Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

  1. #1
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    2,852

    Default Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Just for information sake in regards the Hogue (I do believe the seller has mis-spelled the name) two-point now in the Classifieds here. I have seen one other Hogue mandolin, an A model that sold at Fiddlers Green Here in Austin for $795 (you might call Clay and ask him about it). I almost bought it mainly because I thought it held its own against anything twice the price. What slowed me down was that it did not have an adjustable truss rod (non-adjustable metal truss rod). As I think back, I should have purchased it. Ben had a good reputation as a builder back in the early to mid 80's almost equal with Ellis.

    This two point for sale should be a very nice instrument, though I haven't played it. I think the seller is looking to get $1200...a fair price in my opinion. Maybe I should by this one...another 2 point to keep my Bighorn company.
    Jammin' south of the river
    '20 Gibson A-2
    Stromberg-Voisinet Tenor Guitar
    Penny Whistle
    My albums: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?u=7616

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Arlen, TX
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Capt. E,

    sorry about the late reply, I've never ventured into this section before now.

    It's not a mandolin, it's a mandola. I've told the young man he should re-do his ad as a mandola ad, I'm not sure why he hasn't. It's got some cosmetic issues as far as the odd scratch, etc., and one tuning button cracked and was (I've been told) successfully glued back together, but it seemed sound to me otherwise. I haven't seen it with fresh strings. Also, it's been over a month since I saw it, so I could be forgetting something.

    Anyway, the main thing is that it's a mandola. No case.

  3. #3
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    2,852

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    I talked with Clay at Fiddlers Green about Hogue (he had an oval hole A model for sale a while back) and he wasn't really impressed with the workmanship, though as with all small "hobbyist" builders, that can be highly variable. I thought about buying it, it sounded good and played well: sold for $750, not a bad price at all for a nice hand-built. Hogue moved from Austin back in the 90's but I understand he is back in town (software guy). Doesn't make mandolins any more, though.
    A two point Octave might be nice though. Worth the price?...not sure.
    Jammin' south of the river
    '20 Gibson A-2
    Stromberg-Voisinet Tenor Guitar
    Penny Whistle
    My albums: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?u=7616

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Arlen, TX
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Eddie,

    I'm pretty sure I measured the string length, but I didn't write it down. It was before Christmas and that info has long faded from memory.
    I think he brought it down to Fiddler's Green and showed it to Clay. If so, he might have something to say about it.
    I do believe it's still available, though. I think there's a difference between what it's likely to fetch and what he presently thinks it's worth (possibly gone from undervaluing to overvaluing it).
    Some could prove me wrong, we'll see.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Arlen, TX
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    I don't know what's up with him--he didn't return my last email to him. He said he would consider a trade and I told him some of the things I had that I might offer. I never heard back from him, don't know if I inadvertently insulted him or what...he's a high school kid who doesn't know what the thing is worth (who does, really?) and I think he's prepared to just keep it and maybe learn to play it.
    It is frustrating to deal with people who won't send a simple note back...

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Driftwood TX
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    I'm Ben Hogue. I had a workshop in Austin from 1975-83, and I built about 80 guitars and mandolins. I was afflicted by 2 things: the bug to build instruments, and poverty. Eventually, my aversion to poverty led me to finish college and go to graduate school at Pitt. Following that, I worked in Massachusetts and Memphis before returning to the Austin area in 2000.

    In Austin during those years, lots was happening in the music scene, of course. Ed Claxton, the legendary guitar maker, had recently gone on to boat building. Stephen Wise was putting out a limited number of very fine guitars. Jim Hamilton came down from New York, and I subleased him space in a large shop area on 16th Street, on the second floor of the old Half Price Books building. (Down the hall was Sheauxnough Studios, and well-known musicians and artists tramped through there day and night. The Flatlanders, Lucinda Williams, Ray Benson, Billy Gibbons, many more.) I had built 2 instruments for Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and after introducing Jim and Billy, Jim built about a dozen "ScrotchTone" electrics for Billy, Stevie Ray, Jimmy Vaughn, and the other local blues guys.

    Tom Ellis showed up at my shop with his first mandolin, and it was easy to see that he was extremely talented. Bill Collings came to town during that time, and set up shop with my friend Kent Castellanos, a fine craftsman who started his career in my shop. Kent died way too young. Other luthiers working back then were Mark Erlewine, Newman Jones, and Michael Stevens, who got tapped to start the Fender Custom Shop. I'm probably leaving out somebody important, so I'll end this, although it's fun to remember those days.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Thanks for the sharing the cool backstory, Ben. Good to have you on the Cafe!
    The first man who whistled
    thought he had a wren in his mouth.
    He went around all day
    with his lips puckered,
    afraid to swallow.

    --"The First" by Wendell Berry

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post
    Thanks for the sharing the cool backstory, Ben. Good to have you on the Cafe!
    Ditto , nice little post, I love reading those historic tidbits, thanks Ben !

  9. #9
    Registered User Jesse Harmon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    581
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Great historical background regarding my Collings guitar

  10. The following members say thank you to Jesse Harmon for this post:


  11. #10
    Registered User ellisppi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    324

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Hey Ben, Thanks for the memory jangle, come visit. Of the old bunch, Claxton, Erlewine, Wise, & Stevens are still at it. Collings moved here in 1980 and worked out of my shop as a custom builder from 80-86 before he & Kent began planning the company. A whole lot has changed in Austin in the intervening years, too bad it grew up.
    Tom H. Ellis
    Ellis Mandolins
    Austin, TX
    http://www.ellismandolins.com

  12. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Driftwood TX
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Quote Originally Posted by ellisppi View Post
    Hey Ben, Thanks for the memory jangle, come visit. Of the old bunch, Claxton, Erlewine, Wise, & Stevens are still at it. Collings moved here in 1980 and worked out of my shop as a custom builder from 80-86 before he & Kent began planning the company. A whole lot has changed in Austin in the intervening years, too bad it grew up.
    Hey, Tom! Congratulations to you, Bill, Mark, Stephen and the other guys who stuck with it. You've all done very well and have helped make Austin the music place it is, even if things are not quite what they used to be. I know all you guys could tell endless interesting stories that the folks here would eat up with a spoon.

    BTW, I heard that my neighbor out here, Mike Bond, might be getting an Ellis soon. And I guess Ben Hodges has his by now? I can't afford one, but I do still have an old F that I built out of nice curly maple I got from you 'way back.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    [QUOTE=bhogue;910938] I know all you guys could tell endless interesting stories that the folks here would eat up with a spoon.

    Please sir, may I have some more ?!

  14. #13
    Registered User swain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    [QUOTE=bhogue;910123]Other luthiers working back then were Mark Erlewine, Newman JonesQUOTE]

    Ben, great story. Is Newman Jones the same luthier who made a guitar(s) for Joe Ely, and who is the subject of a story Michelle Shocked tells?

    swain

  15. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Driftwood TX
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    [QUOTE=swain;911006]
    Quote Originally Posted by bhogue View Post
    Other luthiers working back then were Mark Erlewine, Newman JonesQUOTE]

    Ben, great story. Is Newman Jones the same luthier who made a guitar(s) for Joe Ely, and who is the subject of a story Michelle Shocked tells?

    swain
    I didn't know him well. He could have built one for Joe Ely, who was certainly around a lot at the time. Joe was even in my shop a time or two. I remember I visited Jones' shop somewhere in the warehouse district downtown, and the prominent client I always heard mentioned was Keith Richards. I played a few of his distinctive electric guitars, and I think maybe he only made solidbody electrics. Tom Ellis or some other Austinites on this board may know a lot more about him.

    I should say that I have good memories of all the old Austin luthier bunch. Mark Erlewine and Steve Wise were very nice to me when I was starting out. Tom E. was super, of course. (I remember him playing many times with the Austin Lounge Lizards at my old hangout on 6th Street, Maggie Mae's. I'll never forget how bad I felt when he got injured with a chisel once. Ouch!) I didn't know some of the others too well, like Collings, Stevens, Claxton, and Jones, but my impression was that they were undeniably talented, down-to-earth, and all-around fine folks.

  16. #15

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt. E View Post
    I talked with Clay at Fiddlers Green about Hogue (he had an oval hole A model for sale a while back) and he wasn't really impressed with the workmanship, though as with all small "hobbyist" builders, that can be highly variable. I thought about buying it, it sounded good and played well: sold for $750, not a bad price at all for a nice hand-built. Hogue moved from Austin back in the 90's but I understand he is back in town (software guy). Doesn't make mandolins any more, though.
    A two point Octave might be nice though. Worth the price?...not sure.
    Still have this Mandola... I apologize I have grown up a little in the last 4 years and am really wanting to pass this item on to someone who appreciates it. Let me know if you or anyone you know might be interested in this great piece.

    Jordan

  17. #16

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Still have this Mandola... I apologize I have grown up a little in the last 4 years and am really wanting to pass this item on to someone who appreciates it. Let me know if you or anyone you know might be interested in this great piece.

    Jordan

  18. #17
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    2,852

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    So, it is a mandola! Somehow didn't realize that. I have been looking at mandolas a bit lately. There is a nice Collings at Fidders right now, but out of my budget at this time. Wouldn't mind taking a look at the Hogue again some day.
    Jammin' south of the river
    '20 Gibson A-2
    Stromberg-Voisinet Tenor Guitar
    Penny Whistle
    My albums: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?u=7616

  19. #18

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    I own a Hogue mandolin. I love it. I don't know how to play it, but love the instrument.


    Quote Originally Posted by bhogue View Post
    I'm Ben Hogue. I had a workshop in Austin from 1975-83, and I built about 80 guitars and mandolins. I was afflicted by 2 things: the bug to build instruments, and poverty. Eventually, my aversion to poverty led me to finish college and go to graduate school at Pitt. Following that, I worked in Massachusetts and Memphis before returning to the Austin area in 2000.

    In Austin during those years, lots was happening in the music scene, of course. Ed Claxton, the legendary guitar maker, had recently gone on to boat building. Stephen Wise was putting out a limited number of very fine guitars. Jim Hamilton came down from New York, and I subleased him space in a large shop area on 16th Street, on the second floor of the old Half Price Books building. (Down the hall was Sheauxnough Studios, and well-known musicians and artists tramped through there day and night. The Flatlanders, Lucinda Williams, Ray Benson, Billy Gibbons, many more.) I had built 2 instruments for Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and after introducing Jim and Billy, Jim built about a dozen "ScrotchTone" electrics for Billy, Stevie Ray, Jimmy Vaughn, and the other local blues guys.

    Tom Ellis showed up at my shop with his first mandolin, and it was easy to see that he was extremely talented. Bill Collings came to town during that time, and set up shop with my friend Kent Castellanos, a fine craftsman who started his career in my shop. Kent died way too young. Other luthiers working back then were Mark Erlewine, Newman Jones, and Michael Stevens, who got tapped to start the Fender Custom Shop. I'm probably leaving out somebody important, so I'll end this, although it's fun to remember those days.

  20. #19

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt. E View Post
    I talked with Clay at Fiddlers Green about Hogue (he had an oval hole A model for sale a while back) and he wasn't really impressed with the workmanship, though as with all small "hobbyist" builders, that can be highly variable. I thought about buying it, it sounded good and played well: sold for $750, not a bad price at all for a nice hand-built. Hogue moved from Austin back in the 90's but I understand he is back in town (software guy). Doesn't make mandolins any more, though.
    A two point Octave might be nice though. Worth the price?...not sure.
    I have one of the few guitars that Ben Hogue made, as most of his work was with mandolin-esque instruments. It is beautifully crafted and plays like a dream. I added a rhythm pick up and set it up to my tastes, and I would compare it to any f-hole archtop made. To that point, I bought a '71 Gibson Super 400 in mint condition at a steal price, but still around $6500. I thought I would sell my Hogue to offset the financial hit a little.....but once I got acquainted with the Super 400, I realized that I liked the sound of the Hogue better, both amplified and unamplified. The Hogue is about 50% louder than the SDuper 400 without electricity, and slightly larger and thicke.....so, of course, I kept both. i'm sure, as another poster on here pointed out, that the quality of his creations varied, but speaking just for myself, I own one superb instrument. I had the pleasure of speaking to Ben last year, and I believe he lives just outside of Austin and has illness in his family, but sounds like a really nice guy. I just wated to tell him how much I enjoyed, and appreciated his beautiful creation.

  21. The following members say thank you to billwallace for this post:

    Dobe 

  22. #20

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Wow - Ben, only 80 instruments? Well I had to pull mine out of the closet and just to let you know you were making mandolas in 1984. June 15th, 1984 is the date on mine. I am honored to have a HOGUE! Mine is a 2 point with very intricate inlay. I remember having you build it because I was not happy in my marriage and was trying to find an outlet. If only I could remember how to play it! Hope you are well. Johnny Stevens

  23. #21

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Hello Ben !!! An ocean of time has passed. I am so happy to be able to thank you for all your hospitality. My name is Seth. We met at the GAL convention in Winfield Kansas 1979. I had plans of darkening Alembic's doorstep for a job. You convinced me Austin was the place to be and offered Rita and I a refuge under your roof ! I have the best memories of that time and place and of you. I always thought you were an immensely talented luthier. Most of all you were plain generous. I have wondered what became of you many times. I am still building a few instruments. I would love to hear from you again . I am new here... I put an email address up shortly.

  24. #22
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    40.191N -74.2W
    Posts
    21,801

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    Quote Originally Posted by stringsabound View Post
    Hello Ben !!! An ocean of time has passed. I am so happy to be able to thank you for all your hospitality. My name is Seth. We met at the GAL convention in Winfield Kansas 1979. I had plans of darkening Alembic's doorstep for a job. You convinced me Austin was the place to be and offered Rita and I a refuge under your roof ! I have the best memories of that time and place and of you. I always thought you were an immensely talented luthier. Most of all you were plain generous. I have wondered what became of you many times. I am still building a few instruments. I would love to hear from you again . I am new here... I put an email address up shortly.
    The last time Ben was online was Apr-18-2016. You're replying to a very old thread.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  25. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Driftwood TX
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Hogue mandolin in Classifeds

    My daughter ran across this thread and told me there were some "recent" posts (like, in the past 2 years!). I confess to having dropped off mandolincafe for awhile. Guess I'm easily distracted. Anyway, I'd like to report that I have made connections with Seth H. who posted above. He was a fine jazz guitarist years ago, so I know he's probably killer now, and it's a pleasure to be back in touch with him. I am still repairing stuff and playing several times a week. I have a regular 3rd Sunday trio gig with Lost John Casner and Boomer Norman at Giddy Ups, my local bar. In the past 4 years, I've taken up the fiddle, and now that is my obsession, although mandolin is still my main instrument. I'm gonna try to check in here more often and catch up on the latest mandolin doings.

  26. The following members say thank you to bhogue for this post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •