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Thread: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

  1. #1
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Dennis Vance at the Mandolin Store contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I would be willing to take a look at The Lafferty A model that will be given away by the cafe and do a review of it. Let me preface this by saying that even though I enter every give away that the Cafe has I know I'm never going to be allowed to win it. It's the price we pay.

    As I have been in the market for a new backup mandolin and have been lusting after several A style mandolins I jumped at the chance.

    It arrived yesterday but as the weather has been cold I waited until tonight to open it. It just so happens that I have a band rehearsal tonight so I plan on using it for a few numbers just to see how it does. My normal stage mandolin is a Gibson F5G that is well played in that I will never part with. We're that close.

    Here are my first visual impressions of this mandolin right out of the box. This mandolin is close to flawless for those that get into that. My Gibson has rough spots that just weren't taken care of at the factory. For example, the finish on the sides of the fretboard extension are really rough. The Laffery has no "underfinished" spots that I have yet seen. The closest to a flaw I can see is one small spot on the side of the fretboard extension and a small almost unperceivable difference in the finish on the bottom of the heel where it joins the body. To be honest you have to move it around in bright light to see it.

    The variation on the flower pot headstock inlay looks a lot better in person than it does in the pictures on the website. All in all the inlay work looks flawless. I'm not real fond of the truss rod cover shape but with all the Gibson legal problems regarding the bell shape, I understand why this shape was chosen. The end cut on the fretboard is scalloped and very pleasant looking. The headstock is a well made snakehead shape, the neck looks to have a nice gentle V shape. There's real wood on the headstock overlay.

    The color on this particular mandolin reminds me of the Kentucky KM-250's from the late 80's without the gloss only classier. I always liked that look.

    The Grover tuners are standard Grovers and the Allen tailpiece shape lends itself to the classic design of the instrument. I don't know who makes the bridge but it has that delicate "Look at me, I'm a Loar" design that comes on the high end Gibson F5's but not on the lowly F5G. A quick look inside shows workmanship and finish that is on par with the workmanship on the outside.

    I am going to go and tune this thing up and get familiar with it before the band arrives. Pictures and more impressions to come. I hope it sounds as good as it looks.

  2. #2
    Registered User Jim Murton's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    treat my baby nice please.
    Jim

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Can't wait to hear (read) the next installment!!
    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.

  4. #4
    Registered User Mando Tristan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Same here, looks and sounds good online. Bet it's way better in person. Hope I win it, but good luck to all who enter, you need it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Who made it?

  6. #6
    Registered User dcoventry's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Quote Originally Posted by mandoteacher View Post
    Who made it?
    A great thread on this issue is in progress. Read up!
    2005 Rigel G5 #2196
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  7. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    A few things. I want to put a strap and a set of J74 or J75's on this thing. I won't do either

    I'm going to post a bunch of pictures from a bunch of angles. Some might not be totally clear but they should give you an idea as to what the different parts look like. There's lot of reflection from the flash and the overhead lights. Any light spots you see are simply reflections as is the color difference on the headstock inlay. For some reason some of it looks yellow. It doesn't look that way in real life.
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  8. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    And some more....
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  9. #9
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    And the last of them for now... and yes, those are Klipsch Horns.
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    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Jan-19-2012 at 11:26pm.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Whoa! That looks even better than the stock photo shows. Definitely high quality looking. Although I have no idea what it sounds like, I’m sure it’ll make someone very happy.

  11. #11
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    This is a very light instrument, it feels delicate in your hands. I take that to be a good thing. It doesn't have the clunky heavy weight that I associate with less expensive instruments. It's well made. The intonation is right on (I would expect it to be). It plays clean. For my taste the strings are too light but then again I'm not into dainty mandolin music, I'm kind of hard on mine. Even with the lighter strings that it has on it the mandolin is loud. I played it on a few songs at rehearsal tonight and it cut through the instruments, you could hear it even though I wasn't digging in like I normally do. Honestly, I'm afraid I'm going to scratch it so I'm treating it with kid gloves.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Come to papa!!!!
    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.

  13. #13
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Quote Originally Posted by mandoteacher View Post
    Who made it?
    I straight out asked Dennis who it was and he straight out told me he wasn't going to tell me

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    I know who.. I KNOW WHO!!!!!.......




    .... The Lafferty approved manufacturing facility!!! See... told ya!
    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.

  15. #15
    Registered User 8ch(pl)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    It's coming to Nova Scotia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. #16
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Yay! for the Klipsch horns... I guess it's more exciting to me that someone still knows how good they are...

  17. #17
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlieshafer View Post
    Yay! for the Klipsch horns... I guess it's more exciting to me that someone still knows how good they are...
    Truly they are works of art.

  18. #18
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Great thread. Kind of reminds me of those
    Jade threads from a few years back. It was
    exciting then to see the story of a new line
    of mandolins unfold as it happened. Wish
    the Jade story had a happier ending. Here's
    wishing Dennis much success with this
    line of instruments. Also, really enjoyed the
    photos and info, Mike.
    ...

  19. #19
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    I have to rebuild a system this evening that will require large periods of time watching a machine do what it does. I'm going to use that time to sit and play my entire repetoire on the Lafferty. It will give me some time to really get to know it.

  20. #20
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Play the heck out of it so it opens up for me.
    Never say "bouzouki" to a TSA agent...

  21. #21
    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Yes, Great thread!
    Mike, thanks for taking the time to post the photos and your learned observations.
    How exciting that a Cafe member (or visitor) will win this!
    Oh, and Mike, where does one enter to win the Klipschorns?
    c.1965 Harmony Monterey H410 Mandolin
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  22. #22

    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Ed if you haven't already registered for it here is a link to the giveaway!

    Though I must be fair the mandolin God's have spoken and she's mine, Mine, MINE I tell you...all mine!!!

    Wait you wanted the drawing for the Klipschorns... my bad...

    Kip....
    Last edited by Kip Carter; Jan-20-2012 at 3:15pm.
    Blessings,
    Kip...

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

    Eastman MD515, amid many guitars and a dulcimer.

  23. #23
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Goist View Post
    Oh, and Mike, where does one enter to win the Klipschorns?
    Until one has experienced a picture being blown off a wall while the cannon shots in the 1812 Overture are playing they really can't truly appreciate the Klipsch horns....

    We're gonna need somebody to donate a set of those to the cafe for a giveway, my son has already claimed mine and I'm not dead yet.

  24. #24
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Hey Mike, how is the neck on that thing. In your normal playing position is it pretty comfortable? And then in your most extreme reach is it supportive or at least out of the way?
    Indulge responsibly!

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  25. #25
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Lafferty Mandolin Road Test

    Well, for those who haven't experienced great horn speakers, that's one do-it-yourself project that you can actually get away with. Score some Tannoy drivers, get some plywood and go at it; there are plenty of plans out there. I probably have 6 or so pairs of horns speakers I've built sitting in the basement, always looking for a better sound. Some of them I've simply sawn off short and turned them into stage monitors. They work great and look..er..unusual!

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