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Thread: Once owned by

  1. #1

    Default Once owned by

    Every once in a while you see an instrument for sale that mentions once owned by XYZ. Now to me all that means is player XYZ found something better. Even if player XYZ says it was their touring instrument for ten years, all that could mean is is was good enough to do the job while the good stuff stayed home. Am I missing something here?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Once owned by

    You could get board with an instrument after a while and want something new. A lot of top players have been given an instrument or able to barrow an instrument for while (builder trying to get their name out there). Adam Steffey had Gibson signature model as well as one by Sim Daley and he currently works with Northfield. After playing something for a while they may find a certain nut with, neck shape or radius fretboard vs flat fretboard. I don't think Chris Thile or several other players could afford a Loar when they were just starting out. There has never been more choice in high quality mandolins than right now. Not that I would know but there are a few reasons that seem logical to me?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    I would guess which Pro owned it. A mandolin owned by Bill Monroe would bring in the money. Whereas one owned by me, not so much.

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    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    Many performers consider their instruments "tools". If it was a touring instrument for ten years, I would assume thay beat it half to death, then traded it in on a fresh one.

    If it was in good condition, I might wonder if they found it to be below their standards and dumped it. Of course they might have just traded up, so I guess you just have to assess it for yourself. As far as the prestige of previous celebrity ownership, I myself could care less.
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    The previous owner makes little difference unless you have similar tastes in instruments as the previous owner. I have friends whose opinions about mandolins i give more credence than I might for Ricky Skaggs, because i really don't know what Ricky Skaggs values.

    The only reason to incorporate the fame of a previous owner in consideration of a particular mandolin is bragging rights, and star endorsement of a brand doesn't move me much.
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    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    For me, the fact that someone of note played an instrument for a while tells me that the instrument is a fine pro level instrument, and if I happen to like the tone that players usually gets, I would have some idea of the nature of the tone of that instrument. I recently bought a Northfield that Mike Marshall had picked out for himself and played for a while. This told me that it was probably a pretty great instrument, as he has plenty of great instruments at his disposal, including a notable Loar, and that it probably had a nice dark tone, which is what he prefers. Plus it is just kinda cool to have an instrument that a musical hero of mine spent time with. Does it make it more valuable? Not really, unless it is a famous instrument like BM’s Loarl, or Dawg’s crusher. For me, the Marshall connection with my Northfield just gave it a bit of cool for me personally. A touch of mojo, as it were.

    As for the fact they play a different instrument now, people like trying out new things, and instruments are just tools to make music. Each instrument has its own personality. Sometimes you just want to explore something new, or have a new requirement. They might want to try a wider neck, or more sustain, or more volume. Mandolin players seem to have an unending quest for the perfect mandolin for them.
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  9. #7

    Default Re: Once owned by

    High Profile Pros are often given free instruments and may be bound to use them. Even if you loved your current mandolin, you may be inclined to sell if you knew you would receive a new one every few years and had at least some obligation to use it publicly.
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    Well personally I think it would be pretty darn neat to have a mandolin or any instrument that was owned by one of our favorite players like Dave Appolin, John Duffey, Dawg, Clarence, etc...the list can go on and on man! Instruments have personalities, history and will continue to down the line be it whoever ends up with them, most will and have survived many fabulous players!

  12. #9

    Default Re: Once owned by

    Almost all of my instruments were used, and I often wonder about the previous history of them especially some of the older ones tha that have been around for decades. I'm sure they have tales to tell. As far as I know none were owned by any stars or anything but several do appear likely have been well-loved gigging instruments that may have appeared on recordings etc as well.

  13. #10

    Default Re: Once owned by

    I was just thinking that given the subjective nature of tone and feel, weather someone of note played it would be far down my list of criteria for buying an instrument. I might only want to know after the fact. The human brain is very capable of self delusion. It would be icing on the cake after you made your choice.
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  14. #11

    Default Re: Once owned by

    Once owned by ... is for collectors.

    Players don't need that type of "certification".
    "Those who know don't have the words to tell, and the ones with the words don't know so well." - Bruce Cockburn

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  16. #12
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Every once in a while you see an instrument for sale that mentions once owned by XYZ. Now to me all that means is player XYZ found something better. Even if player XYZ says it was their touring instrument for ten years, all that could mean is is was good enough to do the job while the good stuff stayed home. Am I missing something here?
    It tells me that XYZ thought it was worth owning in the first place or touring with for ten years. I'm not going to hold it against Doyle Lawson's former Passernig F5 that he decided to keep his Paganoni and Loar.
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    If the pro recorded with it or had videos playing it on stage, I would find that interesting. Like Pat said it shows a pro level player once considered it highly.

    One of the guys in our jam bought the Noble guitar owned by Billy Strings. Every other YT video has him playing that guitar. Pretty cool if you ask me. That and it sounds really good

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    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    Doesn't mean a thing to me. I choose the instruments I like and play them. To me, that's all that matters.

    That doesn't mean players who buy an instrument because of its history are wrong; they just value something that I don't. These differences are good. Makes life (and the Cafe) more interesting.
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  22. #15
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Wilson View Post
    One of the guys in our jam bought the Noble guitar owned by Billy Strings. Every other YT video has him playing that guitar. Pretty cool if you ask me. That and it sounds really good
    In related news, I once owned a Stanley A5 played across YouTube by Billy's old partner Don Julin and later Don Grieser. I didn't buy it for the provenance, but rather the opportunity to try one of Chris' mandolins at a manageable price. It too sounded really good but strangely less so in my hands. I blamed the humidity of South Florida and sent it back to the desert.
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    Registered User Dave Fultz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    Sometimes they gather them them and then purge. Just because they owned them doesn稚 mean it was loved for long or even played much.

    I know a guy that has a Tele once owned by a famous country music star. I mean a big name. The star donated it to a charity auction, and my friend bought it. When my friend shows it off, I smile and say to myself that the star must have really loved it.

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  25. #17
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    Quote Originally Posted by Teak View Post
    Once owned by ... is for collectors.

    Players don't need that type of "certification".
    You're right, but ... don't confuse "players" with being "non-collectors" either. I say that because I think that some of the finest players I've ever heard love to collect instruments that have been owned by their heroes, and many of them believe in the imparted mojo on those instruments. Clarence White's guitar is pretty special to Tony Rice, Clarence's B-bender guitar is pretty special to Marty Stuart, and I could name several mandolin "players" of world renown who pride themselves on owning and playing mandolins once played by their heroes.

    So yeah, it's a collector thing, and even if players don't need that type of "certification" many of them seem to enjoy having it.
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  26. #18

    Default Re: Once owned by

    Steve Earl had his guitar collection purged for him in divorce court.

    A shop in San Jose was tasked over several years with selling Steve Miller gear. Kept seeing amps and cabs plus the Steve Miller Band stenciled road cases, a different one each time. Turns out they came off a tour and stashed gear in a barn after every tour. Next tiur they went out with all new gear. Apparently they realized someone could show up any time and steal the lot. It was out in the middle of nowhere and people were never around.

    Of course the equipment was only good for huge stadium tours and horribly overpriced. Came with a certificate of authentication though. This has gone on for years. There were a lot of 100 watt amps and 4x12 cabs.

    But having Johnny Cash's guitar, or Tom Petty's Ricky 12 string would be cool.
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  27. #19
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    Do they have a market for that overpriced Steve Miller gear, or is it collecting dust in the store?

    I'd love to have Norman Blake's guitars and mandolins, but I'm not well-heeled enough to get anything like that. A bunch of it went up for sale last year.
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  28. #20

    Default Re: Once owned by

    Well it doesn't move quickly. Who needs 100 watt Mesa Boogie and Soldano amps these days? But there is too much money here, and the store seems to sell enough $5k Les Pauls.
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  29. #21
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    I'm with Bob Clark - If i like an instrument,i really don't care 'who' owned it. Several years back at the UK Ironbridge Bluegrass Festival,one of the festival 'regulars' turned up with a mandolin which he'd said had once belonged to Dave Grisman. He was all fired up about it,but when he played it,we knew why it had ''ONCE'' belonged to DG, but not any more. However,that doesn't mean to say that it didn't sound good to him,but it sounded very poor to the rest of us.

    I think that for me,the ONLY mandolin once owned by a notable player & that i'd like to own,is the one that got me switched on to mandolin back in 1964 - the Gibson "Fern" that once belonged to Ralph Rinzler,which i was told by the owner several years ago,now resides in France,
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    When I was a kid, every banjo sold any where close to. Roanoke was once "owned". By Don Reno. Probably some claims were a lie but most likely most were true. Before the internet traveling musicians were the biggest traders of instrument because they would find one here, go to the next town and trade it for another. Some of that still goes on, the fact is who did or didn't own an instrument doesn't affect it's sound a bit.

  31. #23
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    sometimes too it's endorsement deals. I bought my Taylor guitar from John Cephas. It was made for him when he played at the White House. I love it! When he went to endorsing for Baden; however, he didn't use it on stage anymore. So? He sold it to me!

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  32. #24

    Default Re: Once owned by

    Many of us pathetic musical souls go through instruments like crazy - buying, selling, trading at the drop of a hat, and for countless different, sometimes-whimsical, reasons.

    Back in the 1970's one of my biggest musical influences was a multi-instrumentalist named Andrew Gold; (most noted for his classic work with Linda Ronstadt . . . he played most of the instruments on 'You're No Good' and 'Heatwave'.) Back in the late 1990's I had the opportunity to go to his private recording studio and buy and absolutely incredible-sounding Taylor 410 acoustic guitar from him. (The guitar was also featured in a full-page photo of Andrew that appeared in People magazine a couple of years earlier.) Like the rest of us maniacal instrument buyers, Andrew had tons of guitars that he was constantly shuffling through, and I just happened to be lucky enough to snag one of them. The night after I bought the guitar I used it for a local gig, and it was an absolute thrill and inspiration to know that I was on stage performing with 'his' guitar . . . and no matter how many times I played that guitar afterwards, that same thrill and inspiration never quite went away.

    Does it 'really' matter who previously owned the instrument? For me, in this case, the answer was a resounding YES . . . it provided me with and joy and inspiration that would be almost impossible to recreate with any other guitar.

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  34. #25
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    Default Re: Once owned by

    I own the former guitar and mandolin of a late childhood hero, a Cincinnati musician named Dave Pinson. The 1971 Grammer guitar wasn't his main axe at the end, but it was for awhile. It was also on indefinite loan to me in the late 70s, so it was my first "real" guitar to play on. The 1964 Martin mandolin is beat to shreds, but has been structurally restored. I love them because they were his. I can hear him in them when I play.
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