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Thread: for people who don't have deep pockets.

  1. #1

    Default for people who don't have deep pockets.

    who makes the best sounding mandolin with that Gibson voice for 1k or less.

  2. #2
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    I've heard that Kentucky mandolins usually have a Gibson like tone
    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

  3. #3

    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    good morning Gunnar. but which model Kentucky has that sound that most sounds like a Gibson.

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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    So many variables. So many Gibson voices. You can still get good deals on A models from the teens for well under a grand if you're patient. They don't sound like Fs, but they do sound wonderful.

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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    You can occasionally find a Flatiron A-style (from when they were owned by Gibson) or a Summit (whose builder Paul Schneider used to work for Gibson) at the top end of that budget if you monitor the classifieds and act decisively when one surfaces.
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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    You can occasionally find a Flatiron A-style (from when they were owned by Gibson) or a Summit (whose builder Paul Schneider used to work for Gibson) at the top end of that budget if you monitor the classifieds and act decisively when one surfaces.
    NFI, but I happen to know that there is a '93 Festival A for sale at Guitar Center right now for $1079. Been keeping an eye on it for a few weeks now but I'm really not in a position to take advantage of it.

    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Fl...-A-Mandolin.gc

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    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    good morning Gunnar. but which model Kentucky has that sound that most sounds like a Gibson.
    No clue, I've no personal experience with Gibson mandolins, I'm just repeating what I've heard, which is that Kentucky mandolins have a more traditional Gibson type sound and Eastmans have a more modern sound
    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 stephl's Avatar
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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    I have a Kentucky KM150 .... But having never heard a Gibson in person before, I can't really help verify.

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    Gunnar 

  11. #9

    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    Iíd avoid that Flatiron as it has an integrated fingerboard. Those can be had for cheaper and in my opinion donít sound as good. A Kentucky KM900 Or 950 used should set you straight or a flatiron A from approx 99-2001 will be made in the Gibson factory. Recently there was one in the classifieds for under 1k.

  12. #10

    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    I have an Kentucky km-805, does that have the so called Gibson sound ?.

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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    Agree with Josh. KM 1000s can occasionally be had used around that price point as well.

    Howard Morris is making some nice looking mandolins around that price point, but Iím not sure if his are voiced to be in the Gibson tone camp or more ďmodernĒ (think Collings, Eastman) camp. If someone whoís played a Morris doesnít chime in try emailing or calling him. Though Iíve not yet purchased one of his, Iíve corresponded with him a couple of times, and he seems like a very pleasant and helpful gentleman.

    Used Silverangel Econo models can be found around that range. I love mine, and havenít been able to talk myself into selling it despite mostly playing my Kelley A5 now. It falls into the traditional camp, IMO, when compared to a Collings MT and an Eastman 315, but isnít exactly Gibson tone, as the SA has a better bass response than Gibsonís Iíve played. Ken, too, is very pleasant to deal with. Good luck in your search!
    Chuck

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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    People without deep pockets have many options. If you're looking for that Gibson sound look for an older A-9 in the brown finish. They sometimes sell for not much more than you're talking about and I'm surprised we haven't had a chorus of "Well, my Shmergel has that Gibson sound!" When I bought my F-5G several years ago at Mandolin Bros. it wasn't as much the sound of the thing as it was the woof I felt in my chest when I chopped a G chord. I've owned Flatirons that weren't as robust. That doesn't mean I wouldn't buy another brand, buy the best you can afford. All of us chase an elusive sound until we find it. Heavier strings, different picks, a Tone-gard, they can all change the way the mandolin sounds. Setup is everything but you have to go out and play mandolins to understand what it is you're looking for.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    And I should add, if you can't tell the difference between different brands and price ranges consider yourself extremely lucky.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    I should just buy this $899.00 Gibson A-9 myself but I'm looking for two other instruments right now.

    https://reverb.com/item/25996761-gib..._source=google
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  19. #15

    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    I went to TMS on just such a quest. Played the Kentucky 900. Very nice, but not a Gibson. So far in both my guitar and mandolin experience, nothing sounds like a Gibson but a Gibson. The F9s I played did Gibson in spades.

    If you can settle for just an outstanding mandolin value, get a used Silverangel.
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    Registered User Willem's Avatar
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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    Howard Morris builds a wonderful mandolin. His A5's are $995 new. I would characterize them as Gibson-esque, but definitely having their own tonal identity. Very dry and woody (with great low end) as a whole. I have a mandolin being built by Matt Ruhland for more than 3x the price as we speak, but my Morris isn't leaving my possession any time soon (if ever). Howard is indeed a great guy, very easy to work with, and will stand behind his work for his or your life time.

  22. #17

    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    I like that, very dry & woody. that also works for some banjos.

  23. #18

    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    In the $400-1000 price range, there is no substitute for playing the instrument and getting to know it. I've had Gibsons and Webers come in for setups that were really not very impressive, and $300 Washburns come in that sounded amazing. Wood instruments are naturally variable, so it's a search for an individual instrument, not a brand that you're really after. Good luck and have fun!

  24. #19

    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    I've just had a two day mandolin playing binge of several major brands. My findings? At this time, the only mandolin that stands out as worthy of my money is the used Ellis at Gryphon. I just don't have that mush worthy money. I played Collings, Northfield, and Weber mostly. They were good mandolins all, but what I have already is good mandolins.

    I'd try to find every Eastman 315 and 515 I could, and a Kentucky 900 or better. Chose from those. Easier said than done. But once in a while a 315 will just jump out from the pack.
    Silverangel A
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  25. #20
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    If you can settle for just an outstanding mandolin value, get a used Silverangel.

    Even a new Silverangel Econo A can be had for only a few hundred clams over you $1000 budget.

    Mine has been a dream! Completely custom, plus added pickup for right around $1500, which was a stretch for me, but I kept saving and got there!
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    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    I think you are best served by going to play mandolins to see what you like.
    All instruments are different, even from the same maker.
    Some Gibsons don't have that "Gibson" sound.
    Some Gibsons are awesome, and some stink.
    You really have to play a bunch of mandolins to find what sounds good to you in real life.

    You might find that you actually like a different kind of sound when you are playing.
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  28. #22

    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    Have you played a bad Harvey era mandolin?

    Gibson certainly has had a long history of inconsistent quality, but I can't recall anyone saying they played a bad one recently.

    I could tell you a thing or two about 60s J 45s though. Two in ten are great.
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    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I should just buy this $899.00 Gibson A-9 myself but I'm looking for two other instruments right now.

    https://reverb.com/item/25996761-gib..._source=google
    No year ?It looks just like my 1994 Flatiron(with intergrated fretboard)I spent four hours playing mandolins at Mandolin Bros. and the Flatiron sounded best.And the same price as a lot of the Gibsonís.I did really like the Gibson mandocello.

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinstew View Post
    No year ?It looks just like my 1994 Flatiron(with intergrated fretboard)I spent four hours playing mandolins at Mandolin Bros. and the Flatiron sounded best.And the same price as a lot of the Gibson’s.I did really like the Gibson mandocello.
    Look more closely at the A-9 on Reverb, it does not have an integrated fingerboard. I used to own a first generation A-9 like this one. It had plenty of bark and tone that one associates with Gibson. I believe they had (still do?) a Corian nut that was rather sharp at the edges. I had to do a little filing to smooth out but no big deal.
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  32. #25

    Default Re: for people who don't have deep pockets.

    Mike did you buy it ?. we won't tell your wife. your secret is safe on this web site. 899.00 div 12 = 74.91 a month.

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