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Thread: Brought home a Buckeye!

  1. #1

    Default Brought home a Buckeye!

    Well, it's been twenty years now I've been wanting to get a Buckeye, after hearing Barry Mitterhoff in Rochester, NY one night. I just loved the sound of his mandolin. This winter I saw Pete Hart had some unclaimed instruments under construction, and I jumped on the opportunity. We came to an agreement and Pete kept me apprised of the build's progress.
    I picked it up a week ago, and after a couple of days had to contact Pete with a complaint. He had ruined a couple of pretty good mandolins for me! I've got a fever and the only cure is more Buckeye sound. This little A is sweet and powerful and the notes pop right out of it. And it's a looker, too.
    My wife and I visited with Pete and his wife for a few hours, toured the shop and tried out some of his other instruments. He is, as my wife kept telling me, a true gentleman, and a nice guy. Just had to give him a shout out publicly. There just aren't enough mandolin lovers around here that care! Thanks, Pete!Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2
    Registered User Scotter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Congrats! It looks great.

    Pete is sending this one my way very soon.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Play that which you feel is groovy, get down with your bad self, and shake your money maker if it makes sense for you to do so.

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    Dan Sampson mando_dan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotter View Post
    Pete is sending this one my way very soon.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You'll love it! They're great mandolins, so great that I can't imagine trading mine in for most anything, in fact my M.A.S. is fortunately D.O.A. John Reischman who knows a good mandolin (!) had nothing but high praise for it when he played it a few years at local festival. Ditto for Skip Gorman and a few other big name players who've tried it over the years.

    I just remembered that according to Pete, my #18 came from a tree that crashed into his driveway. Love it!

    Pick, grin, and cherish your new baby.
    1999 Buckeye #18 (Bucky)
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Those are some mighty fine horns man! I love the looks and the ones I've heard are awesome! Another great builder, no doubt about it and from what I've heard they are very affordable and well worth the $! Congrats.

  8. #5
    Registered User Scotter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Pete has been really fun to work with. I think he even mentioned you, fidlrtynan, in a text saying: "I have a guy from NY coming Monday to pick up the A model..."

    Pete's got a good sense of humor and has been great in dealing with some of my special requests like asking for a wider fingerboard and asking him to smear some of his wife's barbecue under the fingerboard to give it some extra mojo. Apparently, this costs extra as I now owe him a breakfast at IHOP for that last one which I plan to repay on a visit to Fur Peace Ranch.
    Play that which you feel is groovy, get down with your bad self, and shake your money maker if it makes sense for you to do so.

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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Absolutely beautiful! Congrats!

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Welcome to Buckeye country. My #55 just turned 9 years old. It gets louder and fuller every year. A fantastic mandolin.

    Bob

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    I had the pleasure of meeting Pete and playing one of his mandolins - two good experiences!
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

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    Registered User Scotter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    It's nice to know that there are other long time Buckeye owners here and now I'm even more excited to finally get the thing in my hands. I'd also like to see more photos of fidlrtynan's A style Buckeye.
    Play that which you feel is groovy, get down with your bad self, and shake your money maker if it makes sense for you to do so.

  14. #10

    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Congratulations! You’ll love it. Working with Pete and owning a Buckeye have been some of the best experiences in my life.

  15. #11

    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotter View Post
    It's nice to know that there are other long time Buckeye owners here and now I'm even more excited to finally get the thing in my hands. I'd also like to see more photos of fidlrtynan's A style Buckeye.
    Sorry, Scotter, I hadn't stopped playing long enough to take pictures! Your new mando is also a beautiful instrument; I may have tried it out for a minute or two. Pete had the kitchen table full of mandos. Here a a couple of closer looks at the A. Pete just started making A models three years ago, so this is his third. I think he may get it yet!Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #12
    Registered User Scotter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    A few photos of my new mandolin. Regardless of what you think of my choice in mandolins, you'll, no doubt, be impressed by my exquisite taste in straps.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Play that which you feel is groovy, get down with your bad self, and shake your money maker if it makes sense for you to do so.

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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Beautiful
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotter View Post
    A few photos of my new mandolin. Regardless of what you think of my choice in mandolins, you'll, no doubt, be impressed by my exquisite taste in straps.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    man, that looks like a million bucks!
    absolutely beautiful!
    d

  21. #15

    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotter View Post
    A few photos of my new mandolin. Regardless of what you think of my choice in mandolins, you'll, no doubt, be impressed by my exquisite taste in straps.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Well, Scotter, you've had a few days with it; how the does Buckeye sound treat your ears? Sometimes I don't make it all the way through a tune because I just like to hear those notes ring out, and I just pick or strum it to listen to the voice of the instrument without me trying to make it do anything in particular. I've never done that with any of my other mandolins. It sounds a little crazy, but if you're lucky enough to get a mandolin that turns your head like that, you know it's a keeper!

  22. #16
    Registered User Scotter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Well, I'm not sure I'm truly qualified to give a decent review especially once you learn more about the reviewer. In other words, I don't think I've got enough experience playing multiple f5 styles to really have the same kind of experience that you describe for yourself. First, I'd like to give a little background about myself which may or may not help future readers get a better understanding of my remarks on The Buckeye.

    I've been playing guitar off and on for over 40 years. For the past 30 years I've really focused myself on songwriting which peaked when I moved to a small Gulf coast town in Florida that featured a weekly open jam. It was there that I really learned to project and learned to sing loudly in front of large crowds. It was also there that my songwriting really took off as I fell deep into a community of local poets and songwriters. The quest for volume resulted in my love of resonator guitars with my 1931 National Duolian being my most gigged instrument followed by a Beltona Blue Soprano Resonator ukulele which I sort of became known for in those parts. Back in those days I stretched out into other instruments like harp-in-rack harmonica, banjo, Charango, and just about anything else with frets and strings. In general, I've never been too finicky about my instruments and have found that my fingers can adjust to just about anything with time as my Duolian has almost non-existent frets which I play more in standard tuning than Open G. And, I tend to tweak the tuning depending upon where the capo is placed and what chord forms I'm using. Most other guitar players can't stand it (except for a buddy who took it to The Fretboard Journal Summit here in San Diego a few years back) but I love it's (for rather than despite) limitations. In general, I sing loudly and attack the strings on my instruments and am not known for subtly.

    My interest in Mandolin has waxed and waned over the years. My Hodson Djangolin was mostly used for chopping out swing chords in support of my singing old jazz standards as well as the occasional lead in an open jam. I bonded with David Hodson through e-mail and he often sent me home-burned CDs of Django recordings, strings, and picks and refused payment for such items. My Beltona Blue Soprano Reso-Uke often got employed for mando chop chords in open jams before I could get around to uncasing the Hodson.

    I ultimately moved away from Florida and kind of fell out of playing music. I've only been slowly getting back into it over the past few years. A few years back, I picked up an Eastman 515 on a trip to Oregon (no sales tax!) after first being seduced by a tone bar braced L5 Guitar copy by "The Loar." As I started to understand more about archtop guitars and how they like to be played and how they function within an ensemble setting, I gained a better understanding of how a tone bar braced mandolin might fit within my arsenal. Like a lot of my instruments, some of them have gone for long periods in the case as I focus on something else which is generally songwriting these days so I usually play whatever serves the tune. And most of what I use to write is either the Duolian or the L5. When I first got the Eastman I wrote a tune on it called "The Taterbug Blues" and mostly played jazz/swing standards on it. About six months ago, I got it out again and wrote another tune that I'm really proud of. It was then that I decided that after all of these years I should probably really learn how to play mandolin.

    So, I joined the San Diego Bluegrass Society and had been using the Eastman to study traditional bluegrass mandolin technique. Somehow, I stumbled upon Pete Hart and his Buckeye Mandolins through the Mandocafe. I'd never heard of Buckeye mandolins before that but Lauren Price and Barry Mitterhoff have played them so I thought I'd give it a try. I grew up in Cowtown on Planet oHIo and as a two time graduamut of that fine egalitarian institution of brute force and higher learnin' I couldn't imagine playing anything else anyway. And, my past two experiences with luthier built instruments have been awesome. I thought I would be having him build me one next year but #87, recently built for Timmy Jones, the talented mandolin player and singer songwriter for Carolina Blue Band, was then offered up to me. Built originally to Loar specs with a 1 and 1/16 flat fretboard, Pete replaced it with a 1 and 5/32 radiused fretboard and added a pickguard since the lower f-hole of my Eastman has been showing pick wear. By the way, consider me a new fan of Timmy Jones with his amazing singing and songwriting! Why isn't he famous yet?

    So, having said all of that, I initially was a little disappointed. It is absolutely gorgeous and meticulously built. It has the tightest grained maple that I've ever seen on any instrument. With toneguard on, it was quieter than my Eastman without a toneguard. It has since opened up now that I'm playing it everyday and using it to take Matt Flinner's on-line Doublestop Intensive course. So, yeah, it's now pretty damn loud. The tone of The Buckeye is far superior than the Eastman. I ended cranking up the bridge on the treble side a bit and that helped too. While I've yet to play this one in an ensemble setting I'm guessing that it will likely cut through the mix better than the Eastman. It's chop is improving each day and only in the past few days have I finally started to prefer it to the Eastman for this. I'm guessing that this is probably more to do with my technique though. I still find that I can fly through arpeggios faster on the Eastman but that may be due to the fact that I am more used to the thicker neck of the Eastman compared to the much finer and thinner neck of The Buckeye. I'm guessing that with a little more time playing and adapting to the neck of The Buckeye I won't notice any difference. In general, I now prefer playing The Buckeye as the tones that it produces are amazing and I admit to being a little slow in recognizing that. But, then again, I can remember a time when I thought that resonator and archtop guitars were stupid and I can only imagine what my review of said instruments would have read like back then.

    Pete Hart has been incredibly patient with me and thinks that I may need to have a few frets leveled on the treble side which he plans to do when I fly back home to Planet oHIo in a few months to attend the Sierra Hull workshop at Fur Peace Ranch. I'll be buying Pete breakfast at the local IHOP too.

    Anyway, I hope that the above helps put some perspective on my Buckeye mandolin experience. I may never play like Timmy Jones but it's my hope that I can carry on and add my own mojo to Buckeye #87.
    Play that which you feel is groovy, get down with your bad self, and shake your money maker if it makes sense for you to do so.

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    Registered User Scotter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    I know I wrote a lot in the last post but I really was just trying to give some perspective on my lack of perspective. Despite playing music for over 40 years, I feel like I learn something new either about music or about myself every time I pick up an instrument. I think a good instrument can help correct misconceptions about how it should or shouldn't be judged. I mean, loudness isn't everything, is it?

    One thing that really sticks out about The Buckeye is that it can get really loud before distorting compared to the Eastman. Last night, I found myself really impressed with how loud its become while practicing "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" for Matt Flinner's class. So, yeah, I'm really starting to like The Buckeye.
    Play that which you feel is groovy, get down with your bad self, and shake your money maker if it makes sense for you to do so.

  24. #18

    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    On the face of it, loudness might not be the top of the tonal list, but the first time you get buried in a mix of fiddles and banjos, it will vault to the top of desired traits. The best have a fine balance between tone and volume. Most of us will have a limited exposure to multiple mandolins for compareson. You've done an admirable description of your experience.
    Silverangel A
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  25. #19
    Registered User Scotter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    On the face of it, loudness might not be the top of the tonal list, but the first time you get buried in a mix of fiddles and banjos, it will vault to the top of desired traits. The best have a fine balance between tone and volume. Most of us will have a limited exposure to multiple mandolins for compareson. You've done an admirable description of your experience.
    Yeah, that's part of why I wanted to give a description of my experience of ensemble playing as the quest for volume lead me to resonator and archtop guitars. When playing my Duolian, my fingerpicking WON'T get lost in a sea of Dreadnaught owners with bad jam etiquette. And, I've learned that archtop guitars often sound even better when playing with others compared to solo. I'd like to think that I've acquired an ear for this sort of thing and I'm mostly certain that The Buckeye will cut through the mix. I'll give my honest opinion once I've had a chance to put it to the test.

    In the mean time, last night it occurred to me that I think I can raise the bass side of the bridge a bit as well considering my heavy handed pick attack. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Lastly, most of my favorite instruments are the ones that require a little effort in learning how to get good tones out of them. While I admire the nature of x-braced flat top instruments in that they tend to make even bad playing still sound pretty good, there is something really rewarding about an instrument that forces you to be a better player in order to get good tones out of it. It is this lesson that has made me slower to praise or condemn upon first impression and, hence, why I really try to qualify my comments here.

    Pete Hart's luthiery and craftsmanship is exceptional. I'm absolutely certain that he can rectify any issues if a fault is found with the instrument. It remains to be determined if the same can be said for the player.
    Play that which you feel is groovy, get down with your bad self, and shake your money maker if it makes sense for you to do so.

  26. #20
    Eschews Obfuscation mugbucket's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Excellent mando & story.

    Here's a song to work on...





    Edit: Not sure if the vid upload is working
    https://youtu.be/xzSfCv3u3d0
    Despite the high cost of living, it still remains popular...

  27. #21
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Quote Originally Posted by mugbucket View Post
    Excellent mando & story.

    Here's a song to work on...





    Edit: Not sure if the vid upload is working
    https://youtu.be/xzSfCv3u3d0
    I actually do Chimes and Carmen Ohio on the Duolian. The chimes can be done using harmonics and then you can just fingerpick the chords while singing the lyrics to Carmen Ohio. But it might be a fun exercise to work out The Buckeye Battle Cry using double stops.
    Play that which you feel is groovy, get down with your bad self, and shake your money maker if it makes sense for you to do so.

  28. #22
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    I wanted to give an update on The Buckeye Mandolin #87 originally built for Timmy Jones of Carolina Blue Band. This is a long read so you might want to grab your favorite beverage and settle in. See new photos below.

    I ended up taking it with me to Fur Peace Ranch for the Sierra Hull workshop back in September. It was my first trip back to Planet oHIo in almost 20 years. I flew into Cowtown and I had a nice day walking around campus visiting old haunts. I can't believe how much North Campus has changed. And, the renovations to the Student Union and Main Library were amazing. I remember the Student Union as a place of noise and chaos but it was so quiet as everyone sat staring at their phones and laptops!

    Pete Hart and I had been in contact and I had planned to stop by his place to have him take a look at #87 because I was still struggling with getting used to it compared to my Eastman 515. It had opened up nicely since first receiving it and it's tone was amazing. But it was harder to play than the Eastman and I felt like I really had to work to get good clean tones from the treble strings. I felt like my fingers were stumbling into each other when I played anything down near the treble side. Alas, I didn't get into Fur Peace Ranch until Friday morning and the workshop schedule left little time to drive out to Pete's. Pete offered to drive out to the ranch and let me borrow one of his mandolins while he worked on mine but I was reluctant to start the workshop with an entirely different mandolin so we ultimately made plans for me to stop out at his place once the FPR weekend was finished.

    Pete, Linda and Zoe (an awesome Boston Terrier) welcomed me into their home late Monday morning and served to remind me how much I missed good old fashioned midwestern hospitality. Pete is like the mischievously humorous uncle that I wished that I had. I'm a registered Independent but I feared that my politics might be considered bleeding heart liberal in comparison. I'm also a pescatarian by proxy (my wife doesn't eat meat). I'm also a born again devout agnostic but I was all too happy to down two sandwiches of barbecued pulled pork after praying with the Harts. What could be better than talking mandolins, eating great food, and sharing laughter with such good company? And Pete is a veritable living walking talking encyclopedia of Bluegrass. Did you know that he hosts a three hour radio show on Bluegrass every Sunday on WOUB?

    After lunch, Pete let me play his personal mandolin while he looked over #87. I immediately liked the neck on his and remarked that it felt a lot like the neck of one of my FPR campmate's Red Diamond. Pete's personal mandolin has a nice chunky neck and, as a long time guitar player, he himself preferred a 1 and 3/16 nut. He casually mentioned that he could put a new neck on #87 but the whole idea of doing so just seemed anathema to my strongly held convictions towards instrument stewardship. I mean, the thin three piece highly flamed maple neck on #87 is gorgeous and I'm sure someone would prefer it as it was originally built, right? So, I shrugged off the idea and he led me to his downstairs workshop where he made some measurements and minor tweaks to #87. He also showed me his stash of tonewoods and the ones he had picked out for what is going to be a very special #100.

    I think I must have spent close to three hours with Pete talking mandolins, Bluegrass, deer hunting, and college football. He even gave me a pen that was made from the same maple tree that he uses to make the majority of his mandolins which I now keep in my mandolin case along with #87. I then drove back to Cowtown where my old college roommate, Eugene (Weirdo a pizzico of Mandocafe fame), put me up for the night but only after doing some pickin', grinnin', and beer-drinkin'.

    Back home on the left coast, I found my fingers actually hurting while practicing what Sierra taught us in class. While I am getting older, and perhaps someday to be expected, this is something that has never happened to me in all of my years of playing stringed instruments. Even my vintage Duolian with almost non-existent frets and a 16 gauge E-string didn't hurt my hands this way. I found myself thinking of this as I remembered campmate, Doc Dennis, saying that he took up Mandolin because arthritis had made it harder for him to play guitar. Switching out to my Eastman 515 mandolin for practice, I found that the issue seemed to go away. While The Buckeye #87 sounded superior, I was finding that my fingers just weren't adapting to the thin neck with wide 1 and 5/32 inch nut and fretboard. Crosspicking exercises in particular were murder on the fingers of my left hand. (It reminded me of those wide thin necked Ibanez guitars back in the late 80s and early 90's. I'll take a Louisville Slugger for a guitar neck any day over one of those.) What's worse is that I started to find myself perusing the Mandocafe classifieds for something else.

    I should mention that just before deciding to get #87, I had made a weekend trip to Phoenix and visited The Mandolin Store and Acoustic Vibes. Of all of the mandolins that I played that weekend, I was most tempted by a 1 and 3/16 wide nut Gibson at TMS and a 1 and 1/8 nut Weber Rawhide at Acoustic Vibes. I found myself thinking of selling the Buckeye and getting the Rawhide but checked to see that it had sold.

    But, then, almost as if on cue, a text from Pete popped up on my phone that read something like, "How are you and #87 getting along?" It really is amazing how tenacious Pete was in trying to make me happy. I mean, it seems he could have just been happy to complete the resale of #87 from Timmy Jones to yours truly and just be rid of me. But he didn't. #87 is just gorgeous and sounds beautiful but how do you tell its maker that its second owner is considering bailing on it too? What followed was the beginning of another long back and forth with me initially telling him how much I liked the neck and fretboard of his personal mandolin to me finally admitting that I was considering selling #87 and maybe have him build me another F5. He replied something along the lines of, "Well, Scott, since you like the sound of #87, then I can just put a new neck on it for you and ultimately it will cost you less than if you try to sell it and order a new one from me." I don't know why I was so adhered to the stewardship concept but, after a lot of thought, I replied asking about the time frame and costs involved for #87 to get a new neck. While I won't give the exact specifics, in deference to my friendship with Pete, I'll just say that I thought the terms were more than fair and reasonable.

    The back and forth with the luthier of your stringed instrument can be a lot like learning how the sausage is really made. Some of us who enjoy eating the delicious sausage may never eat it again once they know its secrets. While it can be really fascinating to see photos of your beloved stringed instrument in repair, it can also be a source of anxiety in the form of self doubt and second guessing. I suggest that some of us should just opt out of this part and just let the luthier do their magic and enjoy the final result. Texted photos from Pete of #87, in various stages of disrepair, began showing up on my phone within days of shipping it back to Planet oHIo. While I'm tempted to post a few of them here, I should say it is not for the faint of heart.

    Pete asked me if I wanted another three piece neck like Timmy Jones had originally ordered? Consider going back to the top of this thread and looking at the photos of the original neck with some of the tightest flamed maple I've ever seen on an instrument. Ultimately, I decided that I cared more about sound and playability than looks and that I was willing to trust in him in regards to whatever is best in helping to make that happen. I replied accordingly and Pete followed up with photos of a one piece maple neck that seemed to show the tightly flamed maple on only half of the neck. More self doubt and second guessing occurred but you should know that I do know how the sausage is made and I still enjoy eating it (when my wife isn't around). Pete was more than patient in answering my questions and addressing my frequent second guessing and personal angst. (It should be noted that Pete patiently made no less than two fretboards when he was first converting #87 from the Timmy Jones ordered 1 and 1/16 nut to my initial 1 and 5/32 nut preference.) It's wild sometimes for me to think about how I felt when it was all going down but life is an adventure that sometimes requires a leap of faith or two along the way.

    A texted video of Pete playing #87 with its new neck sent to my buddy who borrowed my National Duolian for the Fretboard Journal Summit was replied with one word: "Loud!" Pete kept the updates coming with comments like "I think you're really going to like this one." Right, like what else was he going to say? Photos of it nearing completion left me stupefied but much more at ease as I awaited its return.

    The experience of it's second coming couldn't have been more different than the first. Upon first tune up after arrival a few months ago, I couldn't get over how loud it was. A video of Sharon Gilchrist talking about her Gilchrist mandolin taking awhile to open up after a fretboard replacement had set my mind at ease after receiving #87 the first time. And it was my experience that it really did take awhile to open up.


    Continued in the next post...
    Play that which you feel is groovy, get down with your bad self, and shake your money maker if it makes sense for you to do so.

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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Not only was it loud upon first tune up, but it sounded like it had more bass with the mids being rich and gorgeous like never before. While before it had the woody and bright sound of a tone bar braced top, it now sounded loud and complex like that on an x-braced archtop instrument. I texted a few updates to Pete letting him know that he was correct in that I really like this one but that I was a little perplexed in how it could sound even better than the last version without the need for breaking in and opening up. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I was certainly curious as to how this could be. What else is different, I wondered? Did he change it to an x-braced top? Was the neck angle different? Pete said that the thicker neck only resulted in one other difference in that it now required a taller bridge. But as far as he could tell, he thought that the thicker neck possibly allowed more vibrations to transfer to the body. He conveyed that he was a little surprised by the outcome as well. This reminded me of a time when a musician pal of mine who sold blown glass trinkets to tourists in Florida once showed me some of his nicer pieces. "Wow," I said in amazement as I admired the fine detail and mastery required to make them, "these are art!" To which he deadpan replied, "Yeah, sometimes I make art and sometimes I just make stuff." Of course, I now feel blessed that the third attempt at #87 is the former and not the later.

    OK, so we've all read read reviews here before on Mandocafe and other forums where the new owner is thrilled with their new purchase. Many of those reviews should be read with a healthy amount of skepticism considering what we now know of cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, and other heuristics. Of course, those same forces are at play with many of the negative reviews as well. I'm not saying that I'm so evolved or superior to not be susceptible to them. I mean, if we're being truly honest with ourselves we all must admit that none of us are immune to these effects. It's my sincere desire to openly and honestly periodically update this thread with my thoughts on #87 as I imagine that they may change with time. But, damn, I can't imagine them changing all that much. This mandolin rawwkks!

    The finger fatigue that I once felt playing it is now gone. I love the new neck and I now practice and play for longer periods than ever before. Crosspicking and arpeggio exercises are now just plain fun. I now refer to the maker of #87 as Dr. Pete Hart because I think that anyone who has the knowledge and skills to do what he can do with wood should have the title of Doctor. My Eastman 515 is a nice mandolin. I think it could be argued that it may be one of the best mandolins for the money currently available. And while its made of the same materials as The Buckeye Mandolin, I never thought Maple, Spruce, and Rosewood could sound this good. Hyperbole? Perhaps, but right now I couldn't be happier as this is The Buckeye Mandolin that I wanted from the start. I'm in love with this instrument like no other acoustic instrument that I've ever owned. Sometimes I can't wait to get home to play it. And the time that it's taken to write this update has only robbed me of precious time that I could have spent playing #87.

    I felt it important to take the time to relay some of these thoughts for those of you out there who've been thinking about making the leap of faith in ordering a luthier built instrument. We live in an absolute Golden Age of acoustic instruments with embarrassing riches of available instruments from well made affordable PacRim instruments to high end factory built boutique brands to modern day luthiers making some of the finest instruments ever made. In this case, The Buckeye Mandolin #87, built by Pete Hart of Woodside Instruments of Guysville, Ohio, went through three iterations involving four different fingerboards and two necks and two bridges before it found a satisfied owner. If that isn't dedicated customer service and committed instrument stewardship then I just don't know what is. I can't say that all modern luthiers are so dedicated but I can say that I consider Dr. Pete to be pretty damn exceptional whether or not I decide to adopt him as the mischievously humorous uncle that I wished that I had.

    I hope y'all enjoyed this review. A special thanks to Timmy Jones of Carolina Blue Band who originally commissioned #87 from Dr. Pete. If you hadn't decided to return it, I imagine that I would be a little less happier than I am now. And, you can now count me as a fan of your amazing songwriting and musicianship as I probably wouldn't know who you are had I not decided to get this particular Buckeye Mandolin. Why aren't you famous yet, damn it? Seriously, you're amazing.

    -Scotty

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    Play that which you feel is groovy, get down with your bad self, and shake your money maker if it makes sense for you to do so.

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    Eugene 

  32. #24
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    I have wanted a Buckeye mandolin for awhile, just because I am a born and raised Ohioan, and I think it would be appropriate. You may have pushed me to make the jump, and pull the trigger on the next A-style one I see, as I prefer A-style to F-style.

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  34. #25
    Registered User archerscreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Brought home a Buckeye!

    Cool story and congrats. And although I graduated from HS in Ohio and went to college in Ohio before transferring to LSU and then UW, I've grown to detest OSU to the point where I couldn't enjoy anything called a Buckeye. Haha. I wish the name would change. The Badger has a nice ring to it.

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