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Thread: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins, MAS.

  1. #1
    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
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    Default Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins, MAS.

    Two years ago I succumbed to the dreaded MAS. It was a terrible and horrid turn of events that lead to my parting of a tidy sum of cash. I had just sold some land and had $18K in cash sitting around looking lonely. It wasn't very happy being stagnant and I was searching for an appropriate use of thos funds. Before one was found, I "accidentally" purchased THREE beautiful Weber mandolins in one day.

    I told myself that they were merely investments and I would quickly turn them around and recoup the cost but... they're still with me today. Not being able to part with them I played them for a bit then wrapped them carefully and stored them until last night when the faintest of sounds could be heard coming from my Big Horn case. Of course I did the right thin and unwrapped her and made sure everything was alright. It wasn't. Her action was way too high for two reasons, the neck had too much relief and the bridge was too high. Two hours later and some very careful truss rod adjusting she was better than ever with low, smooth, buzzless action.

    Two years ago I was still pretty green and preferred high action so I could really chop hard and still play well in 1st position. Now I play all over the neck and know how to pull better tone using less force. So the mandolin that was "too quiet" but sounded great has become something more and I know what has changed, besides the set up, is my skill level. I have advanced to a level where I can better appreciate this Big Horn. I still love my Breedlove b/c it cuts thru the noise at a bluegrass jam like nobody's business but have a new appreciation for the Webby BH.

    Much like in other parts of my life, the better I get the more the world opens up and new options present themselves.
    Breedlove Quartz FF with K&K Twin - Weber Big Horn - Fender FM62SCE

    Wall Hangers - 1970's Stella A and 60's Kay Kraft

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    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    I'm interested to know other's experiences like this so please share. What was your worst MAS attack? How has your experience level affected your instrument choice?
    Breedlove Quartz FF with K&K Twin - Weber Big Horn - Fender FM62SCE

    Wall Hangers - 1970's Stella A and 60's Kay Kraft

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    I am dying to know, what was the sound?? I thought you were going to say bugs or a mouse or something. Yikes! Or was it the plaintive sound of an under appreciated mandolin howling out its woes through a closed case?
    Indulge responsibly!

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  4. #4

    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    Right! That'll teach you to pack away instruments in the closet instead of playing them. (if you do this again, be sure to slacken the strings, and humidify)

    But lucky you--to purchase a peck of mandolins, and pick the best of the litter. It's always nice to be able to make comparisons like this, and in the comfort of your own space...is there anything nicer than spending a morning or afternoon alone in the house with a new instrument? (and multiplied by three...Good for you!)

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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    Just had MAS attack. Weber Sage Octave winging its way to me as we speak. Wife mildly unhappy. To be honest the buy wasn't affected by talent level, that's too low to affect decisions.

    It might have been affected a little by changing skills, wanting a different sound etc. But in all honesty, the urge to buy had been building for a while, i toyed with bowlbacks and then turned to octaves, wee bit of research thrown in make myself feel a bit more like i was being responsible, look around at prices but really MAS was in full flow, i was going to buy something regardless of any other factor and i was very lucky to find a great one. What drove the purchase? just a powerful feeling that life would not be complete without another mando - and then this one in particular.

    Now, can't talk about this anymore or the MAS urge may return...
    Cheers

    Chris

    Something cheap and chinese F-style (Monterey - not bad though)
    Floodtone #74 - sold
    Weber Sage octave - sold

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    is there anything nicer than spending a morning or afternoon alone in the house with a new instrument?
    Precious little.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
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    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    I am dying to know, what was the sound?? I thought you were going to say bugs or a mouse or something. Yikes! Or was it the plaintive sound of an under appreciated mandolin howling out its woes through a closed case?
    It was a haunting sound. Kinda high and lonesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    Right! That'll teach you to pack away instruments in the closet instead of playing them. (if you do this again, be sure to slacken the strings, and humidify)

    But lucky you--to purchase a peck of mandolins, and pick the best of the litter. It's always nice to be able to make comparisons like this, and in the comfort of your own space...is there anything nicer than spending a morning or afternoon alone in the house with a new instrument? (and multiplied by three...Good for you!)
    I did that 2 years ago when I got them then packed them away thinking I'd sell them but never did. Just can't let go. I've been happy with my BL but man can that BigHorn sing purty. The Bitterroot is a banjo killer and the Absaroka has a smooth sound to it. I wish I could afford to keep them and even though they're in my signature as "needing to sell" I've yet to put them on the classifieds. Guess I'm waiting for someone to make me an offer but obviously I'm being real passive about it.

    The Big Horn is beautiful wood with a beautiful sound. I'm taking it to tonight's BG jam and see how she likes being nestled around several guitars, banjos and mandos.
    Breedlove Quartz FF with K&K Twin - Weber Big Horn - Fender FM62SCE

    Wall Hangers - 1970's Stella A and 60's Kay Kraft

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    Registurd User pjlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    My worst case of MAS? I'd rather not say but a bad case of MAS which I may or may not have can run somewhere around 25k per year.
    PJ
    Stanley V5

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    What's worse than MAS? GiAS (general instrument aquisition syndrome). Through a series of fortuitous events I just recently received (as an early Christmas present) a beautiful 10-stringer built by Tom Jessen which I had been desiring for quite some time but didn't have the $$. This instrument is everything I want in a mandolin, as it adds the extra low, dark tone of a mandola. Loads of sustain, volume, just all around great.

    The problem? Now I want a 5-string fiddle based on a plus-size viola body to do for my fiddling what this instrument has done for my mandolin picking!

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    This topic as been flitting around my mind and I think I have an answer,which is that with increased abilty my old reliable instrument has become new to me.

    I have had my '23 A2 since the middle 80s, and so it has experienced being played with a range of abilities, my changing abilities as I progressed.

    With each major epiphany, the instrument became a brand new entitiy to me. When I first started to explore up the neck, when I discovered third position, broke free of the necessity of a fixed position, when I first got a handle on the so called Nashville chord numbering system, when I started playing around with double stops and harmony, every time I made an intellectual leap in my conception of how to play the mandolin, my instrument became a new, unexplored landscape.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    That sound familiar, JeffD. My Big Horn performed really well last night at the BG jam. Lot's of questions and heads turning. The banjo player, a 3 time state champ, remarked on how well it sounded, (sweet, loud, great mids). Who says banjo players are dum?
    Breedlove Quartz FF with K&K Twin - Weber Big Horn - Fender FM62SCE

    Wall Hangers - 1970's Stella A and 60's Kay Kraft

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    Registered User Justus True Waldron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    Must be fun to A/B such a stable of instruments in your own home! That being said, I keep hearing tell of this dreaded MAS, it seems like everybody is coming down with it these days. To be honest, I have to say I don't quite understand it. Am I the only one? In the past year I've had the good fortune to play about 7 Macicas (including my own), several Collings, a The Weber, a Monteleon Grand Artist, several other hand builts, and a (Lloyd) Loar. Every one was different, and each one was great in its own right. Still, only one was MINE, and to me there is something to be said for bonding with an instrument over the years and learning it inside and out. Plus, the more you play one instrument, the better it's going to sound! Of course, sticking to one instrument requires starting off with the best you can get.... but from then on I like to kind of think the musician and the instrument almost grow together... Sam Bush and Hoss, Andy and his Snakehead, Grisman and Crusher. Of course, Andy now plays a Kimble and Grisman plays other things. Idk, maybe I'm old fashioned.... Thoughts? Another interesting phenomenon I've noticed - the better I've gotten, the easier it is for me two switch off and play any mandolin. I used to only feel comfortable on mine... maybe this is how it starts????
    - 2004 Macica A
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    This is a little scarier, as it involves a banjo...

    So, I was sitting around thinking about how fun it would be to acompany my son's fiddling on an old time banjo. The two sounds are just SO complimenary.

    To make a long story short, I came home that evening with a 1920s Vega Whyte Laydie, and the words "This is a collector's item; it can only increase in value" actually came out of my mouth.
    Object to this post? Find out how to ignore me here!

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    Registered User wildpikr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    This topic as been flitting around my mind and I think I have an answer,which is that with increased abilty my old reliable instrument has become new to me.

    I have had my '23 A2 since the middle 80s, and so it has experienced being played with a range of abilities, my changing abilities as I progressed.

    With each major epiphany, the instrument became a brand new entitiy to me. When I first started to explore up the neck, when I discovered third position, broke free of the necessity of a fixed position, when I first got a handle on the so called Nashville chord numbering system, when I started playing around with double stops and harmony, every time I made an intellectual leap in my conception of how to play the mandolin, my instrument became a new, unexplored landscape.

    Well said, Jeff. But it's still no cure for MAS, is it?
    Mike

    Those who think they should think, like they think others think they should think, need to think out their thinking, I think.

    No envejecemos, maduramos. -Pablo Picasso

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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    Quote Originally Posted by Justus True Waldron View Post
    To be honest, I have to say I don't quite understand it. Am I the only one?
    For me, it's GAS (gear acq.)...I may have begun my life obsessing over instruments--which generally has been good, as it's inspired me to try all sorts of instruments and musical styles--but lately, I'm in the same boat as Justus, I guess: once I'm able to acquire the instrument that enables my concept, I find that I'm no longer looking at other instruments (nice as they all are). Finding and acquiring that instrument, though, is often a long and circuitous process filled with irony, tragedy and angst.

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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    So many mandos, so little time.
    Breedlove Quartz FF with K&K Twin - Weber Big Horn - Fender FM62SCE

    Wall Hangers - 1970's Stella A and 60's Kay Kraft

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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

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    This was the biggest outbreak I ever had but the good news is that one of these will cure even the worst case of MAS.
    PJ
    Stanley V5

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    That'll do it right there!

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    Registurd User pjlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    Yup, totally remission, no kidding.
    PJ
    Stanley V5

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    Well, if my latest MAS outbreak brought this into my life.

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    Now, my MAS is in remission, but I hold out no hope for it being cured.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    From Greg_tsam - "The Bitterroot is a banjo killer ..." Wanna bet ?. Joking apart, i know what you mean.The veryloudest Mandolin that i've heard to date,was the Weber "Beartooth" 'A; style that i used to own.That would take plaster off the walls !.I only parted with it because of a neck problem that was looking to be a long drawn out procedure to get it fixed.
    I've always believed that the best instruments to practice on are the 'best instruments',or at least high quality ones. A good sounding instrument,well set up for ease of playing,is a must.I never made so much progress so fast in my Banjo playing, as when i got my Stelling Banjo.It was a dream to play & i got everything i wanted re.tone /volume without having to 'dig in' to get it.
    I'd only been playing Mandolin for 2 years when i decided to buy my Weber "Fern". I knew i had the talent to play,so instead of doing what i'd done with Banjo for so many years,& avoided forking out the cash for a good one,i decided to buy a top quality Mandolin & i had the 'Stelling experience' all over again.
    Did you fully tighten up the truss rod Greg ? - I assume that you did. One of the most incredible things happened to my "Fern" when i had my local luthier tighten the TR up. A few days later,i noticed a real increase in the volume. I'd say it had increased by about 25% in 'loudness' over what it was before,& that was with a very minor adjustment indeed.
    MAS - That's a perrenial thing with us all i think,regardless of which Mandolin(s) we own. Even if i had a Gil./Dude./ Gibson MM,i'd still be oggling the classified's on here & the ads.at the numerous Mandolin 'emporiums'. However,i don't 'lust after' what i can't afford - i'm pretty much a realist in that way. If i was 30 years younger,i'd maybe try to afford a really top quality instrument in some way,but at 66 years of age,it's not going to happen - so why sweat it !,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

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    Registered User Mary Weber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

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    Get back with you soon, Greg!

  23. #23
    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    Thanks, Mary. Yep that's the same mando (style) I have sitting right here. I knew I should have left it in it's case b/c now I have MAS with my own mandos that I had earmarked for sell. I buy them but can't force myself to sell 'em.
    Breedlove Quartz FF with K&K Twin - Weber Big Horn - Fender FM62SCE

    Wall Hangers - 1970's Stella A and 60's Kay Kraft

  24. #24
    They seem to call me Cohl AndSoItBegandolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    I am so new to the mandolin world, but I can already feel the tingle of MAS in the back of my brain as I comb the classifieds in full view and scroll down The Mandolin Store's inventory. It doesn't help that there are quite a few (seemingly) affordable and good choices in our classifieds lately. On top of that, the guys at The Mando Store have seen fit to taunt us with their financing payments listed right under the pictures... suddenly that $3k Weber seems a drop in the ocean for a fair $100/month...

    No wonder MAS is so common now days, all these enablers all over the place and one can all but hide under a rock without rationalizing JUST ONE MORE!!

  25. #25

    Default Re: Changing talent levels, changing skills, changing mandolins,

    Y'all are so unkind to us less hip older folk .... MAS is short for????
    Kip....
    Blessings,
    Kip...

    If you think you can or think you can't... you're likely right!

    Eastman MD515, amid many guitars and a dulcimer.

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