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Thread: J Bovier A5

  1. #1
    texaspaul texaspaul's Avatar
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    Default J Bovier A5

    I have a bad case of MAS. I have been trying to stave it off but keeps retiring . My latest ploy is to be concerned about a couple of things.
    1. The poly finish verses nitro the new models are nitro.
    2. X bracing vs tone bars.
    3. It appears that the neck join on older model is joined at 12th fret CSS. 13 or 15 this is a big question now.
    4. The price difference in. Last years at close out vs 2013 is at the least $220, if not bought Fri ebaycwhich I don't want to do

    DOES THE 12th fret joint MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN TONE AND PLAYIND IN B WITH BAR CHORDS?

  2. #2
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    Quote Originally Posted by texaspaul View Post
    I have a bad case of MAS. I have been trying to stave it off but keeps retiring . My latest ploy is to be concerned about a couple of things.
    1. The poly finish verses nitro the new models are nitro.
    2. X bracing vs tone bars.
    3. It appears that the neck join on older model is joined at 12th fret CSS. 13 or 15 this is a big question now.
    4. The price difference in. Last years at close out vs 2013 is at the least $220, if not bought Fri ebaycwhich I don't want to do

    DOES THE 12th fret joint MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN TONE AND PLAYIND IN B WITH BAR CHORDS?
    Don't know about the neck join; Kyle @ The Mando Shop has the 2012 model for $499
    http://www.themandoshop.com/pages-jb...30036-599.html

    It is x-braced, satin finish which seems to me to give a bit more in volume.

    The 2013 models have European spruce vs Sitka spruce on the 2012 model.

    I believe the 2013 models are parallel braced and go for around $800...
    1994 Gibson F5L - Weber signed


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

  3. #3
    texaspaul texaspaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    I have been eying the ones at Kyle's. According to Jeff Cowherd the 2013 now include a hard shell case. Fiddler"s Green had a 2013 for $720.

  4. #4
    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    Hi Texas Paul;

    The old model appears to have a 14th fret body join and and elevated fretboard.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The new model appears to have a 15th fret body join and an elevated fretboard.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I would think these two slightly different designs are similar enough that the impact on tone and playability (from the design) would be very minimal.

    For what it's worth, I was recently in the market for an ff-hole A-style in the "up to $500" price category to serve as my a/e mandolin (after the installation of a K&K internal twin), and I'd narrowed it down to an old JBovier A5 & an Eastman MD305 (15th fret body join). I chose the Eastman (despite its small frets ) because of the nitro finish (vs. poly on the JBovier) and the included hardshell case.

    I'm very happy with the Eastman so far, but probably would have been happy with the JBovier too.
    c.1965 Harmony Monterey H410 Mandolin
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  5. #5
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    I played a gig this week and a friend sat in all night with the band. He is a rock-solid guitar and mandolin picker. He has a JB Tradition F5 which sounds wonderful. He played my A5 the other night and his comment after playing for several minutes was, "I played a $3000 Collings last week that didn't sound this good". It was the first time I had a chance to hear someone else play it for any length of time and it sounded incredible. I couldn't be happier with its' sound.
    Larry Hunsberger

    2013 J Bovier A5 Special w/ToneGard
    D'Addario FW-74 flatwound strings
    1909 Weymann&Sons bowlback
    1919 Weymann&Sons mandolute
    Ibanez PF5
    1993 Oriente HO-20 hybrid double bass
    3/4 guitar converted to octave mandolin

  6. #6
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    Quote Originally Posted by mandobassman View Post
    I played a gig this week and a friend sat in all night with the band. He is a rock-solid guitar and mandolin picker. He has a JB Tradition F5 which sounds wonderful. He played my A5 the other night and his comment after playing for several minutes was, "I played a $3000 Collings last week that didn't sound this good". It was the first time I had a chance to hear someone else play it for any length of time and it sounded incredible. I couldn't be happier with its' sound.
    Larry,

    People on this forum are going to start saying that you and I are working for Jeff Cowherd, LOL!

    Those darn JBoviers are amazing!...
    1994 Gibson F5L - Weber signed


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

  7. #7
    texaspaul texaspaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    This discussion is fueling my MAS. I visited Jeff when he lived in Ky. Great guy.

  8. #8
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    Larry,

    People on this forum are going to start saying that you and I are working for Jeff Cowherd, LOL!

    Those darn JBoviers are amazing!...
    I suppose you're right. I have been openly praising these mandolins, but I have never been so amazed at the consistent quality I have seen from any mandolin at this price. The build quality and tone is just amazing. I bought this A5 for just over $600 and I have owned mandolins at twice that price that weren't anywhere near this good. And, have played mandolins at 3-4 times the price that may have been only marginally better.
    Larry Hunsberger

    2013 J Bovier A5 Special w/ToneGard
    D'Addario FW-74 flatwound strings
    1909 Weymann&Sons bowlback
    1919 Weymann&Sons mandolute
    Ibanez PF5
    1993 Oriente HO-20 hybrid double bass
    3/4 guitar converted to octave mandolin

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  10. #9
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    I can affirm what Mandobassman is saying. I have bought a J Bovier A5 from Jeff Cowherd direct recently as a backup mandolin. I can attest that the J Bovier is as good as mandolins costing twice as much. I am also very impressed with the setup that Jeff does on them.

    The tone on mine is very clear and responsive. It has that nice popping sound in the mids when playing. The playability is excellent.

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  12. #10
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    Uh-Oh...The Mandolin Community is going to possibly blink/balk at this one.

    On the way home yesterday, I stopped off at THE music store in these parts for acoustic instruments. They've got a Collings MT model on the wall for $2250 that I have played before and really like. I had my JBovier F5 Studio with me and we did an impromptu taste test: The JBovier had according to them, a significant fuller and deeper midrange and bass voicing, waaay deeper chop and much more volume (which is what most bluegrassers like)....all for 1/4 of the price of the Collings.

    The guys immediately went to the JBovier website to check them out...

    Ouch!
    1994 Gibson F5L - Weber signed


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

  13. #11
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    I have not put mine down since I got it. I really like playing it softly and hear the clean clear tone coming out of it. I also like to play it loud and change the dynamics and attack on it. I am amazed at how good it sounds.

    I am totally in accord with mandobassman about the tone. The volume is great and will likely get louder with time. It is a great mandolin to go with my Silverangel A5. If there is one mandolin to get this is it at this price point. I think has a much better tonal balance and overall timbre than the Kentucky KM-900 which is its nearest equivalent in terms of price and quality. To me the Kentucky Km-900 sounds a bit thinner, nonetheless a very good mandolin.

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    Registered User Pasha Alden's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    I cannot wait for mine! Paying for it today!!!!!!

    Playing:
    Jbovier a5 2013;
    Crafter M70E acoustic mandolin
    Jbovier F5 mandola 2016

  15. #13
    Registered User Pasha Alden's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    Well, those who work for Jeff (big smile> keep talking. How good I am feeling about my choice! With the rand dollar exchange this may have to be my last "fine or good" that is better than learners' mandolin quality, so you can understand all my research. It will probably travel with me to retirement. After my life on earth I will need to leave it to a relative who can play well or is very musical.!

    Playing:
    Jbovier a5 2013;
    Crafter M70E acoustic mandolin
    Jbovier F5 mandola 2016

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  17. #14
    Registered User Nick Gellie's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    I am sure Jeff will look after you. This thread shows that the J Bovier is a player's mandolin. It will serve you well for a very long time.

  18. #15
    texaspaul texaspaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    The A-5X was used to record all the tracks on Balsam Ranges "Trains I Missed" http://darrennicholson.wordpress.com...tyle-mandolin/

  19. #16
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    No clip. Just commercials. ?
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    No clip. Just commercials. ?
    Here is a link to the samples on Amazon

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    Astro 

  23. #18
    texaspaul texaspaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    I gave in to MAS and ordered a Gloss finish A-5 X Vintage from Kyle at The Mandolin Shop. He is away so it won't ship for a few days.

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  25. #19
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    Quote Originally Posted by texaspaul View Post
    I gave in to MAS and ordered a Gloss finish A-5 X Vintage from Kyle at The Mandolin Shop. He is away so it won't ship for a few days.
    Let us know how that A5 sounds when you get it...I'm real curious about those 2012 x-braced models...
    1994 Gibson F5L - Weber signed


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

  26. #20

    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    I know it's a pointless question - though that won't stop me asking - but why on earth would someone give this interesting thread a 'one star' rating? In the eyes of some are we not allowed to enjoy instruments made in faraway lands and sold at fair prices?

  27. #21
    texaspaul texaspaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    I will let Y'all know my impressions of the A-5 when it arrives. May be close to a week since Kyle is out. I have enjoy the response to this thread and thank all who have contubuted.

  28. #22
    texaspaul texaspaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    My new mandolin arrived yesterday. Initial imp reasons: nice clear clean sound and well balanced. Kyle I'd a great set up very low action intonation spot on. The chop is not the strong point of this mandolin, but has a nice ringing sustain across all the string especially the E & A strings.
    Fit and finish: I wrought the A5-X in gloss finish. The poly finish is very shinny not too thick. I had a '62 Gibson A-40 where the finish was so thick that when I dropped it on back corner it looked like the chip on an old coke bottle. It did not harm the wood beneath. Back to the A-5, all is great as far as fit nada finish except slight white bubble marks at the neck jointl and the typical slightly rough places under and near the bottom edge of fret board extension.
    I wish I wasn't so cost conscious. I believe I would have liked the 2013 blacktop A-5 with nitro finish and 15 fret neck joint better but I think this will be a very good mandolin for what I wanted it for.
    I was trying to take some of the playing time away from my Nirthcutt custom made mandolin that I have owned since 1988. It is starting to show a lot of play wear.
    Overall experience with Kyle at The Mandoshop was very good. If you have followed this thread you might imagine a number of emails passed between myself and Kyle and this was not a high end sale, $499 is not bottom end but certainly not High end either. It came well packed. I did not purchase a case since I had one already. (The new 2013s are shipped a from Jeff Coward with a case included).
    I would recommend Kyle to be prompt and helpful with first rate service and set up.

  29. #23
    texaspaul texaspaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My new J Bovier A-5X gloss

  30. #24
    Market Man Barry Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    must resist... must resist. dam it sure is a good deal though
    Kala tenor ukulele, Mandobird, Godin A8, Dobro Mandolin, Gold Tone mandola, Gold Tone OM, S'oarsey mandocello, Gold Tone Irish tenor banjo, Gold Tone M bass, Taylor 214 CE Koa, La Patrie Concert CW, Fender Strat powered by Roland, Yamaha TRBX174 bass, Epiphone ES-339 with GK1

  31. #25
    texaspaul texaspaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: J Bovier A5

    I Tried and I Tried and I Tried. Seriously it's is agood mandolin for that price.

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