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Thread: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    I am seriously considering getting one of these soon. I want a handmade instrument with an oval hole for Celtic music and love the story behind these. Thank you!

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    Mandolin Player trodgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    Yes, yes, yes. I don't think you can go wrong with a Big Muddy. I have two instruments built by Mike Dulak, under his previous venture, Mid-Missouri Mandolin - or Mid-Mo. Both are simply appointed, but built right and have brought me nothing but joy.

    My first, an M1 model, was purchased new in the late '90's and was the very best that I could afford at the time. It has served me well and is my go-to, everyday player at home. It has a punchy voice that seems to only get better through the years. I will never let this mandolin go. My Collings MT and Lebeda 2-pointer live in their cases, my Mid-Mo is always out and within reach. I did put a cast tailpiece on it a few years back and have been very pleased.

    My second by Mike is a tiger maple backed octave mandolin. It roars. Sadly, I don't play it as much, but when I do, it always leaves me with a big smile. It doubles as my 'poor-boy' mandola, with a capo at the 5th fret.
    “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

  3. #3

    Default Re: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    You'll want to try one in hand to be sure, but they are very popular Celtic, folk, old timey, etc. mandolins. Enjoy the chase

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

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    Default Re: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    Thank you both for your thoughtful comments! They seem to align with the general consensus in MandolinLand! I am looking at either the M1 or the M7. Do either of you know if they are set up when they arrive?

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    Default Re: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    There was a used M4 here for a while and I played it a number of times while I was in the store. I was pleasantly surprised at what a nice instrument it was. It had a somewhat unassuming but I thought very nice appearance, was comfortable to play and sounded quite good. Reasonably priced as well. Someone else agreed, since it's not there anymore.

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    Mandolin Player trodgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    Setup? I haven't felt the need. I did lower the bridge on my octave to bring the action down a hair, but other than that, they have been good enough for me as is.
    “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

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    Default Re: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie4197 View Post
    Thank you both for your thoughtful comments! They seem to align with the general consensus in MandolinLand! I am looking at either the M1 or the M7. Do either of you know if they are set up when they arrive?
    The M4 I ordered from Mike came well set-up, with the strings slacked and bridge taped in place. The neck profile is more of a “C” shape and I think it is comfortable to play. There is also a Mid-Mo/Big Muddy, Social Group here at the ‘Cafe that’s full of good information. There are some sound samples on YouTube (be sure to check out the one with Brian Oberlin) as well as Mikes web site. I can definitely hear differences in the sound between all of the models, but they are subtle.

    I am thrilled with my M4, I’ve had it since January.
    Scott

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    Default Re: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    I'm a fan of flat and cant topped mandolins. I think they have wonderful voices and make great music. I've enjoyed every Big Muddy / Mid Missouri mandolin I have ever played. I was particularly fond of the all mahogany and the walnut backed versions. I like that darker warmer voice. If you can play a variety and pick your favorite, do so. Mike Dulak makes and stands behind them. If you order directly from him, I reckon he could set the action about where you like it (low, med, high) and even provide you with a spare bridge or two for other heights or seasonal variation in humidity.

    Jamie
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    Default Re: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    Thanks everyone for this wealth of information. I think I need to speak with someone at Big Muddy. I have only been playing a year and have a lovely Eastman 305. I love Celtic music and I think an oval hole is the way to go (former guitar player here). The prices are so reasonable and I love how simple and beautiful they are.

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    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie4197 View Post
    Thanks everyone for this wealth of information. I think I need to speak with someone at Big Muddy. I have only been playing a year and have a lovely Eastman 305. I love Celtic music and I think an oval hole is the way to go (former guitar player here). The prices are so reasonable and I love how simple and beautiful they are.
    Good luck, Leslie. Like Jamie, I am a big fan of flat-tops and will never willingly be without one (or two. . .). I think you are making a great choice and I wish you all the best with it.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  13. #11

    Default Re: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    Great mandolins! I'd get on it soon. I hear Mike at Big Muddy is looking to retire.
    Best, Stevo

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    Default Re: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by stevojack665 View Post
    Great mandolins! I'd get on it soon. I hear Mike at Big Muddy is looking to retire.
    Uh-oh. I'd better get on it soon!!!

  15. #13
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for opinions of Big Muddy mandolins

    I’ve been interested in these for years but have still never seen one in person. I figure I’ll have buy one to try one someday. He is also making some stripped-down versions for a couple hundred dollars off. The only downside I can see is I’m pretty sure he uses Golden Age tuners from StewMac, which are absolute junk. A tuner swap might be in order from the get-go if this is the case. Something to consider.
    "The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly
    that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable.
    Favourable conditions never come."
    -C.S. Lewis, Learning in Wartime

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