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Thread: Breaking in a brand new mandolin

  1. #26
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking in a brand new mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Frank Ford once gave me sage advice. Never buy an instrument for what you think it will be, buy it for what it is.
    I remember reading on one of the guitar sites about a poster there who just spent five-figures from an excellent builder and his main comment was how he couldn't wait for it to really open up. Huh?
    Jim

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  2. #27
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking in a brand new mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I remember reading on one of the guitar sites about a poster there who just spent five-figures from an excellent builder and his main comment was how he couldn't wait for it to really open up. Huh?
    Jim, the youngest instrument on your list of "played lately " is 80 yrs. old...
    Do you think they sounded the same when they were new?
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  3. #28

    Default Re: Breaking in a brand new mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    ....I have two mandolins that were custom made for me...the only way to know their sound was to wait......
    I also have 2 mandolins that were custom made for me. I trusted the sound of the maker because in each case I had one of their mandolins already. I change the tone by changing strings or picks. I never have thought of waiting for the instruments to 'open up' or needed to be 'broken in'. I also didn't play them differently when they were new, as opposed to how I play them now. Both sounded great right out of the case.

    I recognize that this is a subject upon which folks disagree, with the discussion often mistaking anecdotes for facts.
    Play it like you mean it.

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  4. #29

    Default Re: Breaking in a brand new mandolin

    We really don't know what goes on before we get a new instrument in our hands. If I were building, I'd sure try a tonerite and see for myself. If it showed an improvement, I don't think I'd advertise it, just quietly use it before sending mandolins off. But then again, if the customer was expecting a mandolin to open up and it didn't change much, they may be dissapointed if it didn't. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    My recent experience with a new instrument has me reevaluating my thoughts on the matter.
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  5. #30
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Breaking in a brand new mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    Jim, the youngest instrument on your list of "played lately " is 80 yrs. old...
    Do you think they sounded the same when they were new?
    I may be old but not that old. I was not there when they were new. However Gibsons when new I am sure had the sound that people wanted right out of the box. That is why there are so many of them still around.

    I don't doubt that wood changes over time but I just can't imagine spending tons of money on a potential sound. I think that Mr. Ford's contention is that an instrument should have the sound you want when you get it. It can only get better from there but it would be pretty ridiculous to buy something that sounded so-so with the idea that in a few years it will be amazing. Yes, they change but the change is generally pretty subtle.

    As for my youngest instrument being 80 years old: My Brentrup and National RM-1 are from 2007, Huss and Dalton guitar from 2017, my Flatiron A5-2 is from 1983 and I have a mandola from 1985. Sure, I love the old ones but I have played quite a few modern instruments that had the tone I like.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
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    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

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