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Thread: Solo builders

  1. #26

    Default Re: Solo builders

    Matt's F5's are currently prices at $7K the last I heard. Well worth it in my view. Wienman F5's are about $6K(also well worth it in my limited view So many exceptional builders in today's mando community. Oliver Apitius also absolutely exceptional.

  2. #27
    Registered User Joel Osborne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solo builders

    I highly recommend checking out Ratliff Mandolins.

    http://www.ratliffmandolins.com/
    "I知 not skinning a live cat I知 playing the Mandolin"

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  4. #28

    Default Re: Solo builders

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    If you were going to shop for a new mandolin, new to you that is, in the five or six thousand range new or used, what luthiers would be on your radar along with the usual Collings, Gibson, Weber, Pava fare? How would you go about finding them?

    I was cruising Mandolin Mutt the other day and there were a bunch of interesting possibilities. Many of the name builders are twice that budget or close. I知 especially interested in hearing from those who have been happy jumping into the unknown. I did that with my Silverangel at a much more modest price point.

    The obvious is a trip to Nashville, but other than that?
    I ordered a custom Hamlett without ever seeing one in person and it couldn't have gone better.
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

  5. #29
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solo builders

    We are living in an era when luthiery (and woods for construction) are at a much higher level than 50 years ago. Mandolin (and guitar) players have a much wider choice of excellent instruments than ever before - even for beginners, the "Pac Rim" instruments are so much superior than anything I ever cut my fingers on. Th OP's budget opens up so many excellent choices, it's really a matter of playing as many different mandolins as possible, including a road trip to Nashville or other meccas with mandolin inventory. If you don't find the perfect mandolin, but like a builder's product, you can always go the custom route to get the perfect neck, etc. Or play the Mandolin Cafe (or other dealer's website)catch and release game. I always figure that if I buy a mandolin and have a return period, the cost of the return is of educational value. If you buy wisely, you won't get burned if you decide down the road that you want to trial another mandolin.

    Good Hunting!

  6. #30

    Default Re: Solo builders

    While not actively searching, I'm trying to get educated so when I may have a mandolin in my hands, I'll know the market well enough to to gauge value, and have played enough to recognize special, and have the confidence to pounce. A happy outcome of me building one is that I managed to create one where I will have to think it special to spend that kind of money on another mandolin.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  7. #31

    Default Re: Solo builders

    Although I love the F5's i own, I'm a closet A5 fan at heart. So much value and tone.

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  9. #32

    Default Re: Solo builders

    I liked reading the suggestions above. Learned quite a bit.

    The question has led me to two thoughts. Neither will be helpful to you, but at least they're helpful to me:

    1. Buying a $6k instrument would be the end of my marriage. In a bad way.

    2. The question has made me realize how lucky I am that my music talent is song writing, not playing. Pen and paper don't cost much, and the instruments I play my music on don't have to be pro- or dentist-grade to get the job done. (As it is, I have a lot more invested in gear than I can justify. My only defense is the standard guitarist fall-back: At least it's not motorcycles. Or horse racing, heroin, dice, sailboats, or women. . . .)

  10. #33
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solo builders

    Check Marty Jacobson. He's a fellow Atlantan. A great guy. And his mandolins sound fabulous.
    belbein

    添ears ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, 選n this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

    See my latest blog post: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/en...lay-for-People

  11. #34
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solo builders

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    1. Buying a $6k instrument would be the end of my marriage. In a bad way.
    "Honey, am I worth less to you than a $6000 mandolin? Honey? Honey? Don't slam the door--"

    There's a song for you, by the way. [Blues rhythm] "Yes my baby left me / and left my mandolin. / I sure do miss her / but I guess it's all win-win..."

    I do in fact use the "I don't spend money on whores, drugs, gambling, drinking …" but unfortunately, she knows from experience how much I've spent on sailboats and an Airstream and a couple/three/four mandolins and some banjos and some guitars and some drums … And then there's my building/repair habit. I think the foregoing vices would be cheaper and maybe even healthier.
    belbein

    添ears ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, 選n this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

    See my latest blog post: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/en...lay-for-People

  12. #35

    Default Re: Solo builders

    Add Steve Sorensen to the list: https://www.sorensenstrings.com. Almost impossible to find one used, which says something...

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  14. #36

    Default Re: Solo builders

    I'd love a Sorensen. But the only one for sale right now is $8k used.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  15. #37
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solo builders

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Growth View Post
    Although I love the F5's i own, I'm a closet A5 fan at heart. So much value and tone.
    Me too. I have a few in my closet.
    Jim

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  17. #38

    Default Re: Solo builders

    Still a bargain, imo . Hard to go wrong in that price range, but hard to find something that's not a F5 lookalike that still has the magic.

  18. #39
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    Default Re: Solo builders

    Single makers should include Robb Bophy in Colorado. His Elkhorn mandolins are mighty fine, I love mine and liked others that I have played. His prices ar ein line and his work is first class.

  19. #40

    Default Re: Solo builders

    There's a lot of magic in a lot of A style mandolins. I own a few A's and F styles, and I still prefer playing an A. I'm more comfortable playing an A these days. There are some very nice solo builders out there. But in the twenty years that I have been playing mandolin, I have seen a fair amount of builders come and go.

    Remember, you are not saving any money if the instrument you get needs $$$ work, especially fretwork.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  20. #41
    Bob Ayers Ranger Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solo builders

    I happened onto a Nichols Road F5 by Bruce Clark. Big $ tone and playability for modest $.
    10 Weber Yellowstone 5 course mandola
    99 Larrivee DV-09e
    77 Givens A5

  21. #42
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solo builders

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    If you were going to shop for a new mandolin, new to you that is, in the five or six thousand range new or used, what luthiers would be on your radar along with the usual Collings, Gibson, Weber, Pava fare? How would you go about finding them?
    If I were you, I壇 drive to Gryphon:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/150843#150843
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5
    2018 Vessel TM5

  22. #43

    Default Re: Solo builders

    I go to Gryphon about once a month. You can play about a dozen Collings mandolins, Usually they have one or two Northfields. They try to have one or two mandolas and octaves too, and a lot of Eastmans. Otherwise they might have one used something or other. A few months ago, they had a used Ellis, last month a nice Gibson F, recently a Pava. So of the instruments I'm interested in, not counting the old teens As, that is five brands over a three month period. I realize that is more than most people can get to, and I love buying from Gryphon, but I'm not going to take a hit on buying a new mandolin, nor the worry. Useing that as a criteria, over the last six months, talking F styles here, they had one Collings, an Ellis, a Gibson a Pava. Four mandolins. Hence my question. Now look at Carter's alone. Dozens.

    I'll play that Pava if it's still there, but I've played a few already. Not sure if it's the sound I'm after. At this point were I to buy anything, it would have to knock my socks off. I'm just going to wait for one to find me. If I just happen to find myself in Nashville, I suppose I'll go by a few shops.The problem there is a lot of mandolins there that are beyond my price range.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  23. #44

    Default Re: Solo builders

    I guarantee you, they have other stuff going through Gryphons that you never see. Most shops like TME, Carters, and Gryphon have Want Lists from customers who are looking for specific things. Lots of instruments change hands very quietly.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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  25. #45
    Registered User Gary Hudson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solo builders

    I would put in a recommendation for John Hamlett. He worked on my Weber and had it sounding and playing better than ever before. While I was there he let me play one of his A models as well as one of his F models. Both were very fine instruments, light and powerful. He doesn't build many so they are hard to find on the used market. He is also on this forum and frequently comments in the builders section under the name Sunburst. He really knows his stuff and is also a nice guy.

  26. #46
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solo builders

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Hudson View Post
    I would put in a recommendation for John Hamlett. He worked on my Weber and had it sounding and playing better than ever before. While I was there he let me play one of his A models as well as one of his F models. Both were very fine instruments, light and powerful. He doesn't build many so they are hard to find on the used market. He is also on this forum and frequently comments in the builders section under the name Sunburst. He really knows his stuff and is also a nice guy.
    But where would the OP find a used Hamlett F5 in his price range?

    http://www.mandomutt.com/products-pa...16-hamlett-f-5
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5
    2018 Vessel TM5

  27. #47
    Registered User Gary Hudson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Solo builders

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    But where would the OP find a used Hamlett F5 in his price range?

    http://www.mandomutt.com/products-pa...16-hamlett-f-5
    This forum knows all...

  28. #48

    Default Re: Solo builders

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    I guarantee you, they have other stuff going through Gryphons that you never see. Most shops like TME, Carters, and Gryphon have Want Lists from customers who are looking for specific things. Lots of instruments change hands very quietly.
    Oh, sure. But I'm not looking for an XYZ when I've never played one. I'm looking to play an XYZ, and a DEF, and a QRS.

    And this thread was started in part because of the selection on MandoMutt's website. Lot's of possibilities. Four or five I'd like to compare in the perfect world.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  29. #49

    Default Re: Solo builders

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Oh, sure. But I'm not looking for an XYZ when I've never played one. I'm looking to play an XYZ, and a DEF, and a QRS.

    And this thread was started in part because of the selection on MandoMutt's website. Lot's of possibilities. Four or five I'd like to compare in the perfect world.
    My point is that they might have XYZ, DEF and QRS and you would never know it. They are waiting for someone that they've just emailed or called to make a decision on whether they want them. That person might buy all three, or two, and then they move down the list. Eventually, you might see one, two or none of these on your visit. So, take this into consideration when you are out there trying play as many mandolins that you can find to compare in one sitting.

    It took me quite a while to find a Heiden even to play, and it was at a festival, and no, it was not for sale. If you just want to try mandolins, try Wintergrass (I believe Andrew Mowry is going to be there, and I saw an amazing Pava that was going to be there). It's a great way to see a lot of mandolins. If not, Grass Valley or some other festival. That's the only way your are going to get the education you said you were after in your other thread.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  30. #50

    Default Re: Solo builders

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    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

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