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Thread: Informal Poll

  1. #76

    Default Re: Informal Poll

    I'm 69 years old and have been playing mandolin for 4 years or so -- I play guitar and some banjo. I have 3 mandolins and am very happy with them -- the most I've paid is 4K. I play them every day and, honestly, don't need anything more. But how many years do I have left? 15 or 20, if I'm very lucky? If I were to go to Nashville - and I probably will, as my sister just moved to Franklin - you know I'm going to Carters and Gruhns. And, if I find a 10K mandolin that knocks my socks off, I am absolutely going to buy it and enjoy it every day that I have left on this planet.

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  3. #77

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    What? An internet forum poll doesn't count as serious scientific market research? Serious mandolinists don't come hear for their information? People have real lives with better things to do? What planet are you living on?
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  5. #78
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    Default Re: Informal Poll

    Quote Originally Posted by McIrish View Post
    I did not read the entire thread, but I will add to the data. Yes, I would pay $10k for a mandolin. I had a very specific sound in mind. I tried dozens of mandolins before I found one that was close to what I hear in my head. Surprisingly, I played some $20k mandolins that did nothing for me. I think it was dangerous when I went looking for a mandolin. I decided to let my ears chose without knowing the price. I had to do a lot of explaining when I got back from that tour with a new mandolin.
    Great advice !! I think of people would put aside the name on the scroll and the cost they might be very surprised at what instrument sounds best !
    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 !

  6. #79
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Informal Poll

    I'd say no, but I'd love a Sam Bush, or maybe just a Gibson. So, it's maybe no...
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    Default Re: Informal Poll

    $10K is outta my pay grade. I won't spend that much on a camera body and I shoot WAY more than I play. It's an economy of scale, right. People buy what they can afford (save up for). I don't even want an expensive car. I would rather have the difference in money to travel. I won't ever tell someone they shouldn't get something they can afford and desire. My MAS isn't completely satiated. There's always a slight itch for a pretty F4 style but, I doubt I'll do it. The instruments I have really sound and play great. Now... a 10-24mm lens for my Fuji camera... that may happen once I get some disposable income after all of this passes.

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  8. #81
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    Default Re: Informal Poll

    None at $10K, but there are a few I'd go for in the 20K range. Gilchrist, Monteleone come immediately to mind.

  9. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob A View Post
    None at $10K, but there are a few I'd go for in the 20K range. Gilchrist, Monteleone come immediately to mind.
    The creeping scale seems never ending. It used to be $1500 is where the good stuff starts, but somehow it $5-6K now for me. When I get that, it will be $12k, and on and on. How can people go on living after they buy a Loar?
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  10. #83

    Default Re: Informal Poll

    Quote Originally Posted by jefflester View Post
    I think "headstock envy" likely refers to the name of the maker. Not to be confused with "scroll envy."

    Me, $5K is probably about the most I would ever pay.
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  11. #84
    Registered User Mike Romkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Informal Poll

    If you're wondering what there is in the thin-air realm that might be worth paying that kind of dough, check this out. I have no interest in this instrument and don't know the person selling it, but Red Diamond mandolins are truly special. (I do have one -- the "July 9" voicing). A pro I know (you would know his name) jokes that the builder, Don Macrostie, as access to alien technology. These are easily $110,000 or $120,000 more affordable than a Loar. Are they worth what they cost? Oh yeah. I remember scoffing at the idea a mandolin could be worth even $1,000 ... until I played one and realized what the money got you in tone, playability, volume and workmanship.

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    Default Re: Informal Poll

    I was four grand short of a Loar when I bought my F4, and I never caught up.

    However, I enjoy the instruments I have. It would be interesting to own a Gil or Monteleone just for the experience, and to see whether they were worth the money to a mediocre player. But of course it's not going to happen, this thread is just an exercise in wishful thinking.

    My needs are well met by what I already have; in fact they're probably rather exceeded. 20 years ago I might have considered one of the above, but nah, not now.

  13. #86
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    Maybe someday ... Right now, no. Out of work, soon to be out of my place, living on savings and social security and the occasional busking venture or pick-up gig ... nah. $10,000 is better spent as many small purchases than one big one. Besides, I have seldom played a mandolin that sounded better than either of my plain A's from the teens. Perhaps I could do with some enlightenment. I dunno. I think a lot of people could do with some acceptance. If you know what I mean.

    Let me put it another way. My van and my mandolin together cost 1/4 of that. That leave a LOT left over for gas, oil, and strings.
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  14. #87

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    I suppose I could easily afford one. Which might explain why my answer is no.
    I did enjoy playing some nice Collingsí and Gibsonís last month when I visited the big shops in Nashville.
    I was really tempted by a used Collings MT-O , but I donít really think Iíve earned one yet.
    Iím waiting for delivery on a nice used Eastman 404 that I purchased from the classifieds here.

  15. #88

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    Please ditch the notion you have to reach a level of ability to deserve a fine instrument. For one thing, builders would go broke. Buy what you want to for whatever reasons but this one. My mission is to stamp out such thinking. The quickest way to self enjoyment is the best instrument you can buy comfortably, perhaps even out of your comfort zone. It will fuel your desire to play.

    I'd bet you a hamburger that if you take two averagely equal beginners, start one out with a Kentucky KM 150, or Eastman 305, both worthy mandolins, and the other with a Collings MT, or even an MF 5, and at the end of a year the one with the better instrument will be better because the mandolin would have caused him or her to play a lot more. That is why someone posting here just starting out buying something like a Ratliff Country Boy or a Silverangel Econo A gives me unabashed joy.

    I get to relive what buying my Silverangel did for me. Yes, I bought a cheaper mandolin to see if I'd like it. That took two months. I've reached the level of tolerable much faster. Next goal, better than average. I'm much more successful setting a low bar.
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  17. #89
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Informal Poll

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Romkey View Post
    If you're wondering what there is in the thin-air realm that might be worth paying that kind of dough, check this out. I have no interest in this instrument and don't know the person selling it, but Red Diamond mandolins are truly special. (I do have one -- the "July 9" voicing). A pro I know (you would know his name) jokes that the builder, Don Macrostie, as access to alien technology. These are easily $110,000 or $120,000 more affordable than a Loar. Are they worth what they cost? Oh yeah. I remember scoffing at the idea a mandolin could be worth even $1,000 ... until I played one and realized what the money got you in tone, playability, volume and workmanship.

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    I agree. The only RD I have played was Aaron Weinstein's and it sounded and played wonderfully. Much better in AW's hands, of course.

    I have played quite a few higher end mandolins in that price range and above and each had their pluses and minuses but there were a few I did wish I had the cash for. Like Bob A I was a about $5000-6000 away from owning a Loar F-5 but that was in the mid-1980s when they were about $10-12K and that was a ton of money. To put it in perspective, John Monteleone IIRC was charging $2500 for his Grand Artist model. That was a lot of money then.
    Last edited by Jim Garber; Mar-29-2020 at 3:55pm.
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    Default Re: Informal Poll

    I paid that much for a 1911 Gibson K4 Mandocello in very fine condition (was listed at $12K). It was worth it, would do it again-- except I already did. And I have it. So what is that, a yes or a no?
    jim

  19. #91

    Default Re: Informal Poll

    That would be about $14K Cdn plus a couple more K in taxes and cross-border shipping expenses.

    Gee, I should really make the acquaintance of a certain Mr Apitius.

    I have yet to ever pay more than $800 Cdn for a mando, but the day approacheth. I am strongly in need of a high-quality oval-hole archtop, very much preferably one that is already in Canada that I can play before buying. Iím looking at all those Collings models...which is very much the top end of my considered price range.

    Itís funny how you back-date the question. In early February I could have bought half a dozen at the price you mention with money that I donít have anymore, because it evaporated. If only I knew then what I know now....

  20. #92
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    Default Re: Informal Poll

    I’ve been thinking about the original question and how much money that actually is...
    $10k is not that much money. It’s just an average used car. It’s two average mountain bikes. It’s less than a motorcycle. It’s a couple months rent or mortgage payments. Really, don’t be cheap curmudgeons. Embrace your art and passion. The down side is if everyone decided that they wanted quality instruments, the price will continue to rise, and the $10k will be the new $20k.
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  21. #93
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    Default Re: Informal Poll

    Funny, that's about the time I was in the situation of wanting to buy a new mandolin. And rather uniquely in my life, I had enough cash on hand that I could have bought just about any mandolin that I wanted without any hardship. I had a list of specifications that I wanted but when it came down to it, I shied away from spending that much. I think that if I was gigging to the point that it was relevant then I could have pulled the trigger but right now my needs are such that I can be happy with having a good functional instrument.

  22. #94
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    Default Re: Informal Poll

    $10K for a mandolin would be out of my comfort zone, I'm afraid.

    A few months back there was an ad in the classifieds for a tricked-out Ellis, with all the extras, including an intricately engraved tailpiece and replicas of Handel tuners. If I remember correctly it was priced at $14K. Everything about it was exquisite, an absolute work of art, no doubt with sound to match. Whoever bought that one surely smiles every time they open the case.

    Recently I had the chance to spend an hour or more with a $35K violin and a $12K bow. There is a reason some things cost that much—the sound, the ease of playing, the range of tonal color and dynamics, it's all there.

  23. #95

    Default Re: Informal Poll

    The two most expensive instruments I have bought were a cello and a viola. Both were exceptional for the price $12,000 and $5500 respectively. One to each daughter. Those were merely serious student instruments, and the low end at that. $10K, its true, ain't what it used to be.

    I just figured out a $10,000 mandolin based on two hours a day playing over five years is just $2.78 per hour. What can you do for $2.78 an hour? After that, it's free for the rest of your life.
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  25. #96
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    Default Re: Informal Poll

    Back when I had no money but good credit I paid twelve thousand ( almost thirteen) dollars for a Sergio Peresson violin. Made payments to my mom until paid off. Long story short and fast forward thirty seven years and that violin which I gave to my daughter now sells for over fifty thousand dollars. Daughter still plays it !
    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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