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Thread: J Bovier mandolins

  1. #1
    Registered User backwoodsborn10's Avatar
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    Default J Bovier mandolins

    Does anyone know anything about j bovier mandolins. are they made in usa...what kind of tone do they have?

  2. #2
    formerly OldDirtyTurtle Jason Kindall's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    Hi!

    I bought a J. Bovier about a year ago directly from Jeff Cowherd (Mr. "J. Bovier" himself). I love it.

    Jeff said he developed these mandos for 3 things, in this order: tone, playability, and looks. All I can say is tone and playability are neck and neck. They're made in Korea, but the bridges, nuts, and all setup are done by Jeff himself. He individually fits the bridges to the top and files the string slots.

    I get tons of comments on the ease of playing and the spectacular sound for the price range from mando pickers much more seasoned than me. That ought to say something. In fact, the ONLY drawback I can think of is the finish. I prefer laquer, but these are all poly. Would I buy it again, Well, yeah!

    Call Jeff.

  3. #3
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    A review and quite a bit of history on the development of the JBovier line:

    JBovier F5Z African Zebrawood Mandolin


    Ted Eschliman
    Tenor Guitar Enthusiast

    Author, Getting Into Jazz Mandolin

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    Hello,

    I also bought a J Bovier from Jeff Cowherd of Mandolins and More in November, 2007. I bought the F model Tradition in satin finish. As indicated by Ted, they are made in Korea.

    I bought mine with a travelite case and upgraded tailpiece for under a grand. Mine has a great woody tone - well worth the money.

    If your budget is around the same as mine, you should consider a J Bovier - try and take one for a test drive. The Loar's and Kentuckys in this price range also receive favorable reviews around here. If you can try them all out, see which one speaks to you.

    Regards, Lee
    Lee Oliver

  6. #5
    Registered User backwoodsborn10's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    Wow!! that one in the picture is a beaut! I like a little bottom end in tone. Do they have that, or are they brighter sounding.Do you also own the one in the picture,and would i have to take out a second mortgage on my home to love one like that?

  7. #6
    formerly OldDirtyTurtle Jason Kindall's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    They definitely have a low end oomph and sweet mid-range swell. I almost bought the F5Z like the one pictured, but ended up getting the Vine model.

    A fiddle player friend of mine likes my mando better than a pre-Gibson Flatiron that is in his family. 'Nuff said.

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  9. #7
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    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    Jeff certainly has produced some beautiful instruments. I have played several and they played and sounded pretty good...especially at the price point I have not played enough of them to decide how much I like them, but I certainly would like to play more. I love the variety of woods he uses in his builds. Great looking but not always very conventional...thank you for that Jeff. Overall, they seem to be pretty nice instruments.
    Have a Great Day!
    Joe Vest

  10. #8
    Registered User Earl Gamage's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    Interesting, I wonder why they don't get mentioned a lot. Probably just not a lot of them out there. They seem worth considering.

  11. #9
    Registered User mfalkner's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    I have a Vine with the cast tailpiece. Wasn't sure about it at first, but the understated look of the matte finish and the tasteful but cool inlay work really appealed to me. Englemann over maple, and it is a little tight still but starting to open on up. After you wack on it for a half hour or so the volume and tone wakes up; this waking up period is getting shorter.

    The wood is pretty decent for this price point and the fit/finish are way better than you would expect - especially the inlay work and purfling. The neck is a comfortable handfull (radius FB with big fretwire) and the tuners are pretty solid. Jeff had the nut set up spot-on perfect; I did just a teeny bit of contour sanding on the bridge base after I changed to J74's but otherwise no setup needed. Frets are nice and level with no rough ends.

    Overall, a very good value. I don't think this one will ever be classified as a banjer-eating cannon, but for my style of playing (or lack thereof) I have no complaints. I had a japan-era Kentucky that was a loud, strong beast but the neck was narrow and the little frets just didn't work for me coming from guitar to mando. This one is a little more balanced in tone, more bass-y and woody, less ring on the trebles. Maybe I'll try a harder saddle sometime and see if I can brighten it up a bit, but I'm liking it for now.
    jBovier Vine
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    "Don't take much water to make a good cup of coffee"

  12. #10
    Dinah Becker
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    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    I own a J Bovier F5Z, merlot color. Besides being beautiful, it plays very easy and sounds wonderful. I bought mine from Stringfest in Florida. I have never seen one for sale here on the cafe aside from a dealer. I think that says something for them. I absolutely love it, and glad I chose it over the weber and collings I was looking at.

  13. #11
    formerly OldDirtyTurtle Jason Kindall's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    I had to chime in again to say that I got a chance to try a few Webers this weekend and my Bovier sounded and played much better. Granted, they were in need of a setup, but still...

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  15. #12

    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by backwoodsborn10 View Post
    does anyone know anything about j bovier mandolins. Are they made in usa...what kind of tone do they have?
    hey they are real good mandolins, made in korea i think i have one and it is a good one,, all real wood and just made perfect..sounds great ..

  16. #13

    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    Looked this thread up so I could add my 2 cents: these are terrific mandolins. I bought an A5 Custom 2 1/2 years ago. It was a little tight when I got it, but opened up after 8 weeks of daily playing and just keeps getting better. Plenty of belly when I dig in, the E & A ring loud and clear up the neck. Plenty of low end power. I have more expensive mandos, but this Bovier keeps impressing me, every time I pick it up.

  17. #14
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    My favourite mandolin is my jbovier els solidbidy.
    JBovier ELS; Epiphone MM-50 VN; Epiphone MM-40L; Gretsch New Yorker G9310; Washburn M1SDLB;

    Fender Nashville Deluxe Telecaster; Squier Modified Vintage Cabronita Telecaster; Gretsch 5420T; Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat: Washburn Banjo B9; Ibanez RB 5string; Ibanez RB 4 string bass

    Pedalboard for ELS: Morley Cry baby Miniwah - Tuner - EHX Soul Food Overdrive - EHX Memory Toy analog Delay
    Fender Blues Jr Tweed; Fender Greta;

  18. #15
    R-5, MT & A1 ('12. '13) lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier mandolins

    They are terrific and Jeff is a real pro. Personable and responsive. Today's JB are actually constructed in China and they are set up completely by Mr. Cowherd. Hard to go wrong.

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