Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27

Thread: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO & Chesterfield, MO
    Posts
    2,564

    Default What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    This mandolin is listed in the classifieds as "Excellent-minus" condition and then goes on to say it has repaired damage and considerable playwear.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/123907#123907
    2000 Flatiron Festival F-5
    Excellent-minus condition. UPS did a number on this mandolin. Headstock scroll was broken and lower rim was cracked on both sides of the endpin. Both have been professionally repaired.

    Other play wear includes; pick marks and scratches below the fretboard and some light marks and a few dings on the top. Back is clean. Headstock shows some string scratches and clip-on tuner marks. Frets are in fine shape.
    Nothing about that description sounds "Excellent" or even "Excellent-minus" to me

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to colorado_al For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    16,176

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Concur. "Fair condition, fully playable, extensive repairs and cosmetic wear" would be an accurate characterization, IMHO.

    A broken headstock and rim, even if fully repaired, would lower its condition below "good," I think.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to allenhopkins For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,848

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Agree with you both.
    Chuck

  6. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to CES For This Useful Post:


  7. #4

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    I also concur, but right now it is priced right. I've seen incredible scroll repair and awful scroll repair.

    This would make someone a great camper or festival mandolin. Heck, it would be a very nice entry into the Gibsonesque tonal world and a niice upgrade from a pac rim instrument. Grade it good at best.

    The real question for me, was the price it was originally listed at, almost like they were trolling for an uninformed buyer.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  8. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO & Chesterfield, MO
    Posts
    2,564

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    I also concur, but right now it is priced right. I've seen incredible scroll repair and awful scroll repair.

    This would make someone a great camper or festival mandolin. Heck, it would be a very nice entry into the Gibsonesque tonal world and a niice upgrade from a pac rim instrument. Grade it good at best.

    The real question for me, was the price it was originally listed at, almost like they were trolling for an uninformed buyer.
    Agreed it should be good-minus. Also curious what the original price was. Wonder if it shipped to the customer and was returned? Or I wonder if it was damaged in transit to the buyer, and returned? Did UPS payout insurance for the item and now seller has repaired it and is reselling?

    Excellent or not, kudos to the seller for highlighting the damage and repair, as some less reputable sellers might try to not mention it at all.

    I don't think the pricing is still that great. Here's a similar instrument with no cracks or repair and some playwear for $2650:
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/123818#123818
    2001 Flatiron Festival F
    Last edited by colorado_al; Apr-29-2018 at 1:57pm.

  9. #6

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Or, as they say in the record collecting world, UNFORTUNATELY good means bad.......

    (several grades below mint, in other words)

  10. #7

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    The mandolin add says reduced from $2500. So tell me if the current price is out of line for a dealer. What would a private party be asking for this mandolin if they wanted it to sell?

    I'm pretty forgiving of repairs, but I've seen enough really poor and obviously bad headstock repairs and said to myself, I'd be popping open the case and focusing on that every time.

    Now play wear due to being very used and well loved is another matter. I once played and should have bought a 1922 Martin 0 18 guitar. Had a nasty back crack repair. It was to me very well priced, but they told me it had no collector value due to the repair, replaced tuners and some overspray. I could care less about that.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  11. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO & Chesterfield, MO
    Posts
    2,564

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    When the ad was first posted it was at $2500. Now it says $1900 which seems about right

  12. #9
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Leer, Northern Germany
    Posts
    1,314

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Just refer to Gruhn's website, and you should have a good idea about what "excellent-minus" may mean. (I remember this pattern being used at least since the mid '80s.)

    "We use the following terms to describe the cosmetic condition of our vintage instruments: Mint (M), Near Mint (NM), Exceptionally Fine (EXF), Excellent (EXC), Very Good (VG) and Good (G). In applying these descriptions, we take the age and availability into consideration."

  13. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    So Oregon
    Posts
    883

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    A while back I ordered a guitar from a famous store and on line dealer in the upper mid west.

    The guitar was described as "excellent" condition. I called to get an actual hands-on description. The florid description continued. No issues other than barely noticeable dings and small scratches, "very clean guitar that has gone though our shop"

    Guitar arrives.

    Filthy, to the point of dirty greasy neck, grime all over to include the top and back. Strings are cruddy showing green/blue slime black at the unplayed portions. Tuners are creaking and very difficult to turn. Inside the guitar there is floating dirt and dust balls.
    There are dents and dings all over the guitar to include a 1/4" wide 1 1/2" long 1/8 inch deep gouge on the back of the neck at about the 10th fret. The fingerboard was filthy and there was fret sprout.
    The action was extemely high and the guitar was near unplayable and sound like vaca caca. Dead.

    I contacted this famous on line seller immediately. I was told my observations were subjective and if I wanted to return it , I would pay the freight. It cost me $175 to not own this guitar. And, my account was "flagged". I had never returned an instrument to them in 30 years. Keep in mind this was the same dealer from whom I had recently ordered 2 very expensive custom Martins (back to back) and both were defective and returned to Martin at my expense and destroyed as unrepairable, this after the dealer had called me and told me they were inspected in their shop and were perfect. Those two cost me about $500 not to own. I pleaded with the dealer to intervene with Martin on my behalf and they did NOT.

    This is the same dealer who told me the used guitar I ordered was in "excellent" condition.

    I no longer do business with them. Their instrument descriptions in print, and by phone, do not match industry standards or expectations, and as to my "flagged" account because I have "unrealistic standards".. no you lied.
    After 30 years, no more. I have purchased about a dozen instruments new and used, countless books and accessories and consigned another dozen collectible instruments. There is life after that once revered dealer. Their loss, not mine. They have taught me "play before you pay" and trust no one. They were considered the industry standard ( until the down turn of the economy in 2008 and things changed) and the standard is low. And now that Mando Bros is gone.. less competition.

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jeff Hildreth For This Useful Post:


  15. #11
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Fallbrook, CA
    Posts
    3,837

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    That's a lot of $$mizzou Jeff to lose, sorry for your experience Brotha!
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

  16. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    12,134

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Wow, Jeff - that's some shiz right there. And am curious: what is 'fret sprout'? Frankly, not sure I wanna know...

  17. #13
    Adrian Minarovic
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Europe
    Posts
    2,631

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    The mandolin in OP has just the headstock scroll broken off and repaired, not the whole headstock.

    The repair though doesn't look all that good (at least what I would expect to be called professional). I can see white line and white dried glue inside the scroll. Meaning the luthier just glued it back with no fuss. The lacquer is easy to fix for professional leaving invisible repair in this area. Same goes for the lower ribs... looks like the endpin was hammered into block and the whole thing split. Again the white glue line is showing, where professional luthier could do invisibly (using HHG and tiny amount of retouch). Both repairs look just like "five minute" glue jobs to get the thing going.
    I would check if the repairperson managed to get the glue all through the crack in the lower block which can be tricky (by looking with mirror inside).
    Adrian

  18. The following members say thank you to HoGo for this post:


  19. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    4,881

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    BOY, Now I am convinced that I am not going to buy it...

  20. #15
    Scroll Lock Austin Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Austin, Tx - some call it heaven
    Posts
    1,108

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Wow, this is certainly a good ad to illustrate the concept of buyer beware.

    To tie this into Jeff's comment, I have no problem paying freight if the item is as described, and I just didn't like it. Even if it's described as having "killer tone", but to me, it's more like the tone is dead, well that's subjective. But when there's a blatant and obvious mismatch in the item received and how it's described; to me this is fraud on the sellers part and I should not have to pay. I would most likely dispute those credit card charges and back up my claim with pictures. This of course does not include shipping damages, which are usually not the fault of the seller, unless improperly packed.
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

  21. #16
    Registered User mee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Shenandoah
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	45718BA1-C441-4FA4-892C-52A28A46065D.png 
Views:	81 
Size:	1.13 MB 
ID:	167226Click image for larger version. 

Name:	884A5EB0-37CA-42E5-8019-E6ED2B8BDCF1.png 
Views:	133 
Size:	1.35 MB 
ID:	167227
    I can’t see how excellent could possibly be associated with this mandolin

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


  23. #17

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Please refer to Henry's response #9, according to Gruhn's Guide. Excellent would be THREE WHOLE GRADES below Mint, and then you add the minus onto that. Excellent is a grading term, REGARDLESS of what you might THINK it should mean.

    Think of it like Starbucks coffee sizes -- it is meaningless, except relative to the other sizes.
    Last edited by Jeff Mando; Apr-30-2018 at 12:03pm.

  24. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO & Chesterfield, MO
    Posts
    2,564

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Please refer to Henry's response #9, according to Gruhn's Guide. Excellent would be THREE WHOLE GRADES below Mint, and then you add the minus onto that. Excellent is a grading term, REGARDLESS of what you might THINK it should mean.

    Think of it like Starbucks coffee sizes -- it is meaningless, except relative to the other sizes.
    According to dictionary.com
    excellent
    adjective
    1. possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good.
    Well good to know that we can ignore the Gruhn's et al grading system then. When dealers start using words in ways that are not included in their actual definition, it is time to use other words like AVOID! as in
    avoid
    verb (used with object)
    1. to keep away from; keep clear of; shun
    And in light of what Adrian and Mee pointed out above, I think that $1900 is more than this is worth, noting that the "repair" would need to be redone properly

  25. #19

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    There is always the risk of overgrading in any field of collecting, since it is subjective and also since nobody will buy it if you say it is beatup and cracked and poorly repaired!

  26. The following members say thank you to Jeff Mando for this post:


  27. #20

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    I'd like to see a grading system where it was more like mint at the high end and decorative on the low.

    Mint, excellent, good, fair and firewood.

    As it is now, good is the lowest grading. What, you are supposed to grade good minus minus, minus?
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  28. #21
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.1646° N, 74.2083° W
    Posts
    23,487

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    It could be worse, they could rate them like they size olives... (Yes, that listing is real)

    Size
    ATLAS
    SUPER MAMMOUTH
    MAMMOUTH
    SOUPER COLOSSAL
    COLOSSAL
    GIANTS
    EXTRA JUMBO
    JUMBO
    EXTRA LARGE
    LARGE
    SUPERIOR
    BRILLIANT
    FINE
    BULLETS

    https://sizes.com/food/olives.htm
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  29. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to MikeEdgerton For This Useful Post:


  30. #22
    Adrian Minarovic
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Europe
    Posts
    2,631

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_al View Post
    And in light of what Adrian and Mee pointed out above, I think that $1900 is more than this is worth, noting that the "repair" would need to be redone properly
    I didn't want to say the repair needs to be redone. They probably did just the very first step of repair - reglue the cracks (I would have chosen HHG but that is purely subjective). I would check any repair in structural area inside and out to check how well it was done.
    What I would expect from a pro would be the cosmetics - cleanup and at least minimal touch-up which in case of lacquer is pretty simple and straightforward.
    Adrian

  31. The following members say thank you to HoGo for this post:


  32. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    In this case I think what it means is you have an F-style mando in a case that doesn't provide much 'forgiveness' room next to the scroll. I'm guessing it was sold in 'excellent' condition to a buyer who decided not to keep it, shipped it back with the same packing (and endpin installed..) as he received it, which probably didn't immobilize the mando and peghead sufficiently in the case, nor provide enough shock absorption between box and case.

    Presumably the mando arrived back damaged and the seller has had to repair it and lower the price. He's probably finding it difficult to swallow downgrading the the condition appropriately. Fortunately for him, and regardless of (or maybe because of..) everyone in the world's disparate opinions, 'condition' is still the wild wild west.

  33. #24
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    8,236
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    It could be worse, they could rate them like they size olives... (Yes, that listing is real)

    Size
    ATLAS
    SUPER MAMMOUTH
    MAMMOUTH
    SOUPER COLOSSAL
    COLOSSAL
    GIANTS
    EXTRA JUMBO
    JUMBO
    EXTRA LARGE
    LARGE
    SUPERIOR
    BRILLIANT
    FINE
    BULLETS

    https://sizes.com/food/olives.htm
    But for olives I only care about the taste........
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  34. #25
    Registered User mee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Shenandoah
    Posts
    257

    Default Re: What does Excellent-minus condition mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    There is always the risk of overgrading in any field of collecting, since it is subjective and also since nobody will buy it if you say it is beatup and cracked and poorly repaired!
    In this case I would probably give more thought to it if the description were closer to truth, but being downplayed makes me apprehensive, what else would I find that was less than my expectation if by the sellers standards are not worth mentioning.

Posting Permissions

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