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Thread: Pava Mandolins

  1. #1

    Default Pava Mandolins

    Dang, I love my pava. I have a pava a5 that I fall in love with more and more every time I play it. Show off your pavas! Post audio, video, etc. What strings do you use? What picks do you use? I wanna see what y'alls pavas can do!

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  3. #2
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    I have tried out a few Pava mandolins and i really think a lot of them. Great players.
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

    The entire staff
    funny....

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  5. #3
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    I played the one they had at Carter's Last weekend... It was indeed sweet instrument!
    aka: Spencer
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    "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage
    to lose sight of the shore, ...and also a boat with no holes in it. -anonymous

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  7. #4
    Doc Ivory Doc Ivory's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    I've been looking to upgrade my mandolin with my focus being largely a Weber Bitterrot or Yellowstone.
    That is, until I heard a Pava. It literally stopped me.
    Well, I just need to put away a few more retirement checks fir one of her glossy F5s.
    Nothing wrong with Webers, outstanding instruments but Pavas just speak to me.
    Doc Ivory
    -Play loud, live long..

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  9. #5
    ForestF5 Gene Summers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    I recently acquired Pava A5 #272 from Carter's last month. Bought it on a Friday, I had them over-nite it to me. It arrived Saturday, August 25. It is a beautiful instrument, inside and out. The Cremona, Loarish color of the Adirondack top is stunning! Sound wise, it has THE tone that I was looking for, dry & woody but with a lovely warmth to it. The volume of the Pava is comparable to my Weber Yellowstone HT A, which is also a fine mandolin, btw. This Pava A5 might very well have cured my MAS!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Gene Summers; Sep-16-2018 at 10:05am.
    Pava Satin A 2018
    Weber Yellowstone HT A 2008
    Gibson A 1916

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  11. #6

    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    I've had the pleasure of playing Pava #1. They got it right in the very beginning. A good mandolin to check out if Collings is to bright for you.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
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  13. #7
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    I have a Pava A5 that I really enjoy. It (along with my Weber and my Collings) have filled my stable and cured my MAS. The 3 all have different tones and fill different places for me, and all are superb instruments.

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  15. #8

    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
    I have a Pava A5 that I really enjoy. It (along with my Weber and my Collings) have filled my stable and cured my MAS. The 3 all have different tones and fill different places for me, and all are superb instruments.
    I was thinking of going down a similar path to cover all my bases tonally.

  16. #9

    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Have an early Pava.

    I'd tell you all about it, and how I feel about it, and how well it plays, and how it does literally everything I have ever asked of it, and how its sustain lets me play chords--solo-- and still sound full and sweet, and how it seems to know when I want a barky thump, and when I want a crystal tone....

    but if I did all that, it'd sound kinda... lame.

    So-

    Here's my tip-- it seems to like slightly heavier A strings than come standard in most med. gauge string sets.

    (pssst-- I really DOES all of that other stuff...)

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  18. #10
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    I've had a lot of mandolins come and go, but I still miss Pava #52. It definitely prefer a 0.016 on the A, and I think that's what they are shipped with. I used a TAD60 on mine primarily as it seemed to bring out more of the warmth and roundness to the sound, but a fellow cafe member Andrew Buckner really made his popped with a ProPlec.

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  20. #11

    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Here's my A5 Satin #288, bought new in July from the Denver Folklore Center. Click image for larger version. 

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    I think my wife is getting jealous, I need to be careful.

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  22. #12
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    That's a stunning looking mandolin Mike. I own an Ellis "A" style & it's superb. I think that these days,you'd be hard put to tell a Pava & Ellis apart - both Tom & Pava ''build for tone'' & it shows,
    Ivan
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    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  23. #13

    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Ivan, she sounds as good as she looks (especially when played by a better player than me). I recently got to play an Ellis A (2010?), and if my Pava sounds anything near to that when it opens up I will be very happy. There were some similarities in tone, but that Ellis sounded like I was sitting in a leather chair smoking a cigar and drinking expensive whiskey. Smooth, rich, and complex. I can only hope the Pava ages that well!

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  25. #14
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Martin View Post
    ...that Ellis sounded like he was sitting in a leather chair smoking a cigar and drinking expensive whiskey. Smooth, rich, and complex.
    Ellis sitting in a leather chair, smoking a cigar, and drinking expensive Irish whiskey....yes, I have seen that many a time.

    Oh, you were referring to an Ellis mandolin. My bad.

    I play #172 Pava. It sounds great and its getting better as I beat on it (like a mule). What really changed my mandolin life is the playability. Ideas in my head actually are playable. Fast triplets and pull offs sound crisp. Doesn’t rattle when I bear down.

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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Proud owner of Pava #7 (Ol number seven) for two years in November. I cant express how much I have enjoyed it and how its improved my playing. Partly because sounds so dang good I want to practice and partly because its constructed so well. Sustain is the best Ive ever played and Lord that G string. What a sound. I use Elixir strings but wish they had the 16 A.

  28. #16
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    I have played on several Pava's and all were very good but-----------------still several steps below an Ellis ( to my ears) !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  29. #17
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    I have played on several Pava's and all were very good but-----------------still several steps below an Ellis ( to my ears) !
    You should watch this.


    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  31. #18
    Registered User Rich Benson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Mine is Pava #197, 2016. Got to hear it recently next to Jordan Ramsey's Ellis F. Definitely in the same family. Very happy with mine. Great playability, feel, and tone. It has to share time with my new Kelley A5 but I'm not neglecting it by any means.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Rich

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  33. #19
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    You should watch this.


    I have been to Tom's shop and he gave my wife and I a tour of his facility. We viewed some beautiful and creative photos that Tom took also ! Wonderful photographer ! I still stand by my opinion that as wonderful as Pava mandolins are, Tom's are another step up !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  34. #20

    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Having owned a Pava and an Ellis and having played several of both, I can say that they are quite different in my opinion. Both are spectacular mandolins by all accounts, but I do not get the feeling that the Pava is just a lacquered version of an Ellis. In my experience they both have their own distinct voices. And obviously there is variance within each instrument. I am wondering how many people that say they are basically the same have spent time with both mandolins or if they are just assuming that is the case because they came out of the same shop.

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  36. #21
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Levine View Post
    ...I am wondering how many people that say they are basically the same have spent time with both mandolins or if they are just assuming that is the case because they came out of the same shop.
    Tom Ellis says it in the video above. I would think he's spent time with both. I just posted the video because it's an interesting look at the man's operation. I actually bumped into it while looking at something else.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  38. #22
    Doc Ivory Doc Ivory's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    You should watch this.\Y
    That was excellent, thanks for posting that.
    Doc Ivory
    -Play loud, live long..

  39. #23

    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Tom Ellis says it in the video above. I would think he's spent time with both. I just posted the video because it's an interesting look at the man's operation. I actually bumped into it while looking at something else.
    Tom explains it in much more detail on this hour long podcast: https://www.fretboardjournal.com/pod...on-pearl-inc./

    As he explains here (around the 41 minute mark), he personally does the tops and backs of Ellis mandolins, including the graduations, tone bars, and tap tuning. Pava then assembles the mandolins and does the binding. Then Tom does the final sanding and shaping. The mandolins are then sent to their varnishing guru, and Tom does the final set-up. On Pavas on the otherhand, Pava, he says "does what I do" on the Ellis mandolins. Then a third builder, Christian McAdams, does to the Pavas what Pava does on the Ellis mandolins.

    By all accounts Pavas are wonderful instruments, but by Tom's explanation, I don't think he actually lays a finger on making them, whereas he is intimately involved in the sound, set-up, and feel of the Ellis mandolins. Of course, it's his shop, his equipment, his materials. He is certainly heavily involved in oversight on the Pavas even if he is not personally making them.

    I live in Nashville. I had pondered upgrading my 2005 Gibson F9 over about a 10 year period. I'd try out a mandolin and think, "this may be a better instrument, but is it worth the money for the incremental improvement over my Gibson?" The longer I played, the more obvious it was that yes, I would benefit greatly by getting a better instrument. It was worth the money. After countless trips to Carter's and Gruhn's over about a 10 year period I finally decided to upgrade. I played Gilchrists, Heidens, Red Diamonds, Dude's, Monteleones, and other Gibsons. The budget was not an issue after 10 years of deliberation (ok- original Loars were not considered!). My choice: an Ellis F5. That was about 3 years ago and I couldn't be happier.

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  41. #24

    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    In my experience Pava's have their own sound. They are fantastic and the setup and playability is as good as any mandolin I have owned or played.

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  43. #25
    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pava Mandolins

    Pava makes wonderful mandolins. While I don't own one, I've played one & I know that Pava carved the neck on my Ellis A5. When I went to pick it up in Austin the first thing she asked me was "How do you like the neck.".....before any questions of tone, appointments etc. The neck, by the way, is perfect. When my friend Doug was looking for a mandolin upgrade, I gave him Tom's #. His Pava A is a killer & I'm pretty sure we have the only pair or Ellis & Pava lefty mandolins in western North America. Even if Pava & Tom didn't make mandolins, they'd still be right up at the top of my list of the nicest people i've ever met.
    Last edited by doc holiday; Sep-22-2018 at 4:37pm.

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