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Thread: A-style mando for <$2000

  1. #1
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    Just hoping to get some advice on an a-style mandolin for under $2000. Is the Collings MT the only way to go? I'm interested more in tone than aesthetics. What's the best way to go? Weber? I'm also seriously considering a beartooth- does it compare? Ill also buy used to get more value for the dollar. Thanks for the help...

  2. #2
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    There was just a Flatiron A5-1 on ebay that went for about $1,000.00. No adjustible truss rod, but a great mandolin. I'd keep an eye out for a Gibson or Flatiron A5, with the higher trim lines pushing closer to $2,000.00

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

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

  3. #3

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    don paine at pomeroy makes a nice mando at under $2k and he will shape the neck any way you want.

    i cannot for the life of me get used to the collings neck.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  4. #4
    Modulator ;) PhilGE's Avatar
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    Old Wave Mandolins - lots and lots of bang for the buck for under 2K.

    -Phil

  5. #5
    john homer
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    If you want good tone, playability and a well built A style for under 2K look at Bill Bussman's Old Wave mandos. I prefered the neck over the Collings As I tried. Also, the tone seems to be much more in the direction of the traditional "dry woody" bluegrass sound that I prefer. As always try before you buy. Which Bussman will allow you to do, I`m pretty sure.
    John Homer
    john homer

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    john homer
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    What a coincidence! btw my Old Wave is an A with F holes.
    john homer

  7. #7
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    www.gruhn.com has an old wave A with oval hole on their listing. It is under 2,000.00.

    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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    While I think these kinds of threads are generally pointless (no flame intended), as you really have to play as many instruments as you can for yourself in order to decide (all the A-styles in the $2K range are likely high quality, but "different" - whichever is "better" is up to you), I will say that if you want bang for your buck isn't a Weber Absaroka essentially the same as the Beartooth, except for cosmetic differences (nickel vs. gold hardware, peghead inlay etc), for ~$700 less (MSRP)?

  9. #9

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    yes, the absaroka is a good choice, but i don't think it comes anywhere near the collings in sound.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Givens Legacy A5 or A6. Greg Boyd tends to have these. Sound is, I believe, a little mor "bluegrassy" (throaty) than the Collings, perhaps not as "refined" (using that term as a descriptor, not as a suggestion of better or worse).

    Mark
    J. Mark Lane
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    Brian Dean #30 Bowlback

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    Remember that any opinions about Collings, Weber's etc. are just that, opinions. They may or may not jibe with your own. In my opinion you should take your time and play as many A's as you can get your hands on no matter the make. After you have played enough of them you will know when you find the one that speaks to you. The builders above all make fine sounding mandolins but don't be afraid to try out some of the newer builders in your area as well.

    GVD
    GVD

  12. #12

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    many cafe members own a variety of mandolins. #one thing we do is share our knowledge, but what we should do is on occassion hold a get together as the bo-mandos did so people can play many different instruments. #i myself just sold my absaroka, and my collings also (several months ago). #i still have my pomeroy and a givens legacy A6. #

    as for local builders, i'd play before i bought as i have been tremendously disappointed in some of the smaller builder's sound.



    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Hey guys- thanks for all of the help. Just a few more questions: What about the Givens Legacy A6 Greg Boyd has? How does that compare to a Stiver A, or a Prucha or Lebeda A? Any insights are helpful, as I am not able to play any of these before buying. I'm still looking at that Weber Beartooth, too. I haven't found an Old Wave yet, but I'll keep looking. thanks...

  14. #14
    Gilchrist (pick) Owner! jasona's Avatar
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    Givens Legacy's are very even up the fretboard and are super mandos. Laura Ratcliff also makes a nice A style for less than $2K
    Jason Anderson

    "...while a great mandolin is a wonderful treat, I would venture to say that there is always more each of us can do with the tools we have available at hand. The biggest limiting factors belong to us not the instruments." Paul Glasse

    Stumbling Towards Competence

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    I just heard a Weber Absaroka followed immediately by a Collings MT2 (both "A" style, F-hole instruments) last night at the Mando Tasting here at Wintergrass --- in my opinion, and those sitting around me, they both sounded equally great.

    BTW, the "Melondolin" of Bill Bussman also sounded really great.

    Richard




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    Quote Originally Posted by (mandowood @ Feb. 28 2004, 23:10)
    Hey guys- thanks for all of the help. #Just a few more questions: #What about the Givens Legacy A6 Greg Boyd has? #How does that compare to a Stiver A, or a Prucha or Lebeda A? #Any insights are helpful, as I am not able to play any of these before buying. #I'm still looking at that Weber Beartooth, too. #I haven't found an Old Wave yet, but I'll keep looking. #thanks...
    I've never played a Stiver, Prucha or Lebeda. My suggestion would be to call Greg and ask him.
    J. Mark Lane
    Stanley #10 F5
    Pomeroy #72 F4
    Brian Dean #30 Bowlback

  17. #17

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    the givens legacy A6 that greg boyd has is a very early one. from what i remember there are three shops that sell the givens legacy line (new), dusty strings, acousticmusic.org and http://www.burtsmusicandsound.com/givins_mando.htm (this shop is close to the builder's home/shop.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  18. #18

    Thumbs up

    There is a Holoubek A model at Elderly its a little over 2K though it but would be good to check it out .They are great mandolins you can find out more about them at www.galleryofstrings.com

    Hope it works !



    Kick it in the fanny and go #

  19. #19
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    You may want to contact Keith Newell from here in the Cafe. He makes a fine "A" in your range. Plus it is supporting the cause!
    R&K

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