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Thread: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest options.

  1. #51
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    Quote Originally Posted by drewbarries View Post
    Fair enough, I was unaware of any studies that showed an overlap of typical varieties of Spruce, I have heard of this phenomenon between Rosewood species though. Itís been my personal experience on numerous examples of Martin guitars that the Red Spruce was my preference and it wasnít even close. Also recently I came away with a similar opinion on two Ferns I played that could not match the power of my Collings with the Adi.

    I know everyone has an opinion but here Dana has written a article describing the various tone woods and based on my own experience I would agree with his analysis.

    https://bourgeoisguitars.net/tonewoods-htm/
    Well this topic has been beaten to death in many previous strings on this (and many other forums) and it will never be resolved because musicians (regardless of the instruments they play from xylophones to bagpipes to mandolins) will always insist that one thing sounds better than another nearly identical item -- like Red versus Sitka spruce in mandolin tops.

    The problem is the whole thing is subjective. Every time a true blind test is done the musicians tend to demonstrate that unless they KNOW in advance that it is Red Spruce (by seeing it while they play) they can't tell the difference!! That is they are partly hearing with their eyes....

    Even if this fact were to demonstrated once a day for the rest of time people would still insist that they can hear difference -- actually they SEE & HEAR a difference. It is a well established fact of human sensory perception -- the senses are irreversibly linked

    Watch this video on the McGurk Effect -- same thing happens to mandolin players.
    Bernie
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  3. #52

    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Levine View Post
    I have a an Adi topped Duff and Adi topped Heiden, both fantastic instruments by fantastic builders with plenty of power, volume and great tone. But, my loudest instrument by far is my Sitka topped Ruhland A5. I also have a 50s Sitka topped D18 with fantastic volume and power. I've A/Bed several of Matt's mandolins and have not seen a huge difference between the different species of Spruce and power/volume. Of course, that is just 1 builder and a few pieces of wood, so not a large sample size.

    I can't help but wonder if you've played 2 recent Gibsons and were disappointed in them, why they would remain on your short list, especially considering the fact that you may be buying before playing. That would not make me very confident in my purchase. A few years ago I played a Varnished Fern at the Music Emplorium that was a knockout, killer instrument, but would be hard to know without playing myself or having a real valued opinion play it. Side note, are VFerns Sitka?
    The MM is Adi, that and also the idea that part of the problem with the two Ferns I played may have had more to do with setup than with wood. In general the reputation for Adi being louder is my understanding but as with your experience and others exceptions abound.

  4. #53
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    Another distinction needs to be made here. Are we talking a new Harvey-era MM or a Derrington/Roberts MM/DMM? I've not played a Harvey MM but LOVE the Derrington/Roberts examples. They're not all created equal but a lot of them were really good mandolins!

    As for sitka vs adi, it's all about the builder. My favorite mandolin and longtime player is an Englemann topped Heiden. Big, fat, LOUD tone. I've sold a lot of adi topped mandolins that couldn't hang with it. The Gibson Varnished Ferns were sitka. They swear/swore that they're just regular Ferns they pull off the line and varnish.

    Gibson vs Ellis though is more about traditional tone versus a more modern tone.

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  6. #54
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    Gibson vs Ellis though is more about traditional tone versus a more modern tone.
    Agree completely. At the time I purchased my Ellis F5 I owned an earlier numbered (1500 range) Collings MF5 blacktop (probably should have kept) but nevertheless I spent about 2 weeks or so with them together to compare, so I had a good shot at AB’ing. I would say that they were very similar in tone, feel, sound and build quality, neck shape etc. although the Ellis blew me away aesthetically with wood choice etc. The Ellis perhaps was a little deeper/darker but very very close in mid and upper ranges. Crystal clear highs. That’s probably a better comparison than a Gib Ellis.

  7. #55

    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    I view myself as more or less an average player with an average experience gained from playing as many mandolins as I can get my hands on. Truth be told, if I were out in the sticks, I believe I could order and enjoy any of the highly regarded fare. From the ten minutes I had playing a Gibson, Iíve no doubt I could adjust to a flat fingerboard and skinny frets. Send me a Collings and I could be very happy, so from that standpoint itís easier to buy on the net, especially if you are making a qualitative jump from your starter mandolin. I had a friend buy a $7500 guitar he had sent to him. He asked me if heíd like it. I said I was sure he would. Would he like one of the other guitars hanging in a shop better? Maybe yes, maybe no.

    If you have been playing twenty five years, and you are very used to the sound and feel of a mandolin, that can help you online or in person. I think if you have evolved to shopping in this price range, you should try to play them all. You might like one MM over the other, and at these prices why not get the one that really does it for you? The flip side of the issue is you canít really go too far wrong.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  8. #56

    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    Thanks for the feedback folks. I guess my takeaway from this is that I need both My short term reality is liable to be neither as I am more prone to save my money and go for a great A style and it’s liable to be an Ellis just because they’re consistently great and their build quality is top drawer.

  9. #57
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    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    Not much else to chime in with, other than I, in general, tend to prefer Adi topped instruments, but my Silverangel from 2009 was reportedly Sitka, and it was an awesome sounding and loud mandolin. A Guild D-40 I own is also an awesome Sitka topped instrument, so I'll agree that it probably depends more on the builder and the individual piece of wood. If buying without playing, though, I tend to go for Adi as well.

    Also, despite my comments about not being a Gibson fan because of the corporate mess, if I were to play one that just did it for me, I wouldn't walk away just because of the name on the headstock. But, I'm not going to go intentionally shopping for one. I realize I'm probably in the minority here, and there are a lot of grassers around here who've commented, "That's a nice mandolin, but you need to just buy a Gibson," so to each their own.

    OP, good luck with your decision!
    Chuck

  10. #58

    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    OP:

    You sound like you have money.
    Take a trip to Nashville, visit both Carter's and Gruhn's.
    If you can't find something you like between them, you ain't findin' it.

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  12. #59

    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Levine View Post
    I believe this is the one:
    That things sounds wonderful, warm and woody, I bet itís also long gone

  13. #60

    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    Quote Originally Posted by mtucker View Post
    Agree completely. At the time I purchased my Ellis F5 I owned an earlier numbered (1500 range) Collings MF5 blacktop (probably should have kept) but nevertheless I spent about 2 weeks or so with them together to compare, so I had a good shot at AB’ing. I would say that they were very similar in tone, feel, sound and build quality, neck shape etc. although the Ellis blew me away aesthetically with wood choice etc. The Ellis perhaps was a little deeper/darker but very very close in mid and upper ranges. Crystal clear highs. That’s probably a better comparison than a Gib Ellis.
    I understand it was an apples and oranges comparison and that’s really my intent. I love them both and wasn’t really looking to compare two similar things, there’d be no dilemma then.

  14. #61

    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    The one Ellis I ever played was a very enticing mandolin. Not the very loudest mandolin ever, but it just had that something special I find hard to define. Such is the nature of things that people do sell them, like people sell Gilchrist, Heiden and anything else in their search for the perfect one out there.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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  16. #62
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    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    If you have the bucks, call Randy Wood and have him make you one. You won't be sorry.

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  18. #63

    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    Hey thanks again yíall, youíve all been so kind and thoughtful and I really appreciate your shares. If I could Iíd collect one of each and then some and to be honest Iím really falling in love with the tone Iím hearing from the Apitius builds, maybe thatís where Iím heading... itís a two year wait...

  19. #64
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    There is an Apitius at a store in Louisiana. Go to reverb, it is listed there. NFI, no personal knowledge of the business.

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  21. #65

    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    I’m sure everyone can guess what my choice would be.
    '02 Gibson master model #70327 02-01-02
    '25 Gibson A-4 Snakehead #82626
    '06 Hicks #1 and #2 F-5 still not done

    Gibson F-5 Master Model Registry

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  23. #66

    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    My problem with two year wait times, is that would be ten percent of an optimistic evaluation of my likely life span. Iíd rather be playing something for that two years.LOL
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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  25. #67

    Default Re: Gibson Master Model vs. Ellis F5 with all of his highest opti

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    My problem with two year wait times, is that would be ten percent of an optimistic evaluation of my likely life span. Iíd rather be playing something for that two years.LOL
    Agreed, Iím really missing my Mandolin but I am definitely not going to be lacking for things to play during any prospective wait.

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    Gunnar 

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