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Thread: MAS or not

  1. #26
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Upstate New York
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    Default Re: MAS or not

    Quote Originally Posted by spud3 View Post
    At the risk of hijacking the thread, I'm curious as to the different features that allowed you to play pain-free. Neck shape? nut width? Just wondering.
    After getting past the ordeal of developing callouses way back in the beginning, and getting my blood sugar corrected several years ago, I have had no pain. Some neck shapes and nut widths and string gauges are more comfortable and easier to play than others, but no decisions made on the basis of pain.
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  2. #27
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Washington State

    Default Re: MAS or not

    My mandolin experience began by accident, helping my neighbor getting a cheapo mando back into playable condition. I hadn't found this forum at that time, so I bought a Chinese built Ibanez and learned to play quickly (I've played violin and guitar for years prior to picking up mandolin). The best thing I did was start attending weekly local jams where I learned more and tested out other people's instruments. Then I found mandolincafe and learned even more. After playing for two years and trying out and hearing other better mandos I contacted a local picker and luthier I met through the old time fiddlers association (Sonny Morris) who built me a custom hybrid F4. The improvement in tone and playability was huge! My playing and enjoyment from playing went way up. Over the next few years I got into octave mando and mandocello. I ended up getting two more custom instruments built. The most I paid for any one was about $3 k. I played all the higher end stuff I could find at music stores and festivals - Collins, Weber, vintage and new Gibsons, Givens, a Heiden.....all sounded great but nothing tempted me to jump up to the $5 k level or beyond. My handful of custom mandos built by great one-man shops held their own against them all. Then, just last November I attended the Spokane Mandolin Congress and spent some time with an Ellis F5. I was amazed not just by the tone but by how easy it was to get great, loud tone out of it. So I guess the next step for me would be a $12 k Ellis, but I'm not planning to do that just yet. I still love and enjoy the instruments I have.

  3. #28
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Dec 2004

    Default Re: MAS or not

    Ray just beat me to it. Be sure to take your current mandolin with you and compare how it feels and sounds to the high end ones that you play. You may be pleasantly surprised how well it stands up to comparison. Don't let anyone that you HAVE to buy the best mandolin. Best is what's best for you. If you're satisfied with your Eastman I'd say stick with it.Think of other things that you might do with the cash that you'd have to spend on a higher end instrument. That seems to be a radical concept around here, but it works for me. Some years back I took my humble instrument (Fullerton Gloucester with Red Henry bridge,radius added to fingerboard)to Elderly and played it up against everything they had on the wall. I tried not to look at prices until I'd played the instrument. For the money I would have had to spend for an upgrade,my wife and I could have taken a terrific vacation.It was a great experience and it cured me of any MAS tendency.That's just me.
    I agree that you should plan on a two day visit if you can. In addition to giving you more time to evaluate mandolins, the Boston area is a wonderful place and you could take in some of the sights and have a great dinner.
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  4. #29

    Default Re: MAS or not

    Yes. Yes. Yes. I took my Silverangel into Gryphon for a minor adjustment, and played it next to Northfield and Collings, and a used Weber. What it was was different. Not better, not worse, just voiced differently.When I saw my SA in the classifieds, it was one final cruise through the classifieds before going to buy a new Collings MT. I decided to save a thousand and get the SA. Never regretted it.

    Over time I realized I wanted a brighter mandolin IN ADDITION to my SA, so I spent that grand building my F style that turned into just the flavor to complement my SA. Dumb luck for sure. But the bottom line is having one quality mandolin before acquiring another. If you would rather have a boat or a set of golf clubs instead is fine. A good mandolin is significant expense for most of us that we need to save and obcess over the possibilities for a period of time. I thoroughly enjoy the process.

    But we all need to separate this from striving to be a better musician, and are no shortcuts there. If there are, please let me know. But becoming a better musician can be greatly enhanced by having an instrument you adore. You will practice more. I've seen a few mandolins for around $1200 , and many at $1500, that could provide this incentive. Any more is a sweet indulgence and I'm as prone as anyone to a scroll and inlay and chasing that last ten percent of wonderfulness. But it is the three hours of practice each day that will get me where I want to go.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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