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Thread: I made a "Smart" purchase this weekend

  1. #1
    Registered User Classicalcomp's Avatar
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    Default I made a "Smart" purchase this weekend

    Took a trip to Kansas City this weekend to Bradford Company Fret Shop to pick up two new instruments. I've wanted a matched pair of a Mandolin and Mandola and I found the legendary Authur Stern Matched Mandolin and Mandola from Lawrence Smart there at the location.

    Just a few observations.

    1) The Smart Mandolin is a joy to play. It had to have some work done on the soundboard due to a humidity crack, but it still PROJECTS (and not in a bad way). It's loud but very controlled. i'm enjoying it a lot.

    2) The Mandola is AMAZING. Any complaint I've had about the last 3 mandola's I've owned have completely been erased by this instrument. It's WARM and BALANCED. It reminds me of the sound of a viola in a stringed instrument section. If you really listen, the violas sound richer and fuller than their violin counterparts. Most of the last mandola's I owned just didn't carry the warmth or richness. They sounded like they were missing something. This doesn't, and it's easy to play. It just plays fantastically. I can see why so many musicians own his mandola's.

    3) Both are asthetically beautiful. Really to see them in person was a treat. The pictures can only show so much. These are so beautiful.

    4) These are my first Calton Cases also (Fiberglass). Oh my goodness. They're SOLID and I have no fear when they're in the cases. They fit like a glove. These cases are beautiful and I see why so many people own them.

    5) Mr. Bradford was great to work with. Very open over email, and really made the process easy. I liked going to the shop. I just wish I had more time there. If you need a quality instrument, check him out.

    Anyway, enjoy the overview pics. If you have ever had a chance to play these, let me know.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (I was) my own teacher and pupil, and thanks to the efforts
    of both, they were not discontented with each other. -- Segovia

    Lawrence Smart Stern 2-point Mandolin
    Lawrence Smart Stern 2-point Mandola
    Weber Gallatin Mandocello
    Weber Gallatin Soprano (Piccolo) Mandolin
    Breedlove Prototype Mandolin

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  3. #2
    Registered User
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    Default Re: I made a "Smart" purchase this weekend

    I have jammed with some "Smart" owners and they sound great and are plenty loud. Nice to hear you love the mandola! Seems to be mandola's on the rise as of late- more power to the mandola!
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

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  5. #3
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: I made a "Smart" purchase this weekend

    Very nice, I got to play those about a year ago or so and they are both fine instruments. The mandola I wanted to take home with me!

    Glad someone is keeping the pair together
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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