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Thread: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    I would contact Pete Hart to get a Buckeye. I played a ton of good mandolins. The only one that was close was a Gibson Derrington Master Model for $12k. The Buckeye was $5k nine years ago, and itís a a killer cow bell.
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  2. #52
    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Dang, It's great to have a very generous budget. In the end it doesn't matter what everyone suggests.....really it's what your ear hears & your heart wants. Enjoy the journey & let us know what ends up finding you.

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  4. #53

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

    Not sure I get the "blind taste test" argument.........it's never totally about the sound, it's more about builder's reputation, resale, etc......you know, the whole "waiting list" thing....people eat that "stuff" up.....

    There is a lot of "hand holding" when selling a high-end piece, IMHO. Watch a few Paul Reed Smith interviews on youtube, he is a master at getting a buyer excited about tonewood........I watched one knowing he was talking about an $18K guitar and he never once mentioned the price and the video went on forever, it is about something else and paying someone to help you get there..........like when the Beatles had their own maharishi on call.................

    by the same token, somebody could make a mandolin in their garage out of an old chest of drawers that could blow them all away.....but you're never gonna know about it, are you? kinda like when Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson and everybody said, what? this, ain't supposed to happen......

    But, not to be negative, a $20K mandolin is a beautiful place to park your money and enjoy it...........not a bad thing!

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  6. #54

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

    Dang dang, look for a Nugget. It might be a long search, I don't think Mike is makin anymore. Enjoy the journey!
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  8. #55
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    It is so funny how many people post things similar to what I am thinking... and my worries!

    I do appreciate all the builder recommendations, some very solid names have come up I didn’t have in mind but should have.

    I want to give the Nugget possibility as much of a chance as I can, so I am pursuing that first. It may or may not work out, but at least I will give it a go. It’s kind of dreamlike to even consider. Many of my hero's play nuggets.

    If it doesn’t work out I will start going back through all the recommendations listed... thanks!
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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  10. #56
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Thanks, Dang, for including us in your quest. This has been a fun read. Please keep us posted on your progress. And best wishes for the outcome you desire!
    Purr more, hiss less.

  11. #57
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Not sure I get the "blind taste test" argument.........it's never totally about the sound, it's more about builder's reputation, resale, etc......you know, the whole "waiting list" thing....people eat that "stuff" up.....

    There is a lot of "hand holding" when selling a high-end piece, IMHO. Watch a few Paul Reed Smith interviews on youtube, he is a master at getting a buyer excited about tonewood........I watched one knowing he was talking about an $18K guitar and he never once mentioned the price and the video went on forever, it is about something else and paying someone to help you get there..........like when the Beatles had their own maharishi on call.................

    by the same token, somebody could make a mandolin in their garage out of an old chest of drawers that could blow them all away.....but you're never gonna know about it, are you? kinda like when Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson and everybody said, what? this, ain't supposed to happen......

    But, not to be negative, a $20K mandolin is a beautiful place to park your money and enjoy it...........not a bad thing!
    I agree with you. The only reason I rambled on about the blind fold test is that someone said when they play a 10k vs 20 k instrument they notice a big difference in tone and playability between the 2 groups. Maybe, but I kind of doubt it. i'd say the big difference between the 2 groups is the same as what you said above.

    In the end, as many have said, in that rarefied air of high end instruments there is no logical argument of why one brand might be a better choice to buy than another. They are all awesome. Just feel lucky you have the dough for it. Play many, and pick the one you like the best. What a fun journey. I would probably drive myself crazy with indecision and might still post the question here even knowing there is no right answer. Its just what you want. And it will be awesome.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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  13. #58

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

    Play enough mandolins and you will learn the subtle differences in the builds. Fit and finish, feel, tone, volume, voicing, fretwork, choice of materials, etc. yes, all part of mandolin geek-dom. That said, if the OP is looking for a Nugget, then only a Nugget will do. There’s a unique feel, sound, etc. to Mike’s instruments.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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  15. #59
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    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).
    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    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.
    Mary, I'm trying to follow the distinction that you're making here, but I'm struggling. It feels like you're saying that an instrument at $25K is different (not better) than $16K but one at $20 K is significantly better tonally and aesthetically (not just different) than $10K. Can you clarify?
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  16. #60

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

    Iím not sure what you are struggling with.

    I know where Dang is coming from because at $16k plus you wonder what that instrument brings to the table over others at a lower price point. Every instrument is different, and there are a lot of variables.

  17. #61
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    I think its wonderful that many folks feel they can tell those subtle differences. And I think its equally wonderful (and better for me) that I can't. Its all good
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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  19. #62

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

    I have been involved in a few instrument blind tastings, first when buying a viola for my daughter, then with a cello for another daughter. We had violas in my living room ranging from $4500 to $8500, a price range suitable for a serious student. The $4500 viola was the superior instrument. It was a reworked Chinese factory instrument. Later we tasted cellos in the $12,000-20,000 range, also serious student fare. The $12,000 cello won, although I believe it's owner just wanted my daughter to have it. Later, the cello studio at her conservatory had blind listening tests and though it was by far the cheapest, in four years worth of tests, it placed in the top three every year.

    When choosing, the classical world uses their ears. Sure, certain makers with reputations demand higher prices, but I've yet to see these musicians seek out a maker unless they want a Strad or some such.

    My daughter's viola was akin to taking a Kentucky master model and reworking it. To this day it is a competent backup instrument. If I were shopping in a rarefied price category, I'd be tempted to take a role of blue tape and ask them to bring me mandolins with the logo taped off.

    They also only tell you the range of cost, not which one is the most expensive. You might very well like a $6k instrument over a $12k mandolin. You might think it is a tie and decide you are doing this once and buy the name just because. That's fine.
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  20. #63
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    If your heart is set on a Nugget, I would reach out to him and hear what he has to say. He probably has a good idea where his instruments are and who might be looking to sell thereís. As you are probably aware, Nuggets donít show up in the classifieds very often. I suspect a lot of the upper tier instruments get sold via word of mouth if and when they do become available. Iíve played a few Nuggets and they are wonderful sounding mandolins with their own voice.

    Another option is to go to Nashville and play every mandolin available. When youíre paying that amount, it should be exactly what you want ... tone/voice, neck profile, type of finish, ascetics, setup, the whole 9 yards. If nothing else, itís a great opportunity to educate yourself further of all things mandolin. Iíd also recommend playing a Kimble and Heiden before putting your cash on the barrel.
    ... not all those who wander are lost ...

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  22. #64
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Denman John View Post
    If your heart is set on a Nugget, I would reach out to him and hear what he has to say.
    And while you are at it, maybe you can ask if he is truly retired. Everyone seems to be guessing that is the case. It could be but i still see his bare-bones web site online as well as Sandy Munro who was his selling agent for some time.
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  23. #65
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    If I were looking to take $25K to the store, I'd be looking for a Monteleone. A style, F style, Radio Flyer, Grand Artist, I would be thrilled with any of them FWIW Reverb has a few offered. NFI...cause If I had one, I'd never let it go!
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Greenspoon View Post
    If I were looking to take $25K to the store, I'd be looking for a Monteleone. A style, F style, Radio Flyer, Grand Artist, I would be thrilled with any of them FWIW Reverb has a few offered. NFI...cause If I had one, I'd never let it go!
    I would get an Ellis or Girouard and invest the balance !
    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 !

  25. #67
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    And while you are at it, maybe you can ask if he is truly retired. Everyone seems to be guessing that is the case. It could be but i still see his bare-bones web site online as well as Sandy Munro who was his selling agent for some time.
    Mike Kemnitzer is not retired. He is still making Mandolins.

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

    I've played Ray Legere's Nugget A-5 a few times that he won for taking first place at Winfield in 86 "what a prize!" and that is one fine sounding mandolin! For sure way different sounding than a Traditional Gibson type tone and voice-but in a great way! Awesome. Used ones come up for sale every so often and nothing wrong with a used one.

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  29. #69
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    I’m not sure what you are struggling with.
    It sounds like you’re saying that ~$20K instruments are better than less expensive ones and that they’re not.
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  30. #70
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    It sounds like youíre saying that ~$20K instruments are better than less expensive ones and that theyíre not.
    For me all that read as >$15k is hard to tell the difference but you sure can between a 10k and 20k.

    Not speaking for Mary, thatís just how I read that
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  31. #71

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

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    It sounds like you’re saying that ~$20K instruments are better than less expensive ones and that they’re not.
    I’m not sure how you are deciphering better, but what I said was “different”. I don’t believe I used the word “better” in any of the statements you’ve highlighted.

    What you did see me do was react when someone commented that the difference between a $10k and $20k instrument was basically imaginary. I took exception to that. I also took exception to the blind taste test comment. While not too many people can tell the difference between an braced Gil and a parallel braced one, there are folks who can tell the difference between a Collings MT2 and a Heiden A5, etc. The feel is different, the attack is different, the tone is different, etc. If you spend enough time playing different mandolins, at different price points, you can discern the differences.

    As we’ve seen in this thread, most people have a preference for certain builders, based on their personal experiences. But the OP’s issue is really with putting a considerable amount of money into a single instrument. That is a tough decision, despite having the money to do so in one’s hands. Instruments are easier to buy (like real estate and cars) than sell.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  32. #72
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    Iím not sure how you are deciphering better, but what I said was ďdifferentĒ. I donít believe I used the word ďbetterĒ in any of the statements youíve highlighted.
    You didnít. But in the context of a response to Astro, your statement

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    And yes, there was a big difference aesthetically as well as tonally between the $20ks and the $10ks.
    kind of read that way. Iím not trying to be combative, just trying to understand the distinction that youíre making here in relation to other posts in the thread.
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  33. #73
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    You didn’t. But in the context of a response to Astro, your statement



    kind of read that way. I’m not trying to be combative, just trying to understand the distinction that you’re making here in relation to other posts in the thread.
    Depends on your eyes and ears ! To my eyes and ears there is not a BIG difference between a twenty thousand and ten thousand dollar mandolin. At least not the ones I played at Gruhns in Nashville ! I played a number of high end twenty thousand dollar mandolins and ten to twelve thousand dollar ones. Your ears and eyes may be better than mine but as far as workmanship and sound I couldn't find any better instruments than those made by Tom Ellis or Max 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 !

  34. #74
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    Default Re: Hypothetical high dollar mando purchase question...

    There are no Nuggets for sale in Nashville today. They turn up fairly often, though. I don't know how many he has built with a wider neck.

    Gruhn Guitars carries Newson mandolins. I've played several, and they are good instruments. One could be ordered with a wide neck. They are less expensive than a lot of other master grade instruments.

    You like wide necks. Have you ever considered looking for a really good F-4? I know, most people prefer f-holes these days, but some of the old Gibson F-4's are great instruments. If one happened to suit you, you would have plenty of change left over.

    A trip to be Nashville would be valuable. Play everything you see. On a forum like this, opinions are based on personal tastes and/or what's popular. If you were to spend a day where you could play dozens of instruments, you might find that your tastes might be for something different than what might be mentioned in a forum discussion.
    Last edited by rcc56; Aug-31-2019 at 6:14pm.

  35. #75

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

    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

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