Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 54

Thread: Breedlove Quartz KO

  1. #26

    Default

    I like the healthy debate. Word.

    I would appreciate it if anyone owning a Cascade could comment on its merits and (if any) shortcomings. I covet that instrument in the natural finish, being a blonde man myself (my girlfriend is a real blonde).

    Oh, and I'm there for the Mandos trip, being that I currently reside in Brooklyn.

  2. #27
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Mamaroneck, NY; Rockport, ME
    Posts
    2,141

    Default

    How about Thursday, May 5? Be there when they open at 10 a.m. ??

    P.S. I like green.
    J. Mark Lane
    Stanley #10 F5
    Pomeroy #72 F4
    Brian Dean #30 Bowlback

  3. #28

    Default

    Next Thursday would be cool. I can make that, Mark, though I need to get my *** working if I plan to finish learning "Ode to a Butterfly" by then [face_anxious].

    You like green women? :|

  4. #29
    Registered User otterly2k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    3,607

    Default

    I wish I could join you all! I'll be in the area on the 11th (near closing time) but can't make the 5th. And I also got my impression of Eastmans from the batch that had been at Mando Brothers...and if that was just a bad batch, well I'll be happy to change my opinion. I went to the store that day to "taste test" a bunch of mandos, and honestly WANTED to love the Eastmans.

    Also, while J.Mark and I seem to be on the same page regarding our impressions of the instruments and the "chatter", it might not be fair to peg him as the originator of the supply/demand thing in this thread...that was me. And oversimplified, sure...I didn't mean that that was the WHOLE story! Nor did I say (or do I believe) that Eastman fans are dupes. AND I fully believe that there may well be wonderful Eastmans...there are some very qualified individuals who have expressed that opinion and who are more expert than I, for certain. I just haven't encountered them myself, in my limited experience.

    I'll be very interested to hear how this field trip goes....keep us all posted, but perhaps in a new thread, since this one WAS about Breedloves...!
    KE
    Karen Escovitz
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Otter OM #1
    Brian Dean OM #32
    Old Wave Mandola #372
    Phoenix Neoclassical #256
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    If you're gonna walk on thin ice, you might as well dance!

  5. #30
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Mamaroneck, NY; Rockport, ME
    Posts
    2,141

    Default

    Rich -- I never heard back from you about this. Are we on for Thursday? Jeremy, you on? Anyone else?
    J. Mark Lane
    Stanley #10 F5
    Pomeroy #72 F4
    Brian Dean #30 Bowlback

  6. #31

    Default

    I can still make it. I know it will be a long trip, but such a research opportunity is invaluable and can't be missed. Plus, I need to see what these Eastmans are all about.

  7. #32
    Registered User otterly2k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    3,607

    Default

    Eagerly awaiting your report from Mando Brothers...

    Meanwhile, I finished the taipiece swap and strung up my Breedlove OO with Darco strings (what I had handy). It now has a nice heavy Monteleone style cast tailpiece, and is setup how I like, with low action and a light touch. I'm looking forward to trying a set of flatwounds (maybe I'll try the new LaBella ones...)

    I'll be test driving it in a session with other players later this week, but I'll say that I think the new tailpiece has resulted in a nicer high end sound and better sustain. I find the neck very comfortable. It is responsive, with a nice clear tone... If I'm getting any buzzing, it seems to all be technique related (the shift in feel and finger placement from OM to regular mando... smaller frets, higher tension, etc).

    Will report more when I've played a bit more and in contrast to other instruments...it's hard to remember without hearing things right next to eachother, how they compare...
    KE
    Karen Escovitz
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Otter OM #1
    Brian Dean OM #32
    Old Wave Mandola #372
    Phoenix Neoclassical #256
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    If you're gonna walk on thin ice, you might as well dance!

  8. #33
    Registered User RichM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    567

    Default

    I'm there!

  9. #34

    Default

    Do you guys want to meet there or at the Ferry? It would be easier for me to meet at the Ferry, as I don't know how to get past that point (though I could figure it out if necessary).

  10. #35
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Mamaroneck, NY; Rockport, ME
    Posts
    2,141

    Default

    I'm fine with meeting at the Ferry. Rich is coming up from Philly, so I suspect he'll be driving (correct me if I'm wrong, Rich). So he'll come across the bridge from Nu Joisey. But Jeremy, I can meet you at the Ferry in Manhattan. Shall we say 9 o'clock? That should give us plenty of time to wait for the next ferry, take the ride over, find a cab and get to MandoBros by 10.

    Does that work for you?

    If so, I'll be the guy with the beard and the bald spot carrying a Travelite mandolin case.

    Mark
    J. Mark Lane
    Stanley #10 F5
    Pomeroy #72 F4
    Brian Dean #30 Bowlback

  11. #36
    Registered User RichM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    567

    Default

    Yup, I'll be driving-- I'll do my best to actually arrive at 10. And what will be in that Travelite, Mark?

  12. #37

    Default

    I emailed you guys. 9 at the Ferry sounds fine, Mark. I'll be the young man with the scraggly beard, no bald spot, and the red bag. I can't imagine there will be too many people at the Ferry with mandolin cases, though, so it should be easy to find you.

  13. #38
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Mamaroneck, NY; Rockport, ME
    Posts
    2,141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by (RichM @ May 04 2005, 16:55)
    And what will be in that Travelite, Mark?
    I was thinking I'd just bring the Gibson (Bibey). The other option would be the Morris, which is closer in price to the Eastmans etc. But I kind of wanted to compare my Gibson to some of the ones they have there, just out of curiousity.
    J. Mark Lane
    Stanley #10 F5
    Pomeroy #72 F4
    Brian Dean #30 Bowlback

  14. #39
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orgiva, Spain
    Posts
    1,309

    Default Re: Breedlove Quartz KO

    It is about time to resurrect an old thread. I bought a 2005 Breedlove KO mandolin in mint condition from a seller in the UK recently.

    It is on its way to Spain right now. I will post a review when I get it.
    Nic Gellie

    Breedlove Quartz KO Mandolin
    Breedlove Quartz FF Mandolin

  15. The following members say thank you to Nick Gellie for this post:


  16. #40
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    2,045

    Default Re: Breedlove Quartz KO

    Seeing those Breedloves always brings me back to simpler times when it was just Kim and I building the mandolins and a few other guys making guitars back at the old Tumalo shop out in the desert. I built about 200 of them. Regardless of your opinion of the design, it was incredibly cool to have a boss who taught me Whiskey Before Breakfast in between frisbee games at lunchtime...

  17. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to j. condino For This Useful Post:


  18. #41
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orgiva, Spain
    Posts
    1,309

    Default Re: Breedlove Quartz KO

    Well James you certainly your craft there. What years were you there?

    Wow building 200 of them is also a feat. I bet you worked night and day to get things done according to a production schedule.

    Mine has serial number #7672 making it a 2005 year model. More to come when it arrives here in Spain on Monday.
    Nic Gellie

    Breedlove Quartz KO Mandolin
    Breedlove Quartz FF Mandolin

  19. #42
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orgiva, Spain
    Posts
    1,309

    Default Re: Breedlove Quartz KO

    Maybe I'm a way I am thinking about simpler times too when I worked in the back blocks of Tasmania and I had a Washburn mandolin with me back in the early 1980s.
    Nic Gellie

    Breedlove Quartz KO Mandolin
    Breedlove Quartz FF Mandolin

  20. The following members say thank you to Nick Gellie for this post:


  21. #43
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    2,045

    Default Re: Breedlove Quartz KO

    Quote Originally Posted by meskalito View Post
    I like the healthy debate. Word.

    I would appreciate it if anyone owning a Cascade could comment on its merits and (if any) shortcomings. I covet that instrument in the natural finish, being a blonde man myself (my girlfriend is a real blonde).

    Oh, and I'm there for the Mandos trip, being that I currently reside in Brooklyn.
    I always felt that the early 2000s MacKenzie was my favorite one. The all black Orca was next.

    The Cascades are nice enough, especially the early 2000s. All of the early models with three digit serial numbers are a bit heavy and thick. The Rogue is a slightly nicer blonde version in the K format. I never liked the square neck joint- easy for production, but lame for the player. All of the basic models were made by one of the production guys. The fancier Rogue and MacKenzie had the tops done by Kim so they tended to be a bit thinner and more responsive.

    On any Pre 2000 Breedlove make sure you check inside to see if it has the braces! There was a disgruntled former employee (not me, someone else) who was left them out of about 200+ mandolins in an attempt to keep up with the 3 mandolins a day the management guys were trying to accomplish!

  22. The following members say thank you to j. condino for this post:


  23. #44
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orgiva, Spain
    Posts
    1,309

    Default Re: Breedlove Quartz KO

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    I always felt that the early 2000s MacKenzie was my favorite one. The all black Orca was next.

    The Cascades are nice enough, especially the early 2000s. All of the early models with three digit serial numbers are a bit heavy and thick. The Rogue is a slightly nicer blonde version in the K format. I never liked the square neck joint- easy for production, but lame for the player. All of the basic models were made by one of the production guys. The fancier Rogue and MacKenzie had the tops done by Kim so they tended to be a bit thinner and more responsive.

    On any Pre 2000 Breedlove make sure you check inside to see if it has the braces! There was a disgruntled former employee (not me, someone else) who was left them out of about 200+ mandolins in an attempt to keep up with the 3 mandolins a day the management guys were trying to accomplish!
    I just get the feeling that the Breedlove mandolin work you did influenced you with your design and workmanship on your own mandolins. They are a bit quircky relative to the standard A-5 and F-5 mandolins. I like it.
    Nic Gellie

    Breedlove Quartz KO Mandolin
    Breedlove Quartz FF Mandolin

  24. #45
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    2,045

    Default Re: Breedlove Quartz KO

    I had already built a lot of instruments for a couple of decades before I worked there and most of my approach to design was well established from a lifetime of playing, building, and international travel.

    The reality was that they were just another perpetually broke company trying to survive in an overpriced western town that paid its employees $7 per hour so that a couple of the management guys could make a decent middle income; that was $1 per hour more than I made as a beginner snowboard instructor. I distinctly remember they averaged 17 employees on the payroll but hired and fired almost 40+ people in that one year alone! They had already filed bankruptcy at least once and the founders had been legally removed from the business.

    I got fired for complaining that their designs were too conservative and telling them that building 2 1/2 mandolins per day before lunch was an unrealistic expectation if they wanted to keep long term employees. It was the worst company I have ever worked for in my life, but Kim was a very gentle man to work with plus a solid mandolin player and pretty good guy to hang out with and play music together.

  25. #46
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orgiva, Spain
    Posts
    1,309

    Default Re: Breedlove Quartz KO

    Pity they didn't take your advice and establish a better business model and pay their employees a decent wage. Basically the workers in China or Taiwan are probably getting a similar wage now who knows. I don't like the ethics of paying cheap labour to build something. It is bad enough trying to build mandolin with all its intricacies quickly. Luthiery is very much a labour of love.
    Nic Gellie

    Breedlove Quartz KO Mandolin
    Breedlove Quartz FF Mandolin

  26. #47
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orgiva, Spain
    Posts
    1,309

    Default Re: Breedlove Quartz KO

    Well I finally received the KO mandolin today. I was surprised as to find how immaculate it is given that it is a 2005 model. After taking it out of the case I discovered the bridge and saddle needed some adjustment. First the base plate of the saddle was matched to the top using some 280 sand paper to get a nice tight fit between the base of the bridge and the top.

    I then refilled all the slots of the saddle and put instant glue and ebony sawdust into the holes. I then sanded and scraped the saddle top till it looked like new. I put the saddle back on the bridge base and carefully aligned the string courses so that they at the right distance and separation on the bridge saddle. Each course GDAE was then slotted using my Stewmac nut files. The result is shown in the first photo.

    I then tuned her up and found the intonation was a bit sharp so I placed the bridge 3 mm back towards the tailpiece to get better intonation on all the strings. I was more satisfied with the end result I stead of the factory fit back 15 years ago.

    The end pin was also missing so I put an end pin with a nice mop dot on it. Looks great in the second photo. It sets off the cast bridge nicely.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PXL_20201006_122343273.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	764.9 KB 
ID:	189010   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PXL_20201006_114306160.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	569.2 KB 
ID:	189011  
    Last edited by Nick Gellie; Oct-06-2020 at 9:53am. Reason: photos incorrect

  27. #48
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orgiva, Spain
    Posts
    1,309

    Default Re: Breedlove Quartz KO

    Here are some photos of the KO outside in a finca in the Andalusian countryside.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PXL_20201006_111522977.jpg 
Views:	13 
Size:	2.21 MB 
ID:	189012

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PXL_20201006_111550113.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	1.94 MB 
ID:	189015

    That is a 500-year-old Olive tree in the background.
    Last edited by Nick Gellie; Oct-06-2020 at 8:28am.
    Nic Gellie

    Breedlove Quartz KO Mandolin
    Breedlove Quartz FF Mandolin

  28. #49
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orgiva, Spain
    Posts
    1,309

    Default Re: Breedlove Quartz KO

    A more detailed review is coming.
    Last edited by Nick Gellie; Oct-06-2020 at 8:56am.
    Nic Gellie

    Breedlove Quartz KO Mandolin
    Breedlove Quartz FF Mandolin

  29. #50
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orgiva, Spain
    Posts
    1,309

    Default Re: Breedlove Quartz KO

    My first impression of the KO is that the action and playability is good as or even slightly better than higher end mandolins. It plays nice and easily on all the frets. There is some slight fret wear on the first five A and E strings easily fixed when I take the strings off. It looks like it has Elixir strings on it at the moment. I have the action set to 1.2-1.3 mm. There is no buzzing on any of the frets.

    I can understand why mandolin players in the USA don't like its tone that much because it is brighter across its tonal range and does not have a bluegrass chop. However it has wonderful sustain and a beautiful clear crisp tone. I can imagine that this O-model or the F-model would work well in a recording studio or in a band because the sound is so clear that it would be easy to mix it.

    I like playing Balkan and Irish music tunes especially on it. It also carries old-time and standard blue grass tunes well. In fact it has quite a bit of punch when pushed. I am using a standard Jim Dunlop 1.0 plectrum here. I intend to try out a Wegen 1.2 mm pick just to darken the sound a tad if I want to produce a different tonality. THe Wegen 1.4 mm pick is more suited to bluegrass instruments.

    Having had traditional looking mandolins, the quirky look of it is growing on me. I also like the plain look of the natural finish. Even though it is polyurethane finish it is nicely applied and looks to be pretty thin.

    It has really nice figure on the back and the Sitka Spruce has some really nice grain. The shark head headstock also suits the KO mandolin too. The tuners are Schallers and need a little 3 in one oil on a couple of the tuner gears. Only one drop mind you - nothing more. The MOP inlay is nice and simple and I much prefer it to the look of the inlay on the Cross-over model made in China or Taiwan.

    The neck shape is a rounded V and is surprising comfortable for a 1 3/16" nut width. It does not look wide when viewed from the back.

    Because the sound clips on Youtube are pretty terrible I plan to do a couple of recordings to fill in an important gap. I could only find one decent one and there are not many to be found anyway. It is surprising for an instrument that was fairly popular 10-15 years ago. No wonder people are put off it because the recordings are for the most part basically crap. I apologise to any Breedlove owners who have posted stuff on Youtube. No offence intended and please if you do put something on there make sure it is recorded with a decent recording device. It seems as though some of the recordings on Soundcloud are a bit better - at least they are clearer and recorded at a decent volume.

    Just to clarify that this is an American-made Breedlove produced in 2005 with serial number #7276 for the record.
    Nic Gellie

    Breedlove Quartz KO Mandolin
    Breedlove Quartz FF Mandolin

  30. The following members say thank you to Nick Gellie for this post:


Similar Threads

  1. Breedlove quartz oo
    By tortuga in forum Equipment
    Replies: 20
    Last: Oct-06-2007, 6:21pm
  2. Breedlove quartz ff
    By TCR in forum General Mandolin Discussions
    Replies: 13
    Last: Jul-18-2007, 11:49am
  3. Breedlove quartz of
    By Sandy Beckler in forum Looking for Information About Mandolins
    Replies: 4
    Last: May-18-2007, 11:22am
  4. Breedlove quartz ff
    By kevindineen in forum Looking for Information About Mandolins
    Replies: 4
    Last: May-01-2007, 1:48pm
  5. Breedlove Quartz OO....
    By gretschbigsby in forum Looking for Information About Mandolins
    Replies: 10
    Last: Feb-17-2004, 3:28pm

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •