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Thread: Friendly reminder

  1. #1

    Default Friendly reminder

    When you are shopping in a store and think you have found "the one", ask to play it in a room where there aren't instruments lining the walls. What you essentially have are walls lined with reverberant material. Most quality shops will have lesson rooms. Surprising how much sound you can get bouncing back from a room full of mandolins.

    I played the same mandolins in a room full of amps, and then the a guitar room. Noticeable sound difference and something to be aware of.
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  3. #2
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    In terms of getting a clear view of the actual tone of the instrument, you are correct.
    But I actually love playing in a room with walls covered in well tuned instruments.
    I love Schoenberg Guitars in Tiburon Ca for this reason.
    The shop is one long room, with vintage and high end guitars covering every inch.
    When you chop a mandolin chord, the whole room comes alive with a subtle etherial choir of sympathetic string vibration.
    It is quite beautiful.
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  5. #3
    Registered User O. Apitius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    Another good strategy would be to bring along the mandolin that you are looking to improve upon and A-B them in the same room. At least you will get a useful comparison.
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  7. #4
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    I have asked to play it outside the front door to hear the difference before but for me, it is more apparent with an amp in a room full of hanging instruments. I've been tricked by that once and won't let it happen again. I thought I found a great amp several hundred dollars below what my other desired amp was. At the time I didn't know the diff between tube or ss. In the store, the SS sounded almost as good as the tube but in my house, it was a nerve grating POS! They let me return for full credit but that was a store 430 miles one way from where I lived. Pain in the bum to drive again to exchange it. With acoustic instruments, I can pick a few strings and know if its one I am interested in with or without the other instruments hanging around.
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  8. #5

    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    Bringing the instrument you are trying to improve on is something you should always do. I've left a store thinking I'd played a mandolin I could get serious about. Later when A/Bd, not so much.

    Also, before buying a new mandolin, you can save by having a friend who really likes what you have to beat you over the head with a fungo bat.

    Yes, I highly recommend having a wall of your own instruments for a tasty dose of reverb.
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  9. #6
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    Yup. Did a purchase after my wife thought the instrument sounded great in a room full of other acoustic instruments. Once we got home, she realized, not so much. It's still a good instrument, just not the awe inspiring one we first thought.

    And yes, it's always good to try to bring your instrument to compare. But remember, if you're used to one type of instrument, and then try something else, it might seem less than great instead of just being able to adjust to it. (i.e. radius vs flat fingerboard).
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  10. #7
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    I am not entirely sure that the instruments on the wall are the main reason for the change in sound - I am much more tempted to think that it has to do with the size and acoustic properties of each individual room . . .

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    I have asked to play it outside the front door to hear the difference before but for me, it is more apparent with an amp in a room full of hanging instruments. I've been tricked by that once and won't let it happen again. I thought I found a great amp several hundred dollars below what my other desired amp was. At the time I didn't know the diff between tube or ss. In the store, the SS sounded almost as good as the tube but in my house, it was a nerve grating POS! They let me return for full credit but that was a store 430 miles one way from where I lived. Pain in the bum to drive again to exchange it. With acoustic instruments, I can pick a few strings and know if its one I am interested in with or without the other instruments hanging around.
    the amp selection issue can be a nightmare ..they ALL sound pretty good on their own. Its only when you pak them out to a gig with a band , crowd noise , a drummer etc that you really hear the limitations of most. I'm happy I onl live a short drive to 2 or 3 very good shops in my area ......although they barely have one mandolin between them most times .

  12. #9

    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    I related the amp room story not for the amps, but the fact it had no acoustic instruments hanging on the walls to resonate. But yes, what gear sounds like in a store is not necessarily what they will sound like in context. I went into a shop once when they had just opened and asked permission to shout five feet in front of a wall of guitars. Know what? They transmit sound pretty efficiently. Lots of subtle string vibration.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  13. #10

    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    .......I went into a shop once when they had just opened and asked permission to shout five feet in front of a wall of guitars. Know what? They transmit sound pretty efficiently.....
    Were you ever allowed in again?
    Play it like you mean it.

  14. #11

    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    Just today. And I sneezed in front of a wall of banjos, and even with my mouth covered, they self played a bar of Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
    Silverangel A
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    1913 Gibson A-1

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  16. #12
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Just today. And I sneezed in front of a wall of banjos, and even with my mouth covered, they self played a bar of Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
    That's easy, cuz one of the bars of FMB is just open strings ringing in no particular order
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  18. #13
    Mandolin Player trodgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    I've had a couple of experiences with a 'wall of mandolins.' Pick up a nice one and play it while strolling along the wall. The ones that 'sing back' to you are the ones you need to play next!
    “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.” -- Aldo Leopold

  19. #14
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Friendly reminder

    I have 9 wall hangers in my bedroom, I keep it humidified and have an air purifier in there so I keep myself and my instruments in similar conditions.

    So my friend is crashing at my place, and I work overnights so I changed my sheets and pillowcases and said, by all means, sleep in my bed the couch is just ok.

    At 4 am my buddy texted me, he can’t stop laughing, he had gotten up to go to the bathroom and he passed gas when he went back to bed and the sound was picked up and resonated through the instruments!
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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