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Thread: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    I have a 2008 Weber Gallatin F that I have learned to play and love. I plan to keep it. But now, I now want another mandolin. I think that I want something in an A style and maybe with an oval hole. I want it to be different from the one that I have; something that has some good woody, bassey tone and sustain. I prefer a non glossy finish. I realize that I may have to pay over $3000 but would like to stay under $5000 -- maybe a little more but not 8 or 9K. Because of COVID my travel and opportunity to visit shops or play mandolins is limited. I have been reading what I can and listening to youtube clips of different mandolins.

    I think that I may have interest in Weber (especially a Big Horn), Ellis or Pava. The Northfield Big Mon has also been suggested to me. Or what about a Weber Vintage with oval hole?

    I have a really pretty Collings MTO that I thought would fit the bill, but it's not really agreeing with me. It has good volume and sustain but it's still not just what I'm looking for. I don't know whether oval hole or f hole would be better for me.

    Sorry to ramble on, but I would like to hear opinions and comments from the forum concerning a second mandolin for old time and Irish music.
    Last edited by jhkelly52; Jan-19-2021 at 2:04am.

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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    Maybe you could work out a trade with Dennis on your MTO: https://themandolinstore.com/product...ber-torrefied/
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    Default Re: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    I think if you want the deeper sound of an oval mandolin stay with a short neck. The sound of the newer styles with more access on the neck usually sound in between the old Gibson, deep sound, and a modern mandolin.
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    Default Re: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by jhkelly52 View Post
    ... something in an A style and maybe with an oval hole ... woody, bassey tone and sustain ... a non glossy finish ... may have to pay over $3000 ... mandolin for old time and Irish music.
    Except for the way-overstated price, you're describing my '17 Gibson A-1. IMHO, there's somthing really special about playing a 100+ year old instrument.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    Well there's no right or wrong way to expand your mando collection. The heart wants what it wants .

    But here we are all in some form of lockdown, so I'll play!

    You like your Gallatin and don't want to sell it. So I would move to an instrument that complements it rather than replaces it. I can't imagine buying a Big Mon for 4700 or a 6k Ellis A5 and ever using a Gallatin again. I don't think it's a difference, I think it's a significant upgrade. Some folks like to have a "campfire" mandolin so I guess you could move the Gallatin into the festival/campfire category. But honestly if you really love your Gallatin (and they are good quality mandolins) then I would search for something that is more different than another F hole mando.

    Three things come to mind:
    -Oval hole
    -Flat top
    -Expanding into mandolin family (mandola, octave, bouzouki).

    I would really think about that oval hole Ellis 2 point at the Mandolin store. Listed at 7.5 but I bet you could get 2k on sale or trade in for your MT-O that you're not diggin. Add it to the 5k you have and you're close!
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    Default Re: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by jhkelly52 View Post
    I have a 2008 Weber Gallatin F that I have learned to play and love. I plan to keep it. But now, I now want another mandolin. I think that I want something in an A style and maybe with an oval hole. I want it to be different from the one that I have; something that has some good woody, bassey tone and sustain. I prefer a non glossy finish. I realize that I may have to pay over $3000 but would like to stay under $5000 -- maybe a little more but not 8 or 9K... I would like to hear opinions and comments from the forum concerning a second mandolin for old time and Irish music.
    In the Weber line, I've always found the Gallatins and Bitterroots to have a much woodier tone than the Yellowstones and Ferns. So, I agree that for an even woodier tone with good sustain, you're probably going to be happier with an oval-hole mandolin.


    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Maybe you could work out a trade with Dennis on your MTO: https://themandolinstore.com/product...ber-torrefied/
    That really could be the find here! I'd ask about the year of the Pava, though. Sylvan Music in Santa Cruz has carried her A's with f-holes for quite a while, and the build has great from the get-go, but the tone improved gradually and significantly from #50 - 300. (I haven't played any more recent than that, and I think she is in the 400's now.)

    Quote Originally Posted by EdHanrahan View Post
    Except for the way-overstated price, you're describing my '17 Gibson A-1. IMHO, there's something really special about playing a 100+ year old instrument.
    I agree completely! I have a '21 Gibson A with a really woody and rich tone and good sustain. However, I've found those old Gibby A's to be really hit and miss, probably due to the variety of journeys they have had over their century-long life. However, they can be magical, like mine is. If they haven't been played much in a while, they need a good 15 minutes to wake up. Also, their neck also has a chunkier feel to it than most modern mandolins do. So, if you buy one of those, plan on factoring in the cost of return shipping, in case it doesn't work out for you.

    Since you are looking for a mandolin to use in Irish music, check out anything by Marla Fibish on YouTube, since both her mandolin and mandola are Wilson-era Gibson A's.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    Replies have been very helpful and just what I was hoping for.
    Hope to hear more.

    Also, would like to read a thread about the acoustical qualities of different woods. Spruces in particular -- Adirondack Spruce, Red Spruce, Sitka Spruce, Engelman Spruce, and European varieties. Is there a reference for this kind of thing? Luthiers must know a great deal about what wood they use for different purposes. Rosewood, Ebony, sugar maple vs. the maples, etc. I understand that people from all over the world come to Virginia for the sugar maple. Also American vs. European spruce -- is Italian spruce the very best??

    If anyone can point me towards an existing thread or reference, I would be very interested and grateful.

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    There is this Weber vintage F-4 in the classifieds at the moment...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/165761#165761

    NFI

    It might make a nice complement to your Gallatin.

    In your price range I would also consider an early 20's Gibson Snakehead mandolin.
    Last edited by Charles E.; Jan-19-2021 at 5:28pm.
    Charley

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    Default Re: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    Girouard oval ! Fantastic workmanship and sound !

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    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    If I had the money I'd jump all over this... how about another Gallatin!

    Actually, I still might. I'd have to do some serious convincing with the boss though.

    https://gregboyd.com/product/2011-we...lin-oval-hole/

    NFI, of course.

    Edit: another mandolin link.

    Here's another one that I'd consider to compliment your Weber. I've played this actual mandolin and I REALLY liked it. But it wasn't as "woody" as I expected... to my ears. NFI.

    https://store.dustystrings.com/p-3577-weber-bitterroot-a-oval-hole.aspx

    However, when I was looking for my second mandolin to compliment (sound different completely) my Yellowstone I decided on a flat top. It fit the bill for me. It might be worth a try.

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    Default Re: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    if you want something different, cool vibe, and not a lot of $, but coming from a shop that will have checked things out and will not cover anything up, take a stroll thru Bob Smakula's offerings
    http://www.smakula.com/Mandolins.html

    i just purchased my 4th open back banjo from Bob and i've been extremely pleased with everything coming out of this shop.

    d

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    Do have a question for the original poster - does your Gallatin have maple or mahogany back and sides? If maple, maybe look for a used Gallatin oval hole in mahogany. If mahogany (which was standard for the Gallatin in 2008) then the playing field is more open. There are some very good suggestions so far.
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    Default Re: Advice needed for complement to my Weber Gallatin F Mandolin

    interestingly enough I have both mandola and octave as Gallatin and Yellowstone, and I must say when played together the two have very complimentary tone, especially in the Yellowstones
    I agree the Weber Oval holes generally sustain better, but on the flip side are muddier on the bottom and somewhat buzzier but that is probably just my playing not the instrument.
    Collings is generally bright, Eastman as well. The Webers to me are warmer and darker tone wise. Can't go wrong with another Weber and I have generally been impressed with Northfield.
    But its a big ocean of mandolins out there.
    I am thinking about a widenut Yellowstone F if I can find one, missed two this last year, also looking at the Blonde Big Mon at the Mandolin store, I kind of want to hold out for a used Weber in the 2003-2008 range ( when my other two were made).
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