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Thread: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

  1. #1

    Default JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Jeff has been kind enough to make an A5 Lefty and a F5 Lefty available for any left-handed players and he asked me to post this message. I had been discussing a lefty A5 and he was most gracious in getting back to me. Here is the message I received directly from Jeff.


    JBovier Custom Shop ~
    10/25/13 9:18 AM (1 hour ago)


    Hey Mark,
    I'm ready to take orders for LEFTY JBovier "A5" & "F5" models.

    There's a possibility that I can have the first ones here in a month...
    I'll know for sure on that ETA soon.

    Leftys are (of course) a bit more expensive to build, so the "A5-L"
    (Lefty) retail price will be $949.

    If possible, can you put out a message to the lefty mando-community that
    I'll be producing JBovier LEFTY models as special orders. Have interested
    players contact me directly: jeff@JBovier.net


    Jeff Cowherd
    JBovier Custom Shop
    www.mandolins.ecrater.com
    Facebook = www.facebook.com/jbovier
    Official Website = www.JBovier.net

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    I'm trying to figure out what makes an A style mandolin built left handed a higher cost than one built right handed. I'll give them the F style, it's a total reversal. An A is an A. You cut the slots on the nut in reverse, you add a left handed bridge and put the dots on the other side of the neck. Honestly you can brace them the same, the rest is really the same.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Yeah, but you have to think backwards. I'd hate to get the f-holes upside down.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I'm trying to figure out what makes an A style mandolin built left handed a higher cost than one built right handed. I'll give them the F style, it's a total reversal. An A is an A. You cut the slots on the nut in reverse, you add a left handed bridge and put the dots on the other side of the neck. Honestly you can brace them the same, the rest is really the same.
    I suggest you ask Jeff directly...he's a pretty stand up guy; he'll own whatever reason he has for the $$ increase...
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
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    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I'm trying to figure out what makes an A style mandolin built left handed a higher cost than one built right handed. I'll give them the F style, it's a total reversal. An A is an A. You cut the slots on the nut in reverse, you add a left handed bridge and put the dots on the other side of the neck. Honestly you can brace them the same, the rest is really the same.
    I suspect it all has to do with tooling. On a left hand model, some of the features have to be reversed as well: eg. if it has a non-symmeterical headstock, inlay has to be done differently if angled, and the fretboard extension has to be flipped as well, along with the placement of the tone bars, and a left hand bridge.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    The placement of the tonebars doesn't have to change. If the headstock isn't symmetrical I'll buy that. The rest is the same really. The cost to build a bridge or nut left handed or right handed should be the same. I'm not saying he isn't a stand up guy I'm saying there really shouldn't be a great deal of difference just because an A style is made left handed.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    By the way, I just checked the headstock, it's a snakehead. I'll buy the argument for the inlay but is it inlay or a decal? Again, an A style lefty shouldn't cost any more really. F style is a totally different animal.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    By the way, I just checked the headstock, it's a snakehead. I'll buy the argument for the inlay but is it inlay or a decal? Again, an A style lefty shouldn't cost any more really. F style is a totally different animal.
    I guess I'm just glad I'm right handed, even if it means I'm not as smart

  10. #9

    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Mke, try emailing Jeff and asking him. He is a really, nice guy guy and I'm sure he'll respond to you quickly.

  11. #10

    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    The main reason I can see them being more is simply supply and demand.

  12. #11
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    All I'm sayin is instead of speculating on an internet forum, why not just ask the guy directly?

    He did provide his contact info to an internet forum; he must realize people will contact him and ask questions....right?
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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  14. #12

    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    He did say that are a special order and he'll probably be ordering one or two at a time versus twenty or thirty of the standard A5 or F5 mandos. I suspect this is what costs more for him. Someone like Audey Ratliff doesn't have this problem because he makes all of his mandos in the U.S. Jeff has most of the construction performed in China and then he does the final setup. So, like shortymac said, it all comes down to supply and demand. If he were building them here in the U.S. the price would be the same. I've looked at his mandos though and am excited to order one from him. He has created a product that, from what I read, rivals mandos in the $3k to $4k range. Time will tell but it's still a great mandolin for that price.

  15. #13

    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Nick, I'm with ya. I just sent Jeff a message and encouraged him to join the forum so we don't have to try and speculate. Some folks have some reluctance about contacting someone they don't know so it would help if Jeff joins us here.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    It's a rhetorical question. I already know the answer but then again I'm right handed and not paying more for the instrument.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Registered User bjewell's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    It's all down to left-handed blinker fluid. That stuff has to be special ordered...

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    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    It's a rhetorical question. I already know the answer but then again I'm right handed and not paying more for the instrument.
    Mike,

    Couldn't the answer hypothetically be that the production facility is charging me more for a left-handed option, even though I've tried to reason with them that there is no real difference?

    All I'm sayin, is when someone gives me accessibility, I like to go the source, one on one, and get the answer; and not speculate.
    Even if my speculation proves to be correct. We really don't know, till we ask...I think that's being reasonable...and avoids mistakes that are uneccesary due to a lack of knowing the real facts.

    You're welcome of course to speculate all you want to...
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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  20. #17
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Nick, Hypothetically the retailer could be charging more as well. Why? Because the folks that were lucky enough to be born left handed will pay it. If ya'll are willing to do that, no problem. I'm just saying that the cost of manufacture isn't there on an A model mandolin. This isn't a new subject by the way. If these mandolins are being built in small workshops as everyone and their brother (not picking on JBovier) claims, then we're not talking massive tooling changes and disruptions of the production lines. I hate to see anyone penalized when it isn't justified. Love the guy you're buying from but understand, it isn't a big difference in manufacturing cost with an A model. It's dots on a neck, a nut, and a bridge, maybe a decal placed differently.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Mike,

    I have no problem with anything you say above; I can believe that it is probably the case; I'm just personally uncomfortable stating that I know something as a fact until I can verify it when the source basically says "ask me"...that's all.

    No harm, no foul Bro!
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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  23. #19

    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Mike, it's also possible he quoted me the price for an F5 model and called it an A5. That's why i asked him to join the mandolincafe so he can answer questions that people may not send to him.

  24. #20

    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Official Response from Jeff Cowherd.

    In real terms, it is amazing to be able to build JBovier "lefty" models
    and only slightly increase the price for them!

    Even though "A5"s are symmetrical, making a lefty version still requires
    re-tooling, reversing the top graduations, reversing the tone bar
    positions, carving a new fretboard extender for the opposite side of the
    neck, creating a new fretboard shape, creating new bridge saddles with
    opposite compensations, shaping the nut in the opposite direction then
    cutting the slots it in reverse order (nut & saddle), repositioning the
    direction of the peghead logo, (etc).

    For "F5"s, all the above is also true. PLUS the unique shapes of an F's
    top, back, sides, scroll, and headstock must be cut and carved completely
    opposite the normal processes.

    Craftspeople (who are highly skilled in creating right handed mandolins)
    must do every task just the opposite, with the same high quality, and also
    be able to actually play them left handed for testing.

    All that, for models that may only occasionally be built, is certainly
    worth a couple of bucks more... To me, anyway.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________
    __________________________________________________ __________________________
    __________________________________________________ __________________________

    FYI...
    I will officially introduce JBovier "Lefty" mandolin models as being
    available in 2014, but will accept pre-orders for players who may want to
    reserve one in that 1st batch (ETA January).

    JBovier Lefty models will have the same specs as their right handed
    siblings, and be designated with an "L" after the model.
    Examples:
    * "A5-L" (A5)
    * "F5T-L" (F5-Tradition)
    * "F5S-L" (F5-Special)
    __________________________________________________ __________________________

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    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Quote Originally Posted by shortymack View Post
    The main reason I can see them being more is simply supply and demand.
    I would agree and although the bracing would probably be placed a little different, I can't see that alone making it more expensive.
    Larry Hunsberger

    2013 J Bovier A5 Special w/ToneGard
    D'Addario FW-74 flatwound strings
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    1993 Oriente HO-20 hybrid double bass
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  28. #22
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    Quote Originally Posted by marcodamusician View Post
    Official Response from Jeff Cowherd.

    In real terms, it is amazing to be able to build JBovier "lefty" models
    and only slightly increase the price for them!

    Even though "A5"s are symmetrical, making a lefty version still requires
    re-tooling, reversing the top graduations, reversing the tone bar
    positions, carving a new fretboard extender for the opposite side of the
    neck, creating a new fretboard shape, creating new bridge saddles with
    opposite compensations, shaping the nut in the opposite direction then
    cutting the slots it in reverse order (nut & saddle), repositioning the
    direction of the peghead logo, (etc).

    For "F5"s, all the above is also true. PLUS the unique shapes of an F's
    top, back, sides, scroll, and headstock must be cut and carved completely
    opposite the normal processes.

    Craftspeople (who are highly skilled in creating right handed mandolins)
    must do every task just the opposite, with the same high quality, and also
    be able to actually play them left handed for testing.

    All that, for models that may only occasionally be built, is certainly
    worth a couple of bucks more... To me, anyway...
    Holy Toledo Guys!

    I'm no luthier expert but, Brother, he does seem to make some valid points as to an expected cost increase...am I missing something?

    I'll definitely defer to be educated on this...any luthiers want to weigh-in?
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

  29. #23

    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    It's a custom order for goodness sakes. I'm thrilled that he's gone out of his way to create lefty models and had done so without any fuss at all. Anyone who goes out of their way to accommodate me is frigging awesome in my book and I will gladly pay the few dollars extra to get something I want.

    Just fyi Mando

    Let me show you something that will shock you. These are not prices that surprise me but they will surprise most who aren't used to seeing them.

    Look at the cost for shears on this page. Most people can walk into a home depot or lowes and get the entire set for under $50. Umm, that's not accomplished if one whats a set of lefty gardening tools.

    https://www.leftyslefthanded.com/lef..._tool_s/80.htm

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  31. #24
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    I would expect nothing else from someone selling a product. You might want to check those graduations though.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  32. #25

    Default Re: JBovier A5L and F5L now available

    I still say its more supply and demand than anything else. The tooling is IMO the primary reason of the cost because there isnt very many lefties and that cost is what gets directly passed on to the consumer. Numbers game. Why would it take a "skilled craftsman" any more time or be any harder than making a right handed one? Its not like they have to make them using their left hands.


    That being said, its cool that hes going to be offering them and Im in no way saying hes not a stand up guy. Business is business however.

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