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Thread: Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

  1. #1
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

    Hi. I saw the RAG mandolins listed here at the classifieds. There are times when I'm terrible at using the search engine to unearth old threads. This is one of those times. I've been to Roy's website and looked at and listened to his mandolins. They look and sound nice enough and the price is certainly right. I wondered if anyone here owns a Rag Mandolin, has owned one or has played one? Appears that he's built about 50 and at least two or three are owned and played by professional musicians.
    Gibson Custom Shop F5G Wide Nut (2010) Dave Harvey
    Collings MF (2016)
    Rag "F" style #40 (2018)

    Hohner and Seydel Harmonicas (various keys)

    "Heck, Jimmy Martin don't even believe in Santy Claus!"

  2. #2

    Default Re: Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kammerzell View Post
    Hi. I saw the RAG mandolins listed here at the classifieds. There are times when I'm terrible at using the search engine to unearth old threads. This is one of those times. I've been to Roy's website and looked at and listened to his mandolins. They look and sound nice enough and the price is certainly right. I wondered if anyone here owns a Rag Mandolin, has owned one or has played one? Appears that he's built about 50 and at least two or three are owned and played by professional musicians.
    Hey Bill,

    I too was very intrigued by Roy's builds a few months ago...but per the wife's rules, one in means one out! So I have been trying to sell one of my acoustic guitars for a few weeks.

    From the research I have done and a few folks I have spoken with who play them, they are indeed a great deal...albeit, Roy flies a bit under the radar it seems when it comes to the "best USA made mandolin" threads. Maybe that benefits those looking for something great at a great price.

    Like I said, I was really intrigued-a few months back now-, and as with many builders their focus is far more on the quality, feel and playability of their instruments, rather than their Youtube video presence or high fidelity audio recording set ups for demos, so I reached out to a few folks who seemed to have one of his mandos. A multi-instrumentalist named Eric Lee plays one and had sent me a few examples of his being played. He also spoke extremely highly of the instrument. Here are a few links as well:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCKi...ature=youtu.be
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWdyci1bqaY

    They should give you a pretty good idea and different examples of one of Roy's instruments in another player's hands.

    NFI and I am yet to pull the trigger (anyone want to buy an acoustic guitar?).

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  4. #3
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

    Thank you Redline!
    Gibson Custom Shop F5G Wide Nut (2010) Dave Harvey
    Collings MF (2016)
    Rag "F" style #40 (2018)

    Hohner and Seydel Harmonicas (various keys)

    "Heck, Jimmy Martin don't even believe in Santy Claus!"

  5. #4

    Default Re: Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

    There are a couple of RAG threads you can fine on MC. I own #29 - love it. It's the best value mando I've come across. Judging by the video I'd say mine has a similar tone- stronger in the low and mids (which I like), but the high end is opening up the more I play it and has a nice pop. I went to his shop and played 8-10 (?) that he had at the time. He had an A model on the wall, doug fir over cherry, that had a really beautiful voice. Mine had more projection though and I'm happy with my purchase.

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kammerzell View Post
    Thank you Redline!
    May just be your lucky day if you are still interested. Ray just posted a mandolin at a deep discount...just under 800 bucks, nearly half of what they usually cost. I'd be surprised if its still available, but here is the classified post:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/154351#154351

    NFI.

  8. #6
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by redlineroots View Post
    May just be your lucky day if you are still interested. Ray just posted a mandolin at a deep discount...just under 800 bucks, nearly half of what they usually cost. I'd be surprised if its still available, but here is the classified post:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/154351#154351

    NFI.
    I appreciate your help. I had him send me some photos, descriptions and sound bites. I ended up buying number 40. Just arrived today. It was one of the two "F" style mandolins he had for $1200.00 bucks. Been playing it since it got here at 3:30 PM. I'll let you know more about it. But I really like it and you can't beat the price.
    Gibson Custom Shop F5G Wide Nut (2010) Dave Harvey
    Collings MF (2016)
    Rag "F" style #40 (2018)

    Hohner and Seydel Harmonicas (various keys)

    "Heck, Jimmy Martin don't even believe in Santy Claus!"

  9. #7

    Default Re: Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kammerzell View Post
    I appreciate your help. I had him send me some photos, descriptions and sound bites. I ended up buying number 40. Just arrived today. It was one of the two "F" style mandolins he had for $1200.00 bucks. Been playing it since it got here at 3:30 PM. I'll let you know more about it. But I really like it and you can't beat the price.
    Thats great news Bill! Happy pickin'!

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  11. #8
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by redlineroots View Post
    Thats great news Bill! Happy pickin'!
    Well I wanted to catch you up on my new #40 RAG "F" style mandolin. I have to agree with the one other poster to this thread, Stopstop. This is one of the best value mandolins I have owned. I have enjoyed everything about it. The build and the finish are very good. The set up was excellent. The only thing I actually did besides tuning it was adjust the action slightly to suit me. The intonation was set perfectly and the neck was as close to straight as it could be, with just a little (maybe .002") relief.
    I listened to a number of the mandolins he had for sale and this one stood out for sound. It sounded just as good once I got it. The volume is there and I'm certain it will cut thru in a jam. Great tone across the strings from Hi to Lo. Just really bright, ringing tone up and down the neck. I am really enjoying playing it. I'll fill in the particulars before I attach some pics:
    It has a Adirondack Red Spruce top. Quarter-sawn Curly Maple back and sides. Ebony Radius Fingerboard to 9.5 inches. Three piece curly maple neck. Truss Rod with added carbon fiber strip on the bass side. Water base lacquer finish. All wood is 35 plus years old. Tone bar bracing.
    I have it in an SKB case I had at the house. I was shipping out a Breedlove to Louisiana and I was going to use the box that Roy shipped the mandolin in. But the SKB the Breedlove was in wouldn't fit. So I used the brand new Glarry case Roy had shipped this in with the Breedlove. It all worked out. Here's some pictures.
    One other thing I've noticed about this mandolin, and which I've mentioned to Roy. I watch the humidity inside and outside the house pretty closely. This mandolin has a penchant for more consistently staying in tune over temperature and humidity changes, both inside the house and out on the screened porch. Much like the Gibson F5G I own. I've owned other mandolins that no matter what, could just be a chore to keep in tune. And they weren't cheap (cost wise) mandolins either. I'm speaking of similar circumstances such as the age of the strings, the intensity of playing. Just something I noticed and I like.
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    Last edited by Bill Kammerzell; May-10-2020 at 7:04pm.
    Gibson Custom Shop F5G Wide Nut (2010) Dave Harvey
    Collings MF (2016)
    Rag "F" style #40 (2018)

    Hohner and Seydel Harmonicas (various keys)

    "Heck, Jimmy Martin don't even believe in Santy Claus!"

  12. #9
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Stopstop View Post
    There are a couple of RAG threads you can fine on MC. I own #29 - love it. It's the best value mando I've come across. Judging by the video I'd say mine has a similar tone- stronger in the low and mids (which I like), but the high end is opening up the more I play it and has a nice pop. I went to his shop and played 8-10 (?) that he had at the time. He had an A model on the wall, doug fir over cherry, that had a really beautiful voice. Mine had more projection though and I'm happy with my purchase.
    I want to thank you for your input on your RAG mandolin. I purchased number 40 after listening to some sound clips of what Roy had for sale. He shipped the same day I purchased it. In the post just above this one I describe #40 and how much I like it. There are also a few photos attached to that post. I'll also attach some photos, here, which I took, plus a couple that Roy had. I have to agree with you. This was a fantastic value. Easily one of the best buys for the money spent I've had purchasing a mandolin.
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    Gibson Custom Shop F5G Wide Nut (2010) Dave Harvey
    Collings MF (2016)
    Rag "F" style #40 (2018)

    Hohner and Seydel Harmonicas (various keys)

    "Heck, Jimmy Martin don't even believe in Santy Claus!"

  13. #10

    Default Re: Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

    I’m glad to hear I didn’t steer you wrong Bill, and welcome to the club! #29 is Carpathian with a French polish. When I first got it I raised the action to load the top for volume, but was able to lower it once it woke up after a few months. Maybe one of these days I’ll figure out how to post pics or sound clips... Play #40 in good health!

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  15. #11
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by redlineroots View Post
    May just be your lucky day if you are still interested. Ray just posted a mandolin at a deep discount...just under 800 bucks, nearly half of what they usually cost. I'd be surprised if its still available, but here is the classified post:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/154351#154351

    NFI.
    That is a great deal though. Surprised it isn't gone yet. NFI
    Gibson Custom Shop F5G Wide Nut (2010) Dave Harvey
    Collings MF (2016)
    Rag "F" style #40 (2018)

    Hohner and Seydel Harmonicas (various keys)

    "Heck, Jimmy Martin don't even believe in Santy Claus!"

  16. #12

    Default Re: Roy A Gordon (RAG) Mandolins

    If only the scale were a little longer...

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