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Thread: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

  1. #1
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Out went the '23 A2Z, the deal on the Black clone didn't work out (all good) so I bought a Phoenix Bluegrass mandolin. I just love it! I mean it's beautiful, sounds great and a touch different from my standard a-model collection. Here's the store photos. Cheers to Acoustic Vibes in Tempe, Arizona for great service and favorable pricing.

    I just love the setup, radius and 30mm nut width, which is right close to the 1-3/16ths that I've grown used to.

    Just a great mandolin! Feel free to share your photos, stories and admiration for a great builder! I'm sold!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

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  3. #2
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    I'm jealous, that's beautiful. I've only played one and it was great. The owner didn't seem as excited and I should have made him an offer.
    Enjoy.
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

  4. #3
    Okay, I'm with you fellas tburcham's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Congrats Fatt-Dad! Beautiful mandolin. I've only played one Phoenix, but it made a extremely favorable impression on me! Rolfe makes a great mandolin.
    Tim Burcham
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  5. #4

    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Very nice mando fatt-dad! I absolutely am in LOVE with my Phoenix Bluegrass mandolin...somebody will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands one day!

  6. #5
    Play on! Sid Simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Congrats on your new Phoenix. I have a Phoenix Standard (no. 513) and it is a real joy to play. I hope you get as much pleasure from yours as I have from mine!


    Don't play what's there, play what's not there. - Miles Davis


  7. #6
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Rolfe makes fantastic mandolins, and he is a great guy as well. He is really unique in the mandolin world in that he makes four different mandolin models with completely different voices.

    I have a custom Unicorn that Rolfe made in 1980, and it's fantastic as well.
    Marc

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  9. #7
    Registered User pickloser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    I had a Phoenix BG that I loved. The only problem was that I loved my Phoenix Ultra even more. The poor PBG never got to go out. So I sold it to a SKAK buddy. The BG model is right for jazz too, I think, but it doesn't come with the pickups for plugging in.
    Love me some Phoenix mandolins.

    Congratulations on acquiring #429!

  10. #8

    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    i have always been traditional ,but a good Phoenix or Sorensen could change anyone
    always like the sound of them
    Danny Clark

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  12. #9
    Registered User dcoventry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    I have the Jazz #400. I've been playing it a ton recently. My Rigel G5 was go to for a really long time, and the Jazz just sat. When I took a few weeks off from playing and my fingers softened up, I started back on the Phoenix becuase of the TI strings. WOW! It was just a joy to play all over again. It's amazing how many differnet tones I can pull out of it. It's so light, responsive and articulate. Amazing piece of craftsmanship, too.
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    2005 Rigel G5 #2196
    2005 Phoenix Jazz #400
    1988 Jeff Traugott Acoustic #4
    2012 Eastman 905 Archtop Guitar, BLOND!

    Remember to grin while you pick, it throws folks off!

  13. #10
    Resonate globally Pete Jenner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    They've got big soundholes. Interesting.
    The more I learn, the less I know.

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    Registered User Timothy S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Phoenix Mandolins are incredible. I really wanted one, but it was a little out of my price range when I first started playing. Jeff and the Acoustic Vibes crew are amazing. I've purchased 3 guitars, the mando, and a uke from them. They're one of the things I miss about living in Arizona.
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    F-D, that looks pretty cool, he certainly has his unique style. What is the difference between the Bluegrass and other model's like the Neo-Classical or jazz? They essentially look the same, i.e., same two point body and same F-holes. Is it a matter of bracing and graduations?
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  16. #13
    Registered User dcoventry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    E,

    The diiferent models are graduated differently and are made for different string guages to get optimal effect. The body shape is the same for all, which I'm sure makes it WAAAAAY easier to produce these fine mandos.

    The BG model can handle J74's, my Jazz is made for TI starks, the neoclassical gets TI Mittels. the info can be found on the very cool website.

    http://www.phoenixmandolins.com/
    2005 Rigel G5 #2196
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    1988 Jeff Traugott Acoustic #4
    2012 Eastman 905 Archtop Guitar, BLOND!

    Remember to grin while you pick, it throws folks off!

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  18. #14
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    The is for all the enabling support! I'll likely try T-I Starks on my Phoenix 'cause I love them!

    The BG just has wonderful tone though - almost choral is its complexity. It'll chop though!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  19. #15
    Play on! Sid Simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Quote Originally Posted by fatt-dad View Post
    I'll likely try T-I Starks on my Phoenix 'cause I love them!
    f-d
    f-d - What gauge do you suggest? I have the Standard/neo-bluegrass/select, and have seen both the medium and heavy suggested. I'm currently playing the JazzMando strings and like them quite a bit. I have heard so much about the TI's that I am giving some serious thought to trying a set.


    Don't play what's there, play what's not there. - Miles Davis


  20. #16
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    I just found this on youtube.......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbZFR8Anx_c

    Wow, it really rings!
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  21. #17
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Simpson View Post
    f-d - What gauge do you suggest? I have the Standard/neo-bluegrass/select, and have seen both the medium and heavy suggested. I'm currently playing the JazzMando strings and like them quite a bit. I have heard so much about the TI's that I am giving some serious thought to trying a set.
    "Stark" is their term for heavy.

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  22. #18
    Registered User Jeff Budz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    I love my PBG #258, it is a wonderful playing and sounding instrument. I fell in love with them after demoing one at a music store outside Boston. I posted about it and one of the Cafe' members PMed me with an offer I could not refuse. Turns out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

    I contacted Rolfe about a James tailpiece and he invited me to come by his shop while on a trip up to Maine. He is an incredibly warm and kind individual and it was a pleasure to tour his shop. You should see the view of the St. George river he has; it would inspire me to create great things too! In addition to installing the James, he went over the entire instrument and did a fret dress, bridge fit adjustment and setup. It still plays great 2 years after his work. I wasn't sold on the carbon truss bars at first, but after 2 years I can attest that the neck doesn't change a bit between seasons.

    I dream of having Rolfe make me another one, in translucent orange, no binding, custom Jeff Budz neck inlays (Jimmy Martin Style). I need to get on that while he is still making mandolins, not sure how long before he retires.

    My Phoenix went a long way towards curing my MAS, but I do drool over having a second one. And maybe a Sorrenson 2-point mandola...

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  24. #19
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Yeah the more I play this mandolin the more I ponder selling a few of the former front runners.

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  25. #20
    Registered User dcoventry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    F-D,

    I'm so glad to hear you are enjoying your new find. I had mine for almost a year before I really started to dig into it. It was a revelation, to be sure.

    Definitely try the starks. What a great soft feel they have. And on mine at least, tone, playability and action really come together.

    And say, your 429 and my 400 are practically brothers!!
    Last edited by dcoventry; May-24-2013 at 10:35am.
    2005 Rigel G5 #2196
    2005 Phoenix Jazz #400
    1988 Jeff Traugott Acoustic #4
    2012 Eastman 905 Archtop Guitar, BLOND!

    Remember to grin while you pick, it throws folks off!

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  27. #21
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Rolfe makes great mandolins. I have Unicorn #2 he made for me in '74 and I still haven't found one that sounds good enough to replace it with.

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  29. #22
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    F-D, that looks pretty cool, he certainly has his unique style. What is the difference between the Bluegrass and other model's like the Neo-Classical or jazz? They essentially look the same, i.e., same two point body and same F-holes. Is it a matter of bracing and graduations?
    That is what I love about Rolfe's mandolins. Same basic design but a world of difference in the tones from different models. I have played a good handful of Neo-Classicals and they are very refined in workmanship and tone. They are very specifically voiced for T-I strings (up to mediums). I am not so enamored of the look and the f-holes but would easily forgo all that for the tones these produce. Rolfe is one of the very few makers who does concentrate on voicing his instruments for specific tone. Check out his site.
    Jim

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  31. #23

    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    I have a neoclassical with Thomastik mittels. Wonderful instrument! I was wondering how often the strings should be changed.
    Thanks

  32. #24
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Canada View Post
    I have a neoclassical with Thomastik mittels. Wonderful instrument! I was wondering how often the strings should be changed.
    Thanks
    Once in the summer and not quite as often in The winter.

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  33. #25
    Eschews Obfuscation mugbucket's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phoenix Bluegrass #429

    Well, that will sure turn some heads at the old time jam huh? Congrats on a beauty F-D!

    Ski
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