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Thread: Gilchrist Mandolins

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    Post Gilchrist Mandolins

    I've been doing some window shopping into mandolins just for fun and i've come across a couple Gilchrist mando's.
    The thing that always stands out to me is the price, i haven't seen one under $20,000.
    What's the deal?
    Is there any reason these mandolins command such a high price? They don't seem too different from mando's in the $4,000-$6,000 range from an unexperienced eye.

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    RedKnucklesUnclesCousin GKWilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    vincit qui se vincit

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

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    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Try playing one and you'll know why. Gilchrist mandolins have a deserved reputation as being some of the finest mandolins ever built. Many fine builders have built beautiful and great sounding mandolins, but Steve Gilchrist has been consistently building mandolins that are among the best ever for years.

    Give this a listen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FB2oZdNlwM
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    Registered User Richard.g.hampton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    In short - consistency to the highest standards..........


    Richard

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Because they are Australian. Nuff said.
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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Because they are very good.

    If you are new to mandolins, the prices of the "high end" builders may seem surprising, even shocking... but compare to violins.

    It can also take quite a while to really appreciate how good some mandolins really are. You have to listen to, and play, a lot before it becomes apparent. It is quite true that you can get a phenomenally fine mandolin for $4-6K... even less in some cases... only you can decide if one of the $10K+ instruments is worth it to you. I would also add that a $20K mandolin might work out 'cheaper' than some of the low end instruments in the long run. Why?

    1. You don't have to keep 'upgrading'
    2. They hold their value - or even increase in value.

    You can lose a lot of $$$ starting low and continually selling at a loss...
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    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    +1 on Amanda...The Cafe usually has the answer to your questions in some thread somewhere.

    In short: they're the real deal, he can command those prices, people are more than willing to pay those prices.

    Gilchrist mandos are in the "club" (Gibson MM, Dudenbostel, Nugget, Red Diamond, Monteleone, Brentrup, Duff, Heiden etc. etc) Club dues vary, but the club is the club.

    I'd love to be in...
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    It can also take quite a while to really appreciate how good some mandolins really are. You have to listen to, and play, a lot before it becomes apparent. It is quite true that you can get a phenomenally fine mandolin for $4-6K... even less in some cases... only you can decide if one of the $10K+ instruments is worth it to you.
    This is the point that I think a lot of people miss. The difference (and justification for the higher price) is not readily apparent until you've been immersed in mandolins for a while.

    It's a tiresome reference, but it really is like fine wines. To a person who doesn't really have a taste for wine, all red wines will pretty much taste the same. I mean, how different can they be? They're all made from fermented grapes. But for someone who has tasted them all, and drinks wine on a regular basis for pleasure, there's a world of difference. It can only be truly appreciated with experience and exposure. The same is true of mandolins.

    And yes, the high prices are a function of more than just the material components and labor costs. It's a function of the market. A Nugget or Gilchrist or Dudenbostel would not sell for $20k and up if people didn't think it was worth every penny. The fact that people are willing to pay these prices means that they see/feel/hear the value.

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Yep.

    As Lee Trevino used to say "You can feel it when you drive!"

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Three of the mandolinists that have played with Tony Rice have played Gils.
    The one who shares her name with the mandolin she plays has one with no name on it!
    "Toney" gave her some advice: "Don't ever sell it......"
    Ronny McCoury's X-braced Gil that he got as a gift from Dawg broadcasts up the neck way beyond what his Loar does.
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    Registered User sgrexa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Worth every penny and more IMHO!

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...14-Batch/page2

    Sean

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Tone monster Aubrey Haynie has played Gilchrists alongside Loar-era F-5 mandolins as long as I can remember.

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Steve Gilchrist has paid his dues.......if he were a Dr. he's have grad school, medical school, residency, and many years in practice. How many mandolins has he built? Is he up to 700 yet? Part of what you're paying for, aside from talent, is years of experience, which results in consistency. Steve has a high batting average, most of his instruments are great, with some being the rare 'pick of the litter' ones, that are even better. Sure, other luthiers hit home runs too, and there are deals out there in mandolin world......if you know what you're looking for, and can tell the difference. But it is hard to beat the combination of fit & finish, playability, and tone of a Gilchrist mandolin. Steve is a genius at what he does, and has quite a legacy going in the fine instruments he lovingly builds. He deserves to earn a good living from this and in my opinion his instruments are worth the money.

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    If i ever have that much spare money i will have to buy one
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by SternART View Post
    Part of what you're paying for, aside from talent, is years of experience, which results in consistency.
    I think this nails it. It's the same reason people will cheerfully and even eagerly pay hock-your-house prices for a viol* from, say, Joseph Curtin or David Burgess. Compared to top-tier luthiers, younger and lesser-known makers can come up with instruments that are objectively as good, but they probably won't do it as consistently.

    Now, would I cough up for something like a Gilchrist or a Monteleone? In a shrew's heartbeat, if I (a) had that kind of money and (b) made my living at it. 'Predictably awesome' is the phrase that comes to mind here.
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    DataNick,

    I always wanted to be in one of those clubs. Do members get a password or a secret handshake or anything like that?

    I'm in the Buckeye club. It's what we call a 'working man's club.'

    Bob

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    What's the deal?
    Is there any reason these mandolins command such a high price? They don't seem too different from mando's in the $4,000-$6,000 range from an unexperienced eye.
    The quality is as described. The mechanism that turns that kind of quality into a high price is how highly prized his instruments are. Were he to charge $6,000 he would have wayyy to much work, probably a 20 year waiting list, or he would have to automate the process or cut time consuming corners or farm out parts of the work, in order to meet the demand in a rational amount a time, with a result being a reduction in quality.

    It gets to a point where someone literally cannot make an item of that quality for a lower price.
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    I recently saw a YouTube clip of a UK Cafe member playing along with Joe Walsh.The 'Cafe member' (name withheld), was playing an Ellis "A" style & Joe Walsh was playing his Gilchrist "A" style. OK,a YouTube clip - not the best sound quality,but on my pretty decent PC speakers,not 'that' bad, & as the quality was the same for both instruments,the comparison should be fair. To my ears,the Ellis sounded every bit as good as the Gil. In fact to one Cafe member to whom i showed the clip,the Ellis sounded better to 'that person'. Others would of course have their own opinion,but there was no 'huge difference' in the sound of the Gil.that would make me believe that there would be a big difference in the price. That said,what i heard were 2 superior sounding instruments. Whether as individuals,we can warrant the cost of the more expensive one against the less expensive 'other',is a personal choice - as ever,
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    I recently saw a YouTube clip of a UK Cafe member playing along with Joe Walsh.The 'Cafe member' (name withheld), was playing an Ellis "A" style & Joe Walsh was playing his Gilchrist "A" style. OK,a YouTube clip - not the best sound quality,but on my pretty decent PC speakers,not 'that' bad, & as the quality was the same for both instruments,the comparison should be fair. To my ears,the Ellis sounded every bit as good as the Gil. In fact to one Cafe member to whom i showed the clip,the Ellis sounded better to 'that person'. Others would of course have their own opinion,but there was no 'huge difference' in the sound of the Gil.that would make me believe that there would be a big difference in the price. That said,what i heard were 2 superior sounding instruments. Whether as individuals,we can warrant the cost of the more expensive one against the less expensive 'other',is a personal choice - as ever,
    Ivan
    I agree in that there are several examples of the $10-$14K club being just as good as the Gils and the Dudes. I have A/B'd the Ellis and Master Models against them both and quality, feel and sound wise they are just as good IMHO. But keep in mind that the Gils and Dudes both went thru waiting lists for buyers that had reserved one and these lists were several years long (up to 7 if I remember right) and that certainly didn't help prices go down. Many of these eneded up right back on the market where the original buyers investment turned into a nice profit.
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    When was Gilchrist's waiting list 7 years long? Mine never was. Was your's?

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
    When was Gilchrist's waiting list 7 years long? Mine never was. Was your's?
    Nope, Not a member of that club but 2 buyers here in the Cincinnati area waited long period of time for theirs...and those dates were thrown around.
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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    Interesting, then. In the 90's, date of order to date of arrival was 15 months.

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    Default Re: Gilchrist Mandolins

    And probably a long 15 Months for the waiting party LOL.
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