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Thread: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

  1. #1
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    Default How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    Hey all.
    I have been looking thru some pictures of mandos in both F and A styles along with 2 point and any other shapes, just to see what looks good to my eye at my age. One finish I really like is the one that comes on quite a few Eastman mandolins. The rich dark reddish brown finish really looks great, I think. But another that I think I like just as much and maybe more is the blonde glossy or semi glossy finish. I think it makes for an absolute gorgeous mandolin no matter the body shape. The only thing is thereís not that many of them out there or are regularly being made. Itís pretty much a custom finish wouldnít you say?
    I think if I could have my pick right now it would be one of these blonde mandolins.

    What is your favorite finish? Do you currently own a mandolin in your favorite finish or are saving up to get one?
    What about others? Are there other finishes that you really like that I didnít mention? How about sharing your thoughts on the prettiest mandolin finish colors?
    Of course if you have pics of some of these beautiful finish mandolins how about letting the rest of us enjoy it too by posting some of your pics?

    Thanks for your time. Hope you all had a great Christmas holiday.
    Larry

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  3. #2
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    I really like blonde mandolins, but I think my favorite finish is a light brown sunburst with the blend.... idk how to describe it
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
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  4. #3
    Registered User poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    I dislike any kind of burst, except maybe a subtle. tea- or honeyburst so all my instruments have at least a natrural spruce- or cedertop. Although my Martin ukuleles only were available in mahogany.

    The mandola was once available in all light wood colours but I couldn't find one now.

    Here are my newest





    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw...-no?authuser=0

    Kentucky KM-805
    Hora M1086 Portuguese II
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  6. #4

    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    My Feeling mandolin is blondish- it sounds terrific:

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    I think that a really fabulous blonde mandolin is the early 1950s Kay 74. I have the tobacco sunburst version which was known as the Kay 72 but the 74 is amazing looking- there is a photo of the body at the bottom:

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    Finally, the old Knight is blonde in part!

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  7. #5
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    Oh Yeah Nick-I like that blonde Kay man! Don't think I seen one like that as most are the burst version! Is the back blonde as well and are those solid wood Kay's? I had 2 matching 2004-2005 Collings MT2-V's in Birdseye Blonde that were lookers "One had a face in the back if you really starred at it-yeah I'll admit I'm half way nuts!" but me being into the very old instruments they just didn't do it for me so I didn't keep them too long!

    There's not a lot of room for error in a well made blonde/natural mandolin or guitar for that matter! One can't hide wood or builder flaws real easy! I've seen some spectacular Gils and Randy Wood builds in blonde! I'm sure there are some others?

    My favorite finishes are the old 20's Loar and Fern Cremona hand done bursts! The early Lighter shades and the later Darker shades" I do love the circa 1935 sprayed on bursts as well! I also love the early 80's Gilchrist's with the deep Red finish like Ronnie's, My 82 Gil F-5 that I had a tobacco finish and X bracing so me being a tone bar fan I swapped her but if I could get an early Red Gil with tone bars I'd try to get it, but I think they were all X-braced back then, but not positive?

  8. #6

    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    William, the back is blonde as well on the Kay 74. The body is laminated maple with a solid top which is probably pressed. My tobacco sunburst Kay 72 sounds amazing- a very woody tone. If you like big, blonde and really buxom, then this is the one- 18 inch lower bout! This is a laminated maple body but the top is hand carved- the f holes have a layer of reinforcing around them it was made in 1947 or 1948.

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    Blonde just doesn't look right to me.
    I prefer dark wood tones.

    Having said that, the sound is the thing and thus I have a blonde topped Coombe mandolin with a gorgeous darker Tasmanian Myrtle back.
    Bren

  11. #8

    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    I found a photo of the back from that listing.

    Attachment 190804

  12. #9
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    Really love sunbursts. Both the Gibson style (my preference is for the 30's over the 20's) and the more modern styles.

    But both my main instruments are natural as much as that's what was available when purchasing.
    2017 Northfield F5SA, 2008 Weber Gallatin F, 2018 Collings MT, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305
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  13. #10
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalapombu View Post
    Hey all.
    I have been looking thru some pictures of mandos in both F and A styles along with 2 point and any other shapes, just to see what looks good to my eye at my age. One finish I really like is the one that comes on quite a few Eastman mandolins. The rich dark reddish brown finish really looks great, I think. But another that I think I like just as much and maybe more is the blonde glossy or semi glossy finish. I think it makes for an absolute gorgeous mandolin no matter the body shape. The only thing is there’s not that many of them out there or are regularly being made. It’s pretty much a custom finish wouldn’t you say?
    I think if I could have my pick right now it would be one of these blonde mandolins.

    What is your favorite finish? Do you currently own a mandolin in your favorite finish or are saving up to get one?
    What about others? Are there other finishes that you really like that I didn’t mention? How about sharing your thoughts on the prettiest mandolin finish colors?
    Of course if you have pics of some of these beautiful finish mandolins how about letting the rest of us enjoy it too by posting some of your pics?

    Thanks for your time. Hope you all had a great Christmas holiday.
    Larry
    Nope ! light brownish-reddish sunburst !

  14. #11
    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    Hi,

    Two nice blonde instruments from veteran English luthier Dave Farmiloe. Dave is primarily known as a repair man, but he makes wonderful instruments.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Regards,

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  16. #12

    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

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  17. #13
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    I just saw this Blonde top Gibson in the classifieds... NFI.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/164742#164742

    I hope the next mandolin I add to my humble collection is a Black top, as I have been attracted to them, aesthetically, for a while. But, I dont really prefer one finish over any other.

  18. #14

    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

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    As much as I love amber/blonde/natural instruments (and obviously I do) I also love sheraton brown. Look at this gorgeous Shippey Axe(which sadly, I don't own):
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    To be honest burst is the finish I'm most picky about. There are some subtle bursts that I like (Girouard, Collings) but there are a lot of really expensive killer mandos with a burst finish that does nothing for me. Especially the bright round sun surrounded by dark brown edges. Some love it. Not for me. I wouldn't do blacktop either. I think it hides the wood and I'd be worried about playing in the sun.

    There was a good thread around here a while ago written by a player with a great mando that just didn't inspire him. He was feeling guilty about moving it but eventually he did and I totally get that. The whole package needs to work for you. And a lot of that is subjective. When you're inspired to play..you play more.

    Good discussion!
    Trillium Mandola
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  20. #15
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    While Iím not a fan of blonde F5ís ó yet ó I do like the look on flattop mandolins . . .

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    . . . mandolas . . .

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    . . . and octaves!

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    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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  22. #16

    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    A picture is worth a thousand words...Click image for larger version. 

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    OK, that two thousand words worth

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

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  24. #17
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    It does make me wonder how these Blonde finishes will age with normal sun/light exposure? I've heard it said that lighter finishes get darker and darker finishes get lighter.

  25. #18
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    I never liked them until I bought my Collings MT (which is a honey amber.) The only reason I bought it is because the price was right. I love the mandolin, and now I don't mind blonde mandos at all. I really have no preference any longer - a good mando is a good mando.

  26. #19
    Henry Lawton hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

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    This is our first born, aka #1. Built with Chrisís solid Arches CNC foundation on our kitchen table.
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  27. #20
    Henry Lawton hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    Looking at the photos I’m reminded to mention Doug at Hill Country Stringwork’s great Claro Walnut armrest matching our DIY pickguard.
    "A sudden clash of thunder, the mind doors burst open, and lo, there sits old man Buddha-nature in all his homeliness."
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  28. #21

    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

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  30. #22
    Registered User poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Wilson View Post
    It does make me wonder how these Blonde finishes will age with normal sun/light exposure? I've heard it said that lighter finishes get darker and darker finishes get lighter.
    You're right. Because bursts are toned with toner, that will fade with light and the years, while most blondes are natural wood that will yellow/get darker with the years and light.

    Here is a burst that in 20 years faded into a beautiful subtle tone. And a 100 years old spruce top, looking wonderfully.(Yes there was a painting of a wandering guitarist on it for many years.)
    Kentucky KM-805
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  32. #23
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    Quote Originally Posted by mmuller View Post
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    A blonde A4... very rare, very nice... I believe the Dawg has one too. Notice the later fleur de lys in the headstock...

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  34. #24
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    I have a burst MT but would have rather had a blonde one; to me they look so much nicer. But my mandolin was a gift, so there. There are way too many burst mandolins out there IMO, but that is the tradition, and it's a traditional instrument.
    ďNever laugh at live dragons.Ē -Bilbo Baggins

  35. #25

    Default Re: How Many Like Blonde Mandos??

    You can ride the range with my 1941 Louise Massey Guitar- sold by Wards and made by Kay for a very short time in late 1941. It should have Louise Massey emblazoned across the lower bout but somebody- probably a guy, removed the paint. The guitar is basically Kay's take on the Kalamazoo Oriole KGN-12 which is laminated maple and solid spruce top. This guitar sounds really great!

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