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Thread: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

  1. #1
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    I wanted to give a quick review of my octave mandolin from Paddy Burgin (http://www.burginguitars.co.nz/instruments/cut-away/). This was a custom order which took about three months to have built. It has a 585 mm scale. The back and sides are Tasmanian Blackwood which I chose myself before the instrument was built. This review is pretty simple to do because everything about the build and the resulting instrument has been terrific. Paddy is both a luthier and a recording musician. He is about the nicest guy you would want to meet. He was in contact with me and sent pictures several days each week throughout the entire building process. He constantly checked in with me and it was literally as if I was sitting in his shop with my feet up having a beer and chewing the fat while he built a fantastic instrument for me. It is a very beautiful instrument, built with marvelous craftsmanship and care. It has a rich deep tone and great resonance - just a wonderful sounding instrument. I just love it.
    Now to get used to this big bear of a long scale!

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    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

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  3. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    I am just curious, Tim. What is the nut width? In the photos and the ones on his site it looks wider than others I have seen. Also what top wood did you choose? So the scale length is 23" (hard for me to speak mm) is that his standard bouzouki length or was that custom too? He doesn't seem to mention octaves on his site. I love those down-under woods. Boy, you are acquiring quite a collection of top notch mandolin family instruments. Congratulations.
    Jim

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  4. #3
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    Beautiful! Love the wood choice, slotted peghead and those looong points! What tuners did he use?

    Oh yeah, the shell work is nice too.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    Wow! Very stunning! Thanks for sharing

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  8. #5
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    "Jim Garber: I am just curious, Tim. What is the nut width? In the photos and the ones on his site it looks wider than others I have seen. Also what top wood did you choose? So the scale length is 23" (hard for me to speak mm) is that his standard bouzouki length or was that custom too? He doesn't seem to mention octaves on his site. I love those down-under woods. Boy, you are acquiring quite a collection of top notch mandolin family instruments. Congratulations."


    The nut is 1.496". I asked Paddy to pick the best possible spruce based on some tonal characteristics I gave him. I never asked him what he chose - need to though. I picked the scale length after a great deal of discussion with Paddy re. playability and tonal qualities. I don't think he has a "standard" scale length. Yes, thank you, I feel very fortunate to own these instruments!!!
    Last edited by Tim Logan; Dec-02-2020 at 10:56pm.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

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    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Beautiful! Love the wood choice, slotted peghead and those looong points! What tuners did he use?

    yeah, the shell work is nice too.
    Thank you! Here is a picture of the shell work in process:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

  10. #7
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Beautiful! Love the wood choice, slotted peghead and those looong points! What tuners did he use?

    Oh yeah, the shell work is nice too.
    Oh - and the tuners are Grovers. BTW the fretboard is radiused.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

  11. #8
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    A magnificent creation. How about a sound sample now, Tim? I would love to hear this one.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

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  12. #9
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    [QUOTE=John Kelly;1797906]A magnificent creation. How about a sound sample now, Tim? I would love to hear this one.[/[QUOTE]

    Sorry but LOL, with this gigantic fretboard, that will be awhile - give me a few weeks or so!!!!! I have an audio file Paddy made on it before shipping - but when I try to post it doesn't seem to work.
    Last edited by Tim Logan; Dec-03-2020 at 9:26am.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

  13. #10
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    It looks very lovely, Tim. I bet it sounds great. And from a very cool place, New Zealand. How did you come to choose this particular builder?

  14. #11
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    It looks very lovely, Tim. I bet it sounds great. And from a very cool place, New Zealand. How did you come to choose this particular builder?
    Hi Sue - I did a lot of research and talked with a lot of builders. Price and build time were important factors. Paddy fit the parameters on all counts.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

  15. #12
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I am just curious, Tim. What is the nut width? In the photos and the ones on his site it looks wider than others I have seen. Also what top wood did you choose? So the scale length is 23" (hard for me to speak mm) is that his standard bouzouki length or was that custom too? He doesn't seem to mention octaves on his site. I love those down-under woods. Boy, you are acquiring quite a collection of top notch mandolin family instruments. Congratulations.
    Paddy just let me know that the top is bear claw sitka spruce. That's appropriate because when you hold this monster in your lap you just want to give it a big bear hug! My dream is to play the Bach Cello Suites on it - so have begun getting familiar with those gigantic frets using the suites. This thing was MADE for Bach. Oh do I love that big resonant tone vibrating through me! It is just too, too cool!

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    Paddy asked me a great number of questions in the planning stages about my musical interests, tonal preferences, playing style - even picks. In the end I told him to pick best top wood he could find for my interests. As I mentioned, the back and sides were actually wood I sought out and located in Australia. Paddy then ordered it directly. Here's a link to the supplier - you might enjoy the eye candy;

    https://guitartimbers.com/
    Last edited by Tim Logan; Dec-06-2020 at 2:40am.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

  16. #13

    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    Tim, did you have a tough time with customs, getting this in the US?
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  17. #14
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobar View Post
    Tim, did you have a tough time with customs, getting this in the US?
    Absolutely no problem what so ever. The port of entry was San Francisco and it went through in just a few hours.The majority of Paddy's customers are in the United States and he has never had a problem. I understand your asking because at one time I tried to buy a vintage mandolin which was taken over by customs forever!!! The seller refunded my costs though - most fortunately.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

  18. #15
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    As I spend more and more time with it, I am flipping out over this OM. I'm kinda' speechless and agog at how wonderful it sounds and feels to play. It gets better every minute. I call it The Bear.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

  19. #16
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    Wow, that's high praise!

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  21. #17
    Fingertips of leather
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    You've got to like his maccaferri styled mandolins too
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

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  23. #18
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin review

    I have had this octave mandolin for over a month now. Every day I enjoy it more. Fingering challenges are becoming quite manageable as is tremolo on the heavier strings. I highly recommend the two points as it makes a 23" scale length mando completely comfortable to hold. The instrument brings me no end of enjoyment! I cannot say enough about this instrument in particular and octave mandolins in general!

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    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin

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