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Thread: Newby with Beginner Instrument

  1. #1

    Question Newby with Beginner Instrument

    Thanks all for such a great community! I've been trolling around for a few weeks and have very much appreciated the community! I read a post today where someone offered to send another newb a setup rover Rm-100. I'm stoked to be part of a community like that.

    So I just purchased a Michael Kelly A Solid. I knew it was going to be a starter instrument but I hoped the solid top would result in an instrument that would be able to age well. I had read (here) that with a setup they could do pretty well and might even be considered somewhere in the range of an intro Kentucky. I've had it just a few days but I'm generally very pleased but wanted to make sure I'm not getting into more than I can handle.

    I paid $100 at a big box online. I've seen them listed elsewhere for $330? It came to me safely but definitely not setup. I have the setup book from Rob Meldrum (a forum member) (awesome resource by the way!!) so I feel confident that I can fix the action and intonation issues but with information on frets.com I'm pretty sure I've found a rattling truss rod? I have 60 days. Should I set it up or send it back? Frets.com said to fix with very diluted rubber cement. I'm not to inclined to glue a double action truss Rod. I was hoping maybe it would settle down if I tightened it just a hair? Maybe even a few times? Anybody ever seen this issue or had experience with Michael Kelly A Solids?

    What do you think? Good deal for a newb? Or have I bitten off more than I can chew?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Newby with Beginner Instrument

    It sounds like you got a good deal as far as the price is concerned. I would at least try to tighten up the truss rod a little just in case it's under no load at all. If that's the case it shouldn't affect the neck angle. If that doesn't fix it then maybe you consider sending it back but at least try that.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Newby with Beginner Instrument

    I used Rob's book to set up my mandolin. What a great thing the he is willing to share his knowledge like that!

    I like my mandolin a log better after setup. Besides making it sound better, you will learn a lot about mandolin's by going through the process. Just don't get in a hurry when you are working on the nut slots! A little at a time does it.

    Oh, and welcome to the Café!

  5. #4

    Default Re: Newby with Beginner Instrument

    Thanks! That's what I was hoping but just wanted to run it by someone wiser! I appreciate the response!

  6. #5
    Registered User Pasha Alden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newby with Beginner Instrument

    I have never seen those mandolins here in SA. However, I wish you the best in sorting out that truss rod.

    Happy playing

    Pasha Alden

    Playing:
    Jbovier a5 2013;
    Crafter M70E acoustic mandolin
    Jbovier F5 mandola 2016

  7. #6
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newby with Beginner Instrument

    Another choice is to spend some of the money you saved on that good deal and have a luthier do the set up. Then you can at least get on to the playing right away. Later on as things change or whatever you can tackle the set up. Rob's book is a gem regardless.
    Indulge responsibly!

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  8. #7
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newby with Beginner Instrument

    I bought an inexpensive instrument off Craigslist and did the set up myself using Rob's book and it really wasn't difficult at all. Working on the nut slots was what I was most nervous about, but it turned out to not be hard at all... As was said above, just do little bits at a time. It was absolutely amazing how much better it was afterward, in both Tone and Action.

    While it was inexpensive, I don't have much money, so I still didn't want to wreck it, but wouldn't have felt THAT bad if I messed it up. I think the coolest part about the mando and working on it yourself is the availability of parts without much difficulty in installing them. That was a little bit of a relief knowing that if I messed it up too badly, I could always buy another (bridge, nut, tailpiece, etc).

    I highly recommend you set it up yourself ... I fully recognize that I'm a Newb and my advice can be easily metered by that fact, but I can tell you that I really enjoyed it and feel a much bigger sense of ownership for my cheapo.... One day I'll get something better, but for now, I'm good.

    Good luck!

  9. #8
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newby with Beginner Instrument

    Its a style difference more than anything, how much of a do it yourself person you are. These are all my thoughts on the matter.
    Indulge responsibly!

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  10. #9

    Default Re: Newby with Beginner Instrument

    Just picked up a Michael Kelly satin Solid A at the borg store. I think it may be pretty difficult to find a better way to spend $100 on a fretted instrument. The Rogue is headed two and a half tones south to blues land. pickin' and grinnin'

  11. #10

    Default Re: Newby with Beginner Instrument

    I thought the same way when I bought mine! It's my first mando so I'd love to hear your impressions. Even if it's just a comparison between the rogue and the MK A Solid.

  12. #11
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newby with Beginner Instrument

    Hard to beat that price! If you're a tinkerer (I'm not a very good one), and more importantly, if you like the instrument, I say set it up and get on with the business of making music. Good luck.
    "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." -Longfellow

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