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Thread: Newly Arrived Arrow G5

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    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    Default Newly Arrived Arrow G5

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    So lady on the right arrived today. I bought it on 10 July with funds forwarded by an anonymous benefactor.

    First of all, it is an amazing privilege to have an anonymous benefactor. I am humbled and grateful beyond words. It also serves as a deep motivator. I am doing my very best to be a musician, singer, and songwriter worthy of such support.

    I used the word 'lady' because my benefactor has asked me to name the instrument, Blodwen. So now I'm going to have to listen to the opera.

    The Music Emporium packed it very well, and box arrived unscathed. The case was cool to the touch even after the recent heatwave, so I decided to open the case immediately rather than waiting 24 hours.

    What we have here in the photo and in comparative terms is a Gibson L5 and a Stratocaster. The Arrow sounds great acoustically, if a little thinner and quieter than an 8 or 10 string instrument. (I mean mandolins have 8 strings for a reason!) Volume limitations don't matter. It'll be fine unamplified in 80% of all non-performance situations. If I need a non amplified instrument in one of those other 20% of applications, I have my Vessel F5.

    I'm running the Arrow at the moment through a modded Marshall G15R CD. This model amp has been discontinued and I have no idea what the replacement is. But it's a solid state box with a single 10" speaker. The mod is a high quality transformer. Set for a clean sound, it's pretty transparent and allows the Arrow to control the timbre.

    The string balance is perfect due to the 8 individually adjustable pole pieces, and the pick-up has a nice fat tone. It sounds a lot like a louder version of the un-amplified tone, which is precisely what you want.

    The back is one piece quilted maple. The neck is also maple with a nice tiger stripe to it. Ebony radius fretboard with big frets. Ebony headstock overlay, ebony pick guard, ebony bridge. I confess I don't remember what type of spruce was used for the top. It's hard to say from the tone as I have so little to which to compare it. How many acoustic 5 string mandolins have you played? Randy Allen nickel tailpiece.

    I have been a big fan of Paul Lestock's work since I played a couple instruments at the Mandolin Symposium in 2006. Having an Arrow is a minor dream come true. The quality is top notch in every aspect.

    The set up is perfect. It's a dream to play. The string tension is good across the board, and I don't have to squeeze at all to get good clean notes with good tone. I do need to back off the power in my right hand. I can pull things out of tune a bit. That's probably because playing 8 strings takes a bit more effort.

    When I bought the instrument I spent 20 minutes on the phone with the very knowledgable and good-hearted Jordan Santiago at The Music Emporium. He answered every question, gave me his impressions, and envied me the JBovier EMC-5. He even dropped a polishing cloth and an extra set of strings in the case.

    Really happy with everything, except perhaps how long Parcel Force took to go from reception in the UK to sending me the customs documents.


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