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Thread: Celtic Mandolin Builders

  1. #1
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Looking to learn some more about the builders of these mandolins. Sobell and Fylde being two of the oldest and well known builders, at least for me. Taran Guitars and the Springwell mandolin. Frank Tate. Nigel Forster. Red Valley here in the US. Who are some other builders in this style?

  2. #2
    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Hi,

    Joe Foley in Ireland seems to have had a good reputation for a long time.

    Regards,

  3. #3

    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Daniel Brauchli in Tasmania does a lovely job.

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    Last edited by seankeegan; Jun-27-2020 at 1:15am.

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Paul Shippey in England, superb mandolins,

    Dave H
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  7. #6
    Registered User Jim Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    You mentioned Nigel Forster who I think learned his trade under Sobell but not 100% sure.
    This Celtic model from Nigel sure sounds nice:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lg_StJ...ture=emb_title

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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Keep us posted on your search and especially if you buy something. I've been thinking about getting something along these lines too.

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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Jimmy Moon and Tom Buchanan are two more from the UK.

    If you’re looking at Fylde, bear in mind that Roger “Barry” Bucknall still insists on putting a fret marker on the ninth rather than the tenth fret - drives me mad!
    Last edited by Ray(T); Jun-28-2020 at 8:02am.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Roberts View Post
    You mentioned Nigel Forster who I think learned his trade under Sobell but not 100% sure.
    This Celtic model from Nigel sure sounds nice:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lg_StJ...ture=emb_title
    Nigel worked for Stefan for over a decade.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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  12. #10
    Registered User Paul Cowham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    There is an excellent luthier who lives near me in Manchester called David Lim. He used to work for Oakwood instruments in the late 80's and has made a load of flat top mandolins, more recently he has started making Gibson A1 style mandos (I've just ordered one). He is also a very good uilleann piper and maker. There is a picture of him and 2 gibson style mandos on his website https://davidlim-uilleannpipes.com/lutherie/

  13. #11
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Great info so far everyone! Have always liked the Fylde Single Malt but yes, that dot on the 9th fret is maddening. Some pretty healthy prices and wait times on others. Good for those builders!! Any other North American builders of this style? Clearly there are plenty go builders making excellent carved top oval holes.

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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Quite a lot of the names mentioned here cropped up in a similar thread about Irish bouzoukis last year.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ouzouki+makers
    David A. Gordon

  15. #13
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Did ye see this one? NFI on my part obviously - would love to have the $$ for this though!

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/156847#156847
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
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    my Youtube channel
    Blog: rural.trad.punk

  16. #14

    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Be careful with the Sobells. I’ve owned a few, and they all needed some sort of work, and not minor stuff. Non-working truss rods, splits between the fretboard and top at the neck joint, etc. I’ve got to say, the best Irish style mandolin I’ve owned is this

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Shaun, you just missed a nice Trillium at TME, and at a great price.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  17. #15
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    You would post a pic of that Campanella..... I did see the Trillium. I'm kinda done with long scale mando family instruments, especially after getting the banjo. It's just so much easier to play. I briefly thought about maybe trying DAEB on it but when I went to look at it again, it was gone.

    I've always liked the tone of Sobells but just haven't wanted to pay the price. I've also heard about issues as Mary describes. So it would have to be the right one from the right source. Also really like the Springwell and Forsters. Mostly trying to learn about this segment of mandolin builder since it's one I haven't dabbled in much. I don't do well with ordering an instrument and waiting years for it. Just want to be educated so I know what I'm looking at when stuff pops up on the used market.

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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    I bought a used Red Valley about six months ago. Even though the sound sample I heard before buying sounded good, I must confess that the looks of it really captured my interest. When I got it, it not only looked as good as advertised, it sounded better than I expected. Way better.

    Here is the actual mandolin I bought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHtY...ature=emb_logo
    And here is another RV : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTbxvxV3ybo
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

  20. #17
    Registered User seankeegan's Avatar
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  21. #18
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Can’t get that link to open Sean

  22. #19
    Registered User seankeegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Hmm... Working here. It's a link to Macdara's FB page and a video of a new mandolin just strung up and on its way to Custys in Ennis.

    I think if you click on his FB page link you should find it. First video. I've not had a chance to try his Mandolins yet but looking forward to getting the chance.

    https://www.facebook.com/mofluthier/?ti=as

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  24. #20
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Thanks, That link worked. Very nice sounding mandolin.

  25. #21
    Registered User MooglePower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    I highly recommend Macdara ” FaolŠin located in County Waterford. He built a beautiful mandolin for me that sounds amazing.

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  26. #22
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    Great info so far everyone! Have always liked the Fylde Single Malt but yes, that dot on the 9th fret is maddening. Some pretty healthy prices and wait times on others. Good for those builders!! Any other North American builders of this style? Clearly there are plenty go builders making excellent carved top oval holes.
    Fylde have a couple of mandolins for sale on their latest newsletter - https://www.fyldeguitars.com/news.html - and a video on shaping a mandolin neck, which I’ve yet to watch.

  27. #23
    Registered User seankeegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Not sure if this link will work. Ye vags with one of Frank's mandos.

    https://www.instagram.com/tv/CCbNPH-...d=ityj11nu8bya

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  29. #24
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    Those guys are excellent Sean! How about Cas Davey mandolins?

  30. #25
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    Default Re: Celtic Mandolin Builders

    I've never tried or come across Cas Davey mandolins, so can't comment.

    There's also Dave Shapiro:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCNLLUiDJD8

    Brian Lofthouse:

    https://brianwplofthouse.wordpress.com/

    Although not exclusively 'celtic mandolin maker', Phil Davidson makes beautiful flat top mandolins. His carved mandolins are amazing as well.

    https://www.davidsoninstruments.com/...ke-a-davidson/

    I'm with mandolbar - lots of great carved mandolins being made in the states that are perfect for playing 'celtic' music. These are my two favs at the moment:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    According to Google photo memories, I arrived home from states with the Girouard 2 years ago this week. Played it almost everyday; it's a beast. Currently have it in C - tuned FCGD. 11.5's on the 1st string and wound 16s on the second. So much fun to play and sounds great with fiddle for trad tunes.

    However, if there's one instrument that has my MAS flaring up it's the latest carved mandolins by Frank Tate. He recently completed a commission and it just looks so so good.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Probably won't go for blue , but the back on it is just something else. And they're a joy to play. If you go onto Frank's FB page there's a clip of him and BrŪan from Ye Vagabonds playing it and the prototype to it. And if you fancy some aural torture, you can scroll thru the videos and there's one of my trying the prototype.

    https://www.facebook.com/franktateinstruments/

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