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Thread: New guy here.

  1. #1

    Default New guy here.

    I just recently signed up, so this is my first post, although I have lurked a bit in the past.

    Currently I have a HD-028 custom Martin, and more recently picked up an Eastman MD315 F Mandolin that I gave myself for Christmas. I have not figured out how to add this to my signature but I will eventually.

    The Mandolin was used but very little, and looks better than new. I put on a set of GHS A270 medium strings a couple days ago. so can't give any reviews on them yet, maybe after a week or two. I went to buy some J74s or 75 but this was all they had.

    I ask this in another forum and it did not sound like it was such a good thing to do, but I saw a Youtube on installing a deer antler saddle to bring out some volume, was wondering if anyone here has tried it and what your thoughts are?

    Just so you know I have had a mandolin in my past life as a young man, much older now, and enjoyed it, but after setting it down for some years it has been hard to get back into it. The same can be said for the Martin guitar, but I really enjoy that, and got right back to it well almost

    Thanks for looking.

  2. #2

    Default Re: New guy here.

    I have not idea about a dear antler bridge. I would think if they were that great you would see more of them. Would be cool if it worked and you had some semential value to the antlers. Personally I would invest in a Cumberland bridge, they are very good and can make a noticeable difference on some mandolins. Only way to know is try one.

    Strings and picks can make a noticeable difference as well. Also some mandolins will open up after being played for a while. enjoy the mandolin.

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  4. #3
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    Do you mean bridge or nut? Some nuts are made out of bone.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    Welcome, If you are thinking of using deer antler for anything I would suggest using a fallen antler, not one that has been harvested by hunting. If it was shot it is still alive and pumping blood thru and the center is very soft. Once they close off and fall off that center is hard. Like all bone it can have hard and soft spots, I rarely use bone these days with other man made even density materials available. I have made a bone saddle, it wasn't that great, sent it along with the mandolin when I sold it, but didn't like it enough to use it.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  7. #5

    Default Re: New guy here.

    I am talking about the part the strings lay on that sits on the bridge, I would call that the saddle like the saddle on a bridge of a guitar no? The nut is at the top of the neck just like a guitar right? Admittedly my mandolin verbiage may not be up to par.

  8. #6

    Default Re: New guy here.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Welcome, If you are thinking of using deer antler for anything I would suggest using a fallen antler, not one that has been harvested by hunting. If it was shot it is still alive and pumping blood thru and the center is very soft. Once they close off and fall off that center is hard. Like all bone it can have hard and soft spots, I rarely use bone these days with other man made even density materials available. I have made a bone saddle, it wasn't that great, sent it along with the mandolin when I sold it, but didn't like it enough to use it.
    When I figure out how to post a YouTube vidio I will, but I will not be hunting for the antlers, there is a guy here in Mo that has vidio showing how he uses them,I believe they are dry and not from a fresh kill.

  9. #7
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    Upper portion of an adjustable bridge can be of alternative materials ..

    I had a Luthier in Alaska Make one from Fossilized Walrus tusk. so somewhat mineralized ..

    But My need was because the Original Ebony one had splits in it at some time in the past 90 years ..
    TusQ is a Man made material to act like Ivory I Suppose..


    another alternative material Is Aluminum. the Gibson Factory used that in a similar time period..

    It was a rarer material back then than it is Now.


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  11. #8
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    It won't matter fresh kill or not, any killed deer antler as opposed to one that has dropped and fallen off at the end of the year and found before the mice eat it. Now is a good time to hunt for fallen antlers. You can slab a piece off a harvested deer, if the antler is large, but it is much better quality if it is fallen. Good luck, it's a fun project anyway. Keep your old saddle in case you don't like the sound.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  13. #9
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    Do you really need the Eastman to be louder? Don't know about anyone else, but my MD 315 projects wonderfully. Just sayin...

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  15. #10

    Default Re: New guy here.

    I'd say get a ToneGuard if you want to improve your tone. Single biggest difference you can do IMHO. Keeps the mandolin off your body so it is free to vibrate.
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  17. #11

    Default Re: New guy here.

    Quote Originally Posted by spud3 View Post
    Do you really need the Eastman to be louder? Don't know about anyone else, but my MD 315 projects wonderfully. Just sayin...
    Probably not, My HD-28 is such a canon, I guess I think, I need the mandolin to be just as good, but have come to realize it wont be. Also I will note for the last 3 weeks I have had a monster cold/flue which has really taken a toll on my hearing which is just starting to come back to normal, shush don't tell my wife.

  18. #12

    Default Re: New guy here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    I'd say get a ToneGuard if you want to improve your tone. Single biggest difference you can do IMHO. Keeps the mandolin off your body so it is free to vibrate.
    Now that I have new strings on it, I think the tone is great, not willing to fork out the money for a ToneGuard, lots of debate on if they even do any good. Yes I am starting to understand how to properly hold my mandolin. If I keep this mandolin I will need to work on many aspects of how to use it, have not made that decision yet, because I wanted to give it a go for awhile longer, and make sure I can deal with it. If I can't there may be a 12 string guitar, or a resonator in my future, those I know I can deal with.

  19. #13
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    Have you had some one else play it where you can listen maybe while another plays your 28. A mandolin projects different than a flat top guitar and in my experience a so-so guitar will sound louder than a great mandolin to the one holding and playing it.

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  21. #14

    Default Re: New guy here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandoplumb View Post
    Have you had some one else play it where you can listen maybe while another plays your 28. A mandolin projects different than a flat top guitar and in my experience a so-so guitar will sound louder than a great mandolin to the one holding and playing it.
    I have not done this, with my mandolin, however I have done it with my Martin, but do not think of my HD-28 as a so-so guitar, if that is right I have reached the end of the line. I do not dispute what you are saying, and suspect you are correct. I don't think you are saying the HD-28 is a so-so guitar either.

  22. #15

    Default Re: New guy here.

    Hold your Mandolin away from your body and play a chord, then hold it against your chest and play. That will tell you if you like the extra resonance a ToneGuard will give you. Plenty do.
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  24. #16

    Default Re: New guy here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Hold your Mandolin away from your body and play a chord, then hold it against your chest and play. That will tell you if you like the extra resonance a ToneGuard will give you. Plenty do.
    After re reading some post I wonder if I may be confusing a ToneGuard with something entirely different? I have been thinking of a device that vibrates the instrument, which is supposed to open it up much faster, I think it may be called a tone rite, not sure about that. I have an armrest on my guitar that does what you indicate by lifting your arm off the top so it has better projection sence your arm is off the top letting it vibrate better producing a better sound.

  25. #17
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    Quote Originally Posted by pickmo View Post
    When I figure out how to post a YouTube vidio I will, but I will not be hunting for the antlers, there is a guy here in Mo that has vidio showing how he uses them,I believe they are dry and not from a fresh kill.
    Welcome to the mandolinhood!

    When you're composing your post, there's a toolbar of icons above the window, the 2nd from right will embed the video so people can play it in their cafe window, not have to go to youtube site.

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  27. #18
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    Quote Originally Posted by pickmo View Post
    I have not done this, with my mandolin, however I have done it with my Martin, but do not think of my HD-28 as a so-so guitar, if that is right I have reached the end of the line. I do not dispute what you are saying, and suspect you are correct. I don't think you are saying the HD-28 is a so-so guitar either.
    No you said your 28 was a cannon and I'm not disputing that. My point is even a " quieter" guitar will sound lounder than a "loud" mandolin to you as you play it. A carved F whole mandolin projects the sound out so it doesn't sound as loud to the one playing it. I would try to hear the mandolin from the other side ( someone else playing it) before I'd start working to make it louder nor thinking of anothe

  28. #19
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    Quote Originally Posted by pickmo View Post
    After re reading some post I wonder if I may be confusing a ToneGuard with something entirely different? I have been thinking of a device that vibrates the instrument, which is supposed to open it up much faster, I think it may be called a tone rite, not sure about that. I have an armrest on my guitar that does what you indicate by lifting your arm off the top so it has better projection sence your arm is off the top letting it vibrate better producing a better sound.
    A Toneguard is a frame that you attach to a mandolin to hold it away from your body. The vibrating thing is a Tonerite, I think.
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  30. #20
    Market Man Barry Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    play close to a wall or mirror so you can hear it come back to you. in the car is good too. the windshield...
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  31. #21
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    The way I see it, a Tonerite is a voodoo machine, true believers will swear by while it may be just a bunch of hogwash capitalizing on the belief in a magical "opening up". A Tonegard simply provides space for the back plate of mandolin to vibrate more freely while you're playing it, and probably works very well for most people.
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  33. #22
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    If your MD315 was "picked up recently," I'd give it a few months, and perhaps try a couple different types of strings, before trying to "hot-rod" it. Getting used to an instrument, picking it in different ways, using several thicknesses and compositions of pick -- these are all things I'd try before replacing bridge saddle, nut, tailpiece, etc. etc.

    It ain't always the hardware that determines volume, sound, projection, timbre, all the other variables. IMHO there's sometimes an impatience that leads to trying all kinds of after-market "fixes" to produce the desired results.

    Giving it a fair shot, trying non-structural changes, would seem to me to make more sense than replacing parts. While I don't use Tone-Gards, most Cafe posts give them high marks for increased volume. Coax all you can out of the mandolin "as is" before altering it -- seems to me to make the most sense.
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  35. #23
    Registered User Mike Scott's Avatar
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    Default Re: New guy here.

    Quote Originally Posted by pickmo View Post
    If I keep this mandolin I will need to work on many aspects of how to use it, have not made that decision yet, because I wanted to give it a go for awhile longer, and make sure I can deal with it. If I can't there may be a 12 string guitar, or a resonator in my future, those I know I can deal with.
    A word of advice here. Give the mando habit some time, even if you feel it's not for you. I gave up on it after about 6 months sold one and traded the other for a guitar. Stupid on my part as those two mandolins were probably better than the ones I have now eight years later. I was too impetuous then. Still am, but that's just me. I guess what I am saying is give it some time and if you can be patient. Just one old f@rt's $.02.........
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