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Thread: What to do ?

  1. #1
    Registered User GreenMTBoy's Avatar
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    Default What to do ?

    I would like to add a A oval to my little mandolin collection .
    First of all I have about $1500.
    The question is should I get a old Gibson A in that price range and expect to spend a little on repairs or should I be patient and save up for something like a newer but used Collings or Girouard or a good Snakehead .
    Just looking for some pro and con Input
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    You should go play some, and see what you like.
    I went to a great store recently that had a rack of old a-style Gibsons.
    I played them all, but would only have purchased two of them.
    The best was a lowly AJr, and it rocked and was only $1000.
    If I had bought online I would have bought the wrong one.
    Just a thought.
    Mandolins: Northfield 5-Bar Artist Model "Old Dog", J Bovier F5 Special, Gibson A-00 (1940)
    Fiddles: 1920s Strad copy, 1930s Strad copy, Liu Xi T20, Liu Xi T19+ Dark.
    Guitars: Taylor 514c (1995), Gibson Southern Jumbo (1940s), Gibson L-48 (1940s), Les Paul Custom (1978), Fender Strat (Black/RWFB) (1984), Fender Strat (Candy Apple Red/MFB) (1985).
    Sitars: Hiren Roy KP (1980s), Naskar (1970s), Naskar (1960s).
    Misc: 8 Course Lute (L.K.Brown)

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  4. #3
    Registered User GreenMTBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    Thanks Cw ,That is probably the best advice ,just to play a bunch of them .
    Unfortunately I am way out in the boonies and far from any store with a rack full of old Gibson A’s

  5. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWRoyds View Post
    You should go play some, and see what you like...
    Amen. Each instrument is an individual, and each player has individual tastes.

    Plus, generalizations about different brands, models and ages of instruments aren't too helpful, when you're actually faced with choice among a limited number of instruments, to which you have access and can afford. Buy the best (in your opinion) of the mandolins you can actually buy, rather than making an abstract decision between some unspecified Gibson A-1, and some equally unspecified Collings A.

    And remember the wisdom of my old boss Eldon Stutzman: "If you don't hear any difference, buy the cheaper one."
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  7. #5
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMTBoy View Post
    The question is should I get a old Gibson A in that price range and expect to spend a little on repairs or should I be patient and save up for something like a newer but used Collings or Girouard or a good Snakehead .
    If memory serves, you’ve already tried at a Mike Black A2-z which would be one of my typical recommendations. Otherwise, I’m still curious about an Old Wave oval . . .
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
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    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
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  9. #6
    Registered User GreenMTBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    You have a good memory!
    In a weak moment I traded it for a old Gibson Tenor Banjo !
    Wish I had the Black back

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  11. #7
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    Since you can't go play a bunch near you, why not just call some place like the Mandolin Store.
    Tell them what you want to spend, and let them know what kinda thing you are looking for.
    They might come up with the perfect mandolin for you.
    It might not be what you think you need.
    Sometimes there is a mandolin waiting for you that is exactly what you need, but didn't know you needed it.

    Most places have an approval period, so if it ain't right, you can send it back.
    Mandolins: Northfield 5-Bar Artist Model "Old Dog", J Bovier F5 Special, Gibson A-00 (1940)
    Fiddles: 1920s Strad copy, 1930s Strad copy, Liu Xi T20, Liu Xi T19+ Dark.
    Guitars: Taylor 514c (1995), Gibson Southern Jumbo (1940s), Gibson L-48 (1940s), Les Paul Custom (1978), Fender Strat (Black/RWFB) (1984), Fender Strat (Candy Apple Red/MFB) (1985).
    Sitars: Hiren Roy KP (1980s), Naskar (1970s), Naskar (1960s).
    Misc: 8 Course Lute (L.K.Brown)

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    I have played and owned a number of ovals ( including an Old wave) and the best to my EARS was/is a Girouard ! Save a bit more money and contact Max Girouard ! You won't be sorry !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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  15. #9
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    I have played and owned a number of ovals ( including an Old wave) and the best to my EARS was/is a Girouard ! Save a bit more money and contact Max Girouard ! You won't be sorry !
    If this video is a good representation of a Girouard Oval, then they seem awesome indeed.

    Mandolins: Northfield 5-Bar Artist Model "Old Dog", J Bovier F5 Special, Gibson A-00 (1940)
    Fiddles: 1920s Strad copy, 1930s Strad copy, Liu Xi T20, Liu Xi T19+ Dark.
    Guitars: Taylor 514c (1995), Gibson Southern Jumbo (1940s), Gibson L-48 (1940s), Les Paul Custom (1978), Fender Strat (Black/RWFB) (1984), Fender Strat (Candy Apple Red/MFB) (1985).
    Sitars: Hiren Roy KP (1980s), Naskar (1970s), Naskar (1960s).
    Misc: 8 Course Lute (L.K.Brown)

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  17. #10

    Default Re: What to do ?

    Lots of Girouard sound samples on Jill McAuley's tune of the week thread.

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  19. #11
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    You can get a customized Silverangel Econo A for $1500... in fact thats a little more than I spent on mine. Ken is very willing to make oval holes. His instruments have a lovely deep rich tone.

    I think you can also get a Ratliff in that price range as well, but I can't speak to them as I've never played one.
    aka: Spencer
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  21. #12

    Default Re: What to do ?

    All the old teens Gibsons I've played have been differing flavors of good. $1500 can get you a very good all original example. I can't recall a Girouard or Collings oval for that price. Maybe a Weber? I just can't recall.

    It all comes down to what you want to play on them. Fiddle tunes just sound older on a teens Gibson. Old Timey sounds older timey on one. O'Carollen played on one is downright ancient.

    Only you can decide. I bought an old A because I like old things and knew it would sound different than what I had. It will never be my only mandolin.
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  23. #13
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    You're pretty close to a new Pomeroy with that budget. You'll probably never find one in a shop but they often have one or available on their website.

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  25. #14
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMTBoy View Post
    You have a good memory!
    In a weak moment I traded it for a old Gibson Tenor Banjo !
    Wish I had the Black back
    Trade an old Gibson tenor banjo for one?
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
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    2011 Passernig F5

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  27. #15
    Registered User Jim DeSalvio's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    Don't rule out a nice Eastman oval. I was just at the store last week, and played a very nice one they have in stock.
    Jim D

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  29. #16
    Registered User GreenMTBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    How about a Pava ? They are in the ballpark with a little saving !

  30. #17
    Registered User GreenMTBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    Trade the Tenor !Not a bad idea ! I played it a few months and the thrill has kind of wore off .
    Last edited by GreenMTBoy; Mar-27-2019 at 4:53pm. Reason: Correction

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  32. #18
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWRoyds View Post
    You should go play some, and see what you like.
    I went to a great store recently that had a rack of old a-style Gibsons.
    I played them all, but would only have purchased two of them.
    The best was a lowly AJr, and it rocked and was only $1000.
    If I had bought online I would have bought the wrong one.
    Just a thought.
    The funny thing is that someone would have preferred the other ones, all things being equal (condition, etc)
    JBovier ELS; Epiphone MM-50 VN; Epiphone MM-40L; Gretsch New Yorker G9310; Washburn M1SDLB;

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  33. #19
    Registered User Denman John's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    My first recommendation would be a Kimble oval, but very few have been made and I haven't seen another one listed anywhere. They do exist and they are awesome. I had a nice Old Wave for a time, but moved it along. My advice with Gibson ovals is to play before buying. The ones that I have played have all felt and sounded different. Jill McAuley has a wonderful sounding Girouard oval that you should check out. If I were in the market for another oval, I'd be checking out Girouard.
    ... not all those who wander are lost ...

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  35. #20
    Registered User GreenMTBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    Looking for Pava Oval feedback any of you guys tried them ?
    They share the same shop with Ellis so one would think there has to be a lot of cross pollination going on which has to be a good thing.

  36. #21
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    Most of the Pava oval hole mandolins I see are over 3 K but I see that The Mandolin Store has a satin one for under that.....

    https://themandolinstore.com/product...l-a4-mandolin/

    I have played a few Pava's with F-holes and they were very nice. I would not expect anything less from one of her oval holed mandolins.

    NFI
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  37. #22
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    Here's my pretty standard reply: What sort of oval hole do you want? We talk about oval hole mandolins as if they are a binary choice to an f-model.

    Maybe back in the teens and '20s that was the case. However, many of today's oval holes are actually just like A5s (i.e., f-hole mandolins) with an oval hole. You therefore get the elevated fretboard, the 15-fret neck joint and (often) something other than transverse bracing.

    To think a Collings oval is the modern equivalent of a teens oval hole is just not correct. There are folks that still build like the old ones. Those oval holes are intended to replicate the old ovals AND provide modern aspects of design. The hybrid oval hole (whether f-model or a-model) is a unique instrument unto its own. I don't like them!

    I like A5s and I like 12-fret transverse-braced oval hole mandolins.

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  38. #23
    Registered User GreenMTBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    I don’t know what I want !
    I play mostly Celtic tunes have took Marla Fibish lessons and liked the sound of her ,I think it is a 21 A Gibson.
    But starting to wonder if I want the head ache of a old mandolin that will need work .
    There really are a lot of good mandolins out there

  39. #24
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    1917 in the classifieds that'd draw my attention!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  40. #25
    Registered User GreenMTBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to do ?

    I did notice that 1917 in the classified ,looks pretty good for 102 !
    What do you think of that 2013 Weber Yellowstone ,sounds and looks pretty nice .

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