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Thread: Kimble or Duff F5?

  1. #1

    Default Kimble or Duff F5?

    I need to buy a new F5 mandolin, do you know the sound differences between these F5? Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Call the Music Emporium in Lexington, Massachusetts. They have one of each (used Duff, new Kimble)
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    I've never owned either an never played a Duff, but I have played a few Kimbles ( both F5 and A5) and coveted them dearly. Kimble generally has very good reviews.
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Here is a Kimble BB F-5 With a sound video..

    https://gregboyd.com/product/2006-wi...ersari-2-of-5/

    There is a sound clip as well for the new Kimble F-5 at TMI

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    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Both are great. I've never played a Duff, but have been around Kimbles. There is a very good reason for their reputation. Go with your gut.

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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    I just looked at the Kimble at TME. I bet that gets snapped up quickly. Very nice. NFI, etc.

  7. #7
    Economandolinist Amanda Gregg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    I just bought a Duff. Oo-ee, is it good. I bought it from Skip Gorman. I've known that I liked *this particular* mandolin for a long time.

    As anyone here knows, there are big differences between mandolins made by the same maker, so if you have the time and opportunity, I would recommend trying out individual mandolins and seeing which speaks to your style and playing.

    Both Kimble and Duff make great mandolins that will certainly hold their value, so I think the risk is low.

    Happy hunting!!

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    Registered User mingusb1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    I've got a Duff A-5 that I love--plays easy and very responsive with excellent tone. A while back I was considering a used Duff F-5 that I'd played a couple times. It was very good but I wasn't sure I needed two Duffs. I also played a used Kimble F-5 at that time. It was a beautiful instrument but I found the tone to be too bright for my tastes. I look for something a little warmer/rounder, if that makes sense. But of course as Amanda says not all mandos from a particular maker sound the same.

    Good luck,
    Z
    Member since 2003!

  10. #9

    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    I own As by both builders and they are both great. The Duff has been my primary player for the past 3 years, so I've played alot of notes on it. They are both fairly recent. They both lend towards traditional mid range. The Duff I would say has "fatter" tones. The Kimble is more on the Loarish spectrum with more focused, dry tones. Maybe I will try to put up a little video A/Bing them for you. Both are great instruments.

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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Congrats!!!!! I remember you saying you may get a Duff. Amazing choice...

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  14. #11
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Two excellent choices. I'll echo what Josh said above. I absolutely love my Kimble F5. I owned a Duff A5 awhile back too but the neck was just too big for me.

  15. #12
    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    I dig my Duff A5 a lot. Punchy, woody, powerful and fun to play. You can hear my Duff on Forrest O'Conner's Mando Mondays. That's not a comparison to Kimble which is what I think you asked...but what the heck. I think it's hard to go wrong with a Duff...especially in this most recent period in Paul's building career
    1918 Gibson A1
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    2015 Heiden F Artist
    2017 Duff A5
    2019 Ruhland F5

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    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Kimble and Duff greatly admire each other's work and are Mando Brothers from afar... and they do festival duties together quite a bit. I have played Duffs and Kimbles and they are all superb... finding the sound you want will be the decider. I currently own a Kimble F5 and one of his 2 point mandolas. Kimbles just look and feel "right".

    The proof is in the picking' tho... good luck!

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  18. #14

    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Just go to Monroe camp. Both Kimball and Duff will be there and you can try out their instruments.

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  20. #15

    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Will is at the very top of his game right now. You cannot go wrong.

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    Registered User EvanElk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    We are in the golden age of mandolin building
    1918 Gibson A1
    1998 John Sullivan A5 - Ella
    2006 John Sullivan F5 - G. Hodge
    2015 Heiden F Artist
    2017 Duff A5
    2019 Ruhland F5

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  23. #17

    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Quote Originally Posted by EvanElk View Post
    We are in the golden age of mandolin building
    You are right on Evan, so many great choices today.

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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    I played the Duff “Scout” that’s been at Lowe Vintage a couple of times, and it was very, very good. Probably could have used fresh strings, but I didn’t ask cuz I knew I wasn’t taking it home. After pondering for a couple days I decided I wanted to go try it with fresh strings and really play it for a spell, but it was gone. Played a Kimble mandola at TME last August, and I was extremely impressed with it. Would have bought it, but just couldn’t decide what I’d do with it that I couldn’t do on my mando or OM. Not a direct comparison, but I agree with the assertion of others above that the Kimble was just a tad brighter. Geez, though, we’re really splitting hairs here...both are superb builders!

  25. #19
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Interesting to hear that people think that a Kimble might sound “brighter”. When I bought my ‘08 A5, it was that or a Heiden A5 and I (and my wife!) thought the Kimble sounded “mellower”.

    I’ve since added an F and that could strip paint at 20 paces!

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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Interesting to hear that people think that a Kimble might sound “brighter”. When I bought my ‘08 A5, it was that or a Heiden A5 and I (and my wife!) thought the Kimble sounded “mellower”.

    I’ve since added an F and that could strip paint at 20 paces!
    I had the same reaction. The Kimbles I've heard don't sound bright. Great tone, full and focused, but at least not what I consider bright. Maybe those in question were brighter, relatively speaking. On their own maybe people wouldn't consider Kimbles bright.

    Kimbles have a certain voice that both projects, and stands out really well, in a good way, in the sound spectrum of a group situation. If this makes sense. . . I'm no audio engineer or band expert.

  27. #21
    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Both will be fantastic. I prefer the slimmer neck and the sound on the 2015 Duff I’ve played. My friend’s 2010 Kimble is super good.

    You’re looking at $10k instruments. A visit to Nashville is in order.

  28. #22
    Registered User Mike Romkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Play them both and decide. I like Kimbles but have never owned one. I do have a killer Duff F5. Love it. When I wore the frets down Dale Ludwig did an excellent job installing those big EVO frets, which are wonderful. I'd like to get a Kimble 2-point someday.
    '09 Gilchrist Model 1, “July 9” Red Diamond F-5, '12 Duff F-5, '19 Collings MT2, ’24 A2-Z, ’24 F-2, '13 Collings mandola, '82 D-35, Gibson Keb Mo.

  29. #23
    Registered User Tom Hart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Quote Originally Posted by banjoboy View Post
    Just go to Monroe camp. Both Kimball and Duff will be there and you can try out their instruments.
    I agree with Banjo Boy. They'll both be at MMC, as well as some of their users who will be bringing those mandolins to camp. Listen, play and finish your week at Carter's where they usually have several of each to choose from.
    2011 Old Wave
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  30. #24

    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    Well, here's a video. It's not perfect as variables weren't controlled that well and the mic was a bit hot, but I don't have a ton of time to do another one right now. Maybe I will update it. The neck on my Duff is actually smaller than my Kimble. The Duff is more of a V.

  31. #25

    Default Re: Kimble or Duff F5?

    If someone is looking to buy a mandolin right now, if they see it, don't wait. Things are moving pretty fast, and lord knows what the restrictions on travel will be in a few months. Things seem to be changing day by day.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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