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Thread: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

  1. #26
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    My first line: My black A2 snakehead which I have had for more than 40 years; Brentrup A4C; Campanella A5; Embergher N.3; Washburn Style A. Those are the ones I grab for first depending on the genre I am playing. Each was a only grail in its own category. I am a musical hunter gatherer.
    Jim

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  2. #27
    Registered User Steve Lavelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    29 years since I bought my '93 Flatiron Performer F, and the only mandolin I have MAS for is one of the Apitius J models. The Flatiron isn't the loudest instrument, probably due to the neck support elevation in the carved top, but it plays like a dream. Refretted with SS, added twin JJB piezos under the soundboard, and upgrade to a CA bridge. Maybe if I get to be a better player, I'll feel like I deserve a better mandolin.
    Steve Lavelle
    '93 Flatiron Performer F
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  4. #28

    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lavelle View Post
    Maybe if I get to be a better player, I'll feel like I deserve a better mandolin.
    That's a sentiment that usually elicits a response or two on this forum. I'll chime in first and say... Don't feel like you have to deserve a nice mandolin as a requirement to own it.

    My playing ability does not merit my Duff f5 by any measure. I really enjoy playing it and I feel it has helped me progress. Buy what makes you happy if you can afford it. You only live once!
    "I play BG so that's what I can talk intelligently about." A line I loved and pirated from Mandoplumb

  5. #29
    Registered User Kirk Higgins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    While I have only had it a year, I am very satisfied with my 2007 Kimble F5 (#124).

    Haven’t looked seriously at any others since but never say never. Perhaps if I got to play a Gilchrist F5, I might be tempted.
    Kirk

    2007 Kimble F5
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  6. #30
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    My Apitius Grand Classic was my surprise grail. I originally went to the shop to buy a Mastee Model they had in stock. It was stiff. Played mandos by some super builders and none did it for me. Some were excellent but just not exactly right. I was getting ready to leave and the owner said they has just gotten a Grand Classic in a trade but he didn’t know much about them. I played it and from the first chord I was like “yep, this is mine.” It was surprising because I loved the look of the Master Model and an old mid 90’s Wood. And the Apitius was the least visually appealing to me (I mean the slightly darker burst and tighter fiddleback flame. I prefer more brownish bursts and looser asymmetrical grain) but the sound and feel are just unbelievable. I have found nothing I can throw at it and it can’t breeze right through.

    That being said, I am in the search for a nice Duff F5 as my backup/ secondary mando. Gigs are starting up again and a guy needs to have two for safety reasons…at least that’s what I’m telling the wife🤙🏻
    Apitius Grand Classic
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  7. #31
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    Only had my (latest) Kimble a few months, but it's The One. Haven't even looked at the Classifieds since.

    That doesn't mean I'm getting rid of my F5S, or wouldn't jump on a Sullivan if the stars (and my wallet) align...
    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

  8. #32
    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    Thankfully I don't have Headstock envy,
    I've owned / sold '02 Gibson F9, '12 Kentucky 1000, and finally found my mandolin for today.
    2021 The Loar LM700 VS

  9. #33
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    I found my holy grail in 1994 when I was fortunate enough to have Randy Wood make me an F 5. No more MAS.

  10. #34
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    God knows I've been through many of mandolins but something about those darn Halsey's really got me by surprise. One is a 2007 and the other is a 2012 build. I also have a Campanella is pretty darn outstanding. That being said, if I could only hang onto one, then it would be the 2007 Halsey F-5...
    It is irreplacable in just about every respect...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Demetrius; Jun-27-2022 at 6:54pm.

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  12. #35
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Growth View Post
    After a very long journey, it became apparent that I had reached contentment in my search for mando heaven. No more MAS..have other folks found their personal Holy Grail mandolin? Congrats to those who have
    Not for nothing, but I don't see where you've shared your story. Come on now! Tell us about what inspired you so.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  13. #36
    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    I've bought and sold some very, very good instruments over the years, but I can't seem to let go of my 2010 Gilchrist. I've loved the other instruments on their own, but when I sit down and compare to see which one to keep, the Gil always stays. These days, I'm down to just the one, and it's plenty. (I do still look though...)

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  15. #37
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    I'm very happy with my Kelley A-5 and my Rigel CT-110, but can't say either are my one to keep forever. I'd wanted the Rigel for years (just because I like the concept/design) and the right one and the funds aligned. The Kelley was an upward move from my Silverangel Econo (which was also very good, but not to the same level of tone all the way up the neck). Though I've avoided it for quite a while, I'm starting to hanker for a scroll, but it'll take a heck of a mandolin to make me part with the Kelley or the Rigel...

    Like Jim, I tend to keep the ones I buy and like, and appreciate the individual differences. Having the choices available is nice...though with a downsize move about 4 years ago I divested of a lot of instruments...
    Last edited by CES; Jun-28-2022 at 1:46pm.
    Chuck

  16. #38

    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    I'm think I've found my lifer with my Girouard Concert A5. Sounds great, looks great, and plays easy. I'm hoping the same for my Girouard A4. The Trillium sets me up for oval hole mandola and the Dunwell will work for a lifer pin bridge bouzouki.

    I suppose I could still look for a mando-cello, an F hole mandola, a guitar bodied octave, and a floating bridge zouk. But honestly I will never need anything that I don't already have!
    Girouard Concert A5
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  17. #39
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    A pre-owned Nugget A-5 Deluxe fell into my lap 2 months after my wife died. A very emotional acquisition, because she had OK'd a Nugget purchase and I was on the prowl for months before she became ill. I had forgotten I had left my contact information with Mike K until I got the email that it was available. 5 years later & it still astounds me anytime I play it.

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  19. #40
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    Will see if the Brentrup is the Grail, or just a grail shaped beacon. It was one of two builders I aspired to when I started playing mando again. And the less likely to obtain.

    So far, it's a big yes. Even after 5 hours of gigging on Saturday my hands were not tired, which was a worry with the narrow fingerboard.

    That said, I don't see selling my Coombe or A Jr. The former was John Goodin's and the latter is my first "good" mandolin and the one that still gets a lot of compliments on the tone.
    2000 Brentrup Model 23 #6, Peter Coombe #248, Gibson A Jr, '82 Flatiron 1SB, Strad-O-Lin, Eastman MDO-305
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  21. #41
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    For me to get a Gibson or a fillings I’d have to sell my epiphone. And I don’t want to do that. So …
    JBovier ELS; Epiphone MM-50 VN; Epiphone MM-40L; Gretsch New Yorker G9310; Washburn M1SDLB;

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  22. #42
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    So many wonderful Mandolins, why does it have to be one?
    I love all of the Mandolins I am blessed with to care for.
    I promised myself I wouldn’t sell anything.

    No promises about future purchases!

    Billy
    Billy Packard
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    Stiver Fern, 1990
    Weber Fern, 2007
    Gibson F4 Hybrid #1, D. Harvey 2009
    Gibson 1923 A2
    Numerous wonderful guitars

  23. #43
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    My two mandolins are here to stay. I feel quite fortunate to have located and acquired both - in particular the Lyon & Healy. I have the two because they are so distinctively different and I enjoy those differences. The majority of my playing time is on the L&H. The octave I had built to my specs and it is also here to stay. I still look at ads because it's fun and I thoroughly enjoy it - but serious shopping, not really. That being said, you never know what the future will bring LOL.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

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  24. #44

    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    Although I would normally always play an F-hole mandolin when with several other musicians (Northfield Big Mon F5), I have always had a love affair with teens Gibson F4 and after having 9 over the last 50 years I feel the one I have now is going to stay with me forever. 1919 One and I fitted a set of Mike Blohm inlaid buttons so that is my heaven. Had it 18 months but I know it is the one for me. Love it.

  25. #45
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Growth View Post
    After a very long journey, it became apparent that I had reached contentment in my search for mando heaven. No more MAS..have other folks found their personal Holy Grail mandolin? Congrats to those who have
    Yes I have found my personal Holy Grail mandolin. More than a few of them, actually.
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

    The entire staff
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  27. #46
    Registered User mandolin breeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Growth View Post
    After a very long journey, it became apparent that I had reached contentment in my search for mando heaven. No more MAS..

    Sounds good when you say it fast

  28. #47
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    I have a 1992 Givens A4 that I was fortunate to acquire new when I was looking to upgrade from my Kentucky KM200s. Even a blind pig can find an acorn once in awhile. Boy was I ever lucky. The Givens will be with me until the end. After a many year search for an acceptable back up mandolin that included a BRW, a White, a couple of Flatirons, a Collings and a Kimble, I finally found it - a 2004 Weber Fern. As for now, I think I the search is over....at least temporarily. LOL

  29. #48
    Registered User d18daddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    I'll never sell my LaPlant. Great mandolin, but it's also the fact that Lloyd LaPlant is one of the nicest humans I've met.

  30. #49
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    Despite having a holy grail instrument, let it never be said that in the great vegetable market of life I never sneezed a few tomatoes. I love surfing the Cafe ads for mandoporn!

  31. #50

    Default Re: Holding on to your personal Holy Grail mandolin

    As happy as I am, I still enjoy viewing all the beauties that come through the ads section of the cafe
    d18daddy..do you have any photos of your LaPlant by chance?

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