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Thread: If you could have any mandolin in the world….

  1. #1
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    Default If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    If you could have any mandolin in the world which one would it be?

    Let’s say the premiss here is that going for a $150000 Loar, then selling it and buying your dream mandolin with a nice chunk of money to spare isn’t allowed.

    Mine would be a mandolin I’ve only heard stories about. My grandfather, that I never met but who played the mandolin, gave what was then a “really old and beautiful mandolin” to my father more than sixty years ago. Since my father had no musical interest or at least no interest in playing himself and only used the mandolin as wall pice, the mandolin was eventually lost while moving some thirty odd years ago. I have absolutely no idea what kind of mandolin it was or if it was even in playable condition, but it is by far the mandolin that I would most want in the world.

    Which one would be yours?

    If you happen to have pictures of it too that’d be nice

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  3. #2

    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    I would probably get a Dude, but I also know I would be extremely happy with a custom Sorensen Pacifica.

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  5. #3
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    I have some GREAT ones already but I think I'd take Dawgs historic 25 Fern that was refinished in the early-mid 30's and was used on all the great stuff like Muleskinner, Old and in the Way-he's still going strong with her! What a mandolin!...I played it a little once and one word KOOL! That's a piece of bluegrass history!
    I know that dream will never come true but the runner up would be John Duffey's F-7 conversion that John converted in the early 60's and used on recordings and is photographed many times and is hanging on a fence on the record/CD cover "On the Road and More with the Country Gents" that my Great Uncle Dick Smith has owned since around 1968ish!
    OK I can't help myself, the next runner up would be the unknown whereabouts of Big Mon's 34 F-7 that he used with the Monroe Bros till he found some mandolin in a barbershop signed by some guy by the name of Lloyd! Now that's one historic mandolin also there is a good chance it was thrown away as it seems no one knows its whereabouts? BUMMER!
    That's three not one but that's the order I'd take!

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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    I would go for an Ellis A5. Barron Collins-Hill, whose lessons I appreciate, plays one and it has great tone and resonance. It seems like a good choice for the realistic, ultimate mandolin in my case.

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    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    A pristine Ceccherini double table bowlback would make me quite happy, or an Ellis for an F or Jacobson for a more modern flair.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

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    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    I recently got a mandolin, that as it turns out, I had tried to buy two other previous times either to not get the deal done or to miss it by a couple of days.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Registered User PH-Mando's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    Giacomel J3 for me!!!!Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #8
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    My Collings MT.
    "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." -Longfellow

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  16. #9

    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    For me it would be the mandolin that all mandolin teachers dream about playing.
    -I’d let them play it for as long as they like, while showing me how to play it!
    Yes I really like the Ellis A5.

    And the mandolin that your Grandad played? Just buy a really good one from a builder who lived in the same town at the time he was learning. Your Grandad will certainly have known about it, or even (maybe) played it.

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  18. #10

    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    This one haunts me - Great sound. Even if I won the lottery I would not want to have that much tied up in an instrument

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_FNsuTrVZ8

    A 1920's Gibson F4 might be on the short list. I know someone that has one and it is great.

    I was lucky to great a good deal on and Ellis A5 and it is more mandolin than I will ever need. It is also a work of art.

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    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    Short list:
    The ‘27 Gibson Fern I played some years back at Elderly’s
    Newson F5 #147 - Again. The one that got away due to insufficient funds. Played it at Gruhn’s last year.
    Eric Hanson
    Click #016/ Born on 2/29/08 - Sold to the next Conservator of this great mandolin!
    The search has ceased! (At least for now)
    Collings A-Style

  21. #12

    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    Mark, is that the Gil that was at Carters a while back?
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  22. #13
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    A Lyon & Healy style A, in mint condition, of course.

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  24. #14
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    A Monteleone Grand Artist. Following that, I'd be more than thrilled with a Stiver or Rattlesnake.
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Andrew Jerman Irwin-style 5 string electric "Stealie", Eastman 515, Shiro F-5, Crafter M85E, Dillion 335 style, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
    Boards: Acoustic Electric
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  26. #15
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    Hey Northwest Steve, yes that 29 Fern sounds fantastic, "but most do with proper set-up/new strings and well a competent player" it was super clean, original family mando, I know who bought it but than sold it to, I don't know? but I think the first one who bought it gets dibs on it if it comes up again? It actually sold for a very screaming deal!

  27. #16
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    Hmm. Been thinking about this since last night. While there are some builders that I'd like to have (Brentrup, LaPlant), really it comes down to the particular instrument and what I need for my playing style.

    That said, a Stefan Sobell OM would be nice. Or even just a good OM that sounds full by itself, but can still be heard in a group would work.
    2018 Collings MT, 1910 Gibson A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1941 Strad-O-Lin, 2018 Eastman MDO-305, 1950's Californian, 2015 Ashbury Style E OM
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  29. #17
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    An Ellis F that I played 4 years ago still haunts me. And a Mowry I didnt play but heard clips of and couldnt get over...and a clip of Reischman's (sp?) I heard a few years back which I'm not sure now if it was his Loar or his RD but I think it was his Loar. The common denominator I think is that rich tubular mellowness right under or maybe even encapsulating those chipper highs. The Ellis was the only one out of the above group Ive played and the easiest playing mandolin I've ever held. I got to see a beautiful F5 Dude in his shop a few years back and he was so nice but I was too timid to ask to play it because I knew I couldnt buy it (20k+) and I think it was spoken for so I didnt even want to.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

  30. #18
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    Bill Bolick of the Blue Sky Boys was a good friend of mine, and when he passed away I was hoping that I might get one of his two mandolins; (1929 Martin Style 20, or his original Hembre) - and even his wife was in favor of getting me something special . . . . but as it turns out, the relative who was in charge of his estate didn't see it that way.

    Other than that - someday when I am good enough to get work as a 'real' mandolin player, I would like to get a nice Weber.

  31. #19
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    When I visited Herschel Sizemore about 10 years ago, I played his 2 consecutive serial number Loars. I would want either one of those. The sound seemed come out of the walls of his living room. Powerful and beautiful sound.
    I’ve played about 12 Loars. None compared to those 2 of Herschel’s.
    Bob

  32. #20
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    I would like to have that reproduction of Bill's mandolin that was just recently made. Or the 20's fern that was for sale at TME a while ago, or Charlie D. signed MM or a Loar.

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  34. #21
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    Just a Nugget, that is all I ask.

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  36. #22
    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    Mark, is that the Gil that was at Carters a while back?
    It was at Carter's for a while last year. When I saw it and played it, I was waiting on a ride to the airport and didn't have a chance to talk to Walter about it. By the time I got him on the phone, it had sold over the weekend. Apparently it swapped hands once more in between, and then it popped up on a Facebook post and it finally came to me!

  37. #23
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    Well … back in the last century , which feels like another lifetime to me now. I had occasion to be in Nashville. I visited Gruhn's guitar shop which was a small hole in the wall store downtown in those days. There were these two mandolins under glass in the counter. I thought they were just beautiful. I barely played mandolin at the time … but wow I sure wanted one. Jump ahead nearly forty years and I was able to order a model 5 Gilchrist in 2016. I now strive to be worthy to play and own such a fine instrument. R/ Click image for larger version. 

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    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  38. #24
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    If I could afford to buy any mando, I'd buy many.
    Some hoarder has the full collection...
    Dude, Gil, Nugget, Heiden, Monteleon, Sorensen, Giacomel, Stanley, RD, Ellis, Collins, Weber, Gibson, Rattlesnake, Weins, Block, Mowery, Apitius, Bentrup, SilverAngel, Ratliff, Bulldog, ...oh my this is is getting long!
    I think Dawg has a habit like that!
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
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    Too many microphones

  39. #25

    Default Re: -If you could have any mandolin in the world….

    This 2005 Gibson Master Model has a few things to recommend it. It's was made with passionate care by the team led by the late Charlie Derrington. It's signed by Danny Roberts but very much of the Derrington era. It was an exciting time, following the developments in Gibson up until Charlie's death in 2006 - thanks in part to the presence of Charlie and Joe Vest here at the Cafe. A story, in the history of the mandolin, without precedent - for a corporate entity to re-create a (relatively) ancient instrument ( a century ago) - then lose the ability to make that instrument almost entirely, for 50+ years - and then to laboriously regain it. (spurred by the indi luthiers who were endeavoring to do the same) It's all there in this - and plenty of other millennial mandolins.

    Click image for larger version. 

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