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Thread: Your thoughts on Ellis A4s and other modern, upper tier ovals?

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on Ellis A4s and other modern, upper tier ovals

    Quote Originally Posted by mike romkey View Post
    update: Just called ellis. I could get a new one in about a year. But i need it now. : ) or this summer? The plot thickens. I'm leaning toward getting an mt2 0, and if six months from now i'm lusting for more, ordering an ellis. ...

    Italian vs. Red spruce -- that would be the next question if i go down the collings road.
    Girouard !!!
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  2. #27
    Registered User seankeegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on Ellis A4s and other modern, upper tier ovals

    what about a Northfield F2S? Brendan O'Regan had one once. Tried it and loved it! But the neck as a little too thin for my tastes:

    https://www.elderly.com/products/nor...hole-with-case

    I would go for an Ellis/Pava, Girouard or Northfield over the oval Collings, but that's just my humble opinion. I'm not a fan of the Collings ovals.

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  4. #28
    Registered User Denman John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on Ellis A4s and other modern, upper tier ovals

    I kinda like this one

    Click image for larger version. 

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    ... not all those who wander are lost ...

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  6. #29
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on Ellis A4s and other modern, upper tier ovals

    Upper tier as in expensive? I would look seriously at Mike Black of Lawrence, Kansas, who specialises in faithful Gibson A2 and A4 reproductions. I have one of his A4s and I am very happy with it. On this side of the pond there are a few very good oval hole carved top mando makers serving the 'celtic' market.
    My current favourites are Paul Shippey in SW England and Rory Dowling, Scotland, who makes the Taran; hard to go wrong with either.
    Anglocelt
    mainly Irish & Scottish but open to all dance-oriented melodic music.
    Mandos: Gibson A2, Mike Black A4, Taran Springwell, Shippey Rosewood; TM and OM by J E Dallas (London) & Davidson.

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  8. #30
    Registered User Joe Dodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on Ellis A4s and other modern, upper tier ovals

    Quote Originally Posted by dang View Post
    I canít speak to the other choices but I love my Collings MT2-O

    The elevated fret board and longer neck do seem to make these style of ovals a little less tubby, a little more like a hybrid with an f hole instrument. I like that, but from what I read here not everyone does. I have a one-piece birdseye maple back on mine, and use monel strings - both of which seem to contribute to that hybrid nature... I feel the red spruce top also helps this. I do feel you could do the opposite of what I did and accentuate the classic sound by string and wood choice.

    I canít put my MT2-O down once I get playing on it, it seems to have the longer sustain and a deeper tone then my f-hole collings, but it doesnít quite chop as well. Definitely my preferred instrument for around the house and melody playing. I donít gig with it, but I have used it in a practice with a former bluegrass band and it did hold up well.
    I've got a Collings MT2-O, and second all of these comments. I used to own an Ellis F5 Deluxe and it was supurb (way beyond my skill set), but I've never played one of his A4s. They are spectactularly pretty, but then again so is the Collings. It is crystal clear and sweet with great sustain and an amazing rhythm strum. The Pava sounds more like an Ellis than anything else to my ears, and it's got kind of a similar vibe, albeit with less sustain and a woodier tone. As always, just play everything and go with what you love.

  9. #31
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on Ellis A4s and other modern, upper tier ovals

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Seale View Post
    I'd be hard pressed to pass up the Gil at TME. Those from the early batches are ridiculously good. Similarly, if you can find a Kimble oval, they're very similar.
    Sale pending it says. Gilchrist Model 1
    Jim

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  10. #32
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on Ellis A4s and other modern, upper tier ovals

    Quote Originally Posted by skiboy1 View Post
    I certainly enjoy the tone and playability of my Old Wave oval. I believe it was modeled after a teens Gibson and, for me, a pleasure to play. It likely does not qualify as "upper tier" as you requested.

    Gene
    LOL. I imagine Mr Bussman reading this thread and responding (a la M. Twain), "Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated". I guess I've been away too long if people have almost stopped mentioning Old Waves and Oval Hole in the same threads.
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  11. #33
    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on Ellis A4s and other modern, upper tier ovals

    My vote: Pava/Ellis.
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  12. #34
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on Ellis A4s and other modern, upper tier ovals

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Sale pending it says. Gilchrist Model 1
    For some reason, Mike started a whole new thread for this topic. It was he who pulled the trigger on this Gilchrist Model 1 and started another thread here.

    Further on the topic of oval hole mandolins: the main thing I have noticed is the difference between what truly should be called hybrid ovals, like the Collings and Girouard ovals (longer neck and x-braced) vs. other ovals built along the general lines of early 20th century Gibsons. The most frustrating thing for me is that often the makers don't post in their specs the style of bracing (Collings does on their site and so does Girouard).

    There is a difference in tone and projection for these different mandolins. I have played both and have liked them but for different reasons.
    Jim

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  14. #35
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on Ellis A4s and other modern, upper tier ovals

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    For some reason, Mike started a whole new thread for this topic. It was he who pulled the trigger on this Gilchrist Model 1 and started another thread here.

    Further on the topic of oval hole mandolins: the main thing I have noticed is the difference between what truly should be called hybrid ovals, like the Collings and Girouard ovals (longer neck and x-braced) vs. other ovals built along the general lines of early 20th century Gibsons. The most frustrating thing for me is that often the makers don't post in their specs the style of bracing (Collings does on their site and so does Girouard).

    There is a difference in tone and projection for these different mandolins. I have played both and have liked them but for different reasons.
    I believe Max changes bracing sometimes based on the top wood choice. For instance the port orford cedar tops (think Jill has one) has a transverse brace, like the old Gibsons.

  15. #36
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your thoughts on Ellis A4s and other modern, upper tier ovals

    Quote Originally Posted by seankeegan View Post
    I believe Max changes bracing sometimes based on the top wood choice. For instance the port orford cedar tops (think Jill has one) has a transverse brace, like the old Gibsons.
    Yes, mine is a port orford cedar top with a transverse brace!
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