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Thread: Where did you find your last mando?

  1. #1
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    Default Where did you find your last mando?

    So, Iím gonna be making a new purchase sometime in the next year. No rush - just waiting on ďthe oneĒ to cross my path. Obviously checking the classifieds here as well as my local shops. Iím curious to hear maybe some less obvious ways youíve come across a great instrument. Looking to expand my circles if possible.

    For me, the hunt is half the fun.
    Pen

    "How many of you folks have seen that movie "O Brother, Where Ya At?"--Ralph Stanley

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  2. #2
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Cafe sponsors, Local shops (getting less and less of those), Reverb, Local CL, Ebay, SGW, Used GC, local pawn shops, etc.

  3. #3
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Three Craigslist, including two favorites, my F2 which is the latest and my Strad-O-Lin. Two cafe classifieds, One Reverb (first mando), and one from my luthier, Jake Wildwood.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Gbase.Com for last one, Carters for the one before that, few from Craigslist

  5. #5
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Wilson View Post
    Cafe sponsors, Local shops (getting less and less of those), Reverb, Local CL, Ebay, SGW, Used GC, local pawn shops, etc.
    These are places I look. My last one came from GC's used site.

  6. #6
    Registered User Ed McGarrigle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Bought my Calhoun directly from Northfield. ‘Couldn’t be happier.

  7. #7
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pen View Post
    So, I’m gonna be making a new purchase sometime in the next year. No rush - just waiting on “the one” to cross my path. Obviously checking the classifieds here as well as my local shops. I’m curious to hear maybe some less obvious ways you’ve come across a great instrument. Looking to expand my circles if possible.

    For me, the hunt is half the fun.
    After pursuing a Hogan F5 for years, I found pictures posted to Facebook on a google search, inquired about the instrument, and ultimately made an offer that the owner couldn’t refuse.
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
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    2014 Smart F-Style Mandola
    2018 Vessel TM5
    2019 Hogan F5

  8. #8
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Cafe classifieds, mail order from a brick and mortar store, and eBay for the latest.
    2000 Brentrup Model 23, Peter Coombe #248, Strad-O-Lin, Northfield F5SA, Gibson A Jr., Eastman MDO-305
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    I got both of mine through the mandolin cafe classified section. I had no deadline so I would simply browse the classifieds each time I came to lurk. When I saw what I wanted I pounced on it. If I was slow and somebody beat me to it … oh, well. I’d keep looking. Conversing with folks here I have the impression that you’d do well to buy from any of the sponsoring shops, too. Good experiences in every case I encountered.
    Rookie, but determined to learn!
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  10. #10
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Local dealers, Bernunzio's and Stutzman's, have provided the overwhelming majority of my mandolins. I did have one built for me by local luthier Bernie Lehmann. Others have been fortunate happenstance finds.

    Also, I should mention that two unusual instruments, a Waldo bowl-back mandocello and a Gibson tenor lute, were offered to me by private owners who clearly found me through the Cafe. And, I purchased a Howe-Orme mandolinetto and a Merrill aluminum-bodied bowl-back on eBay.

    Let me once again suggest supporting local dealers, if you have some, and keeping brick-and-mortar instrument shops in business. "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone," as someone once wrote.
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  11. #11
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Last one was a custom build, the one before I bought from a buddy.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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  12. #12
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    One in an antique store, one from a Cafe sponsor, one off Craigslist, one through Reverb, and two through Cafe classifieds—one of those from an individual and the other from a brick-and-mortar store. I'd buy locally if I could.

  13. #13
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Both my good mandolins were custom orders from the builders directly.
    I highly recommend custom builds, you have lots of options and choices, and ultimately get a personalized expression of the builders art, that you get to cherish and to make music.
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
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    Several nice old Fiddles
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    Deering Classic Open Back
    Too many microphones

    BridgerCreekBoys.com

  14. #14

    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    I built it. The back, sides and neck from a windfall maple tree I salvaged. The top of cedar from a lumber store.

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  16. #15
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Commissioned my Girouard in Feb '18 and took delivery of it in Dec '18. Before that my previous mandolin was a second hand Collings MT-O purchased from the folks at the Music Emporium, great experience with them. I've also had great experiences purchasing from Elderly Instruments (Weber Aspen II), The Mandolin Store (a Weber Custom Gallatin F), and Greg Boyd's House of Fine Instruments (Weber Vintage A).
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
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  17. #16
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    My last one came from The Mandolin Store.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    My most recent mandolin was custom built for me by Tom Ellis and his exceptional team of extraordinary and warm-hearted people. I am very happy with it. The Eastman that I played for nearly five years was a really good instrument I bought from Fiddler's Green. Ben, the owner of Fiddler's Green knows his mandolins well and is a great resource and good fellow. Lately, I've been getting strings and other items from Elderly. Note that my three sources are all big supporters of the Mandolin Cafe.

    Cheers!
    ---
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  19. #18

    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    I'm done looking for mandos. The next one can get off its backside and find me.

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  21. #19
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    My first and third mandolins were Pawn shop specials - an old Monterey and a Kentucky A; my second from a friend- an A3 that got away. My forth was when I bought a Kelly through a local music store & quickly realized that I needed something to inspire me; traded for a Collings MT-2 from Acoustic Music Works after having a chance to play it in-store. I have since mainly relied on finding instruments on MC classified ads, both through brick and mortar stores and individuals. It is hard to find quality mandolins in the stores around here, and buying with a 48 hour+ return policy means I can have an education - even if I decide not to keep a mandolin. I have commissioned two custom builds and purchased a second-hand instrument from her maker, when he got her in for refurbishing and a commission sale. Sometimes a dream machine falls into your lap!

  22. #20
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    I have only ever bought two mandolins. Gasp! My first was from Jim Garber here, still have it and the last a builder mentioned here so I commissioned it form him. Oldwave Maker. Still have it as well. If I don't think tis a keeper I don't generally buy it but sight unseen can be a gamble. I trusted these guys after talking to them.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  23. #21
    Registered User Marcus CA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Local dealers, Bernunzio's and Stutzman's, have provided the overwhelming majority of my mandolins. I did have one built for me by local luthier Bernie Lehmann...

    Let me once again suggest supporting local dealers, if you have some, and keeping brick-and-mortar instrument shops in business.
    Local dealers, Gryphon and Sylvan, have provided the overwhelming majority of my mandolins and guitars. I did have one built for me by Canadian luthier Lawrence Nyberg --- a mini-cittern (I call it my mandolinola) that I saw him demo on Instagram.

    As much as I enjoy checking out the Cafe Classifieds, I generally have bought instruments that I fall in love with at a store. They're the ones that I just can't put down, or the ones that I keep going back to. With most of them, I left the store with regret but no instrument, and then kept checking the store's website almost daily for a few weeks before finally going back for a confirming test run that led to the purchase.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

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  25. #22
    Registered User Willem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Played a couple Ruhlands and decided I needed one so I gave him a call and had him build me one. It worked out as the mandolin has met and then exceeded my expectations. It was important to me to support a small operation and preferably a local one. That I was able to connect with Matt when I did was a blessing.
    Ruhland #41
    My unnamed build #1
    Various other stringed and percussion tools

  26. #23
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    My last one came straight from Will Kimble. Took a chance and sent him an email asking if he had any A's on the bench and got lucky.
    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

  27. #24
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    I got my last mandolin (2018 Newson) from Gruhn's guitars in Nashville. Fun story.

    I went there one day with a buddy after hitting other local shops looking for a mandolin. I ended up finding 2 or 3 I liked and got a practice room to play on them. I started chatting with one of the employees and eventually he took me to the second floor to try another mandolin (the Newson I ended up with). George Gruhn was up there along with Shawn Camp, his girlfriend, and another guy I forgot (oops). Mr. Gruhn had 3 1920's Loar's on hand and we all jammed up there, taking turns on the Loar's, the Newson, and a few other great mandolins, for about 2 or 3 hours. We essentially closed down the shop. I decided I couldn't buy it then (both because they closed and because I was star struck) - so I had to come back the next day.

    The next day, I walked in, found the Newson I had been playing along with another mandolin I liked and went upstairs again. There was a banjo player facing away from me playing some really great stuff. I walked past him to get to my room and trying to be cool from my amazing time the day before, just glanced at the player quickly while I was walking to my room. It was Bela Fleck. I walked away (trying to be cool and understanding that he was in a "safe" place where I shouldn't fanboy out - even though I wanted to) and played my mandolins for a while. When I came back to the main room where he was, he walked up to me and started asking about the mandolins I was playing. Why was I trying them out, what did I like about them, etc. We talked for maybe 20 minutes at most on mandolins. Mostly him asking questions and me trying to answer without drooling or rambling like an idiot. After we were done talking he says "oh yeah, by the way, I'm Bela Fleck - what's your name" which I thought was hilarious since I've been seeing Bela since I was like 13 years old.

    Anyway, I bought the Newson that day, then later saw Shawn Camp again at The Station Inn hanging out. We had beers and goofed off.

    The whole experience was the best experience I've ever had buying a mandolin haha.
    Information on lessons, gigs, and misc musical stuff: www.mattcbruno.com
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    Mando's in use
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  29. #25
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where did you find your last mando?

    Right here.

    At least I think it's my last mando. . . .
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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