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Thread: Gilchrist Mandolins

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins



    Now, Monteleone was another story...

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    I thought that mandolins should sell by the ounce. Since they weight about 1kg, a basic mandolin would be $6/oz, a Weber $60/oz , A Gilchirst $600/oz, a Loar $6000/oz, like gold and diamonds, or drugs of choice. Price is based on demand, quality and scarcity.

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  4. #28
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    Now, Monteleone was another story...
    I only had to wait a year or so for my Monteleone Grand Artist, built in 1980.

    Maybe by the '90s his waitlist was a lot longer...

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Indeed. 1990 order date, 1994 receipt date. It was a gorgeous GA to look at.

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    At the top end, the difference in quality is no longer a difference, its a preference. Some players love the Ellis sound, some the Gilchrist, and some the Nugget. The build quality and the consistency from instrument to instrument are all there. Pricing for Gilchrist and Nugget were set years ago when the wait lists were long and the resell market was 2x the cost of new. If Gilchrist or Kemnitzer decided their instruments were too high priced and dropped the price of new to $12k, there would be a whole lot of unhappy existing owners. Ellis seems to be in a sweet spot in the high end market and appears to have very strong control over how many of his new instruments are actively on the market.

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    i will give another angle for those who are recent to the world of high end mandolins. Gilchrist has earned this lofty spot over some 30+ years of building great mandolins. i remember back in 1993 when i wanted to get a better mandolin than my Kentucky KM-1500 ( fine mando btw) i considered a Gil - the price then was about $3800 about what a new Gibson F5-L listed for and far less than the top of the line Monroe F5 model (which was about $5500). i remember thinking there was no way i could pay $3800 for a mandolin and passed. then a few years later, as i got better, i considered ordering one again - they were now $4800. then $6500 a year later, then $8500, etc. what was happening was the market was pushing his prices up - it had something to do with his reputation, but when a mandolin jumps from $6500 to $16,000 in a matter of 5 years there is a lot more going on. i'm pretty sure Gilchrist *closed* his list in the early 2000's because some people were receiving mandolins they commissioned for $8500 and turning around and selling them soon after for $15K (this was happening A LOT with high end luthiers in general). when he opened the list back up around 2005 they were going for $22,500. IMO, this was all due to the HUGE run-up in value of top-tier mandolins during the mando boom of the early 2000's. his price hasn't changed since 2006..nearly 10 years ago. this to me says that once the speculation / flip situation was quelled, the market basically flattened.

    i got on his list right after it reopened and received my mandolin in July 2008 - i was expecting a 4-5 year wait but got it in less than 3 - he was basically finishing out his old list at the old prices - i think my batch was one of the first after he started taking new orders.
    as for the why would someone pay that much, or is it *worth* it - i would say it just depends on your own ears, ears that take years to develop after playing A LOT of mandolins. there are fine mandolins out there that are 90% of what you get in a Gilchrist for far less. our own John Hamlett is a fine example. I got to play one of his new mandolins head to head against my new Gil in 2008, they were both less than a month old and the Hamlett was really close...sound and workmanship...for $8000 - of course they probably sound different by now after years of breaking in. there is no way a player would come away saying one was worth 3x the difference.

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    When I bought my Gil, I paid quite a bit more than anyone had for a used one. Never regretted it for a second.
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    If I played a Gilchrist, an Ellis , a Northfield or many others in front of an audience, the result from the audience would be the same--------------you need to practice more !
    Last edited by yankees1; Oct-15-2014 at 2:44pm.
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  13. #34
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    If I played a Gilchrist, an Ellis , a Northfield or many others in front of an audience, the result from the audience would be the same--------------you need to practice more !
    News to me that Northfield jumped ahead in line and is in the same "club" as Gilchrist, Ellis, Dude, Heiden, Nugget, Red Diamond, Gibson MM, Monteleone etc.
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    I didn't say it did ! I was just trying to to reflect that no matter what level of mandolin I would play the results would be the same-------- I need more practice and a very high end mandolin would not improve my playing !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    No problem!

    Just in the context of the discussion, no one has mentioned a mid-level(or whatever) mandolin when talking about Gilchrist prices.
    The others have been mentioned but not Northfield, Flatirons, etc...threw me for a loop! Thought maybe I missed something, like Northfields are in the same company as the others now...
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Seale View Post
    If Gilchrist or Kemnitzer decided their instruments were too high priced and dropped the price of new to $12k, there would be a whole lot of unhappy existing owners. .
    Well maybe, but the main thing is that they would not be able to meet the demand. The wait lists would be for ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by kudzugypsy View Post
    i'm pretty sure Gilchrist *closed* his list in the early 2000's because some people were receiving mandolins they commissioned for $8500 and turning around and selling them soon after for $15K (this was happening A LOT with high end luthiers in general).
    I wasn't paying attention at the time, but it makes sense to me. All kinds of craziness can occur when you fix prices as demand goes up.

    there is no way a player would come away saying one was worth 3x the difference.
    Now that is very subjective thing.

    I would say that if one can't tell or appreciate the difference, or if the difference he can appreciate isn't worth the premium, one would be foolish to get the more expensive one.

    Would I be able to tell? I don't know. I recently acquired the best sounding best playing mandolin I have ever had, and I am so blown away by how good it is, (and my others are no slouches), I could not conceive of better.

    That doesn't mean there isn't better. Objectively verifiable better.
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  17. #38
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Believe this helps with the mystery … Thile getting some good wood! ….Courtesy of the fine folk at Carter Vintage in Nashwood...

    Last edited by mtucker; Oct-17-2014 at 7:11pm.

  18. #39
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    I love the focus and the note separation of that Gilchrist he is playing. I'd love to hear Thile play one consistently for a while to hear where he goes with it.

  19. #40

    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    I posted a similar question back in the day and was intrigued by the answers. I honestly think it comes down to just a few things. First they are considered by great mandolin players to be great mandolins, second they are a limited commodity, third they have achieved a following in a niche market. All three of those things combine to create market demand that allows for the cost. I would like to play one just for the experience. I don't think I would get as much out of it as a more experienced player but at least I would know what it feels like.

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Peoriamando View Post
    ... I would like to play one just for the experience. I don't think I would get as much out of it as a more experienced player but at least I would know what it feels like.
    Like other mandolins produced by whomever, they're all different. I've played 2, heard another up close. Of the two I played, one was good, the other real good; and the one I heard up close and personal was wow-factor 9.5!... an absolute canon!
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  21. #42
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by mtucker View Post
    Believe this helps with the mystery … Thile getting some good wood! ….Courtesy of the fine folk at Carter Vintage in Nashwood...

    What is Thile talking about when he says "this one is pitched way down at C# and the others are up at Eb or E " ?? (minute 1:25)

    Does he mean the others didnt have correct intonation? He is referencing the same fretted position on the fret board right ?

    Yeah I agree with DataNick and Peoriamando. I'm not sure I would fully appreciate the spectacularness of a Gilchrist at my lowly level, but I sure would welcome the experience just to see.
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by kudzugypsy View Post
    . there are fine mandolins out there that are 90% of what you get in a Gilchrist for far less. our own John Hamlett is a fine example. I got to play one of his new mandolins head to head against my new Gil in 2008, they were both less than a month old and the Hamlett was really close...sound and workmanship...for $8000 - of course they probably sound different by now after years of breaking in. there is no way a player would come away saying one was worth 3x the difference.
    Are you familiar with the expression "to damn with faint praise"? IMO that is exactly what you have done here.

    I have no doubt that your intentions were good and you are certainly not the only one guilty of this. It happens here far too often and I can bite my tongue no longer. These careless occurrences of 'damning with faint praise' are just the sort of things that perpetuate the unsupportable assertions and absurd myths that abound here.

    Further, I am willing to bet that in a double blind test, you couldn't pick which was which.
    Last edited by Pete Jenner; Oct-19-2014 at 8:20am.
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Jenner View Post
    Are you familiar with the expression "to damn with faint praise"? IMO that is exactly what you have done here.

    I have no doubt that your intentions were good and you are certainly not the only one guilty of this. It happens here far too often and I can bite my tongue no longer. These careless occurrences of 'damning with faint praise' are just the sort of thing that perpetuate unsupportable assertions and the absurd myths that abound here.

    Further, I am willing to bet that in a double blind test, you couldn't pick which was which.
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    No but Pink Floyd are one of my favourite bands. I believe Pete Jenner was also Billy Bragg's manager.
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Jenner View Post
    ....Further, I am willing to bet that in a double blind test, you couldn't pick which was which.
    So true and I am sure history shows that it applies to almost everyone although many would porbably have to take such a test for themselves before they would believe it. Not to change the topic though as this ground had been plowed many times here.
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    this ground had been plowed many times here.
    The whole [mandolin A sounds $ times better than mandolin B] argument never held much sway with me, especially when discussing the upper crust.

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    The whole [mandolin A sounds $ times better than mandolin B] argument never held much sway with me, especially when discussing the upper crust.

    Julie Andrews comes to mind: How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?
    Subjectively with a lot of imagination.
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  30. #49
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    What is Thile talking about when he says "this one is pitched way down at C# and the others are up at Eb or E " ?? (minute 1:25)

    Does he mean the others didnt have correct intonation? He is referencing the same fretted position on the fret board right ?

    Yeah I agree with DataNick and Peoriamando. I'm not sure I would fully appreciate the spectacularness of a Gilchrist at my lowly level, but I sure would welcome the experience just to see.
    I think he is referring to the note the mando is tapped or tuned to during building. I believe it may appear as a resonant note on the neck.
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  31. #50

    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    No problem!

    Just in the context of the discussion, no one has mentioned a mid-level(or whatever) mandolin when talking about Gilchrist prices.
    The others have been mentioned but not Northfield, Flatirons, etc...threw me for a loop! Thought maybe I missed something, like Northfields are in the same company as the others now...
    A buddy of mine has a really nice Gilchrist that I used to have a raging case of MAS over. Its a killer mando. Lucky for me my Northfield killed my MAS and it hasn't returned.

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