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Thread: Choosing a good A model mandolin

  1. #1

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    I am in the market for a new A model mandolin (new or used). #I really like the Gibson A-9 but was wondering if anyone knew other similar makes in that price range. #I have been looking at Flatirons and they all sound pretty good as well. #Any suggestion would be much appreciated. I play mostly Irish/Bluegrass and would like something loud and bright for acoustic sessions.

  2. #2
    john homer
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    Look at Old Wave. There is a used C# in the classifieds for 1450. Or you can get a new A with F holes fromOld Wave for 1850. I have one and it is as loud as most of the F-5s I`ve encountered, has a great chop and works well on Irish tunes too.
    john homer

  3. #3
    Registered User Brian Ray's Avatar
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    I would highly recommend picking up a Laura Ratcliff.

    I first played one of Laura's mandos at a jam along with a nice Flatiron A and a Nugget A. Laura's was the best of the three... I was hooked and found one for myself shortly thereafter. I would put her mandos up against anyones.

    In addition, I've not played an A9 that was anything special but I do really like the Collings As I've played.

  4. #4
    Registered User Ken Berner's Avatar
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    You might be on the lookout for a used Weber Beartooth (top of the line A) or a new Absaroka. Of course, if you purchase new, you will have a warranty as well as several optional features to suit your taste, I can vouch for Weber mandolins and Montana-built Flatirons!

  5. #5

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    I am really happy with my Breedlove KO mandolin. Buffalo Brothers has a KO and several KF manolins right now and they're right in your price range. They're not A style, they're . . . well . . . K-Style ! But I love the look, tone, and feel of Breedlove instruments.

  6. #6
    Registered User Brian Ray's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention... I made a few videos of my Laura Ratcliff . Take a peek if you like.

  7. #7
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    smitty,

    Just been through a similar dilemma, magnified by being a lefty so I can't even find them to play them. I'm ordering an old wave. Slightly more than your ceiling (1850) but I believe well worth it.

  8. #8
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    How come no one's said Rigel A+ deluxe yet?
    They have been in the classifieds for around 1300 used.

    I love mine!

    Cheers,

    Rob
    -2012 Collings MT, Honey Amber Gloss with Tone Gard
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    Song Samples from CD from my old band The Kindreds

  9. #9
    Registered User mmukav's Avatar
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    Here's a vote for Gibson A9---got great tone, set up nice, great neck--rings like a bell!

  10. #10

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    I'd second the New Gibson A9 or used Rigel A+ Deluxe. I've owned both, and ended up keeping the Rigel over the Gibson, but both are fine instruments. I find the Rigel to be easier to play and have a more versatile sound... but if you know you want to play bluegrass alone, the Gibson might be the better choice.

    I truly could not be happier with my Rigel.

  11. #11
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    Weber Absaroka in the classifieds right now for $795,,they are usually very nice!
    I will give up my Collings "A" when they pry it from my cold dead hands!

  12. #12

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    WWW.MANNDOLINS.COM

  13. #13
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    I have liked a number of Gibson a9 I played. Very nice!! I bought a Collings MT.....
    a little more than 1500 ....check it out if you are willing to pay ~1755...

  14. #14

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    Thanks to everyone for some great suggestions. I really liked the Laura Ratcliff. Dasspunk, your videos are killer by the way. Nice playing. And your mandolin has great tone. I have to say that's what sold me on them. I also like the Eastman A and the Flatiron Performer. I am not that big a fan of the Breedlove, but I have heard a lot of good things from people who own them. Glad to hear some praise for the Gibson A-9. I haven't ruled that out yet. If I had the dough, I would probably buy the Collings MT, but I am really jonesing for a new mando and don't know if I can wait to raise another couple hundred. I am going to take a ferry ride over to Mandolin Brothers this weekend (one of the privliges of living in the Big Apple) and get my hands on some models. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Incidentally, you should all check out this site: http://www.folkofthewood.com/page2518.htm

    It's got some great video samples of a lot of nice mandolins. Check it one time!

    Thanks again,
    Chris

  15. #15
    Registered User Keith Newell's Avatar
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    Smittypants, I just listed an A style in the classifieds. There are a lot of nice instruments out there so grab what strikes a "chord" in your gut and dont look back. I have passed up several instruments over the years that I still regret to this day. I have owned many in the past and sold them to finance new ones and some of them I really wish I would have thought twice...or at least slept on it.
    Keith Newell

  16. #16
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    I hear Glenn Robertson at Moon Beam makes excelent A-Styles. His wait isn't long and everyone I have talked to says they are world class instruments. Ask about internet specials. True HIGH END!

  17. #17
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    It's almost August 1st. #Any luck with getting your money back from Moonbeam in the past 60 days, Dale?

  18. #18
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    none, havn't received a dime of it yet.......

    I also find it interesting that if they were so close to being completed, why are they not listed on the website under "available instruments".........




  19. #19
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    Sorry to hear that. I was kinda hoping this story would have a happy ending by now.

  20. #20
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    Hve you actully played an A9? It will blow your mind. They are as good as the best that Gibson has ever made. I recently bought an F9 and I think the A9 sounds as good or better.
    What a long, strange trip its been.

    Dan Linden

  21. #21
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    I have played a moon beam that sounded just great! I have one on order right now and I just can't wait for it to come. I have not had any bad experience with glenn at all. I would definitley look into that option.
    Phyn

  22. #22
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    So you've played one & liked it......ordered one & have not recieved it yet. No one would like to see Glen succeed & do well anymore than I would......but I would also like to receive my refund & I've dang well waited long enough!

  23. #23
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    I wouldnt give a dime for a moon beam

  24. #24
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    I would have to go with the Moon Beam as well. Money well spent I say!
    Current Collection:

    1920 Gibson A Jr.
    1989 Gilcrist Model 5
    2000 Gibson Fern
    2004 Moon Beam F-Plus
    2005 Collings MF5 V
    2005 Moon Beam Varnish Elite
    2006 ?????????????????

  25. #25
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    Dale, I would ask to remove that post. #Slanderous remarks were made by your instigation, not to mention the Ebay listing. #If Glen does decide to seek legal advice you will be liable.

    Speaking of Moon Beam here is an auction of interest. #Should be a lot of action there.

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