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Thread: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

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    Default Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    Hi, Im curious how loud these Montana (not Nashville) Flatirons are? Thanks folks.

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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    are you worried about the integrated part that connects fingerboard extension to spruce top? Lots of threads about that

    Hard to generalize, i think the first Montana archtops were 1983, and they continued making them into the 90's (at least). Look up the youtube interview videos by Ren Ferguson (there's at least a couple) for some company history
    Last edited by gtani7; Aug-01-2019 at 1:12am.
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    I have a couple. They are surprisingly loud. One of the gents at Elderly called my first one “a little cannon”. I like them.

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    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    Quote Originally Posted by lespaul_79 View Post
    Hi, Im curious how loud these Montana (not Nashville) Flatirons are? Thanks folks.
    I have a 1994 and it is plenty loud.It is louder now that I stripped it and refinished it.It was in bad shape and one day I spilled shellac on it.The old finish fell right off with paint remover.

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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    I had one for years as my backup. It wasn't as loud as my F5G but then again I didn't have the same gauge strings on it. It was still plenty loud.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    Like it almost always is, the matter comes down to the individual instrument. Fifteen/twenty years ago there was a really hot band from Montana making the rounds here in the Northwest. When I first saw them in concert, I was disappointed in how puny the Flatiron-F mandolin sounded (I could hardly hear the mandolin solos, let alone any mandolin back-up). As I strained to listen, the mandolinist sounded like he was playing some really cool stuff, so I purchased their CD just so I could hear the mandolin. Unfortunately the CD was no better than the concert in terms of the pitiful mandolin volume (and tone).

    Over the next few years, I would catch the group in concert and at contra dances, always with the same disappointing tiny-mandolin sound (same Flatiron F), despite the mandolinist’s excellent playing. Once I considered telling him that his playing was wonderful, but that no one would ever know that, unless he got himself a different mandolin (decided that this, coming from a stranger, would be out-of-line). Eventually I lost track of the band, and don’t even remember their name now.

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    Registered User Steve Lavelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    No one ever seems to strain to hear my '93, that I bought new. I play with TI flat wounds and a 1.5 or 2mm thick pick. I seldom play with banjos or fiddles, mostly with too many guitars (2-4) and a bass in all acoustic jams once a month. For gigs it's never an issue because there are 2 piezos attached to the sound board.
    Steve Lavelle
    '93 Flatiron Performer F

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    Registered User Boge Quinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    You won't go wrong with a Montana Flatiron.

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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    I had a hard time adjusting to lack of volume when I went on a two day store binge playing everything I could. They all had less output than what I've been playing. The tones were lovely. Especially the Ellis, which seemed to just give more when asked. A friend who plays out a lot said he loved my mandolin because he wasn't always leaning into it. Now it's a good sounding instrument, but not nearly as resonant as the average Collings or A Northfield Big Mon.

    That Ellis had it all (sigh).
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    Quote Originally Posted by Potosimando View Post
    Like it almost always is, the matter comes down to the individual instrument. Fifteen/twenty years ago there was a really hot band from Montana making the rounds here in the Northwest. When I first saw them in concert, I was disappointed in how puny the Flatiron-F mandolin sounded (I could hardly hear the mandolin solos, let alone any mandolin back-up). As I strained to listen, the mandolinist sounded like he was playing some really cool stuff, so I purchased their CD just so I could hear the mandolin. Unfortunately the CD was no better than the concert in terms of the pitiful mandolin volume (and tone).
    Over the next few years, I would catch the group in concert and at contra dances, always with the same disappointing tiny-mandolin sound (same Flatiron F), despite the mandolinist’s excellent playing. Once I considered telling him that his playing was wonderful, but that no one would ever know that, unless he got himself a different mandolin (decided that this, coming from a stranger, would be out-of-line). Eventually I lost track of the band, and don’t even remember their name now.

    If you couldn't hear the mandolin on a recording it wasn't the mandolin or the players fault.

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    I played one of those once at a music store and well my opinion it wasn't the bomb, they had it overpriced and it wasn't set-up the best! This was in Erie PA in maybe 2000-01 and I decided to buy an F5-G Gibson? That thing was set up bad also but after some tweaking it had a thunderous chop! Another I wish I had back but can't keep em all on that voyage of tonal bliss-or otherwise known as MAS!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    Curiosity bump... Looking at one for maybe $1900.

    I have a Northfield NF-S currently. So wondering... if they grass will be greener. Thanks folks.

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    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    1900 seems like a decent price, can you play it first? From what I've heard, it won't be better than the F5s, just different. $0.2
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    "Imagine life without mandolin. Now slap yourself! Never do it again!" -Gunnar Salyer

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    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flatiron Performer 1995/1996 volume?

    Oh, and I think you mean you wonder if the grass will be bluer....
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    "Imagine life without mandolin. Now slap yourself! Never do it again!" -Gunnar Salyer

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