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Thread: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

  1. #1
    Registered User stringsattached's Avatar
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    Default Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    Ok, time for all the owners and wanna bes to comment ,boast or complain about their experiences with this unconventional Mandolin.
    Does the electric version sound great ? Sound ok? Or, Sound bad ?
    What kind of comments do you get from people seeing and hearing for the first time ?
    Even non-owners who have given one of the 3 models a fair assessment should feel free to Pipe in with their comments .
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    Ken

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  2. #2
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    Played a non electric at Elderly. Better than travel mandolins I have owned. But outclassed by every other mandolin in the store.
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Collings MT
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Kentucky KM-950
    Harley Benton A style (Current campfire tool)
    Rogue 100A (Spare canoe paddle)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I tried a couple and found them surprisingly loud, certainly louder than I'd expected. I didn't find them particularly enjoyable though - they seemed a bit shrill, with little bass. The sound was a lot like "strings" and not much like "wood". Quite direct without much in the way of resonance or overtones to add complexity and character.

    Maybe it's just me but I didn't find them particularly relaxing or fun to play - although they seem very durable and the construction of the ones I saw was very good.

    I daresay this may be similar to the impression they've made on a few people - I recall a few threads on the same topic before. Actually, thinking back to those I'm not sure I've added anything new here! In any case I think some folk seemed to like them but the impressions I had seemed pretty common.

    Enjoy!

  4. #4
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I have a Godin A8 that I'm very happy with -- I play blues and am not looking for the sweet tones that players of many other genres may prefer. However, when I've tried S8's (less expensive instruments), I haven't found that their sound attracted me. The size seems convenient, as one could fit into a suitcase. They're sturdy instruments too. However, when I try them out, they're not my favourites for the price. I suspect that the S8 is, as Cafe members pointed out to me, like my A8, actually an acoustic instrument with a preamp, rather than being a real electric mandolin.

    "What kind of comments do you get from people seeing and hearing for the first time ?"
    I suspect, it's similar to what I get for the A8, which is shaped like a small, electric guitar (and mandolinists generally get, to a lesser degree), "What's that?"

    Addendum
    : To clarify, Seagull is made by Godin, so I'm talking about the same company here.
    Last edited by Ranald; Jun-02-2019 at 12:05pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I quite like mine. I have travelled with it a lot this year.

    I was lucky enough to go to a music seminar in Crete in March, and I felt that the Seagull was actually good enough to use at it.
    I was studying with a Spanish musician called Efren Lopez, and we were looking at music from Turkey and the Middle East as well as Crete and Bulgaria. I have to say that Efren thought it was a 'really cool instrument', as did several other people. As I often describe it - it's maybe not the best mandolin in the world but it's a very long way from being the worst! Very good playability and surprisingly loud. And honestly, I don't think the tone is bad.

    Judge for yourself. Here is me having a go at a middle eastern tune while I was in Crete.
    https://www.facebook.com/daggergordo...84503155/?t=20
    David A. Gordon

  6. #6

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by stringsattached View Post
    Ok, time for all the owners and wanna bes to comment ,boast or complain about their experiences with this unconventional Mandolin.
    Does the electric version sound great ? Sound ok? Or, Sound bad ?
    What kind of comments do you get from people seeing and hearing for the first time ?
    Even non-owners who have given one of the 3 models a fair assessment should feel free to Pipe in with their comments .
    It's a very decent mandolin. Easy to carry around. The tone is pretty good, much better than I thought it would be. The action is a bit high but I got used to it. I own the electric model, and the its tone when plugged in sounds thin and trebly. It improved quite a bit when I rolled the tone knob down. Overall, when taken for its value, it's a pretty good mandolin.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I’ve had one for three years and still play it quite often. It’s my favourite for casual living room picking or learning a new tune on. I find the tone quite warm and it’s comfortable to play. I sometimes take it to sessions but generally the lack of volume is an issue in the crowd I run with.
    I think the innovative design is a big plus. It’s set up right out of the box, the fixed bridge makes string changes simple, and the hardware is very good especially the tuners. Flat fingerboard isn’t my preference, but as I said it’s comfortable.

    Excellent choice for a good-quality travelling mando, backup or starter. I’ve never tried the built-in-pickup model but have mic’ed it or slapped a Dyn-M on the top with good results.

    Bear in mind, I’m a Celtic-style player with occasional trips to Old-Time-Town. This ain’t a bluegrass machine.

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  9. #8

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I just picked one up. It needs new strings, and I am wondering what Seagull puts on, or what others use. I am thinking a light gauge, not my usual J74s.

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  11. #9

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I have been playing a natural S8 for just over a year and I really enjoy it. It has a great tone for what I like and is constructed very well. The sound projects surprisingly well. There are some known quality control issues with the tuner buttons. One of mine cracked in half while doing a string change. The retailer contacted Godin and they shipped a whole tuner to me within a week.

    Regarding the recommended strings, I asked Godin the same question and this is the response I received: "Godin recommend regular light gauge strings from any solid manufacturer. Gauges .010 to .034 (or .036) would do fine."

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  13. #10
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    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ottawa_adam View Post
    I have been playing a natural S8 for just over a year and I really enjoy it. It has a great tone for what I like and is constructed very well. The sound projects surprisingly well. There are some known quality control issues with the tuner buttons. One of mine cracked in half while doing a string change. The retailer contacted Godin and they shipped a whole tuner to me within a week.

    Regarding the recommended strings, I asked Godin the same question and this is the response I received: "Godin recommend regular light gauge strings from any solid manufacturer. Gauges .010 to .034 (or .036) would do fine."
    I certainly agree that the sound projects surprisingly well. It is louder than most mandolins I have played.
    As regards the tuner buttons, there are no issues with mine - indeed I find the tuners to be really pretty good.

    I use D'Addario J74s on it, like on all my mandolins. Seems fine to me. I should note that I find the tone has improved with time/use/travel. It's more mellow now.

    In general I think it's fine. Plays very well, plenty volume, pretty good tone, excellent for travel - and in fact not very expensive.
    I don't have a pickup in mine so I can't comment on that, but the acoustic instrument I have has been very useful to me.

    Again, people should bear in mind that I'm not looking at it from a bluegrass perspective.
    David A. Gordon

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