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Thread: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

  1. #1
    Registered User Tim N's Avatar
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    Default A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    What a joy today, to go and visit Hobgoblin Music shop in Rathbone Place, London, where all sorts of mandolins are practically falling off the walls. Over from Germany for a short week (where it's hard to find any choice of mandolins at all!), I knew this was my only chance to get some for a real hands on experience- with a view to buying an instrument that I could truly love.The shop staff are totally friendly, helpful,and the atmosphere relaxed - wonderfully English in that way that you notice and treasure when you've been out of the country for a while. "Go and have a look at the mandolins," I was bidden, "there's a pile of new Paul Hathways on the settee (couch) that he just brought in yesterday..." And indeed there was, about ten of them, with more hanging up, and a distinctive hint of linseed oil (?) in the air. And, of course many other models, including Kentuckys and Ashburys.
    But my eyes (primarily) were drawn to the English, handmade, natural wood and silky finish of Paul Hathway's instruments, which simply tick all the boxes for what "my" mandolin should be. Admittedly, in hand they feel a little chunky, but that reassures me, and the tone and stability is wonderful. I know that they have been designed and built by a man with enormous experience, using quality materials, all solid woods, and his own design of tailpiece, and am surprised (but glad) that they do not bear a much higher price tag. So, after about 40 minutes noodling (having sent my wife to go and have a coffee), my mind is made up, and we're sealing the deal with great amicability.The model I choose has, like most of his instruments, solid mahogany sides, back and neck, with spruce top, and the fingerboard and bridge are walnut, and basically resembles the photo of the M1 from his catalogue.Click image for larger version. 

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    So, if you're ever anywhere near Oxford Street/Tottenham Court road, go and take a look. There's lots of other nice instruments too. Mr Hathway also builds a mean bouzouki....
    "What's that funny guitar thing..?"

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  3. #2
    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    I recommend Hobgoblin for their friendly service and good range of affordable and interesting instruments. In my local branch, they are happy just to let me try instruments without pressure to buy. This contrasts with a shop I remember in France, where the walls were full of instruments and signs saying not to play them!

    Congratulations on your new purchase! I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with this one.

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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    I have tried a few Hathway mandolins in that Hobgoblin shop.
    I thought they were quite good.
    Congratulations.
    David A. Gordon

  5. #4
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Congratulations, a great choice - but I would say that

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    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    I own a Paul Hathaway mandola (octave mandolin) and I have played his standard mandolin and tenor mandola (mandola). He builds very good instruments. Pleasing tone, excellent volume, sturdy construction (happily goes to gig after gig without a worry), and the headway pickup is great.

    My friend George Breakfast playing his Hathaway mandolin:



    Me playing my "Andy Irvine Signature" model (There's no such thing, but the instrument was given to me on the proviso that I keep the signature on it. So that's what I call it.)


    Neither instrument in the videos above is plugged in. Nice mic capturing the live sound, but don't ask what it is I can't remember!

    Enjoy your Hathaway!
    Daniel

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  8. #6
    Registered User Tim N's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Some photos of the instrument in question. Please excuse the temporary platted white bootlace strap -it' the only colour bootlace I could find at short notice....

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    "What's that funny guitar thing..?"

  9. #7
    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    I bet that beautiful clean white top will darken and look a lot like George's in a few years.

    I like the tailpiece!
    Mine predates that enhancement.

    If you can, use a hard shell case. I have noticed that gig bags can be hard on the A course tuning machines.

    Daniel

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    Tim N 

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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Mine's about the colour of George's, I have a feeling the top may be cedar -but it's a long time since I bought it so that might be just random neurons sparking.
    - Jeremy

    Wot no catchphrase?

  12. #9
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Mine's cedar so if yours is darker I'd expect it's cedar as well

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    Mandolin Botherer Shelagh Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    I have never bought an instrument at HG in Rathbone Place but always found them very helpful on the occasions I’ve been in there (generally as part of a general blitz on West End music shops). I had a Paul Hathway OM once and it was a decent, solid instrument.

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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    I had a similar expedition as Tim yesterday, comparing various flat top mandolins in Hobgoblin. I too was impressed by the Hathway: great volume, very nice sound on the low strings. It had a guitarlike sound, which eventually made me decide not to buy it. In the second video by Daniel Nestlerode this can be heard, I think.
    I played an Ashbury designed by Phil Davidson. I was not impressed by it, thought it was very subdued.
    My favourite was the standard Moon mandolin. Very good balance between high and low, beautiful sound.

    Next step is trying out one of the Eastman oval holes and then I can hopefully decide. I play blues mandolin, now on a KM250, that I like but find a bit thin. The National RM is not within my budget...

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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by amsmichael View Post
    I had a similar expedition as Tim yesterday, comparing various flat top mandolins in Hobgoblin. I too was impressed by the Hathway: great volume, very nice sound on the low strings. It had a guitarlike sound, which eventually made me decide not to buy it. In the second video by Daniel Nestlerode this can be heard, I think.
    I played an Ashbury designed by Phil Davidson. I was not impressed by it, thought it was very subdued.
    My favourite was the standard Moon mandolin. Very good balance between high and low, beautiful sound.

    Next step is trying out one of the Eastman oval holes and then I can hopefully decide. I play blues mandolin, now on a KM250, that I like but find a bit thin. The National RM is not within my budget...
    Just down the road (about 50m) on the opposite side of the road is Ivor Mairants who have (or had in January) several Eastmans (Eastmen?). Very friendly there as well and the proximity meant that I could do as close to a side by side comparison of the Eastman and Hathway

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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Bought my first Martin guitar from Ivor Mairants - from, the late, Ivor himself - a legendary jazz guitarist. Cost me 190 - I still have the tag.

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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Bought my first Martin guitar from Ivor Mairants - from, the late, Ivor himself - a legendary jazz guitarist. Cost me 190 - I still have the tag.
    Small world. So did I, but it was a Guild D40..... must have been about 1972-3... I seem to recall 160, which was a lot of money in those far-off days... a bit later, early 80's... I got a Martin D-41 from the same place. A bit more than 160...
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    Doc Ivory Doc Ivory's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    I may just need to stop in there on my next trip!!
    Looks like a great place.
    Doc Ivory
    -Play loud, live long..

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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by almeriastrings View Post
    Small world. So did I, but it was a Guild D40..... must have been about 1972-3... I seem to recall 160, which was a lot of money in those far-off days... a bit later, early 80's... I got a Martin D-41 from the same place. A bit more than 160...
    It would have been 1974 - quite a few people on the UK folk scene were buying them; I think it was the first time decent guitars were readily available in the UK. It replaced a red label Yamaha FG180 from 1971 which cost me 37-10s.

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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Alas, I was at the Brighton branch... As I live in Amsterdam I'm now trying to find a shop in the Netherlands that stocks more than just one Eastman - always a problem in a small country like ours where it's hard for shops to have a wide choice. The mandolin is also not a very popular instrument here.

  21. #18
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Too late now but TAMCO stock Eastman and are also in Brighton....

  22. #19
    Registered User Joe Dodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    I stopped into the Brighton branch a few weeks ago while I was on vacation with my kids. The kids wanted to wander the streets and go shopping, so I parked myself at Hobgoblin's and played several instruments. It was a wonderful place with a huge selection of instruments, mostly from brands I am unfamiliar with. The guy in the shop was as friendly as welcoming as he could be, despite the fact that I wasn't there to buy so much as a guitar pick. He pulled up a bass and jammed a little while I picked Jerusalem Ridge on Guitar. It was really a nice memory from the trip. Hope I can at least pay their hospitality forward a bit by talking them up.

    They had a great selection of instruments, but I will admit that it made me appreciate living in the US where Martins, Collings, Gibsons, and other instruments are so easily available. I hadn't really understood how lucky we in the US are in that regard.

  23. #20
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    I had recently a very bad experience with TAMCO, found the owner unreliable and not committed to his customers. So no, I didn't go there...

  24. #21
    Registered User Tim N's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Meanwhile... I'm still very much enjoying my Hathway mandolin. playing it most days & enlarging my repertoire - and wondering when those Newtone strings are going to start sounding like they need replacing. They are now 6 months in use and I don't believe it's just that I don't notice the slow deterioration. What experience do other players (I'm a tune picker by the way) have with Newtones?
    "What's that funny guitar thing..?"

  25. #22
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    I’m a fan of Newtone, great service and I like the sound.

    I don’t notice the slow detioration but it’s obvious once you change. I got round to changing mine after 3-4 months last week. Below is the new set with the old G strings still fitted.



    Was really surprised how much they’d tarnished.

    Sound was better too and I did the change without loss of blood or use of expletives so a win all round.

  26. #23
    Registered User trevor's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by amsmichael View Post
    I had recently a very bad experience with TAMCO, found the owner unreliable and not committed to his customers. So no, I didn't go there...
    Hi Michael, I am very sorry about that, the instrument you wanted sold online. Unfortunately I didn't think to take it off before your vist.
    Trevor
    The Acoustic Music Co (TAMCO) Brighton England
    Over 100 mandolins in stock.
    www.theacousticmusicco.co.uk.

  27. #24

    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    I went to Hobgoblin in 1976 when they were keeping stock in an old farm barn. He was selling Gibson Banjos for under 200. I once sent Pete McClelland a Vega tenor banjo which he agreed to pay 100 for. When he received it, the headstock was snapped off. He just said 'it's Ok-we'll fix that'. He still gave me the 100 which I thought was fantastic. I used to visit his shop each month when down on business and it was an Aladdin's cave, as was John Alvey Turner with Doug. Still going with Phil Alexander running it.

    I found Trevor at Tamco very accommodating.

    JimmyP
    UK

  28. #25
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: A trip to Hobgoblin Music, and a new Paul Hathway mandolin.

    Hi Trevor - I always drop in on your website every few days. I had a chuckle when i saw your new description for 'used' instruments - ''Pre-loved''. ''Pre-loved'',but not enough to hold onto them ?. I think that 'used' summed it up better.

    From Jimmy Powells - " I found Trevor at Tamco very accommodating." Accomodating & trustful enough to send me a replacement Mandolin before i'd sent the one i had back to him - i needed the packing. It was as simple as that,but Trevor trusted me. I also owe him a debt of thanks for my superb ''used'' Ellis "A" style, which i was offered at a 'good price',
    Ivan
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