Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26

Thread: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa
    Posts
    685

    Default Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Acoustic Music Works in Pittsburgh is reporting on its FB page: "Sad news, folks. We've just received word that Phoenix Mandolins is halting production, effective immediately."

    Can anyone else confirm that? Have I missed an earlier Forum topic concerning this?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Trevor at Acoustic Music Co in the UK also states the same on his FB page
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  3. #3
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    1,317

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Oh no! This is awful news. Phoenix mandolins are distinctly different from the rest of the market and it is a real shame to lose something unique. Let's hope Jenny chimes in and tells us it's only a temporary hiatus and she will be back at it soon.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Utah, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    That would be a real shame. I love my Phoenix Bluegrass (built by Jenny Warner).
    Andrew Frink
    '23 Gibson A, Phoenix Bluegrass, Seagull S8, Kentucky electric, Weyman

  5. The following members say thank you to drooartz for this post:


  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Columbus, GA
    Posts
    828

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    There's nothing on their web site. I don't know about FB and Instagram. I don't mess with those.
    David Hopkins

    Breedlove Legacy FF; Breedlove Quartz FF
    Gibson F-4, (1916); Blevins Octave Mandolin, 2018
    McCormick Oval Sound Hole "Reinhardt"
    McCormick Solid Body F-Style Electric;
    Recording King Resophonic Mandolin; Slingerland Songbird Guitar (c. 1939)

    The older I get, the less tolerant I am of political correctness, incompetence and stupidity.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Would not surprise me at all. Most want a mainstream instrument. Probably would make more doing pretty much anything else for a living. A shame really.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit

  8. #7
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Posts
    1,234
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    It's true. We've known about it for awhile but didn't feel our place to announce it.

  9. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Mandolin Cafe For This Useful Post:


  10. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Utah, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    A true shame then.

    I wish Jenny all the best in whatever is to come, and I will continue to enjoy my Phoenix for many songs to come.
    Andrew Frink
    '23 Gibson A, Phoenix Bluegrass, Seagull S8, Kentucky electric, Weyman

  11. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,297

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Best wishes to Jenny in her next adventure. And, yes, sad news...
    Chuck

  12. #10

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Would not surprise me at all. Most want a mainstream instrument. Probably would make more doing pretty much anything else for a living. ...
    So I'm assuming then that the financial info shown in the screenshot below, is not accurate? The website (which I'd never heard of before) claims the Phoenix Mandolins company has an "Estimated Annual Revenue" of "13.9 million dollars" and has approximately 55 employees.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	13-9-million-dollars.jpg 
Views:	68 
Size:	180.0 KB 
ID:	170023

    Huh... I'd be skeptical that even big-name outfits like Gibson could generate 13.9 million dollars per year in mandolin sales...

    Just for lulz, I looked up Gibson on that site, it claims that Gibson's total (guitars and everything) estimated annual revenue is 400 million dollars... hmm let's see here, ok so let's compare total revenue of Gibson vs Phoenix, um (thinking, not easy nowadays) guess that'd be 400/13.9, so... if those figures are accurate (not likely?), that means Gibson in its entirety is only around 28 times bigger than Phoenix Mandolins was...

    Was Phoenix Mandolins really that big of a company? 13.9 million dollars per year in mandolin sales? I don't recall even hearing of that brand before (although there are many things I haven't heard of). I'm finding it hard to imagine... The top of the line "Ultra" model has a list price of $10,500 so they'd have to sell 1,323 of those per year to get a total yearly revenue of $13,900,000. ... or looking at the lower-cost "Neoclassical" mandolin listed at $3,600 each that would require 3,861 sales per year... are there actually that many mandolin players in the world buying high-end instruments from just one company? I'd be surprised if there were 3,861 sales of $50 Rogue mandolins per year, but I could be wrong there.

    I'm assuming that the more likely scenario is that it's just another instance of some website have wrong info (gee, like that's never happened before, lol). If not, well... looks like the way to get rich quick is to get into mandolin building. Or not.

    But I have a new question: How many new mandolins total, all brands from all makers, are built and sold worldwide, per year? Does anyone know or have a vague guess? (like, how many zero's after the number). Just curious. Wouldn't think it would be very many... surely far fewer than the numbers of guitars, basses, etc...

  13. #11

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Sorry to hear this. Phoenix mandolins are top notch in every way. Classic 2 point design. Best wishes to Jenny.
    the billyhawks http://www.thebillyhawks.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
    http://www.HillbillyChamberMusic.com

  14. #12
    Registered User Michael Neverisky's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    198
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    That Owler website isn't quite Dun & Bradstreet.

    I have played only one Phoenix mandolin and it was delightful. Best wishes to Jenny.

  15. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    266

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    ["So I'm assuming then that the financial info shown in the screenshot below, is not accurate? The website (which I'd never heard of before) claims the Phoenix Mandolins company has an "Estimated Annual Revenue" of "13.9 million dollars" and has approximately 55 employees.

    Click image for larger version. Name: 13-9-million-dollars.jpg Views: 7 Size: 180.0 KB ID: 170023

    Huh... I'd be skeptical that even big-name outfits like Gibson could generate 13.9 million dollars per year in mandolin sales... "]

    I don't about taking some data off the web and speculating about their revenue, and by implication sales, profits, etc. How much do or should people know about her situation, however heartbreaking and sad? It could be about sales and profits, or any number of others things personal, lifestyle, change in career and so on.
    A-5's: Nugget/Collings, Newson

  16. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,165

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Always wanted a Phoenix, will have to someday look for a used one. Sad day indeed. Best of luck Jenny in whatever you decide to do next. Maybe a new mandolin brand?
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  17. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    So Oregon
    Posts
    757

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Best wishes to Jenny.

    It is my hope that Rolfe Gerhardt will step in and resurrect PHOENIX.

  18. #16

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hildreth View Post
    Best wishes to Jenny.

    It is my hope that Rolfe Gerhardt will step in and resurrect PHOENIX.
    Rolfe wanted to retire, which he did, after he sold the business to Jenny, who was his apprentice for years. She has all the equipment that was in his shop, and he has since moved.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  19. #17
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    25,105

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    I have played a few Phoenixes over the years and they are very fine instruments. What I especially like about them is that each model is voiced differently. I thought that Rolfe was leaning toward retirement and that he was handing the business to Jenny. Maybe one or both will chime in here?
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes - Old Sheet Music for mandolin

    Playing lately:
    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

  20. #18
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    1,317

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    It is my understanding that Phoenix was not the big company suggested in an earlier thread, but Rolfe's basically one-to-two person operation which, as Mary suggests above, was turned over to Jenny when Rolfe retired. Jenny has carried on Rolfe's innovative designs and high-quality builds. These instruments really are a group of several different takes on the mandolin for specific genres and tastes. In the past, I have been in contact with both of these fine people and really enjoyed these conversations. My Neoclassical is an absolute dream. It is and will likely remain for the rest of my life, my daily player.

    I am saddened by this news for a couple of reasons. A I stated above, the mandolin world is losing some unique, high-quality options. And I understood this to be Jenny's long term dream. She worked for a long time under Rolfe's tutelage, she went through a Luthiery program, and she worked in another shop. Perhaps her dream has changed. If she chooses to tell us, that's OK. If she chooses to keep it to herself, it is her own business. Either way, I wish her well. I am and will remain, a fan of these great instruments.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  21. #19
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    2,543

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    More and more these are becoming super-competitive times in the world of retail mandolin sales. So many excellent choices at so many price points... my hat's off to ALL the amazing builders, newbies and masters, who continue to hang in there and pursue their dreams despite uncertain economic reward...

  22. The following members say thank you to Glassweb for this post:


  23. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    So Oregon
    Posts
    757

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    "Rolfe wanted to retire, which he did, after he sold the business to Jenny, who was his apprentice for years. She has all the equipment that was in his shop, and he has since moved. "

    I Have followed Rolfe's career and the Unicorn/Phoenix story for years. You never know what may happen.

    I hope this was a positive decision for her, and if not Rolfe, I hope someone else may step in and continue making some of the finest mandolins in modern history.

  24. #21
    Registered User Rolfe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    mid-coast Maine
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Thanks for all the kind words about Phoenix mandolins and the support for Jenny. She made the difficult phone call to me a while back and, while it is sad, it is a good move for her. She is an incredibly talented builder and was the best possibility to carry forward the unique qualities of the Phoenix mandolins. But the business climate nowadays is terribly stressful, and neither of us will miss that. I am almost 79, and it was time to retire and move to an active retirement community where my wife and I can concentrate on things that bring us joy instead of all the demands of home and business ownership. It was an honor and a privilege to have been able to build those mandolins and share the building with Jenny---the best years of my building career and the best person to share those years with. Now, I'm off to playing pool with friends this morning and tying flies later.
    Rolfe Gerhardt

  25. The Following 24 Users Say Thank You to Rolfe For This Useful Post:

    + Show/Hide list of the thanked


  26. #22
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    1,317

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
    Thanks for all the kind words about Phoenix mandolins and the support for Jenny. She made the difficult phone call to me a while back and, while it is sad, it is a good move for her. She is an incredibly talented builder and was the best possibility to carry forward the unique qualities of the Phoenix mandolins. But the business climate nowadays is terribly stressful, and neither of us will miss that. I am almost 79, and it was time to retire and move to an active retirement community where my wife and I can concentrate on things that bring us joy instead of all the demands of home and business ownership. It was an honor and a privilege to have been able to build those mandolins and share the building with Jenny---the best years of my building career and the best person to share those years with. Now, I'm off to playing pool with friends this morning and tying flies later.
    Hello Rolfe,

    I wish you the best possible retirement and thank you for the innovations you developed and the wonderful instrument I play every day. I also thank Jenny for her hard work in trying to carry this forward, and congratulate her on having the courage to make that difficult decision. I hope Jenny will, in time, let us know where her journey takes her.

    All the best,

    Bob
    Purr more, hiss less.

  27. #23
    04Bravo
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Very sad news...I'm glad I got my Select when I did. I haven't found any other instrument quite like it.

    Hats off to Rolfe and Jenny for having kept Phoenix going all this time.
    Phoenix Select #654
    Harmony Monterey 417

  28. #24

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    Thanks Rolfe, for taking the time and effort to make my Unicorn and Bluegrass such great instruments, even if Iíll never be as good as they are.

  29. #25

    Default Re: Phoenix mandolins closing shop?

    I had purchased a used Phoenix from the Cafe many years ago....it has since moved on.......but I did take it to Rolfe for a set up to lower the action and for another tune up quite a bit later on....his shop was about a three hour drive from my house.
    He was such a craftsman and gentleman and took as much time as necessary to solve any problems and was always more than fair with his bill.
    In fact, he only wanted to charge me for new strings on my first trip for the action....I could never live with myself if I had only paid for those......I wish him and Jenny the best and often wish I had held onto that Phoenix.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •