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Thread: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

  1. #1
    Registered User Mandoborg's Avatar
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    Default Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    Haven't posted in here in ages but still continue to stop by occasionally. One thing I've always wondered, and even more lately, is why don't any of the top builders ever post here ? I'm talking builders like Monteleone, Nugget, Don Macrostie. I remember Dude and Tom Ellis would chime in from time to time, and Andrew Mowry was a HUGE help for a long time on here, and still is, but this place has gone silent from most of the more experienced builders out there. Seems like every question posted is answered by the same 2 or 3 people. Just curious if anyone knows why they shy away from here.

    Hope this finds everyone doing well and staying healthy.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    I imagine most of them are very busy and probably do stop in but just aren't posting !

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    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    I'm curious as well. It seems like on a lot of the forums I frequent that some of the traffic has gone to Facebook groups, but I don't see any of them there either.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    Andrew Mowry was last active today at 11:14 AM and last posted on January 7th. I don't remember ever seeing a post from Don McRostie or Monteleone. The doesn't mean they never did, it just means I don't recall seeing any posts from them. From time to time we see David Harvey and a few others. Paul Hostetter died a few years ago. Hans Brentrup quite building mandolins. Rick Turner is very active on Facebook. A large number of people appear to live on Facebook these days. Michael Lewis and Frank Ford were always here and gone. Forums always change, that's the way it is. I'll note that Ellis is a Cafe sponsor.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    Well I dunno but - generally speaking - wouldn't it be a little unusual for "big" businesses to reveal trade secrets that could help the competition to overtake them?

    Building cool musical instruments is one thing, but presumably in many cases there's a business/financial angle to it as well.

    At the very least, money aside, some people may not want their important and useful ideas 'stolen' and/or later patented by someone else who gets all the credit and praise.

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    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    I appreciate very much the contributions of all the luthiers who do post here and don't particularly care why others don't post.

    Everybody lives their own lives and while I place a lot of personal value on the Mandolin Cafe because of the amount of good information I glean here, it may not be for everybody.
    Clark Beavans

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  8. #7
    Barn Cat Mandolins Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Andrew Mowry was last active today at 11:14 AM and last posted on January 7th. I don't remember ever seeing a post from Don McRostie or Monteleone. The doesn't mean they never did, it just means I don't recall seeing any posts from them. From time to time we see David Harvey and a few others. Paul Hostetter died a few years ago. Hans Brentrup quite building mandolins. Rick Turner is very active on Facebook. A large number of people appear to live on Facebook these days. Michael Lewis and Frank Ford were always here and gone. Forums always change, that's the way it is. I'll note that Ellis is a Cafe sponsor.
    And let's not forget that John Hamlett (Sunburst) is on here all the time offering invaluable building advice, Graham McDonald likewise frequently checks in, and Mike Black is here now and again. Let's also acknowledge Mary Weber's frequent blog posts. And how about Marty Jacobsen and Steve Sorensen? They are active contributors. Please remember that these artists/craftspeople are making a living building instruments and posting takes time away from that. Let's be sure we show them the appreciation they so deserve.
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  10. #8
    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    "One thing I've always wondered, and even more lately, is why don't any of the top builders ever post here ? "

    What were their responses when asked this question?

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    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    The vast majority of Facebook's mandolin groups are incredibly lame (nothing wrong with that if they're having fun!) with very little traffic, and at least two run by people that caught hell from members here and ran themselves off--sorry, wasn't just me. Last I looked "THE LARGEST MANDOLIN COMMUNITY ON FACEBOOK," as it proudly proclaims itself averages a whopping--hold onto yer hats-- 50 posts a day. This space got 116 overnight on a Forum that's mostly U.S. members, meaning most of the membership was asleep, and we don't even count all the social groups activity. I have noticed the trend though, that people that live on Facebook think everything happens there and nowhere else. And as far as the first three named in the opening post, all around the age of 70 or much older, those folks rarely if ever posted much anywhere on the internet. Nor does Gilchrist and a number of others, so not sure where that comes from. Don't think Monteleone has built more one mandolin a year, if that, in the past 10 years, so why would he hang out on a mandolin forum???
    Last edited by Mandolin Cafe; Jan-17-2021 at 9:39am.

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  13. #10

    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    Don't worry, there's still a lot of great builders, John Hamelett for one and many others that answer questions all the time. Coming to this forum is like going to school, almost. Oh one name was left off the list of big name builders, Roger Siminoff used to post here.
    Richard Hutchings

  14. #11
    Registered User Tom C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    For the ones making expensive ones going over $20K a mando.. probably retired. Now just doing it because how can one stop selling them for these prices when just 10 years ago, they were 1/2 or 1/3 the price. Make 1 a month and net over $100K. is pretty good.

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    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    Barring personal tweaks to processes a lot of the answers are answered right right of the bat by some of the more active pro's. How many times can a person chime in with the same advice. That and like all things building a lot of questions are just repeats of questions already covered and I imagine people get tired of repeating the same answers. Just some food for thought.
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    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    Lynn is playing clawhammer with us over on Hilarie Burhans Paetron’s group. I was surprised to see him there, but then again, we all need something different once in a while.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  18. #14

    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    I’m pretty sure Gilchrist stopped coming here because he kept getting skipped over on the traveling pick sampler.
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  20. #15

    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ColdBeerGoCubs View Post
    Im pretty sure Gilchrist stopped coming here because he kept getting skipped over on the traveling pick sampler.
    Stephen tried to propose a Model 1-for-pick sampler in-kind trade but he balked at spending the additional cash necessary to make it a fair value exchange. I couldn't wait for his next F5 to be finished so had to decline the counter offer. His loss.

    C. ~/:/~
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  22. #16

    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Clark View Post
    And let's not forget that John Hamlett (Sunburst) is on here all the time offering invaluable building advice, Graham McDonald likewise frequently checks in, and Mike Black is here now and again. Let's also acknowledge Mary Weber's frequent blog posts. And how about Marty Jacobsen and Steve Sorensen? They are active contributors. Please remember that these artists/craftspeople are making a living building instruments and posting takes time away from that. Let's be sure we show them the appreciation they so deserve.
    I don't believe Skip Kelley was mentioned. Another frequent contributor.
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  24. #17

    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    Barring personal tweaks to processes a lot of the answers are answered right right of the bat by some of the more active pro's. How many times can a person chime in with the same advice. That and like all things building a lot of questions are just repeats of questions already covered and I imagine people get tired of repeating the same answers. Just some food for thought.
    As a complete novice (one F5 under my belt in 3 years with three in the works...) I have actually tried more and more to search the archives before posting. And it really is like a database of information here. Very helpful.

    (Though I do sometimes make the mistake of posting first without researching. Sorry!)

    I will say that as someone at this very early stage of my experience building mandolins, the kind of information that I need is likely not something that requires "big name" or famous builders to chime in on. Usually it is a question that literally anyone who has built a mandolin before can answer--and they do, often very quickly, for which I am grateful. That said, I do appreciate the diversity of experience levels of the posters here because it reminds me that I'm not alone, that there are other newbies out there, yet we still have a group of experts available here willing to give us advice.

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  26. #18
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    Barring personal tweaks to processes a lot of the answers are answered right right of the bat by some of the more active pro's. How many times can a person chime in with the same advice. That and like all things building a lot of questions are just repeats of questions already covered and I imagine people get tired of repeating the same answers. Just some food for thought.
    Knowledge, methods and opinions of makers evolve over years so some repetition often brings out new interesting things...
    Adrian

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  28. #19
    Registered User Mandoborg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where are the ' Big guys ' ?

    Thanks for all the replies folks !! I'm glad this wasn't taken as a jab at the builders who ARE here. Never the intent. I've received TONS of info over the years from every level of builder on here. An invaluable resource. I just feel nostalgic when talking to builders that were building in the 70's - late 80's. Pre- Internet. Best day of my ' lutherie' life was talking with John Monteleone and Tom Ellis at the first Newport Guitar Festival. Learned an INCREDIBLE amount in just a 1/2 with each. Very humble gentleman too considering there reputations in the field. Thanks again for the insightful discussion.

    Jim

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