Page 1 of 8 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 193

Thread: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

  1. #1
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Balama, Mozambique, Africa, Earth
    Posts
    642

    Default I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    So, over the summer I was privileged to go to a small bluegrass camp in Nashville, where I got to play a lot of awesome instruments.
    Now, I've always thought F mandolins look the best, although I do really like the looks of an A, but until camp I had only about 5 minutes of time spent playing an F.
    During one of the mandolin classes at camp, I got to play a TKD Eagle F5 that another student had brought, and I discovered that I don't like F5s or tone guards. The tone guard was extremely uncomfortable, painfully poking my ribs, and the points on the body poked into my legs. Standing up it wasn't so uncomfortable, but sitting down it was very unpleasant. Has anyone else had the same issues?
    On the bright side, that discovery will save me a lot of money whenever I decide to upgrade from my KM150....
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    My blog: https://theoffgridmusician.music.blog/
    My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChF...yWuaTrtB4YORAg
    My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/africanbanjogunnar/
    Free backing tracks:
    https://backingtrackers.wordpress.com/

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    942

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    Peter Ostroushko, while not a critic of F style, definitely favored A style, and was very vocal about that. I own mostly Fs but I also own some As and have had a few over the years. As far as sound and playability the scroll has 0 effect , unless it has something to do with the way you hold it.
    I've played some very fine A models and they blow a lot of high end Fs away, its all in the wood and the creation process.
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to tmsweeney For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    1,079

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    An F looks like it should sound better, and certainly requires more effort on the part of the luthier - my hat is off to those who have the craftsmanship and artistry to carry out an F5 or F4 (or derivative) construction. The geometry of the curl is crucial to the traditional F style, but in the end it is a visual effect and a strap hanger, in my opinion. I've had A's, F's and twin points - based on my playing style and the way my mandolins play & sound, I only have an A5 and two twin point wooden acoustic mandolins at this point in time. Would I pass up an F that gave me the sound I wanted and had a neck that was comfortable to play? Heck no!

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    2,470

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    I don't like coffee. That's why there are many drinks. Don't like F styles? That's why there are many other choices. Do what you like. This is not meant to be snarky.

  6. #5
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,088

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    The scroll/points are cosmetic...the real issue should be preference for round/oval holes vs F-holes and SONIC in nature.
    The Gibson F2s and F4s were oval holes with scrolls and points.

  7. The following members say thank you to mandocrucian for this post:


  8. #6
    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Summit County Colorado
    Posts
    1,126

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    I donít like vodka martinis. It must be gin. Also, I enjoy F-style mandolins and coffee

  9. The following members say thank you to BrianWilliam for this post:

    V70416 

  10. #7
    Registered User BoxCarJoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    I don't like Bruce Springsteen but I've learned to not mention that in my circle of friends.

    But this is a wonderful place of discussion. I like A's also.

  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BoxCarJoe For This Useful Post:


  12. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Ms
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    I bought an A style in the beginning mainly because of the visual effect associated with an F style that wasn't who I wanted to be perceived as, not that anyone would ever see me anyway. I don't jam or even like the word but I do Play my A quite often around the house.

  13. The following members say thank you to CBFrench for this post:


  14. #9

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    The good news now is that no matter what your preference, it is possible to buy all manner of styles at various prices points. I can recall a time when an F style mandolin was expensive and I dreamed of having one. Having been laid off, I spent a whole heap of the cash I received on a handmade luthier F style mandolin. At the moment, I am playing a Venetian style mandolin but do rotate back to an A and the F style.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Knight Mandolin.jpg 
Views:	51 
Size:	1.64 MB 
ID:	189066

  15. #10
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Balama, Mozambique, Africa, Earth
    Posts
    642

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    I haven't seen any responses that actually related to my post, I guess it was too long winded.
    My question was does anyone else dislike Fs because they are uncomfortable to hold?

    As to round versus F hole, I like F holes way better
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    My blog: https://theoffgridmusician.music.blog/
    My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChF...yWuaTrtB4YORAg
    My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/africanbanjogunnar/
    Free backing tracks:
    https://backingtrackers.wordpress.com/

  16. #11

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    Would the need (or perceived need) for a tone-guard differ between an A and an F?? I don't use a tone-guard but my understanding is that the purpose is to hold the sound chamber away from the body to prevent muffling?

  17. #12
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Blue Zone, California
    Posts
    1,429
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post
    ... I discovered that I don't like F5s or tone guards. The tone guard was extremely uncomfortable, painfully poking my ribs, and the points on the body poked into my legs. ...
    But, how did they sound?
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus many other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  18. #13

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxCarJoe View Post
    I don't like Bruce Springsteen but I've learned to not mention that in my circle of friends.
    I have to admit that enjoying Springsteen is a guilty pleasure for me, and not without conflict. I often wonder how a guy worth $500 million bucks can be a spokesperson the the "common man?" But, I guess he wasn't always rich and that's where the talent comes into play -- that he can "play the character" of a working man and make it believable.....something artists do....

    Tom Waits, well.........I never understood what he was going for -- obviously he is playing some sort of barfly character, but it never worked for me? But, a lot of people I respect really like his "work." So.......

    As far as mandolins go, I like a 2-point.....basically, an A with a couple accents....

  19. #14
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    DFW, America
    Posts
    3,349

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    I prefer the simplicity and think A-styles look better. YMMV.
    ...

  20. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Caleb For This Useful Post:


  21. #15
    Pittsburgh Bill
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    739
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    I do not dislike F styles but much prefer A styles for reasons of I think more pleasing aesthetics, cost, more ergonomic, fewer protuberances subject to breakage.
    Stiver A style (MAS has stopped here)
    Kentucky KM-950
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool)
    Harley Benton A style (grandchildren's learner)

  22. #16
    Confused... or?
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Over the Hudson & thru the woods from NYC
    Posts
    2,454

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post
    ... dislike Fs because they are uncomfortable to hold?
    Two points (no pun, or accents, intended!):

    1 - The first impression of my '90s Flatiron F (twelve years ago) was that, when standing, it was neck-heavy, which I credited to the larger-than-A-style headstock. Didn't like supporting the neck w/ my fretting hand. Then realized that a minimum amount of fretting-wrist pressure on the body kept everything nicely in place, fretting hand included. No problem since.

    2 - As for sitting, some report liking the point against their leg to help keep the instrument in place. No strong personal opinion, but I always use a strap regardless.

    Thinking back now, several of my favorite jam-session moments involve having the freedom to go from sitting to standing, to maybe sitting elsewhere, without interrupting the flow of music. Thinking a bit further (I'm sorry!), that felt VERY liberating.
    - Ed

    "Then one day we weren't as young as before
    Our mistakes weren't quite so easy to undo
    But by all those roads, my friend, we've travelled down
    I'm a better man for just the knowin' of you."
    - Ian Tyson

  23. #17

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    While I don't feel strongly about it, I prefer A-style. I find F's less comfortable, but for different reasons than the OP. For me, the mass of the larger head on most F-styles throws off the balance, makes it head-heavy. I also like saving the several hundred bucks that the fancy scrolls would cost me.

    What I do feel strongly about is the hole. The mellow sound of my oval hole A-style is much more pleasing to my ears than the comparatively brittle sound of my F-style with F holes.

    Jim

  24. #18

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    Hi Gunnar,
    I wouldn't think an F-5 shouldn't be less comfortable to hold standing. Other than the scroll, the back contours are the same. When seated however, the points can dig into your leg depending on how low the instrument hangs on the strap.

    The tone guard is a huge help for players who are not skinny like you. It's purpose is to keep the instrument back off the player's belly, freeing it up to resonant fully- big difference in the lower notes and overall projection. You're thin enough that your stomach is not going to deaden the back vibrations.

    I don't dislike playing F5s but I do not like building them. That scroll with its 3 dimensional curves is an absolute bear to carve, bind, and finish. For me, it added another 40% in time and effort to the build (thus why they're so much more expensive than an A). They do, however, make a great strap holder! Once I figured out how to drill a small lace hole through the heel (during construction) to hang a strap, I resorted to building A models.

    The good news for you is that you can get a really good A model for about 60-70% of the price of a comparable F when you're ready to move up. BTW, Tim O'brien and Joe Walsh agree with you :-)

  25. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Rob Roy For This Useful Post:


  26. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    I have owned several 'A' and two 'F' mandos. My only comment would be that the F doesn't slip or move as much on my lap while seated due to the points. Never have used a tone guard.
    Northfield F5S
    2016 Mendel Octave
    Home built F5 (1995)

  27. #20
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    27,699

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    I have owed F-style but the only scrolled mandolin that remains is my mandola. I have no problems with the F design in terms of comfort. My main criteria are tone and playability. I have played quite a few Fs that I loved but my current arsenal keeps me satisfied.

    I do have a Tone-Gard on my Campanella A-5 but it doesn't bother me much either.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  28. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Greer, SC
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    I like A's but do not find F's hard to hold. When you get old you may appreciate a tonegard. A's sound as good as F's and cost less so the Jack Benny (look him up) in me kicks in.

  29. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,524

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    So, you played one rather obscure budget pac-rim F style mando and decided you don't like F styles in general? I got news for you, if you don't like the sound of the F style TKD, you likely won't like the A style either. As mandocrucian pointed out, there are virtually no differences in tone between A and F style mandos. I own an F and an A. Never had any physical pain associated with points on the F, thogh I can see an increased risk of neck dive being inherent to F styles. God knows mine suffers from it.

    Never had an issue with Tone Guards. I don't feel they are painful. The one issue I do find is that they can make a mando feel a tad less stable against the body, but it takes very little time to get used to it and the improvement in volume is inarguably noticeable.

  30. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,524

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    Mugger (holding a gun): Your money or your life!
    Jack Benny: [Silent]
    Mugger: Your money or your life!
    Jack Benny: I heard you...I'm just thinking it over.

  31. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Alex Orr For This Useful Post:


  32. #24
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    979

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    I don’t like them, I LOVE them!!!!
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
    2017 Ratliff R5 Custom #1148
    Several nice old Fiddles
    2007 Martin 000-15S 12 fret Auditorium-slot head
    Deering Classic Open Back
    Too many microphones

    BridgerCreekBoys.com

  33. #25
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    23,380
    Blog Entries
    53

    Default Re: I don't like F styles. Anyone else?

    I don't find the F style body any harder to hold, in general, than any other mandolin. I play sitting down, and I find the placement of the point and curl on the treble side really help keeping the instrument in its proper place. And on the few occasions I play standing I the body style becomes irrelevant.

    When I first started playing mandolin, it was a different time. There wasn't an internet, and the mandolin was not even on the radar where I lived. I figured it out mostly on my own. There was a publication, Mandolin World News, which I devoured every issue. It was in those pages I saw my first F style mandolin.

    My first reaction was that I didn't like it. Too fancy, with these irrelevant curly protrusions and the headstock looked like the profile of a nosed guy with a cowlick looking to the right. A few years later I happened to have a girlfriend who had seriously studied art history, and through her I learned of the different artistic trends in the country around the time of the design of the f style body. Art Deco and Art Nuveau and Vienna Succession and while my engineering rational analytical mind really never "got it", I started to love the f body design. I really started to enjoy its grace and style and kind of transgressive in your face decoration. (At the time I also came to appreciate and developed a real fascination for the paintings of Klimt, as anyone who visits my house could attest.)

    So, I am not an artist, I am not a conformist, although also careful not to be a radical non-conformist, I try to make up my own mind, my own tastes, based on my own experience and investigations. Oh and heavily influenced by a girlfriend or two. The result is now I really adore the F style body. I won't pay a large premium extra for it, and I won't worship it, but I do love it.
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

    The entire staff
    funny....

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •