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Thread: Just Bought a Breedlove Crossover... not my original plan at all

  1. #1
    Registered User cbakewell's Avatar
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    Default Just Bought a Breedlove Crossover... not my original plan at all

    Just bought a Breedlove Crossover OF VS ... wasn't at all what I wanted when I went in....


    I was SO wanting to order an Eastman MD605, but as per the advice given out so often here, decided to let my ears and fingers make the decision.

    I tried a few of the Eastman range a few years ago, just before I bought my Buchanan (yeah, I know 'apples and oranges'), but found them not that easy to play fluently (compared to my Kentucky KM180s, and the other mandolins on display).

    There are some good deals on MD605s at the moment, and I hoped that my previous experience was just down to my having poor technique then, and that this time would be different... built in Schertler, look great .. damn, I wanted that mandolin.

    Sadly, it wasn't to be - I tried a few in the Eastman range again, and had the same problem.

    I know it isn't the fault of the Eastman mandolins - when so many people here praise them, they can't be wrong.

    It is definitely me.

    I have small hands and due to an injury when young, can' bend by left hand wrist more than about 20% from straight - this means I have to play 'square' to the neck using my pinky for 5th and 7th. That's fine - I play British trad stuff mainly, and get by well enough.

    Clearly something in the Eastman design doesn't like me


    So I dropped that idea and played around with the Breedloves on display.

    The Crossover OF VS was the cheapest, and the one I liked the look of least... but it worked best for me.

    Not sure if it is the wider neck, (I am Ok with other narrower necks), or whatever but everything clicked - fluency was fine, dynamics good etc - it just felt 'easy' and sounded good.


    Having a JJB pickup fitted - can't wait till I have it back in my hands.


    MAS temporarily in remission
    Colin Bakewell

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    Registered User McIrish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just Bought a Breedlove Crossover... not my original plan at

    Congratulations on the new mandolin. I too ended up buying something I hadn't planned on. It's an odd experience when our ears and our eyes don't agree. As musicians, the ears have to win or we will forever playing "what if?".
    Gibson 2016 "Harvey" Fern
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    Default Re: Just Bought a Breedlove Crossover... not my original plan at

    Both the ears and the fingers have to be happy for the instrument to really fit for us. I used to want an F-style because of all the reasons posted elsewhere. The bottom line is that the F-style headstocks are just too heavy for me. I bought a beautiful F and was constantly fighting it. I couldn't get a strap wide enough to get it to stay in place without sliding, which turned into excessive energy wasted by the left hand to support the instrument and try to play. My left hand, like the OP, is also quirky, and I have to physically move up the neck just to get to the 7th fret. I finally realized my folly and bought what works for me--a nice lightweight A with a narrow neck. It feels great. I'm happy; my fingers are happy. Life is good. (BTW--I still wonder how Sierra Hull supported that huge mandolin when she was just 10 or so. But then I remind myself that she's Sierra Hull. )

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    Registered User Classicalcomp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just Bought a Breedlove Crossover... not my original plan at

    I got a Breedlove prototype and it's by far my favorite mandolin to play. I'm with you. Let your fingers do the walking. It sounds great and plays great.
    (I was) my own teacher and pupil, and thanks to the efforts
    of both, they were not discontented with each other. -- Segovia

    Lawrence Smart Stern 2-point Mandolin
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    Breedlove Prototype Mandolin

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Just Bought a Breedlove Crossover... not my original plan at

    I hear ya OP. I went mando-hunting several years ago...stumbled upon a few Eastman's , a few Gold Tones and a few mid-level Kentuckys . Settled on a new kentucky 150 ....not because of its unbelievably low price but because to my ear it had better tone than all of the above -mentioned . I've since played many many under-1000 dollar mandolins ( my max budget for ANY mandolin ) and have yet to find one which , to my ear , has better tone .

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Just Bought a Breedlove Crossover... not my original plan at

    I played what I think was a Crossover OF NT in a shop in Scotland yesterday.
    Cost around 500.

    I was quite impressed actually. A good instrument for the money, I would say.

    http://breedlovemusic.com/mandolins/of-natural
    David A. Gordon

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  12. #7
    Registered User cbakewell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just Bought a Breedlove Crossover... not my original plan at

    Quote Originally Posted by roysboy View Post
    Settled on a new kentucky 150 ....not because of its unbelievably low price but because to my ear it had better tone than all of the above -mentioned.
    My Kentucky 180s was my second ever mandolin - had it over 25years if my memory serves me right. Plays good, sounds good, never let me down etc.

    Ordering the Breedlove was a bit of a dilemma, as it fills the same slot as my Kentucky.... ie Archtop f-holes... so the Kentucky was marked for 'next out of the door'

    I expressed this sentiment to my partner, and she replied 'Why? .. if you like it. keep it'.... bless her little cotton-socks - she's definitely .a keeper. herself
    Colin Bakewell

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  14. #8
    Registered User cbakewell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just Bought a Breedlove Crossover... not my original plan at

    Quote Originally Posted by LA Mando View Post
    The bottom line is that the F-style headstocks are just too heavy for me.
    A proper F-Style is just too much for me too.... not so much the weight as the styling... I think they just have 'too much' style going on (yes, I know that isn't a good reason).

    It's just personal thing I guess.

    It's the only type of mandolin I haven't bought yet - although I do have a Samick twinpoint which I keep for sentimental reasons - it plays sweet as nut, but is a tad quiet. Damn thing needs a refret now - got to decide how much that 'sentimental value' actually means to me now
    Colin Bakewell

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