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Thread: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

  1. #26

    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Gary Vessel, perhaps? I know there are a couple nice ones on the market or were just a couple of days ago.

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  3. #27
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Good luck having Mike K build a Nugget A! Maybe things have changed, but 3 years ago he told me he wasn't taking orders and was going to build according to his whims from time to time. He said to watch Elderly and Carter's. He will put you on his list and let you know via email when he gets a used one in to set up and sell. Be aware that there are about 20 people on the list... so if you are on that list and get an email from him, be prepared to answer fast!

  4. #28
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Dang! Sorry for your loss, and congratulations on your new expendable income. As others have stated, a trip to Nashville is in order. Gruhnís, Carterís, Cotten, and Artisan Guitars will give you a great education. There are many fine builders mentioned above, and all are mentioned for a reason. But, there are many fine builders out there who arenít garnering top prices yet...Skip Kelley comes to mind (cuz I own an A5 he built, and it compares very favorably to some 5-10K mandolins Iíve played), but there are certainly others. Or maybe youíll discover that a Red Diamond or Giacomel floats your boat (theyíre 2 in the 13K range that haunt me still)...

    I tend to overthink these things, but go play a ton, as you may be surprised what you really like. Then go back a day later and play those select few again and see how your initial impressions hold up. If you find the one, snag it. If youíre not sure, then wait...

    Of course, getting a custom Nugget would be a dream come true for sure!!
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  5. #29
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by dang View Post
    Letís say, totally hypothetically, I inherited money I didnít expect and have no other pressing needs to spend it on.
    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    Dang! Sorry for your loss, and congratulations on your new expendable income.
    CES: Dang is talking hypothetically. Not sure what his loss is.
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  6. #30
    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    "guess the real hypothetical part is do I want to spend that much on an instrument! Lol

    And I guess the real story is when my grandma died, she left each grandkid money and I saved most of it, but spent a little on my first good guitar.

    My aunt has now passed and it kinda seems appropriate to spend it on my ďlastĒ mandolin.

    Before this happened I was saving up for an A-style Ellis or Apitius I was thinking I would custom order with a wide neck. Perhaps the only difference is now a nugget is in the runnings too?
    '

  7. #31
    Registered User Jeff Budz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    If I had your kind of $$$ to blow on a mandolin Iíd go with a Gibson DMM. After all, only a Gibson is good enough.

  8. #32
    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Budz View Post
    If I had your kind of $$$ to blow on a mandolin I’d go with a Gibson DMM. After all, only a Gibson is good enough.
    If you hanker for a Nugget, no Gibson short of a Loar or Fern would appease that hunger....

  9. #33
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Thanks for all the replies, and my apologies for the confusion about the hypothetical part. I did want to say ďmy friend came into some money...Ē but I felt the instruments I have and my need for a wide neck should be included for completeness of consideration.

    My aunt did pass, and I realized thatís an important part of this equation also. I want to have a story to tell and to pass it on to a niece or nephew when I go.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    having found myself in this position, I can tell you eighteen months on, I still haven't found anything that I'd be willing to buy at the $16k+ level.
    Mary, I have followed your posts and have been influenced a bit by you over the years (also pretty sure I bought a blueridge tenor guitar from you?) - so this comment really sticks out to me.

    I also am very weary of anything over $15k, it seems like you can get a LOT in the 10-15k range and I am not sure the tone gets any better the higher you go. Not sure I could carry around a $20k instrument

    Is there an anything that sticks out to you in the $10k range?


    Quote Originally Posted by John Soper View Post
    Good luck having Mike K build a Nugget A! Maybe things have changed, but 3 years ago he told me he wasn't taking orders and was going to build according to his whims from time to time. He said to watch Elderly and Carter's. He will put you on his list and let you know via email when he gets a used one in to set up and sell. Be aware that there are about 20 people on the list... so if you are on that list and get an email from him, be prepared to answer fast!
    Thanks John, this is what I thought I had read somewhere. Not too many wide neck nuggets out there either.


    So many good luthiers out there, lots of great suggestions thanks for all the posts so far!
    I know this is just the beginning of the search for me, and I need to get out and play some high end stuff.

    To get a wide neck, do you think I will have to custom order? I do not see many wide neck mandos in this price range often.
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  10. #34

    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Good luck with the search. Anything in that price range in an A5 should be spectacular.
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  11. #35
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Heiden, Apitius or Campanella. all would do a wide neck, either would be spectacular imo, and different in tone than what you now have, and if you are talking A style, you'd have $ left over.

    d

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  13. #36
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    There are some Gilchrists floating around out there with wide necks. He takes orders through Carters in the winter and delivers next fall-ish. Nuggets are great but not sure about wide necks. I’ve owned a BUNCH of nice mandolins and played many more and there isn’t much out there that would get me to part with my Heiden A5. Kimble makes a killer F5 for $11k-ish. Ellis.....stunning instruments. Life is too short to play a mandolin you don’t live!

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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    CES: Dang is talking hypothetically. Not sure what his loss is.
    See posts 8 and 33...
    Chuck

  15. #38

    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Dang, yes, I believe you bought my Blueridge tenor.

    I have to admit, I own a lot of really great instruments, have sold quite a few, and have played too many to even remember. I’ve played many a Gil, a few Nuggets, Gibson MMs, etc.

    I’m not sure that spending $16k or $25k is going to bring more to the table, other than something different (not better, just different).

    I’m quite content with what’s in my studio right now. I’m not sure there’s anything left on my wish list right now. However, I do wish I could be as monogamous with mandolins as I am with fiddles.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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  17. #39
    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    There are some Gilchrists floating around out there with wide necks. He takes orders through Carters in the winter and delivers next fall-ish. Nuggets are great but not sure about wide necks. I’ve owned a BUNCH of nice mandolins and played many more and there isn’t much out there that would get me to part with my Heiden A5. Kimble makes a killer F5 for $11k-ish. Ellis.....stunning instruments. Life is too short to play a mandolin you don’t live!
    Another point there, I own a couple of spectacular, but different, mandolins by the same maker. I really don't even shop for mandolins anymore, but Isaac Eicher was at Django in June this year with his Heiden. That instrument (as well as his playing) blew me away. Simply stunning in all regards. I've played a couple of Heidens that I loved the sound of but couldn't get used to the neck because of the larger size.

    I also got to play a new Nugget F last year and it was very good. Surprisingly good for how new it was, I'd like to hear it now that it's gotten chopped on for a year. I'm sure it's a monster.

  18. #40
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Red Diamond would be hard to pass up. Or take $7500 and buy a killer 4.0 Northfield and save the rest.
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  19. #41
    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Seale View Post
    Another point there, I own a couple of spectacular, but different, mandolins by the same maker. I really don't even shop for mandolins anymore, but Isaac Eicher was at Django in June this year with his Heiden. That instrument (as well as his playing) blew me away. Simply stunning in all regards. I've played a couple of Heidens that I loved the sound of but couldn't get used to the neck because of the larger size.
    Mark, You need to talk to Michael. He made guitars with small necks for Mark O'Connor that were fiddle-player friendly. A year or so ago he made an A style for a lady with small hands, who plays with a light attack, and it suits her physique & playing style to a T. He can in short, make the neck any size you need.....not to mention the impeccable sound of his mandolins.

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  21. #42
    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by doc holiday View Post
    Mark, You need to talk to Michael. He made guitars with small necks for Mark O'Connor that were fiddle-player friendly. A year or so ago he made an A style for a lady with small hands, who plays with a light attack, and it suits her physique & playing style to a T. He can in short, make the neck any size you need.....not to mention the impeccable sound of his mandolins.
    I'm sure he would. But, I'm over the moon with what I have. If I were still shopping (and maybe that day will come again) I'd definitely be calling him.

  22. #43
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    I would call Randy Wood and have him make you one. I did back in l993 and have not regretted it for one second.

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  24. #44

    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    With $16k, I could travel the world on the cheap for an entire year and not a single person would ever ask me if I wish I had another mandolin instead......
    Spruce dork

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  26. #45

    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by grandcanyonminstrel View Post
    With $16k, I could travel the world on the cheap for an entire year and not a single person would ever ask me if I wish I had another mandolin instead......
    I like the way you think. In my younger days, I played the USA, Canada, and most of Europe with a $100 guitar that I got at the flea market...........

    granted, it was a very good $100 guitar!

  27. #46
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    An Ellis or Girouard !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  28. #47
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    The biggest difference between playing a 10k mando and a 20k mando is 10k worth of imagination.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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  30. #48

    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    The biggest difference between playing a 10k mando and a 20k mando is 10k worth of imagination.
    Not necessarily. I have played some mighty fine mandolins at the $20k price point, just none I'd take my checkbook out for.

    And yes, there was a big difference aesthetically as well as tonally between the $20ks and the $10ks.
    Last edited by Mandobar; Aug-29-2019 at 4:03pm.
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  31. #49
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Its all in what someone wants and their personal preference on what they like in the sound and I have dealt with and seen too many people that go for the cosmetic side rather than sound-I think that nuts as I don't care what something looks like as long as it has the sound I personally like? I pulled the trigger on a load by just hearing them on videos as I live so far away from any decent shops! Or I already did my homework and knew what expect with a certain instrument. Some even the same model and year can be apples to oranges in sound so I've sent many back or kept them and if you buy quality you should be able to get your $ back or more!

    I've bought higher end mandolins that I never played I knew needed work but knew what the outcome would be like and after if I didn't like them they got swapped off because someone else may like it as their tonal preference. To me higher end mandolins vary as I've played high dollar stuff that wasn't impressive to me but may be to someone else. A case in point is a mandolin I picked up that was the talk of this here forum 10-15 years ago and that is that Joe Wilson 1934 F-5 that has a H-5 mandola look but is perhaps the first real Gibson type F-5 copy-and I know it traded hands a bit but nobody put in the $ to get it fixed right, like a much needed neck set-tone bars as there was no top bracing at all, no riser block, needs a new fret board, tuners, tailpiece, pickguard, bridge, nut, and a whole new neck block and the neck cut for a dovetail! As the neck and neck block are one piece? So it doesn't surprise me that nobody put in any $ into this! This was built by a violin maker-David Harvey confirmed it as he's doing the repairs, I remember reading about this and yes its indeed a early 30's dated September 1934, Varnish finish and really quite beautiful with the whole look, I love the bound F-holes, the body look and the sound was pretty great as is if you just play a G chord! I found it and struck a deal, rather cheap so I knew it had the potential to be a great one when fixed properly- I'm sure this changed hands in about triple or more than what I paid and with Master David Harvey doing the very much needed work I know the result will be stellar! And the repair bill isn't going to be too rough-maybe the cost of a used Gibson F-9 that's on the low side, well under 3G!

    I knew this one would be great and still believe it will be, Master Harvey said although hardly playable when I sent it, it was awesome and going to be even better! This one is a rare piece of history! Where I'm going with all this is just do some work, look around and you'll find a deal if patient with anything! I'd so much rather drop $ on something old that is already fine or has potential o be fine. And with the old stuff or new depends on the builder as to what resale will be like in the future, there are many mandolin makers 100's but I'd say only a short handful will be desired and maybe make you $ later in the future, just my opinion. I've spent years buying lower end stuff but still expensive to others to get the stuff I have now and the stuff now I have I should be able to get my $ back and make healthy profits as they sure aint making anymore Loars and old 20's and 30's Ferns? I'm just lucky prices dropped from say 2008 or so! Will they go up again, who knows as it only takes a new crop of younger players who want the old stuff or the high end goodness of a Gil, Nugget, Dude, etc....and the prices will rise once again!

    So I think if you want a high quality mandolin from a respected builder new or old go for it and like I said it depends on each one as I've played 30's F-5's that were terrible-they had potential but for the prices wanted not so good when neck-sets are involved and such, even high dollar Gils, I've had em and played many and some F-5's I wouldn't pay no more than 10 when hey wanted say 20! Played and owned high end Weber's, Collings, Ellis etc..that I didn't think they were worth what was asked but its all in what tone and voice in any instrument YOU like! So get out there check them out, play all you can from any of the multitude of good old used antique/ used newer/new etc...there is usually a return policy if you live in a mando scarce area such as mine-I guess that's all my thoughts and hope I didn't ramble and get off subject too much! Best O' Luck!

  32. #50
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    Not necessarily. I have played some mighty fine mandolins at the $20k price point, just none I'd take my checkbook out for.

    And yes, there was a big difference aesthetically as well as tonally between the $20ks and the $10ks.
    A big difference?

    I agree I may have exaggerated to make a point. Sometimes the difference in playing a 10 k and a 20 k is more like $9,950.oo in imagination. Im not trying to rile feathers. I'm not saying there is not a reason for a 20k mandolin to have a market value twice that of a 10 k mandolin. Obviously there is or the market wouldnt bare it.

    I just doubt there is a consistent significant difference in play ability and tone and even aesthetics between the two groups. In other words if someone took 100 twenty k instruments and 100 ten k instruments and blindfolded you and let you rate them after playing an hour, I'd be willing to bet you a beer that you wouldn't consistently group them according to their cost group. I didn't really address aesthetics originally. Its such a matter of personal taste. But there is only so much you can do for perfection in fit and finish. But again I would be willing to bet if you took 100 decent mando players and covered the headstock name of the same 2 groups, you are probably not going to sort out the beauty contest based on which cost group they were in. The market difference at the 10k + level is largely brand recognition, collect-ability, and social conformity or social bias as to what is perceived as desirable.

    I think when you're talking lower price points, we all agree that there are bigger differences. Only rarely are you apt to find a 6 hundred dollar instrument that plays/sounds better than a 1200 dollar one. But I bet when you are getting up into the high end, the differences are mostly just personal taste and marketability (name recognition, supply and demand, and social bias). In a blind fold contest, there is a much higher chance one may prefer a less expensive 12k Ellis or Mowry over a 22k Dude or Gill than at that 600/1200 comparison. Not because these 12k's are better than those 22k's for any reason. They're not. Its just because they are all awesome and it just might happen to fit your particular taste at the time. But I agree the 12k and 22k groups do not have the same market value. I am not commenting on whether the market value difference is justified as there is no point to that. It is by definition justified if they sell for that difference. As for the reason, who cares?
    Last edited by Astro; Aug-29-2019 at 7:34pm.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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