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Thread: Weber Gallatin F weight & action vs. other entry-level mandolins

  1. #1

    Default Weber Gallatin F weight & action vs. other entry-level mandolins

    I am a newbie looking at entry-level mandolins. I tried a Northfield Calhoun this past weekend and it was surprisingly heavy, with huge thick strings. My friendís Kentucky is much easier to play although it doesnít sound as nice.

    I am coming from violin so I donít know what to expect from a mandolin but I definitely prefer a lighter weight instrument with easier strings and action.

    Thereís a used Weber Gallatin out there at an attractive price, and Iím wondering if anyone has experience with the weight, action and general playability of these instruments? They sure do sound nice.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Weber Gallatin F weight & action vs. other entry-level mandol

    I can't remember ever picking up a mandolin and thinking it was heavy, but that's me. The thing to be mindful of with Gallatins is some were made with wood other that maple. Not that they wouldn't work for you, just saying. You can have any decent mandolin set up to play well, so a particular instrument can have higher action and heavy strings, but you can change that. At the level you are starting at, anything will sound and play well with a good setup.

    A lot will depend on what you want to play, and f vs A style. I stumbled onto what would probably be a great mandolin for you, a Silverangel, but you'll have to buy online. Often they come up in the classifieds. But back to your question,nGallatins are solid mandolins that any beginner would be glad to start on. If the price were right, hard to go wrong. Easy to sell for what you paid too.
    Silverangel A
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    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  3. #3
    Registered User spufman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Gallatin F weight & action vs. other entry-level mandol

    I have an older Gallatin F that I bought used here, maybe 5 or 6 years ago. I still love it and don't really covet another (well, MAS is always knocking I suppose). Mine plays and sounds great - it's gloss with maple back and sides which was a custom order at the time. It's not any heavier than other Fs I've played. In any case, a used Gallatin F bought at a good price will not lose you money down the road. Go fo it!
    Blow on, man.

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    Default Re: Weber Gallatin F weight & action vs. other entry-level mandol

    I have a couple of nice mandolins, I am very lucky. My '22 Gibson has a most wonderful sound, rivaling any snake. It is what I would consider heavy. My Brentrup is also an extremely great sounding instrument, tho different from the Gibson. It is heavy. I have a Unicorn that is very light. The sound is not as luxurious as the Brentrup, comparing the two ff hole mandolins, but very nice all the same in a different way. Weight is not necessarily a good or bad thing when compared to sound.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  5. #5
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Gallatin F weight & action vs. other entry-level mandol

    If you are coming from a violin, most mandolins will feel heavy if you are not used to them.

    The lightest mandolins I can think of would be something along the lines of a Martin Flatback like this.....

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/135060#135060

    You would want to use light guage strings on an instrument such as this and flat wound strings would feel more like what you are used to.

    One thing about Weber mandolins is that I find the necks to be on the full size.

    NFI
    Last edited by Charles E.; Feb-12-2019 at 5:10pm.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  6. #6

    Default Re: Weber Gallatin F weight & action vs. other entry-level mandol

    I think you can't go wrong with a Gallatin I love my Weber plays great & sounds great you won't be disappointed. I have noticed mine does feel a bit lighter compared to some pac rim mandos I've played.
    Good Luck

  7. #7

    Default Re: Weber Gallatin F weight & action vs. other entry-level mandol

    I am a lefty who was hoping to play mandolin as an honorary righty as I used to do with fiddle, but I am going to have to play lefty due to injuries. (I’ve already switched over on fiddle.) It looks as though used lefty Webers are few and far between, and the only lefty Gallatin out there right now is new and priced accordingly. I was initially disappointed, but I’ve bought a lefty Eastman to learn on, and now I’ll get to watch for used lefty mandos, sort of like people who seek out rare birds.
    Last edited by Trubadur; Feb-19-2019 at 7:28pm.

  8. #8
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Gallatin F weight & action vs. other entry-level mandol

    Most A style mandolins can be set up right or left handed at the cost of a new nut and bridge. If you are set on getting an F style your choices are more limited. Also, what is your price range? That will count a lot.

    Eastman mandolins are nothing to sneeze at and should serve you well till you decide to upgrade.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  9. #9

    Default Re: Weber Gallatin F weight & action vs. other entry-level mandol

    Interestingly, I’ve visited two good fretted instrument shops in the last two weeks, and according to the shop owners converting various A styles isn’t quite such a breeze as people make it sound here on the Cafe. In the case of the Webers, there’s an old thread lying around here where someone had asked Bruce Weber about converting a Hyalite, and he recommended against it due to the tone bars/bracing. I decided to take him at his word, and assumed the same must go for the Gallatin A style or else why would they make a lefty?

    I’ve spent the last three to four weeks investigating various mandolin prospects, visiting shops, emailing or calling other shops and consulting with a couple of local musicians. The musicians both thought I should just get a lefty Eastman from the get-go. And while I was on my quest, most of the lefty Eastmans in stock around the US got snapped up. I think I got nearly the last one.

    So I’m okay with this outcome. I do need to learn to actually play the mandolin, after all. There’s also a slight chance that my broken wing will not allow me to pick, either, in which case it’s better that I paid a lower price to find this out. In the meantime I’m planning to listen to the faculty concerts and jams at some upcoming mandolin camps, so I’ll get to hear yet more instruments in real life rather than on YouTube.

  10. #10
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Weber Gallatin F weight & action vs. other entry-level mandol

    Sorry to hear about your injury, I hope you heal well and are able to pick! By all means attend the mandolin camps.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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