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Thread: A-style and F-style.

  1. #1
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default A-style and F-style.

    Not another discussion on the various tonal qualities but rather an aesthetic question.

    Is it just me or does the a style look mote contemporary? The f style is beautiful. But I note if Iím doing a modern jazz style gig I reach for an a-style but if Iím doing a traditional gig I go f-style. Bluegrass of course is f-style with f holes.

    The tones are based on the sound holes rather than the shapes.

    But am I wrong? (Relatively speaking of course). Has the a style remained contemporary?
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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    While I prefer the F-style, the A is still very contemporary. It seems as if you're basing your instrument on how it looks rather than how it sounds, not that that's necessarily bad but certainly not the way I would do it.
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  3. #3
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    They all sound great. None of mine have let me down. So I can grab whichever. One. I just was thinking of the visuals. And not in a Ďoh this is far superiorí way.

    The a style was first. Then the f style came in. Itís just funny thatís all.

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    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    While all (I think) want the best sounding and easiest playing mandolin to their tastes for the particular music they intend to use it for. I would also think the looks of A style or F Style is merely a secondary preference based upon personal taste and does not define an intruments use in the same way as tonal difference due to other factors including but not limited to oval hole, f hole, flat top, aarched top, wood types, tone bars, and more.
    I personally prefer the looks and feel (on my lap) of an A style over that of an F style. This, I find is not usually the case for new players, including myself when buying my early mandolins.
    Not sure if this was the question or was it do we think an A or F style defines a particular genre of music to be played. For me the answer to that question is a definitive no.
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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Bill View Post
    While all (I think) want the best sounding and easiest playing mandolin to their tastes for the particular music they intend to use it for. I would also think the looks of A style or F Style is merely a secondary preference based upon personal taste and does not define an intruments use in the same way as tonal difference due to other factors including but not limited to oval hole, f hole, flat top, aarched top, wood types, tone bars, and more.
    I personally prefer the looks and feel (on my lap) of an A style over that of an F style. This, I find is not usually the case for new players, including myself when buying my early mandolins.
    Not sure if this was the question or was it do we think an A or F style defines a particular genre of music to be played. For me the answer to that question is a definitive no.
    I must admit, I don't quite know what I was asking - because I didn't quite know what I'm asking... I didn't want a fruitless discussion on the various advantages, etc, of either. I only ever buy, like all of us, I guess, mandolins which I like the sound of (provided that they fit within my budget). So the tone of the instrument is important to me.

    That point that you make that the newer players prefer the F-Style is intriguing... maybe that is what I was reaching for? Maybe I prefer A-Styles now... perhaps indeed...
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    Registered User archerscreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    Not me. I donít associate the A style with a modern look or music. I think of A styles as truly old school, turn of the (previous) century. I associate F styles with the 1920 Loars and later Ferns.

    If I was buying an oval, though, I would get an A. If I wanted an F hole mandolin, Iíd get a scroll. I guess I associate them with hole design.

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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    For Jazz though the 2 Point has become somewhat of a "style image" Thanks to Jethro Burns and Sam Bush for keeping that two point talking in Jethro's vernacular.
    I've seen Don Steinburg with a two point - and there is a Jethro connection there as well. Paul Glass , Tim Ware maybe ?
    Seem like there has been a resurgence in two points, rather nice ones too.
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    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    You can get 99 to 101% of the same tone, volume, etc from an A with F holes compared to an F with F holes, if they are built by the same luthier with the same wood selection. You just don't get the $1,000 - $5,000 strap holder.

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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    Quote Originally Posted by archerscreek View Post
    Not me. I don’t associate the A style with a modern look or music. I think of A styles as truly old school, turn of the (previous) century. I associate F styles with the 1920 Loars and later Ferns.
    They bring to mind Italian/Neapolitan style mandolins, except without the bowl. I'd have to admit that my decision to start with an f-style was simply: "that's what bluegrassers use". No other reason, really - I quite like both.
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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    Today's automobiles more of an "A" look in comparison to the Fins and chrome of those 50 odd years ago thus the A style is more contemporary.
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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    What does ' mote ' mean ?

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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    I can tell you from experience that with an A style you'll get more "what is that instrument?" questions when you play out. That said I love my Breedlove Legacy A style with F holes.

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    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    Every time I see Joe K Walsh, Kym Warner, Tim O’Brien, or the odd Adam Steffey video with his MT2, I really want an A.
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  16. #14
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    I should add my decisions In this case are oval holes. My f-holes I use fir bluegrass, or occasionally rock. Thanks for everyone’s replies, btw.
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    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    You rarely see an F-style in pub sessions over here in Scotland.

    You don't even see that many mandolins.

    So they seem cool-looking to me and I've always hankered after an F-style.
    I'm sure the cooler looks will enhance the sound somehow!
    Bren

  18. #16

    Default Re: A-style and F-style.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bren View Post
    You rarely see an F-style in pub sessions over here in Scotland.

    You don't even see that many mandolins.

    So they seem cool-looking to me and I've always hankered after an F-style.
    I'm sure the cooler looks will enhance the sound somehow!
    I agree, the sight of the scroll goes straight to the ears and makes it sound good!

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