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Thread: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

  1. #1

    Default Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Some thoughts for some of the newer members (and maybe some of the older members) --- "Buyer's Remorse" is when someone buys something and then regrets it. It's a well-known concept. Well, here's another one.

    "Missed it remorse"

    I've been looking to upgrade from the higher end of a student grade mandolin to the lower edge of a pro/semi-pro mandolin -- specifically an F hole Flatiron (before the imports) or a Gibson A9. A scroll would be nice but an A style for either one at least might begin to put me in the ball park of the better ones -- back in the bleachers, maybe the locker room ! -- but not outside on the sidewalk.

    I've watched a lot come and go but promised myself that I'd only buy if I sold at least 1 K worth of my current instruments (Metal tricone guitar -- soooo heavy), a "The Loar" (yeah I hate the name too) good sounding guitar with a neck like a baseball bat, etc. etc.

    So I've passed up various Flatirons in the 1200--1900 range (the last one actually was an F model) as well as various A9's. Each time I'd see it disappear, I'd have a little regret. But guess what? Another one does come along every so often.

    So sure, "pull the trigger" if you see something that calls to you -- do it! But if you miss out, don't fret--um, don't worry about it. I've watched the Classified for years and there have been at least one coming along every one or two months that would meet my needs at my price. (Reverb is okay but a little higher priced...I'll stick with the Cafe and its community.)

    One more thing -- if you look at ebay (general caution, you MIGHT do okay on ebay, or you might not....) but anyhow, if you miss getting something by $5, don't lament! You don't know that you missed it by $5 -- the other buyer may well have been willing to go another $50 or $100.

    So just a little philosophy here.

    P.S. -- Anyone with a strong back or huge hands looking to buy a Recording King all metal Tricone guitar or a The Loar L0-16?

    Alan Spector

    Absolutely LOVE the sound of my 1917 Gibson A (they are so underrated). Too many other stringed instruments in various conditions to list here. And a wife who says: "You only have two hands. How many instruments do you need?"

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    I enjoyed your post. Some interesting observations and ruminations. There's always room for some philosophy in a musician's musings.

    Until I got to the end, and your "PPS." I'm flabbergasted. If you already have one of the best bargains - heck, best values - in the entire mandolin mundo, why look for anything else? It seems to be underrated even by its owner. And I know whereof I speak - I've got two. Well, 1917 and 1918. And try as I have, I've not improved on them with a couple of fancier ones. These plain A's just have the sound I like. I'm sorry not to side with a mandolin brother, but I'm with your wife on this one.

    If you still feel an insistent urge to spend some moolah, maybe put some of those budgeted bucks into whatever the Gibson A could use in support or spiffying. Do right by it, it'll do right by you. Just my 2¢.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Another version of buyer's remorse and missed it remorse is the "I shouldn't have sold that one" or "I wish I had bought so and so 30-40 years ago."
    '

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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Another version of buyer's remorse and missed it remorse is the "I shouldn't have sold that one"
    I regret every one I've ever sold. Without exception, at one point or another I said to myself "I with I still had THAT one..."
    Eastman MD-514 (F body, Sitka & maple, oval hole)
    Kentucky KM-250 (A body, spruce & maple, f holes)

    And still saving my nickles & dimes & bottle caps & breakfast cereal box tops for my lifetime mandolin.

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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    I enjoyed your post. Some interesting observations and ruminations. There's always room for some philosophy in a musician's musings.

    Until I got to the end, and your "PPS." I'm flabbergasted. If you already have one of the best bargains - heck, best values - in the entire mandolin mundo, why look for anything else? It seems to be underrated even by its owner. And I know whereof I speak - I've got two. Well, 1917 and 1918. And try as I have, I've not improved on them with a couple of fancier ones. These plain A's just have the sound I like. I'm sorry not to side with a mandolin brother, but I'm with your wife on this one.

    If you still feel an insistent urge to spend some moolah, maybe put some of those budgeted bucks into whatever the Gibson A could use in support or spiffying. Do right by it, it'll do right by you. Just my 2¢.
    =======================================

    I do love my Gibson A. Full, rich sound. Bridge broke. Elderly did a great job building a replacement. Nice wide neck.

    But we all know that there is a difference between the sound of a round hole mandolin and an F hole one.

    Play an old round hole Gibson at slow or medium speed --- nothing sweeter. Just a touch of mellow that sounds great. Play it too fast -- the lush overtones can be a little too much, even with string and pick modifying and left hand modifications. An F hole one has a bit of a cleaner sound on fast, single note songs.

    But...."Jethro made all his mandolins--round hole or F hole-- sound good!" Yep -- and Jethro could make a spoon banging on a pot sound good. (Plus he had sound engineers...)

    But I do appreciate your comments. My parents got that for me for 375 back in 1979. Hasn't appreciated in inflated $$ value since then, (should have bought a Monteleone? or Nugget? Nah, I probably would have dropped it. ) but anyhow, the 1910's Gibson A is a great value right now.

    (I do have too many banjos, but that's another story....)

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Aha. Thanks for explaining, clarifying, and elucidating your thought processes and motivations concerning this matter. The erudition in your post should have made it clear to me that you had thoroughly thought this through, and I apologize for not having picked up on that. It does help, though, to have this aspect stated clearly.

    My playing style - which, of course, informs my taste and decisions - doesn't include a whole lot of fast playing. Even so, when I do play bluegrass and such, it sounds alright to me. I imagine if I were to be doing that to a greater extent, I might feel differently about it. My recently acquired 1922 F-4 has a lighter, brighter tone, and would likely serve well in bluegrass settings. I am actually a bit disappointed in it, as I was hoping it would sound as magnificent in my hands as Ry Cooder's in his live video versions of "Goin' To Brownsville" from the 1970s, a touchstone for my sense of how a mandolin should sound. But I'm not Ry Cooder, and whatever I play, however I play it, I may not be able to sound like that. It was a good if expensive lesson to learn. And it has cured me of MAS. I'm glad to have it, but I still play my plain A nearly all the time.

    My mom gifted me my first mandolin over fifty years ago, and it was a Gibson A just like what I have now, which cost all of $75 at the time. I treated it poorly early yet lovingly later, but ultimately abandoned it in favor of an F-12 - a late 70s model that served me for 30 years though it never was nor became anywhere near as good an instrument - which, after it was stolen, I replaced with the A model I have now, and I've never regretted it. This cost more than ten times what the original had 15 years ago, and that price has increased another 50% or more since then, judging by what I see at eBay and elsewhere. I don't interpret "value" as being synonymous with "selling price," but it's a factor in such considerations, I suppose. I'm a player, not an investor, and I've never sold an instrument. Like cars, mandolins come to live with me for the rest of their lives. I'd say your 1918 A is a bargain by today's prices, if not an investment, and will surely do well by you for a long time.

    Well, I wish you well on your search. Far be it for me to stand between a mandolinist and the mandolin he desires. And I'm easing my way out of the position I took, tongue-in-cheek, on whatever disagreement exists between you and your wife - it's important to have instruments that sound and feel right for their purposes. There are far worse ways one can spend one's money and devote one's time. There are banjos ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in NH View Post
    I regret every one I've ever sold. Without exception, at one point or another I said to myself "I with I still had THAT one..."
    I don’t regret selling anything except one very nice guitar I sold on the Cafe a few years ago and that was because the guy I sold it to was a true jerk. I cringe when I see his name from time to time. Oh well. The sale allowed me to buy other things I needed so that was good. And I treasure the ones I have and play. After all we are really only renting these anyway and most will outlive us.
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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Have only occasionally regretted the one that got away. But more often it was sellers remorse. (Buyer's remorse is pretty much a constant with me and I've learned to ignore that voice.)

    Have regretted moving on a couple of mandolins, but they helped me to get where I am today with instruments. So overall it was a plus. Still, miss the Rigel A Natural that was my first "good" instrument in 2009. Went back to playing guitar and it was surplus, so sold it. Dumb. But at the time didn't think I would be focusing on mandolin ever again. Proving once again hindsight is always 20/20.

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Reminds me of a Tom T. Hall song.....


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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Huh. All these years, knowing and loving this song, I never knew it was written by Tom T. Hall. I heard it first by Leo Kottke, and I fell in love instantly. (With it, not her.) I've always associated it with him, since I've never heard it by anyone else, even its creator, until now. Man! Stick around here long enough, a person could learn just about anything.

    PS: I think he does it much better. Despite his own self-deprecating appraisal of his singing voice, likening it to "geese ##### on a muggy day."
    PPS: Reportedly his only charting single.

    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    On my recent hunt for a vintage Gibson A oval, I saw a few come and go that I wasn't quick enough to pull the trigger on. I was bummed about losing them after the fact, fealing I had missed out. But I found "the one" with the sound I was searching for at half the price of the others. It's a vicious game of search, catch and release.However, like you I have a piece of gear that needs to be sold as I am at a stage of my life that "one comes in, one goes out" It's a vicious game of catch and release. Anybody want to buy a like new Gold Tone"Twanger"? I need to release one, I've only got two arms.

  17. #12

    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Aside from the playability and tone of instruments we wish we had not gotten rid of is how vintage instrument prices have become such that many of the instruments I owned are no longer within my reach if I wanted to replace them today. So, successful rock stars buy them....

    Of course, the same could be said of real estate. 35 years ago I looked at a business building, nice building, good location, etc. for $60,000. I ended up passing on it thinking I needed a bigger building. That property recently sold for just under $900,000. Nobody can foresee the future, but that would have been a nice addition to my retirement...

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    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in NH View Post
    I regret every one I've ever sold. Without exception, at one point or another I said to myself "I with I still had THAT one..."
    Depends on the instrument. I'm on my fourth mando. The first was a $50 plywood Fender with a magnetic pickup. Don't miss it. The second was a spruce and rosewood Mid-Missouri. Didn't realize at the time how great it was. Do miss it. The third was a Red Line A5. Too good for me. Don't miss it. The Gibson I have now I know I'd miss, so I won't sell it until I can't play. (As if I can play!)
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Spector View Post
    ======================================

    Play an old round hole Gibson at slow or medium speed --- nothing sweeter. Just a touch of mellow that sounds great. Play it too fast -- the lush overtones can be a little too much, even with string and pick modifying and left hand modifications. An F hole one has a bit of a cleaner sound on fast, single note songs.

    ....)
    Have you listened to the late Red Rector on his A4? He was a master of triplets, and played bluegrass(as well as old time) at breakneck speed beautifully.
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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Anyone had, "one that got away" and then later bought it back?
    Last edited by Hudmister; Sep-23-2022 at 11:55am. Reason: Second thoughts

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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Spector View Post
    So sure, "pull the trigger" if you see something that calls to you -- do it! But if you miss out, don't fret--um, don't worry about it. I've watched the Classified for years and there have been at least one coming along every one or two months that would meet my needs at my price.
    Alan Spector
    As a general rule, I could agree with that. But, when you get into serious collecting (or accumulating, or hoarding, or whatever ya wanna call it), not quite as true. Over the past few years, I've picked up a Waldo bowl-back mandocello, a Stahl Larson brothers mando-bass, a Gibson tenor lute, a Stelling Longhorn long-neck banjo (one of four made in the 1990's, I'm told), and a few more rarae aves (on-line dictionary assures me that is the plural).

    Point being, if you're interested in something like that, and one appears within purchasing distance (either geographic or financial), better jump. You'll wait many multiples of "one or two months" before you get another chance. Most people will surely be satisfied with any one of several mandolins in their price range, and can afford to keep checking the classifieds or cruising eBay (or reading Bernunzio's, Gruhn's or Elderly's website listings).

    So, after missing a few instruments that I woulda coulda shoulda gone for, I've developed a bit of a "hair trigger" when another comes up. Somewhat modified by the realization that, as I near 80, I really should think about downsizing. Really. I'll start any day now. Really.

    On the other hand, someone once gave me a perfectly good S S Stewart Collegian ukulele banjo that they found somewhere. Wish it had been a Lloyd Loar F-5, but ya take whatcha can get...
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  23. #17

    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    ...On the other hand, someone once gave me a perfectly good S S Stewart Collegian ukulele banjo that they found somewhere. Wish it had been a Lloyd Loar F-5, but ya take whatcha can get...
    I'm all for the "cheap thrills" of collecting. My sister retired and likes to go to a lot of yard sales. Usually she will send me a photo and ask if I want it, but sometimes she will just buy an instrument for me if it is cheap enough. So far all duds, but she is out there looking, so....

    I own a few pretty good vintage instruments, but I'm open to cheapo pawn shop finds, as well. Recently got into imported Squier by Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters, mostly because I've been seeing them locally for $50-150 used. I'm no expert on Squiers, but there are plenty of people who are who participate on online forums. Kinda fun stuff and you can't lose much if you decide you don't love it. Downside is that there is little to no resale on such modestly priced instruments.

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Don't Lament -- "The One That Got Away"

    Funny you should mention Squiers. When I was in an Americana-oriented band (early 2010s), the only band I've been in (other than the short-lived The Steves - another story) in which I played mostly electric, I developed a hankering for something with more twang, which I envisioned as an octave mandolin. Searching the internet for something that wouldn't break the bank, I ended up at a site whose owner was retooling Squiers for various purposes - including octave mandolin (single string). It had four tuning pegs, four string notches in the nut and bridge - and was only like $150-200. I forget at the moment what was its problem, if it was intonation or just a thorough lack of mojo, but it just didn't work. I don't think I ever used it at a gig. In fact, I don't even know where it is now, maybe in storage. But yeah, resale value?
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Celebrating her birthday 10/1 and her surviving Hurricane Ian: The lovely Miss Dagmar in her prime, captivating all in attendance - muse, inspiration, friend - a true avatar

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