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Thread: Breedlove FF Experiences?

  1. #1

    Default Breedlove FF Experiences?

    I haven't purchased a mando yet, so here's another mandolin hunting thread!

    So I just posted this thread about a Collings MT (used):

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...27#post1242727

    Getting some good responses on that one. I'm wondering if there were any Breedlove FF players out there? This is another mandolin that I'm considering. Very much difference in tone between the Breedlove and the Collings (I know the Collings is better fit and finish)?

    Thanks,
    David

  2. #2

    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Also what's the difference between the quartz and regular model?

  3. #3
    Bark first, Bite later Steve Zawacki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    In the end it doesn't matter which one. The "other one" will always hold some fascination and you'll just wish you had gotten it as well. As my wife keeps telling me, the fun is in the shopping, not the buying.

    Whichever one you choose, it will be fun. If this is the quest for the perfect instrument, forget it. There are a lot of folk on this forum alone that have been looking for the "perfect" mandolin (or guitar, or banjo, or saxophone, etc.) for as long as they are old. On this forum the result of this quest is a terminal case of MAS.

    The trick is to just get the first one and start playing. What happens after that, only time, luck and opportunity can tell.
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    The inventory is always in some flux, but that's part of the fun.

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Indeed.

    I think part of what fuels MAS in many of us is that the quest is so much fun that we don't want it to end just because we have decided on a mandolin, have purchased it, and are playing it. We quest for its own sake.

    Heck, it should be its own hobby. Some folks play 'em. Some folks build 'em. Some folks customize and tweak 'em. And some folks shop for 'em.

    Its all good.
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Also what's the difference between the quartz and regular model?
    The quartz series became the "American Series" and is now called the "Premier Series". The Premier series is now only available in the amber burst.
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    I'm planning on getting a Breedlove FF when I upgrade from my Kentucky A-style later on in the year. They sound excellent! They were highly recommended to me by a master luthier and his assistant (another long-time musician) because of their exceptional tone and their price. You should definitely check one out! I really want the red-tone Legacy FF from Breedlove!

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    I think Breedlove makes very nice mandolins. It's not quite my style, visually or sound-wise, but a fine instrument anyway.
    "If we weren't all crazy, we'd just go insane" - J. Buffett

  9. #8

    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?


  10. #9

    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by CSIMelissa View Post
    Thanks!

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    ... their headstocks make for excellent pumpkin carvings......
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by McSoappy View Post
    Very much difference in tone between the Breedlove and the Collings (I know the Collings is better fit and finish)?
    It should be, since new, it's usually at least $700 more. At its price range, though, the Breedlove FF is by far my favorite.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

  13. #12
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by McSoappy View Post
    Very much difference in tone between the Breedlove and the Collings (I know the Collings is better fit and finish)?
    I would never put down the fit and finish of Collings mandolin, but I wouldn't have anything bad to say about the Breedlove either. I owned a 2006 Breedlove Quartz OF. One of the things I always was amazed at was the build quality. The workmanship was second to none and the finish was absolutely beautiful. I wouldn't hesitate to buy either based on fit and finish. However, they do differ tonally. As much as I loved the sound from that Breedlove, I would buy the Collings in a heartbeat.
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  14. #13

    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Considering that the Breedlove FF is usually about half the cost of a Collings MT, when I played the two side by side, I found the tone to be fairly similar (what some would call a "modern" tone: clear and precise.) The Collings had a bit more balance and low-mid warmth, and the Breedlove FF had more emphasis on the treble and bass plus a bit more sustain than the Collings. I went with the FF but would be equally happy with an MT, so it really comes down to preference, as they are fairly equally-matched from my experience with them.

    --Tom

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    Registered User Timothy S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Like Mr. Coletti, I too demoed a Premier FF (2008 model I think) and a Collings MT. Both were fantastic instruments, incredibly well build, and wonderful in tone. I also ended up purchasing the FF based on sound and price. I've been thrilled with it thus far, and often feel compelled to pick it up and practice just a little more...and then more again...

    As with all instruments, it comes down to what speaks to you the most. While I loved the Collings for it's uniqueness, I felt a stronger connecting with the Breedlove. Trust you intuition and be willing to take as much time as you need in comparing instruments.
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    Registered User parttimepicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    +1 for the Breedlove. I have was was called the Quartz FF at the time, and I love it. I continue to play others at every music shop I come across, and I remain very content with my selection.
    Others have complimented the tone at jams, and that (admittedly) reinforces my contentment.
    And as for the look - I really like it! But I can understand how it might be outside of someone's comfort zone.
    I'm a happy customer.
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  18. #16

    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Now I'm getting even more excited to upgrade to a Breedlove later this year/beginning of next year when I can.

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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    MCSoapy...I have had 3 Breedloves, 2 American Series FF's F-styles and a A-sytle FF. Again, as many have commented on other brands of mandolins, you have to play several of the same type to possibly find the one you like best. But I must say I have never play a bad Breedlove...they have all just sounded consectutively better...they all sounded good. The first one I got at sounded fine but not as deep or woody as I liked...that "modern-sound" would apply here. The A-style ff was closer to that warm, woody Gibson-ish tone I like, so I kept it a while...then I found the American Series FF I play now. Before I bought it, I compared it to a nice and new Gibson F5-G. I had the sales guy had them to me while I had my eyes closed...I could barely tell them apart in sound. The only way I knew I had the Gibson in my hand was because it had a laquor finish on the back of the neck. But I was trying to use my ears ...I had found one that had the tone and volume I wanted. And did not hesitate...I handed the Gibson back and walked out with the Breedlove, and never looked back. And I didn't have to pay even close to $4999.95, which was what the Gibson was. The Breedlove was absolutely top-notch in fit and finish...right up there, equal with Collings...how do I know? I have had 5 Collings... You cannot go wrong with a Breedlove FF.. they state in their manual that the bodies are built deeper and the tops and backs arched more than a conventional mandolin, so they sound great right out of the box. Someone posted they were called the "Quartz Series" then the "American Series", now the "Premier Series" and seem to be pretty much the same mandolin. I can tell you straight from Breedlove that the American Series was built in their Custom Shop, because the main contruction room was used for guitar building...what's custom about them? Not really anything unless you count the unique sunburst that not only goes for the top but the edges, back and peghead of the instrument...and perhaps (or not) a little more attention while being built. I can tell you The American Series serial numbers are in the 1400's to early 1500's. I hope this all helps you in your quest. I'm very pleased with mine... I can not say I have had any experience with the mandolins when they were called the Quarts Series or the newer 2013-14 Premier Series...but like I said I've 3 American Series FF's and they were all just great mandolins... ... ...you won't go wrong if you can find one.

  20. #18

    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Wow these posts are really getting me excited about a FF!!!

  21. #19
    Registered User Stamper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    I don't have an FF, though I've played them a few times, and I do have an A style Breedlove American series 0. I love my Breedlove. In fact it's my second one, because after I gave the first one up (a Quartz), I went out and found another (American) nine or so months later to take a long trip with. I think maybe the tuning gears are superior on the older Quartz versions, but aside from sunbursts that's the only production difference I can think of (and I may be wrong): I wouldn't hesitate to go after a Quartz / American / Premiere.

    To my ear, and this is subjective, the Breedlove is louder than my Collings A, a little more brash in the room, and punchier -- code, sometimes, for impolite, or possibly rambunctious. The bottom warms up the overall tone and there is this lovely echo-chamber effect I've noticed with mine that always appeals. I prefer the ringing open note, generally, and I'm not crazy about a fast decay: so, you know, just preferences. It's a chamber, my Breedlove 0. A cathedral.
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    I played an FF for about 2 years. I bought it new from Steilberg Strings. I liked It OK, but it didn't really wow me. Even after setup work, I never got the playability the way I like it.. it just didn't suit me. So I sold it, bought a used Yellowstone, sold that and bought a new MT. I am very happy with the MT.. just the right combination of sound and playability.

    Good luck with your search!

    Rob
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    Registered User John Hill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by CSIMelissa View Post
    No offense but that has to be the worst sounding clip of a FF I've come across, it sounds..well, just bad. I had one a couple of years ago, great mandolin for the price, good even tone with a decent bark when wanted, top notch fit & finish, easy playing, adaptable to lots of styles. You can't go wrong with one in my opinion but don't judge what they sound like by that clip.
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    Registered User John Hill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobP View Post
    I played an FF for about 2 years. I bought it new from Steilberg Strings. I liked It OK, but it didn't really wow me. Even after setup work, I never got the playability the way I like it.. it just didn't suit me. So I sold it, bought a used Yellowstone, sold that and bought a new MT. I am very happy with the MT.. just the right combination of sound and playability.

    Good luck with your search!

    Rob
    I bought my FF new from Steilberg too. Shame they stopped dealing Webers.
    There are three kinds of people: those of us that are good at math and those that are not.

  25. #23

    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Hill View Post
    No offense but that has to be the worst sounding clip of a FF I've come across, it sounds..well, just bad. I had one a couple of years ago, great mandolin for the price, good even tone with a decent bark when wanted, top notch fit & finish, easy playing, adaptable to lots of styles. You can't go wrong with one in my opinion but don't judge what they sound like by that clip.
    LOL no offense here. I just posted the link; it's not my playing!

    I am looking forward though to one day owning an FF Breedlove. Really liking the Arcadia right now but my bank account disagrees. LOL

  26. #24
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    I used to own an MT, and then I bought an American FF. While the MT was a nice instrument, I never really bonded with it. Although I was never really crazy about the non-traditional styling of the Breedlove, I picked one up and played it at Elderly and the sound knocked me out. Good volume, good modern tone, good chop. The fit and finish of the FF is every bit as good as the MT.

    In my mind, the FF has evryting that the MT offers for just over half the cost. Traditional BG players will scoff at the design, but then, they will scoff at the MT for being an A-style as well....

  27. #25

    Default Re: Breedlove FF Experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ostrander View Post
    In my mind, the FF has evryting that the MT offers for just over half the cost. Traditional BG players will scoff at the design...
    I never really understood the stigma for the body styling. The sleek design is what attracted me to the Breedlove in the first place, really, since it immediately stood out from the others on the wall (and I like the feel of the unobtrusive lower point, too.) I can understand the influences of tradition on design, but it's nice to have some aesthetic variety thrown into the mix every now and then.

    --Tom

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