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Thread: Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

  1. #1

    Default Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

    Anybody A-B compared these two artisans' wonderful F-5s? (If already addressed, please post the link.)

    I appreciate that each Loar was unique, but if you have an opinion that there were common tonal characteristics, which do you believe comes closer, Altman or Kimble?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

    They are both great mandolins. Will Kimble is one of the great young luthiers of our age. Anything he builds is incredible. He has been at it long enough to build enough instruments to have all the little things figured out. He can make a great loar sounding mandolin and it will be excellent fit and finish. I can think of nothing but good about Will's instruments. I have longed for an A model mandola for a few years. Maybe when I am old and rich .

    Bob Altman is also an incredible builder, though he has not been building as long as Will. I really love the newer Altman's. Hershcell has helped him substantially in trying to recreate a very close Loar sound. You would not be disappointed in his Loar sound mandolins.

    Another couple guys to consider who are very high in the game as well are the Red Diamond series in the last few years. Don McRostie has built some of the most fantastic mandolin I've heard. He would certainly be worth checking out.

    The final one I can think of off hand is Chris Stanley. He has built some very incredible mandolins. There is one that he built that is as good as any mandolin I have ever played. I have had dreams of that instrument. All of his are extremely good, that one just did it for me. I even have one of his in the shop for sale. It is an incredible instrument, and priced below what you could get any of the other F styles from the builders mentioned.

    Two more come to mind quickly, and their work is impeccable as well. Gayle Hester and Tom Ellis. Any of the six builders I've listed would be able to give you an excellent Loar tone instrument without any problem, and they all have the experience needed to do the job. They have all proven their excellence over a period of time, and they would all be good choices.

    I know there are others I should mention, but just cannot think at the moment. We have a wonderful world today where we can get absolutely superior instruments. This has not been the case for long. It was not too many years ago when you would have a hard time finding a really great mandolin unless you had big bucks. The internet has brought so much to the table for us, and this website is certainly a big reason for this. Thank you Scott for having the insight to start this site a number of years ago. The information available today makes all of us better at what we do.
    Have a Great Day!
    Joe Vest

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Joe View Post
    They are both great mandolins. Will Kimble is one of the great young luthiers of our age. Anything he builds is incredible. He has been at it long enough to build enough instruments to have all the little things figured out. He can make a great loar sounding mandolin and it will be excellent fit and finish. I can think of nothing but good about Will's instruments. I have longed for an A model mandola for a few years. Maybe when I am old and rich .

    Bob Altman is also an incredible builder, though he has not been building as long as Will. I really love the newer Altman's. Hershcell has helped him substantially in trying to recreate a very close Loar sound. You would not be disappointed in his Loar sound mandolins.

    Another couple guys to consider who are very high in the game as well are the Red Diamond series in the last few years. Don McRostie has built some of the most fantastic mandolin I've heard. He would certainly be worth checking out.

    The final one I can think of off hand is Chris Stanley. He has built some very incredible mandolins. There is one that he built that is as good as any mandolin I have ever played. I have had dreams of that instrument. All of his are extremely good, that one just did it for me. I even have one of his in the shop for sale. It is an incredible instrument, and priced below what you could get any of the other F styles from the builders mentioned.

    Two more come to mind quickly, and their work is impeccable as well. Gayle Hester and Tom Ellis. Any of the six builders I've listed would be able to give you an excellent Loar tone instrument without any problem, and they all have the experience needed to do the job. They have all proven their excellence over a period of time, and they would all be good choices.

    I know there are others I should mention, but just cannot think at the moment. We have a wonderful world today where we can get absolutely superior instruments. This has not been the case for long. It was not too many years ago when you would have a hard time finding a really great mandolin unless you had big bucks. The internet has brought so much to the table for us, and this website is certainly a big reason for this. Thank you Scott for having the insight to start this site a number of years ago. The information available today makes all of us better at what we do.
    Which will you achieve first-----old or rich?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

    I'd throw Jamie Wiens into that mix as well for achieving a great Loar tone with his F5s.

  5. #5
    Americanadian Andrew B. Carlson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

    Bill Halsey anyone?
    Mandolin, Guitar, & Bass for Doug Rawling & The Caraganas
    www.dougrawling.com
    2008 Kentucky KM-1000
    2014 Martin D-28 Authentic 1937
    1964 Gibson LG-0
    2013 Gibson "Basketcase" AJ

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    Registered User Bill Bradshaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    Which will you achieve first-----old or rich?
    Heh, heh. That's funny.

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    Default Re: Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

    The old has come first, and I am afraid will likely last long after the concept of rich has past. My riches are those from the people and instruments I've met over the years. I may never have much money, but I am rich in friends and I have got to play the very best of the mandolins from every builder including about 200 Loar's (the originals... oh, and the new ones!) .
    Have a Great Day!
    Joe Vest

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    Default Re: Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Joe View Post
    The old has come first, and I am afraid will likely last long after the concept of rich has past. My riches are those from the people and instruments I've met over the years. I may never have much money, but I am rich in friends and I have got to play the very best of the mandolins from every builder including about 200 Loar's (the originals... oh, and the new ones!) .
    Great response Joe! Hope to make it to Nashville soon and will drop in to say hello! As far as the "riches", my daughter recently returned from a missionary trip to Haiti where her team built a house for a family ( 16 members living in a 600 + square foot home) and her outlook on life and her purpose has drastically changed ( for the better). She was amazed that people who have virtually no material possessions ( no running water or electricity either) can be so up beat about life and appreciative! Makes me ashamed to be thinking about MAS!!

  9. #9
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

    Big Joe included Ellis in makers with that "Loar" sound. I love Ellis and have a really good one, but would not include it as having a "Loar" sound. All the Ellises I have played have a very distinctive sound and one very different from the Loars I have played. I think from talking with Tom, he takes pride in having a sound that is distinctive to his instruments. After perusing IBMA I found that individual sound something I really like and what differentiates his instruments from the list Big Joe provided. I have a Stanley that I feel does have that "Loar" sound. When you A/B the Stanley and the Ellis, you are provided two very different sounds and playing experiences. I have had people ask why I have two "similar" F5 like instruments. The answer is that they are totally different other than their shape and look. I love them both and really appreciated their differences.
    Tony Huber
    1930 Martin Style C #14783
    2011 Mowry GOM
    2013 Hester F4 #31
    2014 Ellis F5 #322
    2017 Nyberg Mandola #172

  10. #10

    Default Re: Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

    redflag, are you sure you have your Ellis number correct in your sig? Mine is an 08 and is #130
    Ellis F5 Deluxe #130
    Member of the Bluegrass Regulators
    http://dancrary.com/

  11. #11
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

    Martin you are spot on. The serial number was correct, the year was wrong. 2008 is correct. Thanks.
    Tony Huber
    1930 Martin Style C #14783
    2011 Mowry GOM
    2013 Hester F4 #31
    2014 Ellis F5 #322
    2017 Nyberg Mandola #172

  12. #12

    Default Re: Loaricity: Altman vs. Kimble

    No prob

    08 was a great year
    Ellis F5 Deluxe #130
    Member of the Bluegrass Regulators
    http://dancrary.com/

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