a windfall of $3000 it would go into my retirement account, I have all the mandolins I would ever need.
    As much ss I enjoy playing mandolin, I also very much like having a place to live and breakfast every morning. I would need considerably more than $3000 to buy a $3000 instrument.
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  36. #100
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    Default Re: what are the regular folks playing.

    An Epiphone Mandobird--but that would only work if you are okay with a solidbody electric mandolin...
    Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

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