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Thread: Silverangel Econo A #446

  1. #1
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Silverangel Econo A #446

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    150 year old redwood top, lots of flame on curly maple back, sides, neck, headstock, and pick guard. James tailpiece. K&K Twin internal pickups ("just in case" I ever want to amplify - easier to install during construction than later). Toneguard. D'Addario EJ75 (heavy) strings as recommended by Ken. Curly maple McClung arm rest.

    Ken was great to work with and was patient when I asked dumb questions, lol. Nice learning experience resulting in a cool mandolin that I'll pass down to one of my sons.

    The mandolin has deep rich bass tones and in that respect is a step up from my Eastman MD315. The low end does come at a price, though, and that is that this Silverangel mandolin doesn't cut as well as my MD315 did. After playing it hard for a week, I tested the Econo A with my Saturday morning group this weekend (banjo, guitar, electric guitar and electric bass). After about a half hour, the bass player noted that this mandolin wasn't as loud as my MD315. I had sort of felt the same way when I got the mandolin, but was curious to see what my group thought.

    SO, the Econo A is a nice mandolin with gorgeous low end, but it might not be the best choice if you're trying to cut through unamplified.

    I'm hoping that in time the Econo A will be louder, but for now it will most likely be used when I play by myself or potentially with one or two relatively quiet instruments (not a driving Scruggs style banjo, lol).
    Doug Brock
    Eastman MD315, Silverangel Econo A #446
    Pisgah Wonder, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

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  3. #2
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Nice Looking mandolin...

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  5. #3
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Congrats!... Welcome to the Econo A club!
    aka: Spencer
    Silverangel Econo A #429
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Thinking you can find a string set/different pick that may give more projection, if that's something you want.

    That's a very fine looking mando btw, nothing econo about that to my eyes.
    d

  8. #5
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Quote Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
    Thinking you can find a string set/different pick that may give more projection, if that's something you want.

    That's a very fine looking mando btw, nothing econo about that to my eyes.
    d
    I have the heavies on there that Ken recommends. There don't seem to be a lot of choices for heavies, and Ken feels the D'Addario J75's are the best choice for his mandolins. I experimented a lot with my MD315 and ended up with the D'Addario EXP74CM strings that have heavy A and E courses and I've gotten a strong cutting tone with them. That set wouldn't buy me anything on the Econo A, though, since I'm already using heavies. I guess I should try different picks, but Ken told me that I might consider plugging in. That's a possibility but I'd rather not need to start carrying an amp and associated gear when the Eastman has performed quite well without amplification.
    Doug Brock
    Eastman MD315, Silverangel Econo A #446
    Pisgah Wonder, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Dig it! I used heavies for year on a few mandolins, going fir that big tone, but when I tried J74s it actually increased the volume on a particular model. The heavier strings can restrict some tops, so it’s at least worth trying. You may actually get more volume. If not, and if you can’t sort it out, there are loud mandolins out there there for reasonable prices that also sound and play great.

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    DocT 

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    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Cool!
    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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  14. #8

    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    I have also been told that an instrument will open up over time and get louder with better tone.
    Loar LM-370

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Very Nice mandolin! Yep it'll only get better with play and age.

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  18. #10
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Briggs View Post
    Dig it! I used heavies for year on a few mandolins, going fir that big tone, but when I tried J74s it actually increased the volume on a particular model. The heavier strings can restrict some tops, so it’s at least worth trying. You may actually get more volume. If not, and if you can’t sort it out, there are loud mandolins out there there for reasonable prices that also sound and play great.
    I tried J74's and the treble sound was very thin.
    Doug Brock
    Eastman MD315, Silverangel Econo A #446
    Pisgah Wonder, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

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    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Quote Originally Posted by DocT View Post
    I have also been told that an instrument will open up over time and get louder with better tone.
    I've always heard that and am hoping time and lots of playing will help.
    Doug Brock
    Eastman MD315, Silverangel Econo A #446
    Pisgah Wonder, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

  20. #12
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Briggs View Post
    there are loud mandolins out there there for reasonable prices that also sound and play great.
    Yep, I'll definitely be in the market for a nice mandolin that is also loud. Just need to save up some spare cash for a bit. Any recommendations for loud mandolins at reasonable prices?
    Doug Brock
    Eastman MD315, Silverangel Econo A #446
    Pisgah Wonder, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    I’ve read some good reviews on the Silverangel. I know little but I guess it’s whatever someone’s after sound and playability. I just went from an Eastman 305 to a Pava a style and the 305 was a louder mandolin but I’m completely satisfied as the tone and playability is really good and there’s no comparison. I’m my case I’ll take that anyday over volume but then I’m a couch player and not competing to be hearable over loud instruments. I guess if I was I’d mic it in some way

    From reviews sounds like you should have a fine instrument
    Last edited by CBFrench; Sep-02-2019 at 9:30am.

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  23. #14
    Mando Training Wheels kegcrowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    I got one of the Econo As he was working on this summer (so excited) but when it arrived I was not as blown away as I thought I would be. I played it for a week before I contacted him. He happened to have another EA finished at that time and offered a swap. The second was everything I hoped it would be. I am a beginner, so I'm not the most discerning of players and play only for myself. But I'm happy with #441.
    Kathy
    Silverangel Econo A #441
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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Brock View Post
    Yep, I'll definitely be in the market for a nice mandolin that is also loud. Just need to save up some spare cash for a bit. Any recommendations for loud mandolins at reasonable prices?
    To be clear, I think you have two mandolins in the right price range. Eastmans can be quite loud. My opinion about the Eco is it ought to be reasonably loud considering what you paid. I don’t have a specific recommendation for a custom build, but used as styles are the mandolin industry’s best kept secret. There are safe bets, like used Collings’ MTs that around what you paid for your eco.

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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    I recommend trying several different pick shapes, materials. And thicknesses. It seems like every mandolin is a bit different in what it takes to coax the best sound out. If you like the overall tone and playability better than the Eastman, play the heck out of it for a few months and see how it goes; your technique and the instrument may adjust together over time.. Also, if you are playing in a group with unamplified acoustics and amplified electrics, getting a good mix is really hard anyways. And, the group shoukd be able to adjust volume-wise around you a bit too.

    That said, I once spent top dollar from a vendor for a really nice 2004 Weber Yellowstone. It sounded fantastic and it was an F-style. I played it for about 1/2 hr before I bought it. After playing it at home and in my band for a while I found certain places on the neck very hard to play that didn’t seem like a prob during the demo. The action was fine, but I think it was a combination of neck shape and fingerboard. Anyways, after months of trying to make it fit I ended up selling it andburing something else (the Collings I am playing now).

    Best of luck.
    -2012 Collings MT, Honey Amber Gloss with Tone Gard
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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Congrats Doug! What a great looking instrument! Enjoy!
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
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  29. #18
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    I’m on my third SA. None of mine have had redwood tops so I can’t comment on that, but my current one (an F sn 388) has a spruce top. I’ve had monel strings on it for about 6 months. I’ve found that it is a bit louder ( it’s plenty loud - cuts through in large jam situations) with thinner picks like a BC TPR 50 or just a Fender Heavy turned sideways. Good luck with finding the optimal string/pick combo on yours. It is a killer looking instrument.
    Thanks

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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Everything in the instrument world is a trade off. The high dollar maker are able to make the most of what is a compromise in the end. The Ellis I played was a case in point.multimately it was not the loudest instrument, but loud enough, and it hit a very nice tonal target of both very balanced and very resonant. Some mandolins have a good tone but little volume, some are cannons but have a biting tone.

    I have a SA that is great for the 95% of the time I just play at home, and my Arches kit is rediculously loud and can cut through a mix. Often I have to back off in a group setting. I go out and try mandolins all the time and play instruments that I know wouldn't cut through a mix, but they just sound great. All the more reasons to have multiple instruments. Late at night playing Celtic tunes, my Gibson A1 shines.
    Silverangel A
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  33. #20

    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Not being loud enough can be translated to 'the other guys are too loud'.

    Great looking mandolin!
    Play it like you mean it.

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  35. #21
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    Not being loud enough can be translated to 'the other guys are too loud'.

    Great looking mandolin!
    I thought about the factor of the two electric instruments being too loud, but I haven't had to worry about their volume before. The big issue is if I can be heard over the banjo. I can be heard with my Eastman. I'm taking both mandolins next time (in October, unfortunately- we have conflicts every Saturday in September) to better compare volume. I've about decided to go ahead and keep taking the Econo A and have that discussion about adjusting volume of the group a bit if necessary. That would be a good practice anyway, whether for my mandolin or for vocalists who aren't quite as loud as our main singer.
    Doug Brock
    Eastman MD315, Silverangel Econo A #446
    Pisgah Wonder, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

  36. #22
    Registered User Tomando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Quote Originally Posted by CBFrench View Post
    I’ve read some good reviews on the Silverangel. I know little but I guess it’s whatever someone’s after sound and playability. I just went from an Eastman 305 to a Pava a style and the 305 was a louder mandolin but I’m completely satisfied as the tone and playability is really good and there’s no comparison. I’m my case I’ll take that anyday over volume but then I’m a couch player and not competing to be hearable over loud instruments. I guess if I was I’d mic it in some way

    From reviews sounds like you should have a fine instrument
    I’ve had a Pava A body for over a year, always love the voice, but it was not loud. Then last week, I handed it to a very accomplished player, and he immediately raised the action at the bridge. (with my permission, of course). Now, it plays like it just woke up! Still sweet, but now: awesome!

  37. #23

    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    [QUOTE=RobP;1732895]I recommend trying several different pick shapes, materials. And thicknesses. It seems like every mandolin is a bit different in what it takes to coax the best sound out.

    Excellent mando.Agree about picks.Ken sent me the thick ` Golden Gate Picks` available from Amazon.Why don't you give these a try and see whether the volume is to your liking.The picks are affordable and not expensive these give me all I need on my Econo,Davy Stuart Mando,Kentucky 150 and the new Ken creation IL Fantasma.


    Tani

    www.reverbnation.com/gaetanobevilacqua

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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomando View Post
    I’ve had a Pava A body for over a year, always love the voice, but it was not loud. Then last week, I handed it to a very accomplished player, and he immediately raised the action at the bridge. (with my permission, of course). Now, it plays like it just woke up! Still sweet, but now: awesome!
    not to intrude on OP's post but that's interesting and I have no issues whatsoever with mine but "plays like it just woke up" I haven't messed with the action on mine, just how much did he raise the action and does it still play like butter as before?

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    Default Re: Silverangel Econo A #446

    My SA Econo, which is now going on ten years old, is plenty loud. But, it’s been played a lot and has a spruce top (I think Sitka but am not the original owner). My Skip Kelley A5, which has an Adirondack spruce top and is a 2018 build, is awesome but still evolving. I’d play your SA a lot, play around with picks, and give it some time to develop. My Eastman 315 is loud, but lacks the complexity of tone the other two have. I had a blast playing it on vacation in Maine last weekend (I figured it was the one that would hurt the least if it got airlined, but all went well). But, I was happy to pull out the Kelley tonight. For the record, I honestly hadn’t played the Eastman much lately, and it took me a couple of hours to really adapt to the skinnier nut width and smaller frets, but I was reminded why I bought it in the first place...
    Chuck

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