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Thread: Ordering a new one (hopefully)!

  1. #1
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    Since I bought my Schwab (#29) about six years ago, and gotten the SEM-5 that I had Jon Mann build for me, I've considered the possibility of a third instrument that could bridge the tonal gap between my electric mandolins and my electric guitars.

    I love playing my mandolins, and I love the tones I get from them, but they're a bit high for some music, and although that low C helps to bring things down a bit, sometimes it can still be a little tough to convert guitar parts on the fly, because of the difference in register.

    So, I emailed Andrew Jerman yesterday (haven't heard back yet, but hoping to) about the possibility of his building me one of his new double-cutaway designs (the koa-topped model) in an 18.5" or 19" scale, to get up into that tenor guitar / octave mandolin range.

    I know you guys have posted before about your Jermans, but I haven't seen any of them updated since you guys had more of a chance to play them.

    I was hoping to hear a little bit about how you like them. He certainly seems to do excellent work, and I guess he's approaching his 20th or more instrument, so I would imagine that he can no longer be classified as a new (read: inexperienced) builder.

    Let's hear from you guys. How do you like your Jermans?

    P.S. Pics are welcome if you have them.



    Schwab 5-string No.29 (1982)
    Old Wave C# No.311 (2003)
    Mann SEM-5 No. 60 (2007)

  2. #2
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    I am the proud owner of Jerman #17 - the "Koa Bolt". I have had it for a few months and I love it. It plays very well and as you can see from the picture it is very purdy little emando!

    I would be happy to answer any specific questions you have about my Jerman 4 string.

    Andrew is a world class guy. We talked allot before during and after he built my mandolin, and he was sooooo helpful and he made sure he made the exact mandolin I had in mind. I wish him the best in recovering from the flooding in Indiana (see the other Andrew Jerman post).


  3. #3
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Read Andrew has to pump the deep water out of his basement shop, posted some pictures on his website, so will be a while before he can take orders again.
    then again this is the time some income from order deposits would be most appreciated , to help get him up and running again , understanding the wait may be extended a while.



    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I saw the post about Andrew's shop, and just felt terrible. Just as he's getting started out as a new (and apparently awesome) builder, too!

    I'm not the praying kind, but I certainly do wish him good luck in getting everything worked out, and hope that neither his home nor what's inside it has suffered irreparable damage.

    I don't know if he's going to be exactly taking orders at the moment, but if he ever does get a chance to check his email, hopefully I might be able to work something out with him, knowing full well that it'll be a long wait.

    Kwick, I'm curious about a few things on your mandolin, if you don't mind me asking.

    First, that one has both a stereo and mono output, right? Are a couple of those knobs intended to control the mix and volume of the stereo jack?

    How's the tone, and the playability? Fit/finish? It looks phenomenal from the photos, but that can miss some of the smaller details. Not that I think those are missing - Andrew seems to be a real bear for details - but I haven't heard anything directly mentioned.

    Finally, I see you've got yourself a synth pickup on there. How does it track, and how do you usually use it?

    Oh, and I meant to ask - is there any chance you might have a few photos of different sides/aspects of the instrument? It really is a beaut, and I'd love to see some other angles.

    Sorry if this is a little long, but you know how it is...
    Schwab 5-string No.29 (1982)
    Old Wave C# No.311 (2003)
    Mann SEM-5 No. 60 (2007)

  5. #5
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    Yep, this has stereo and mono outputs. The first two knobs are volume and tone for the neck pickup, the second pair of knobs are volume and tone for the bridge pickup, and the last knob blends the two pickups when using the stereo output. I wanted a pickup/knob/output configuration that would give me endless posibilities. I use allot of effects pedals, this allows me to have a clean pickup that bypasses my pedal board, and a dirty chanel that goes through the pedal board....then the GK3 MIDI pickup of course is on its own channels. Its like playing 3 mandolins at once, except one sounds like an electric mandolin, one sounds like a spaceship, and one sounds like a piano (or one of the other 1000s of MIDI sounds). The blend knob and seperate channels allows me to fade in the different layers, so rather then stomping on a envelope filter, a phaser, and delay and changing my whole sound, I can blend in effects.

    The GK3 tracks well, but it is like a whole other instrument that I have not yet mastered. I have been using piano MIDI allot, it sounds good with rock songs. Blues harmonica MIDI works good and adds some flaver to bluesey numbers. I dont use the MIDI as a lead, just to add some color during band jams.

    The fit and finish is very good. I live in Minneapolis and I know Kevin Schwab. He has worked on all of my mandolins, and he and his instruments are awsome. But, Andrew made this mandolin to my exact specifications at a fraction of the cost Kevin Schwab would have charged (Although Kevin's prices are more then fair). I was really torn between having Kevin or Andrew make this mandolin. But, I decided to "gamble" on Andrew..and I it paid off....this mandolin is exactly what I wanted. With that said, I was in Kevin Schwabs shop last month and he had a really-really nice 4 string tele almost finished for sale for $1800. I think Kevin is the best emando luthier in the world, but he has got some 30 years on Andrew (or almost anyone else). But, if he would have made the Koa Bolt, the price would have been way north of $2000 and could take a year. I brought the Koa Bolt in to Kevin's shop to get his opinion, as I have done with every mandolin I have owned. And he made some setup adjustments, and he was impressed with the workmanship of the Koa Bolt. The fit and finish is very good, especially when you consider the complexity of the design of the Koa Bolt (the layers of koa, maple, mahagony, the bolt inlay and Jerman inlay). He even matched and laser cut the back mahagony electronics cover, it is matched wood grain, you can barely see the seeam....no plastic. I dont have any more pictures, I will take some more, but there is no picture I could take that would show any flaw.

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