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Thread: Tonegards

  1. #1
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Tonegards

    I remember when tongards appeared on the scene. Do many of you still use them? Over the years have you had any negative issues with the item? I’ve noticed since I have been sitting more that there is a nice increase in my sound when I sit and the instrument isn’t resting on my belly. Obviously now I can’t help but wonder if I shouldn’t get one.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  2. #2
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    They work and sure are worth it! No finish problems or warping etc..it does get the mando off your gut and out.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    On most of mine it has made a positive difference. The only instrument where it didn't help has a plywood back.
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    It may help depending on how you hold your mandolin. I found no difference in sound nor did the several people I played in front of. I wrapped the prongs that contact the mandolin with micro fiber material and this eliminated any marks on my mandolin at that time of usage. Only way to know is to try one ! Not for me however !
    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 !

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    They work, I've used them for years. I leave it on my F5G all the time, no finish issues. I've had this mandolin since 2005.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  8. #6
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards


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  10. #7
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    The 'Gard is great. I have older ones, but appreciate the materials have changed over time in response to user experience.
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Greenspoon View Post
    The 'Gard is great. I have older ones, but appreciate the materials have changed over time in response to user experience.
    Haven't used one for probably 7 or 8 years. What are the upgrades since then ?
    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 !

  12. #9
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    I know this has been covered before and I have read a lot of those threads. I was curious about how it has worked out over time on the instrument. I can hear a difference between the instrument next to me or held out while sitting when standing not as much and I'm not sure the people in front of my notice it much at all. On the fence and just not sure it is worth putting any money into.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  13. #10
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    Haven't used one for probably 7 or 8 years. What are the upgrades since then ?
    He changed the material of the rubber tubing to a clear. I think some people were having issues with the black before.

    All I know is that Tony is staying plenty busy. I emailed him recently about a mandola Gard and he is swamped right now. Good for him!
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  14. #11
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    I know this has been covered before and I have read a lot of those threads. I was curious about how it has worked out over time on the instrument. I can hear a difference between the instrument next to me or held out while sitting when standing not as much and I'm not sure the people in front of my notice it much at all. On the fence and just not sure it is worth putting any money into.
    Two issues to consider:
    Do you stand while playing? (easy for the back of instrument to b against your abdomen) If so, the Tonegard will likely be useful.

    If you play while sitting, do you hold the back of the instrument against your abdomen? If so, the Tonegard will likely be useful.

    Otherwise .................
    Phil

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  16. #12
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    Quote Originally Posted by Philphool View Post
    Two issues to consider:
    Do you stand while playing? (easy for the back of instrument to b against your abdomen) If so, the Tonegard will likely be useful.

    If you play while sitting, do you hold the back of the instrument against your abdomen? If so, the Tonegard will likely be useful.

    Otherwise .................
    I do both but mostly sitting. I hear the difference on the belly or not but the family doesn't sitting across from me. Standing I hear a different ebut less so. I heard it more when I never used a strap. Now that I made a strap I just twist it out a bit to free up the back but can bring it back in when I want to with this on the back I perceive I won't have the option of doing so but mostly I don't know if it is an actual improvement on the tone, on or off the belly is different but to me one isn't really better then the other just different. I'm going to experiment with my playing a bit and see what happens this weekend.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  17. #13
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Egerton View Post
    He changed the material of the rubber tubing to a clear. I think some people were having issues with the black before.

    All I know is that Tony is staying plenty busy. I emailed him recently about a mandola Gard and he is swamped right now. Good for him!
    Thanks for update ! On my mandolin at that time, marks were being made on my mandolin so I wrapped each prong with micro-fiber and problem eliminated.
    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 !

  18. #14
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    Used one for years, but haven't in a couple years now. I feel it helps you hear better, but out front makes no difference. I can hear my mandolin plenty good without, even in a jam so i quit using it. I also sit a lot and don't need it then.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  19. #15
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    I have a toneguard on each of my 3 Mandolins. I have had mixed feelings about them over the years, but if I am consistently playing out and standing a lot I definitely want it on there. For various reasons mentioned above and the especially the dreaded sweat spot I would get where the mandolin back would contact my shirt. On hot days I would get a large damp oval, with the toneguard I barely get a little line where it contacts my gut.

    Last year I went on a trip and took a mandolin but had the toneguard off. After a week of playing in the upper peninsula of Michigan I went to the Marshall Mandolin Summit. I never missed the toneguard.

    I do leave them on all the time so that I can stay acclimated to the slightly different angle of the mandolin as I hold it, and so as not to be constantly flexing the metal by taking it on and off.
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  20. #16
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    I believe the maker started putting some sort of titanium infused plastic for the tubing that are on the prongs that hold it on the mandolin as to not mar the finish as I asked before I got a new one for my old F-5.

  21. #17
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    I have a Tonegard on my one and only mandolin, the original design. I don't know if it helps with volume or tone to a listener, but I can hear a small difference and that's enough to make it worthwhile. No idea if it marked the finish; I've never had a reason to take it off. I make sure any case I use like my current Pegasus will fit with it attached.

    Something that doesn't get mentioned enough, is that it adds a small amount of weight to the lower end of the mandolin. This helps a little bit with counterbalancing the large peg head of an F-style mandolin when using a strap.

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  23. #18

    Default Re: Tonegards

    I'm a firm believer in them for me. Yes, you can hold your mandolin away from your body, then you'd notice no improvement at all. But I'm lazy and just thinking about playing a mandolin is all I can handle. Don't need more to think about. When I see toneguard a on Loars played by prominent players, it just enforces what I've found out for myself.

    I will say never on my 1913 A 1. That just seems wrong. For no good reason.
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  25. #19
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    I have used one for years and I think it makes a difference. Plus it looks cool. The main complication for me is that it makes a really tight fit in the case.
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  26. #20

    Default Re: Tonegards

    Gutgard.

    Drop the third trimester muffin top and you won't need one!
    Spruce dork

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  28. #21

    Default Re: Tonegards

    Every mandolin I've seen, from Washburns to Kimbles, that had a tone-gard have significant impressions where it was mounted to the instrument. It may not damage the finish, but the wood gets indented for sure.

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  30. #22
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    John..........Were you really up at 3:20 AM worrying about this?
    They work for me......... buy one & try it out. And if you don't
    like it then put it in the Cafe classifieds & someone like me will buy
    it from you.

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  32. #23

    Default Re: Tonegards

    Quote Originally Posted by grandcanyonminstrel View Post
    Gutgard.

    Drop the third trimester muffin top and you won't need one!
    Easier said than done!
    Best, Stevo

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  34. #24
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    Quote Originally Posted by SternART View Post
    John..........Were you really up at 3:20 AM worrying about this?
    They work for me......... buy one & try it out. And if you don't
    like it then put it in the Cafe classifieds & someone like me will buy
    it from you.
    A actually I was up before that and I’m heading to bed now. I hope tonight I sleep longer but 4 - 5 hours is all I can usually keep myself in bed. I wasn’t worried about this and today the choice was taken out of my hands. I discovered my wife’s tires down to 2/32 of tread so new tires. Sadly they will be between $550 and $650 not counting tax. So what I had set aside is now gone. Maybe next year I will think about it again however the idea it will mar my OldWave really turns me off. Thanks!
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  35. #25
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tonegards

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    Every mandolin I've seen, from Washburns to Kimbles, that had a tone-gard have significant impressions where it was mounted to the instrument. It may not damage the finish, but the wood gets indented for sure.
    I have two nice mandolins, both have toneguards. The 12 year old Weber has had one since it was six months old. No dents or marring. I suppose denting could happen from rough handling.
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
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