Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

  1. #1
    Registered User Benski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    210

    Default Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    Does anyone have any first hand experience with a luthier for mandolin work (Florida scoop, fret ends, etc.) in or around New Jersey/New York City/Philadelphia that you can recommend? Last time I inquired about this was about 10 years ago and I'm assuming the roster has changed. Thanks and cheers.
    2005 DMM D-70321

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.191N -74.2W
    Posts
    22,485

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    Paul Unkert in Toms River.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Beautiful Salem County, NJ
    Posts
    1,487

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Paul Unkert in Toms River.
    +1 for Paul Unkert.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  4. #4
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    Also Troy Harris, Poughkeepsie, NY.

  5. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.191N -74.2W
    Posts
    22,485

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    That's kind of a hike.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    I gotta look up this Paul Unkert. I have heard the name dropped a few times. He's not far from me. It would be nice to have someone to refer clients to. Seldom, but every once in a while I need to refer to a specialist. The only place I know for serious classical luthery near me is in Phily and they are silly twisted expensive. If its a structural issue on an acoustic instrument, its not for me. I have a friend in Hopewell NJ, Curt Wilson, that I respect for acoustic guitars but he doesn't specialize in mandolins -- anything at all Gretsch and he's your guy for sure.

    I try to reach out to other craftsmen/luthiers/techs locally. Too often there is an ego or a competition problem. There's plenty of work to go around. I know my strengths and weaknesses and my buddy Curt has mojo for things that I wouldn't touch.

  7. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.191N -74.2W
    Posts
    22,485

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    Paul's a friend of mine. He's not a guy that uses the Internet so e-mail doesn't work well for contacting him. Paul doesn't specialize in mandolins but he's familiar with them. He's been around a long time.

    http://www.theoriginalguitarguy.com/

    Google his name, there are a few videos. Give him a call.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  8. #8
    Registered User rnjl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hudson Valley, New York
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    Hey don't mean to be off topic but I live in Poughkeepsie and have tried to contact Troy Harris a couple of times- he has never responded. Maybe my reputation for playing the wrong chords got around and he doesn't want to be associated with the likes of me?

  9. #9
    Registered User Troy Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Poughkeepsie, New York
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    This surprises me. I always respond to inquiries. I had an emergency in my family late last year. However, I thought that I followed up on all my emails. You may want to double-check to see if you have the correct contact information. The best way to contact me is by email through my website.
    About ten years ago I started working full-time as a restorer for a violin shop. The responsibility of the job requires most of my time. I do not take additional mandolin repair work. I want to focus on building mandolins with the limited time available outside of the violin work. Thank you.
    Best,
    Troy
    Troy Harris
    Harris Mandolins
    Visit me on facebook to see work in progress.
    Harris Mandolins facebook

  10. #10
    Registered User rnjl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hudson Valley, New York
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    Thank you Troy for reply. Must have been a technical glitch in my messages. Appreciate the clarification and hope to play your mandolins someday!

    Neal in Poughkeepsie

  11. #11
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Leer, Northern Germany
    Posts
    1,263

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    Ben, to avoid the clicking noise and scooping, you might also try a smaller pick; just saying. But of course, green light.

  12. #12
    Registered User Benski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    Hi Henry! Seems almost every mandolin that has been my main player for the past 50 years has either had a scooped, abbreviated or totally absent Florida. So, while I tried switching from a TAD60 to a more rounded TAD-3R 60, I can't seem to avoid hitting the dern thing...and it's right below the sweet spot for me, too. So while I am a purist at heart, I'm also enough of an engineer to have to embrace the "form follows function" approach...in the end, I guess I'm just an old dog and reorganizing my right hand technique is too much of a new trick at this late stage.

    Mike: thanks for the tip re: Paul. I called him and we had a great chat. Turns out we are both Eagle Scouts who went to the same camp as kids.

    Story at 11....

    Cheers.

  13. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Benski For This Useful Post:


  14. #13
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Leesburg, VA
    Posts
    904

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    Maybe also more a schlep than you want, but Brooklyn, and RetroFret? Make sure to go to the new location, 87 Luquer St, Brooklyn.
    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
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Rivera Clubster Royale Recording Head; Laney Cub 10 & Cab, Peavey Studio Pro

  15. #14
    Registered User Benski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: Mandolin Luthier Recommendations NY/NJ/PA

    Dave: thanks for the suggestion. The folks at Retrofret are good people. I got to Savannah today to visit my son and Randy Wood was kind enough to agree to do the work for me while I am here.

    Cheers and again, thanks.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •