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Thread: Pango Afanti F5 (PMD-719) review

  1. #1
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    Default Pango Afanti F5 (PMD-719) review

    As some of you may have seen, I received an A5 mandolin direct from the factory in China a while ago:
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...MD-717)-review

    I really like it and decided to see how the F5 compares, so I ordered one as well.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Top-Handcra...9/173415842484

    I finally had time today to unbox it and get to work on it. As before with the Afanti A5, it was well boxed and survived the cross-Pacific trip with no problems.
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    As with the A5, the fretboard was dry and needed a bit of oil
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    I went through the setup and sanded the bridge base, adjusted the nut, and set the action. As I was going over it, I found that 2 frets near the neck joint are a bit high on the bass side and they will have to be leveled. It could be a small bump in the fingerboard there, or it could be the frets aren't seated quite right. Anyhow, that is above my pay-grade so I brought it to my local mandolin repair shop and they are going to take care of that for me. They are seriously backlogged with setups from folks who bought instruments off of Amazon for the holidays, so it may be a week or so until they can get to it.

    Before I took it in to them, I did string it up and play for about an hour. I really like the sound. It is more treble sounding than the A5, and a bit punchier. I think this has to do with the different body sizes. The A5 has a 10-3/16" bout, while the F5 has a more standard 9-7/8" bout. The A5 has a 14th fret neck joint and the A5 has a 15th fret. Also, in order to avoid buzzing from the high frets, I raised the bridge a bit more than I would normally, so that could also be why it has more of a punch to it.

    Here are a few photos:
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    Overall the build quality is good, as I found with the A5. The scroll is pretty clean, though no attempt to polish inside the curve was made.
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    The F5 has upgraded tuning machines vs the A5, with what appear to be Grover Deluxe 308 F tuners
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    The gold hardware is otherwise the same as the silver on the A5, solid cast tailpiece with guitar style endpin.
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    I love the honey amber stain and the tortoise binding is nice with 4 layer B-W-B-W purfling on the top and back, with single W purfling on the sides. Corners on the points are good, with the tortoise binding from front to back.
    I will report back with some sound files once I receive it back from the shop.
    Thanks!
    Al
    Last edited by colorado_al; Jan-03-2019 at 12:31am.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pango Afanti F5 (PMD-719) review

    That is a really nice looking instrument! Especially for the cost.

    Please post some sound samples after it retunrs. It will be great to hear your thoughts on any changes noticed after a really good setup.

    I am thinking I may have a mandolin made by the same manufacturer. Mine though is namesless. No inlay on the headstock. Nor a label inside. Simple wood choices without any real figure on the back.
    I took mine to Tyler White to have him set it p for me. I could not be more pleased with the result! Strong tone. Similar to Gibsons in some ways. Mids are REALLY strong.
    I will likely go with a full contact bridge at some point. Possibly new tuners.
    A really strong instrument in its own right. Bought mine used for a little less. No real complaints.
    Eric Hanson
    Click #016/ Born on 2/29/08 - Sold to the next Conservator of this great mandolin!
    The search has ceased! (At least for now)
    Collings A-Style

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Pango Afanti F5 (PMD-719) review

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Hanson View Post
    That is a really nice looking instrument! Especially for the cost.

    Please post some sound samples after it retunrs. It will be great to hear your thoughts on any changes noticed after a really good setup.

    I am thinking I may have a mandolin made by the same manufacturer. Mine though is namesless. No inlay on the headstock. Nor a label inside. Simple wood choices without any real figure on the back.
    I took mine to Tyler White to have him set it p for me. I could not be more pleased with the result! Strong tone. Similar to Gibsons in some ways. Mids are REALLY strong.
    I will likely go with a full contact bridge at some point. Possibly new tuners.
    A really strong instrument in its own right. Bought mine used for a little less. No real complaints.
    Thanks!
    They are well made and seem like a good quality instruments for the money. They definitely need a setup. They are shipped from the factory as manufactured and it will take a few hours to get them into playing shape. There are a few shops that buy variants of these mandolins from Pango with their own headstock inlay and resell them as their shop brand, after doing the setup. The 2 best known are a shop in Tallahassee, FL, and another in Holyoke, MA. If you can do your own setup, or have connections for inexpensive setups, you can save 1/4 of the price or more compared to those shops.
    Post some photos of yours when you can.

  6. #4

    Default Re: Pango Afanti F5 (PMD-719) review

    I saw your videos on the Afanti A5 and it looks and sounds great! Any updates on the F5?
    I'm thinking of buying one and I'm curious if you think the added price for the F5 is worth it?
    Thanks!
    Stevo

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Pango Afanti F5 (PMD-719) review

    There’s nothing that unusual about no attempt to polish the inside of the scroll. You could say the same thing about my Weber Bitterroot. I think lots of builders don’t bother because doing it is a royal PITA and hardly anyone cares because you just don’t see it anyway. I know for a fact that Stiver doesn’t do it either, and his instruments are 5000. When’s the last time anyone remembers looking at a mandolin and saying “Wow, the inside of that scroll is really pretty!”?
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

  8. #6
    Registered User Newbflat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pango Afanti F5 (PMD-719) review

    Quote Originally Posted by stevojack665 View Post
    I saw your videos on the Afanti A5 and it looks and sounds great! Any updates on the F5?
    I'm thinking of buying one and I'm curious if you think the added price for the F5 is worth it?
    Thanks!
    Stevo
    What he said! Would love to here about the differences from the A5 and anymore thoughts on the sound compared to others.

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