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Thread: Morgan Monroe Question and/or opinions

  1. #1
    2TonCommon
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    Default Morgan Monroe Question and/or opinions

    Hi Friends!
    I was wondering what you guys/gals thought about the MM "White Lightning" Ltd. Ed. mando made around (guessing)10 - 15 years ago. Besides wanting a kit(no luck yet)
    I became intrigued by a post on E*** for this mandolin. However, the price is $1000.00, not kidding, $1000.00 (or best offer). Additionally there is virtually zero information about the instrument in terms of condition or anything else. Plus, the seller(who will remain anynonmous(sic) so as not to violate his privacy) has only 3 prior listings.
    I was under the impression that MM products - banjos, mandos etc. were mostly flash and VERY little fury. In other words, not so good sound wise; great looking though, especially their banjos.
    Why then would this mando interest me? For the same reason a crow is attracted to shiny objects, and maybe I could make it sound reasonable.
    So, any chance in this universe that this thing is worth anywhere near $1000.00?
    My instincts, all aforementioned things considered, is about $300-400.00. Any advice/thoughts?
    Thanks as always,
    Joe
    "Of all the harm that ere' I've done,
    Alas, it was to none but me."


    Goodnight and Joy be to you all!

  2. #2
    2TonCommon
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe Question and/or opinions

    Just for laughs, besides nearly cutting my thumb off(see other post), I was sharpening a hatchet last night and the blade caught in the belt sander and, yes, I now have a head full of stitches. Should be sittin' on the front porch chewin' foil and reminiscing about better days!!
    "Of all the harm that ere' I've done,
    Alas, it was to none but me."


    Goodnight and Joy be to you all!

  3. #3
    2TonCommon
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe Question and/or opinions

    The hatchet post should be in the same post as the MM Question and/or opinions post.
    Obviously I'm too dim-witted to figure how to do it. Yep, If my brains were lard, I couldn't grease a small griddle.
    Last edited by 2TonCommon; May-22-2019 at 8:51pm. Reason: I'm stupid! Can,t figure out how to add it to the first post.
    "Of all the harm that ere' I've done,
    Alas, it was to none but me."


    Goodnight and Joy be to you all!

  4. #4
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe Question and/or opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by 2TonCommon View Post
    Just for laughs, besides nearly cutting my thumb off(see other post), I was sharpening a hatchet last night and the blade caught in the belt sander and, yes, I now have a head full of stitches. Should be sittin' on the front porch chewin' foil and reminiscing about better days!!
    Oh my!!! (I spent a few days last week helping a son move into a house and much of my time was spent cutting laminate floor planks to all kinds of complicated shapes. More than once while guiding the jig saw with one hand and holding the plank with the other hand, I thought of your thumb injury!)
    Doug Brock
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  5. #5
    Struggle Monkey B381's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe Question and/or opinions

    I have this...not bad.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "It doesn't matter how much you invest in your instrument until you invest in you and your ability..."

    Kentucky KM-150
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe Question and/or opinions

    1. I'm sorry you were injured! That's awful. If the blade caught in the belt sander and caused you injury, you may have been aiming the hatchet in the wrong direction. There should be no, absolutely 0 ways in which a belt sander could cause injury to you when sharpening a hatchet. They key is to lay the hatchet down sideways like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2. I'm pretty sure a pure white finish will not improve a Morgan Monroe mandolin. Usually we use worse (looking) woods on instruments we're going to paint a solid color. If we can figure out how to sell less desirable woods for more money, that's good business, not really good instrument building. I doubt it's worse than normal Morgan Monroe models, so if you can get it for $500 or less, probably not a waste of money. Any more than that, and there are better deals out there.

  7. #7
    2TonCommon
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe Question and/or opinions

    Ya, that's definitely me -loaded with nothing but stupid! But I really appreciate your thoughts!!! Thank you. Hope your project went well.
    Quote Originally Posted by flatpicknut View Post
    Oh my!!! (I spent a few days last week helping a son move into a house and much of my time was spent cutting laminate floor planks to all kinds of complicated shapes. More than once while guiding the jig saw with one hand and holding the plank with the other hand, I thought of your thumb injury!)
    "Of all the harm that ere' I've done,
    Alas, it was to none but me."


    Goodnight and Joy be to you all!

  8. #8
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe Question and/or opinions

    Back in the early 2000's I bought an 'intermediate' model Morgan Monroe F-style mandolin (don't remember the model number) from the old 'Folk-Of-The-Wood' website; (that brings back some memories, huh?).

    Long story short - it was my main mandolin for about a year or two, until I bought my Rigel . . . I did LOTS of recording with it and never had a complaint about the tone or playability - and to be honest, I wish I still had it.

    Fast forward to today - I vaguely remember that MM's 'White Lighting' mandolin was one of their higher quality mandolins, but I can't say for sure. All that being said, I personally would be pretty hesitant to drop $1,000 on it, without being able to play it first.

    p.s. - there is also a thread on the White Lightning in the 'Looking for Information About Mandolins' section of the message boards.

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  10. #9
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe Question and/or opinions

    Here's that White Lightning thread, 13 years old. Not all that helpful -- lotsa space devoted to sub-par humor (IMHO) -- but the consensus seems to be that four-figure pricing would be 'way too expensive.

    As I recall, MM had a bunch of specialty models with catchy names, differentiated mostly by finish and ornamentation. I remember the all-black Phantom of the Opry model, e.g. Whether, under the relatively thick finish, there was real improvement in materials and construction, hard to say. The specialty models definitely had premium asking prices, and I assume that more work went into tricking them out with custom colors and inlays.

    My own rule of thumb is that if you have to ask if a particular model is an exception to what is otherwise seen as a mediocre line of mandolins, the only real test is to sit down with one for a half an hour or so, and come to your personal conclusion after hands-on testing. That's not always do-able, since we look at internet listings and weigh the risks of taking a flyer on instruments that seem attractive, but that we've never played, and probably will never have a chance to evaluate by playing them. That is, unless we buy them, and are either out a bunch of money but satisfied, or out a bunch of money and disappointed.
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  12. #10

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe Question and/or opinions

    I played one years ago. I recall it was a real looker and seem to play and sound ok. I remember wondering if it had an ebony fingerboard because it looked like ebony. I played it at a show so it was hard to judge. My friend who was with me was less impressed with the Mando, however I was in love with the look of it. I believe to was around $500 to $800 new. Very different, I think it came after the Black Phantom model. I also recall seeing a full color page ad advertising it in Bluegrass magazine years ago.

  13. #11
    2TonCommon
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe Question and/or opinions

    Well, there is something else. Being in a pinch I used gorilla tape to re-connect the aforementioned strap that broke. So, there was a sizable gap in the strap and there is ABSOLUTLEY a million ways a belt sander could cause me injury - I can get hurt chewing gum. Thanks for your thoughts though. As to the mandolin, I'm inclined to agree wholeheartedly with you; my conundrum is WHY would someone try and sell this mandolin for what amounts to usury or some VERY wishful thinking. Always amazed(and usually injured somewhere on my body!)
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    1. I'm sorry you were injured! That's awful. If the blade caught in the belt sander and caused you injury, you may have been aiming the hatchet in the wrong direction. There should be no, absolutely 0 ways in which a belt sander could cause injury to you when sharpening a hatchet. They key is to lay the hatchet down sideways like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2019-05-22 23_12_47-Window.png 
Views:	4 
Size:	68.9 KB 
ID:	176934

    2. I'm pretty sure a pure white finish will not improve a Morgan Monroe mandolin. Usually we use worse (looking) woods on instruments we're going to paint a solid color. If we can figure out how to sell less desirable woods for more money, that's good business, not really good instrument building. I doubt it's worse than normal Morgan Monroe models, so if you can get it for $500 or less, probably not a waste of money. Any more than that, and there are better deals out there.
    "Of all the harm that ere' I've done,
    Alas, it was to none but me."


    Goodnight and Joy be to you all!

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