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Thread: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

  1. #1
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    Default Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    I live about 2 1/2 hours north of Nashville and travel down every so often - usually to drop someone off at the airport. After todayís airport run I scheduled a stop at Carterís. Iíve been a couple times and it is always an awesome experience. Today I was set on a major purchase - specifically the Northfield Octave. I spent a lot of time with the Northfield, but it didnít speak to me. I even asked Walter Carter if he would put on new strings - which he gladly did. While they were stringing it up, I saw all the Collings, Webers and Pava Mandolins on the wall. They just let you take them down and play there which is awesome. I found a brand new MT with a Torrified gloss top and a beautiful wood set on the back and sides. Two songs on it and I was smitten. Walter brought me back the Northfield and even with new strings, it just didnít wow me. The Collings, however, is now home with me. I couldnít resist and I couldnít be happier. If you have never been to Carterís it is an experience and well worth the drive to be able to play pretty much everything side by side.
    Collings MT (Torrefied Gloss top)
    Northfield F5S
    Breedlove Legacy Concertino
    PRS Hollowbody ii
    B&G Little Sister
    Martin Custom O
    Emerald X7 (X2)

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Sounds like a great day. Hope you enjoy the new collings.

    Adam

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    Registered User JAK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    It's a 2,333 mile drive for me....
    John A. Karsemeyer

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashi63 View Post
    I live about 2 1/2 hours north of Nashville and travel down every so often - usually to drop someone off at the airport. After today’s airport run I scheduled a stop at Carter’s. I’ve been a couple times and it is always an awesome experience. Today I was set on a major purchase - specifically the Northfield Octave. I spent a lot of time with the Northfield, but it didn’t speak to me. I even asked Walter Carter if he would put on new strings - which he gladly did. While they were stringing it up, I saw all the Collings, Webers and Pava Mandolins on the wall. They just let you take them down and play there which is awesome. I found a brand new MT with a Torrified gloss top and a beautiful wood set on the back and sides. Two songs on it and I was smitten. Walter brought me back the Northfield and even with new strings, it just didn’t wow me. The Collings, however, is now home with me. I couldn’t resist and I couldn’t be happier. If you have never been to Carter’s it is an experience and well worth the drive to be able to play pretty much everything side by side.
    I probably have a very similar MT as yours, these torrefied top MT's are wonderful. Mine is similar to a Cremona burst, the tortise/white binding/purfling pops on it, and the back/sides are very flamed as is the neck. I think they sported these base level torrefied tops out. price is nice on these also. I've owned a few MT's in the past of different levels, this one is by far the most impressive.

    I have to ask, how do you like the Little Sister? I've had my eyes on one of those for a while now. Would love your thoughts of it, and wouldn't mind a picture or the MT and the B&G.

    thanks for posting
    d

  7. #5

    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    The Torrified Sitka MT might be my favorite Collings..

  8. #6

    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    I played a great torriefied MT down at fiddlers green last spring. Nice instruments.

  9. #7
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Great study! Im a torrefied MT lover myself. There’s just something wonderfully crispy about the tone, eh?

    Also... I had a 2016 MT prior to my current, and it was a wonderful instrument. Although mine now has a red spruce too and I’m loving it, there was something fundamentally special about the Engleman.

    Enjoy! :-)

  10. #8

    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Nice! I was recently there and all the MT's sounded great to me! That's great you followed your intuition with what instrument spoke to you!

  11. #9
    Registered User Al Trujillo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    I played another torrified MT last week (Darylcrisp bought the first one) and think there is something special about these Collings mandolins! I'm assuming you played the Northfield arch top OM? I played one and it didn't speak to me either but I have played the Northfield Flattop OM and liked it much better.

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    Pataphysician Joe Bartl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    I live 650 miles away, but I'd walk there if I could afford to buy the Gilchrist F4 they have!

    Joe Bartl

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    Registered User usqebach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Stay away from my Gilchrist!!

    I'm saving up for it! Should have it covered by 2042!

    That was the highlight of my visit. I have played a Gil F4 before that wasn't bad, but not fundamentally different sound than my old A-1 pumpkintop. This one, however, just had something special running through it. I just can't justify that kind of cash for my kind of talent.
    Jim Sims

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    "Me?... I don't practice."

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    Registered User Joe Dodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Were you looking at one of those archtop Northfield octaves? Those look just gorgeous. Nice to hear from someone who wasn't blown away by them. It helps to keep my feet on the ground.

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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Trujillo View Post
    I played another torrified MT last week (Darylcrisp bought the first one) and think there is something special about these Collings mandolins! I'm assuming you played the Northfield arch top OM? I played one and it didn't speak to me either but I have played the Northfield Flattop OM and liked it much better.
    Al
    were these OM's at "our" favorite shop?
    when the dust settles down the road and I save up the funds, I'm wanting another OM but guitar body style. I had a killer A style Girouard but sold it to fund a glass workshop, it was excellent, but I know comfort wise I'd like to try a guitar body. My first thoughts were Northfield. Interesting you liked the flattop, i'll have to check those out when the time comes.
    d

  16. #14

    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    I’ll second the emotion on the flattop Northfield. They are hard to find, and maybe that’s why. You see batches of them being made and none in shops (at least not for long anyway).
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Dodson View Post
    Were you looking at one of those archtop Northfield octaves? Those look just gorgeous. Nice to hear from someone who wasn't blown away by them. It helps to keep my feet on the ground.
    Well I dont know if it was the specific instrument or me not jelling with the scale length but Ive got to say I mirror those who played one at Carters and just didnt feel moved by it. This was about 2 years ago. And I wanted to be moved by it. Just didnt happen.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

  18. #16

    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    I'm perplexed by the Northfield sentiment on the thread. I played one of the arch top models at Dusty Strings in Seattle awhile back and thought it was just fantastic. It was warm, rich and lively. Maybe i just got lucky but i found it to be special. Curious..

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    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Growth View Post
    I'm perplexed by the Northfield sentiment on the thread. I played one of the arch top models at Dusty Strings in Seattle awhile back and thought it was just fantastic. It was warm, rich and lively. Maybe i just got lucky but i found it to be special. Curious..
    I've been surprised by the sentiments too. I've read SO many comments by other folks, amateur and pro, who have had such glowing responses to those instruments. Just a reminder that different people have different ears, and each instrument is relatively unique.
    Doug Brock
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Growth View Post
    I'm perplexed by the Northfield sentiment on the thread. I played one of the arch top models at Dusty Strings in Seattle awhile back and thought it was just fantastic. It was warm, rich and lively. Maybe i just got lucky but i found it to be special. Curious..
    Well I should have provided full disclosure in that, at the time, I hadnt yet played an octave. So me saying it didnt do it for me really doesnt mean much. It could have been the size/scale length and my lack of skills. Nothing to compare it to. But its tone wasnt what I had heard on utube with Mike Marshal and others. Then again my tone on my Gibson isnt like Chris Thile on his. So there ya go. But it is what it is. I thought I would want it. I didnt.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

  21. #19

    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    I think by now we all should realize that we each have our own experience, which we should trust above all the chatter regarding the idea there should be a collective consensus. I read all the praise regarding Girourds. I’ve played two. Didn’t like either, but heard from the maker disputing my experience as if my subjective opinion was somehow incorrect for me. I go out of my way to caution people about the Silverangel sound. I know full well it might not work for a lot of people. Those who want bright and brash will likely not want a SA.

    So someone plays this or that, it doesn’t float their boat and they post their experience as it relates to their person. What does this mean? There is one person who doesn’t like one instrument. You can postulate anything from the statement from the subject is a dunderhead to better stay away from all Northfields. The back and forth banter can be entertaining, and I suppose illuminating, but one should ultimately trust one’s own senses, realizing ultimately that they are likely flawed. If I fall in love with an ultra loud, ultra bright mandolin because my 69 year old hearing need the compensation, that is the mandolin I should buy.

    My main guitar is much maligned for its maker, the era it was made, its skinny neck. I found the one in ten that sounds good, it fits my small hands, and the ceramic saddle provides a unique tone. The package suits my voice. Plenty would disagree, but those opinions aren’t the opinions that count.
    Silverangel A
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    Registered User Denman John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    One day I would like to go to Carter’s and check out Nashville ...
    ... not all those who wander are lost ...

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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    ....... But its tone wasn't what I had heard on youtube with Mike Marshal and others. Then again my tone on my Gibson isn't like Chris Thile on his. .....
    My instruments also sound better when played by world class players. I'm just not one of them
    Play it like you mean it.

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    Registered User Joe Dodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Brock View Post
    I've been surprised by the sentiments too. I've read SO many comments by other folks, amateur and pro, who have had such glowing responses to those instruments. Just a reminder that different people have different ears, and each instrument is relatively unique.
    I traded a couple of emails with one of the well-known shops about them, and the owner spoke really highly about them. Then I mentioned I own a Pono octave, and he said that to his ears the Pono (at 1/4 the price) sounds as good or better than the Northfield. I'm sure he meant that as a complement to the Pono, and not at all as a put down of the Northfield, but he had every incentive to talk up the instrument that I didn't own and that he was selling. (I'm uncomfortable naming him since he didn't say that with the expectation it would end up on the cafe, but mostly I think it speaks highly of him as someone to do business with.)

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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Bartl View Post
    I live 650 miles away, but I'd walk there if I could afford to buy the Gilchrist F4 they have!

    Joe Bartl
    Save your shoe wear and just order a Girouard F4 for a lot less money and a sound just as good as a Gilchrist oval !
    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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    Default Re: Visit to Carter Vintage Guitars

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    I think by now we all should realize that we each have our own experience, which we should trust above all the chatter regarding the idea there should be a collective consensus. I read all the praise regarding Girourds. I’ve played two. Didn’t like either, but heard from the maker disputing my experience as if my subjective opinion was somehow incorrect for me. I go out of my way to caution people about the Silverangel sound. I know full well it might not work for a lot of people. Those who want bright and brash will likely not want a SA.

    So someone plays this or that, it doesn’t float their boat and they post their experience as it relates to their person. What does this mean? There is one person who doesn’t like one instrument. You can postulate anything from the statement from the subject is a dunderhead to better stay away from all Northfields. The back and forth banter can be entertaining, and I suppose illuminating, but one should ultimately trust one’s own senses, realizing ultimately that they are likely flawed. If I fall in love with an ultra loud, ultra bright mandolin because my 69 year old hearing need the compensation, that is the mandolin I should buy.

    My main guitar is much maligned for its maker, the era it was made, its skinny neck. I found the one in ten that sounds good, it fits my small hands, and the ceramic saddle provides a unique tone. The package suits my voice. Plenty would disagree, but those opinions aren’t the opinions that count.
    I would like to go to Carter's, or Elderly, or one of the other shops that has an inventory of multiple quality mandolins and see what if anything speaks to me. I will say that my current "stable" of mandolins have all spoken to me, when I picked them up to play them, each felt like I was "coming home," at least that's for me the easiest way to explain it. I am hoping that nothing expensive has that effect on me if I ever get to visit one of these places.

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