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Thread: Ratliff R5 at Morgan Music

  1. #1
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Ratliff R5 at Morgan Music

    On Saturday, I played a variety of mandolins at Morgan Music (Lebanon, Missouri) - a Northfield F5S (with beautiful flame!) (but it was already spoken for), a used MT2 with varnish, a new MT2 torrefied, some other Collings as well as Eastmans, Gibsons and Webers up to about $10k range. Most of the instruments sounded pretty similar to me. Good volume, loud. The Ratliff R5 stood out from the crowd with a gorgeous smooth tone that I've not heard before. I'm still trying to educate my ear, but if I were buying purely on pretty sound, that mando would be at the top of the list of instruments I've played. Fit and finish as well as playability were very good, but that sound made me pull the mandolin down several additional times.

    http://www.morganmusic.com/usamandol...tegory=4426345

    (By the way, that was my first visit to Morgan Music. Excellent store if you're into guitar/banjo/fiddle/mandolin. I've never seen so many banjos in one place, lol.)
    Doug Brock
    Eastman MD505, MD315
    Martin HD-28, D-18GE
    CA Guitars "Bluegrass Performer" (carbon fiber)

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Ratliff R5 at Morgan Music

    If you’re not buying on sound, what is your important criteria? I get it that folks may want a different color or finish or the the neck playability doesn’t suit them, but isn’t the sound the reason you play an instrument?

    Btw, I got my Ratliff A Countryboy from them, great instrument even if it’s not a sunburst finish with hand applied varnish.
    Play it like you mean it.

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  5. #3
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ratliff R5 at Morgan Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    If you’re not buying on sound, what is your important criteria?
    I mostly play unamplified with some folks who play their banjo/guitars loud and hard. I understand that the prettiest mandolin sound might well not be the best for that situation. If I had the money for more than one step-up mandolin, I would have grabbed that Ratfliff and tried it out with the band. If it didn't cut well enough, then I'd have a great-sounding mandolin for solo or home playing and then go out again looking for a mandolin with a better cutting sound.
    Doug Brock
    Eastman MD505, MD315
    Martin HD-28, D-18GE
    CA Guitars "Bluegrass Performer" (carbon fiber)

  6. #4
    R-5, MT & A1 ('12. '13) lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ratliff R5 at Morgan Music

    My Ratliff has a distinctively bluegrass tone. The flame and finish quality is superior to other F-5's I have owned, including the Gibson F9 and Nashville Era Flatiron Festival. I recommend the Ratliff, but I have owned two Collings A5's and have one now; and you can't go wrong ever with Collings! YMMV!

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  8. #5
    Registered User jhammond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ratliff R5 at Morgan Music

    I love my 1998 Ratliff. Great sound and craftsmanship. Only gets better with time and Audey is a great guy. He was great and happy to talk over the phone when I bought mine. Check out his videos on youtube too.
    James

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  10. #6
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ratliff R5 at Morgan Music

    Kevin over at Mandomutt has a pretty one used:

    http://www.mandomutt.com/products-pa...011-ratliff-r5
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5

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