Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 58

Thread: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Harmony, PA
    Posts
    8

    Default why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    Hey just wondering why there are almost no high quality carbon fiber mandolins? Is there something about the sound quality that makes them undesirable? I'm asking because I bought an Eastman 305 a year ago and it is serving me well, but I know an upgrade is in my future. I figure if I'm going to spend a bunch of money it would be nice if the instrument was physically robust.

    Thanks,
    QTC

  2. #2
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Auburn, Washington
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    There are some. But, as you may know, tradition seems to be very important for Mandolin building and buying.

    https://www.zmandolins.com/
    These are sold out now but who knows, maybe there will be more made in the future???

    Peter Mix was making them, Mix mandolins. Not sure if he still is.

    I also remember a recent thread here about Synergy Mandolins...
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...Fiber-Mandolin

  3. #3
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine Beach FL
    Posts
    5,925

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    Well there was this company...

    https://www.zmandolins.com/

    Their website is still up so they may be producing another run.

    Marty Jacobson, who is a member here, has made a few, as well as Peter Mix.

    From the sound samples I have heard they sound quite good.

    Mandolins are a small enough market as it is, carbon fiber mandolins would be even smaller.

    Oops, Zach beat me to it.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  4. #4
    Pittsburgh Bill
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    951
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    Very occasionally one pops up here for sale in the Cafe Classifieds. Perhaps if you placed a WANTED ad here one may come your way. I think I remember reading in an old thread that quality and construction integrity can vary greatly from one mandolin to another even when from the same builder. If you can verify that I would highly recommend you proceed cautiously with a 48 hr. trial period.
    If you find one, give us a review. I, for one, have always been curious.
    A fellow I sometimes play with often uses a carbon fiber guitar that he purchased new for approximately $1800.00. Considerably less money than the carbon fiber mandolins I have seen offered for sale. It sounds fine to me and he appears content with it.
    Stiver A style custom #388-5-20
    Big Muddy EM8 solid body (Mike Dulak's final EM8 build)
    Kentucky KM-950
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Ibanez Bowl Back
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool & emergency canoe paddle)

  5. #5

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    I am fortunate to have one of the 30 Adamas MM80-NWT carbon fiber Mandolins that were produced by Ovation just before their New Hartford factory closed. It is a wonderful instrument.
    Last edited by Dave Bradford; Dec-24-2020 at 6:21pm.

  6. #6
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,913

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    I have one of Peter Mix's , an A5.. it's on it's 1st refret, now.. His F style sold at $6K.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  7. #7
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Marietta, GA
    Posts
    1,639

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    Marty Jacobson made one as an experiment I think and as something to travel with him across the country in a hot car. I played it once when we were hanging out and it sounded awesome. Not sure if he's Planning to make more though.
    aka: Spencer
    Silverangel Econo A #429
    Soliver #001 & #002: A double stack of Pancakes.

    Soliver Hand Crafted Mandolins and Mandolin Armrests
    Armrests Here -- Mandolins Here

    "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage
    to lose sight of the shore, ...and also a boat with no holes in it. -anonymous

  8. #8
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    1,284

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    I have a Z mandolin - sorta F style. I'm not going to paddle a canoe with it, but it sounds great and holds its own as a musical instrument.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Chicagoland north
    Posts
    250

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    See also this thread, and the mention there of EKOA instruments
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...Fiber-Mandolin

  10. #10
    Registered User Bren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    I have played one owned by a friend.
    I also tried some carbon fibre instruments at the late Stan Jay's Mandolin Brothers store.

    They have lovely bright and clear tone. Good depth too.

    Apparently the tone shouldn't develop or change any over the years as wood might. Nor with the weather or humidity.
    So I guess some days it will be better than an equivalent good wood instrument and some other days the wood will be better.
    Bren

  11. #11
    🎶 Play Pretty 🎶 Greg Connor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    It’s -3 degrees below here in Minnesota this morning! Perfect morning for playing outside with a Carbon Fiber Mandolin. I’d love to have one.

    I bought a Rainsong Jumbo guitar (carbon fiber) a few years ago and that has taken all the stress out of taking my guitar (usually a Martin) in a cold car to play somewhere.

  12. The following members say thank you to Greg Connor for this post:


  13. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Harmony, PA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    Thanks everyone for your feedback. I think I'll keep my eye out for something, new or used, to become available. Happy new year!

  14. #13

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    I read this thread a year ago (Happy Holidays, y'all), put a request in on Klos's google spreadsheet, etc. Today when I searched, a Canadian company popped up with:

    https://www.synergyinstruments.com/p...style-mandolin

    Super excited seeing the one from synergy: this is a search I do regularly and haven't generally found any widely available carbon fiber mandos

    They're on this forum:
    - https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/m...rgyInstruments
    - https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...Fiber-Mandolin

  15. #14
    Registered User trevor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    brighton UK
    Posts
    1,794

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    I had a few Mix carbon fiber mandolins. The sound quality was excellent.
    Trevor
    Formerly of The Acoustic Music Co (TAMCO) Brighton England now retired.

  16. The following members say thank you to trevor for this post:


  17. #15
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    25,554

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    They have a storied history here. I'm surprised that the mandolins Peter Mix was building didn't continue to top the carbon fiber market but things change. There have been a few builders.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

  18. #16
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    3,280
    Blog Entries
    11

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timj_r View Post
    I read this thread a year ago (Happy Holidays, y'all), put a request in on Klos's google spreadsheet, etc. Today when I searched, a Canadian company popped up with:

    https://www.synergyinstruments.com/p...style-mandolin

    Super excited seeing the one from synergy: this is a search I do regularly and haven't generally found any widely available carbon fiber mandos

    They're on this forum:
    - https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/m...rgyInstruments
    - https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...Fiber-Mandolin
    Prudent to exercise some caution in dealing with them. The Cafe has recently fielded two complaints about them per usual, because, well, they were discussed on this forum and therefore at least one of those folks think we're personably culpable for the behavior and response time of every builder on the planet. Of course we are.

    The specific issue is downpayments or payments in full have been made and the company is no longer responding to inquiries. I personally sent an email inquiry to Synergy about acknowledging and taking action on this, and email is the only avenue I'm aware of to get ahold of them. No response. I'd say if they want to sell their instruments through retailers, that'd be the way to acquire one. I know there are often reasons why builders don't respond, but there comes a time when you have the customer's money that a simple reply is in line. Right now they are not that organization.

    Further, to be clear, they were never listed in the builder database.

  19. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mandolin Cafe For This Useful Post:


  20. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Guildford + Falmouth England
    Posts
    837

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    Quote Originally Posted by trevor View Post
    I had a few Mix carbon fiber mandolins. The sound quality was excellent.
    Hi Trevor - what sort of price do you think a used Mix CF mandolin would fetch in UK, if one came up? (PM me if you prefer). Thanks, Max

  21. #18
    Registered User trevor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    brighton UK
    Posts
    1,794

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    Hi Max,

    Sorry, I have no idea.
    Trevor
    Formerly of The Acoustic Music Co (TAMCO) Brighton England now retired.

  22. The following members say thank you to trevor for this post:

    maxr 

  23. #19
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    29,536

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    Obviously, the advantage of CF instruments is ability to withstand extreme temperature changes that affect wooden instruments adversely. The construction method is different from wooden instruments, especially for carved ones but I don't think it is any less labor intensive. However, i also believe that handling the CF material is more caustic or even carcinogenic than most woods. Most of the higher quality mandolins are built by small or even one-person shops and most likely these folks would choose to work in wood vs. CF.

    Too bad that Synergy is undergoing some trouble. Their pricing for an A model as listed for $1900CAD is very reasonable, which might of might not explain their problems.
    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

  24. #20
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,913

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    the un imbedded fiber dust is a lung tissue irritant purportedly akin to asbestos.
    but that's a builder's issue rather for the owner of the finished product..

    Peter Mix is said to use the expertise of Clear Carbon in Rhode Island
    the company also hired by the Luis & Clark Stringed orchestral instrument company in MA

    CC does a lot of work in the Yachting sector.. as their site promotes./.



    ..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  25. #21
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,913

    Question Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    FWIW I Paid $3K for My A5 , with undisclosed issues..
    I sorted out the Tuner issue,
    the other issue was taken care of with a refret , after a few years.
    sent it down to Paul Hostetter.

    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  26. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Chicagoland north
    Posts
    250

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    Would've been nice to have a continued supply of those Z mandolins.

  27. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    1,431

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    All that aside, doesn't the cold affect the strings even more (regardless of the body material)- causing them to shrink and overtighten and be hard to press anyway? In movies you sometimes see fiddlers in the cold, not sure that's very realistic.
    "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"

  28. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Guildford + Falmouth England
    Posts
    837

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    All that aside, doesn't the cold affect the strings even more (regardless of the body material)- causing them to shrink and overtighten and be hard to press anyway? In movies you sometimes see fiddlers in the cold, not sure that's very realistic.
    In my experience, temperature isn't much of an issue with steel core strings, whether plain drawn or braided. Current synthetic core fiddle strings aren't much affected, but the old gut core strings used to badly affected by temperature, and even more by humidity changes. Natural bow hair (horse's tail I think) is also affected by humidity changes, in extreme cases it can make a bow too slack to use.

  29. #25
    🎶 Play Pretty 🎶 Greg Connor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: why no carbon fiber mandolins?

    I dropped a suggestion with a local Rainsong dealer to ask the Rainsong representative about building a line of carbon fiber mandolins. I have two carbon fiber guitars that I drag around town all winter long. It would be wonderful to have a matching mandolin. No worry from the cold, temperature change, tuning issues etc.

    let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Posting Permissions

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