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Author Topic: How many of you play mandolin?  (Read 36848 times)
Johnny M
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« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2011, 02:05:50 AM »

phd

With my history of GAS, I think I avoided some of the potholes and got to where I want to be.  But, a few months ago an Old Wave pushed me to my limits of resistance.  I really like the looks of them and the soundclips I've heard gave me the woolies.  I'm glad I held off though.  

I started with a Larrivee guitar when i got into playing and from my experience with guitars, I figured they must make great mandolins.  I bought my A-33 from the 12th Fret in Toronto, where it was on consignment at a fair price.  It was pretty much brand new when I got it and has really opened up in the year plus I've had it.  Mandolins open up much more that guitars.  Since I hadn't played that many other mandolins, I just rode out the experience to get me here now.  I played a Weber Bitterroot and a new Larrivee A-33 just before Christmas in a great little shop in Victoria,  BC, and it brought me back to when I first received mine.  It sounded and felt tight compared to my A-33 now, and also the Weber (which was built in 2004 and had that played in feel to it ~ very nice).  I would have bought the Weber over the Larrivee based on tone and playability that day, but one was new and the other used.

The Mandolin Store had a new Larrivee oval hole that also tempted me, but it sold for a very good price and mustn't of made that much on it.  Pricing has been kind of strange with them as there were some early models without headstock bindings that were given to them from a Larrivee Rep ???  I think you're right that there aren't that many out there yet, but they did give away one as a prize at Winfield.

While down in Victoria before Christmas, I picked up a tenor banjo for my son that's a hoot to play.  Same tuning as mandolin, but an octave lower.  It's an 80 year old Stewart that seen a lot of life, but I got if for a song and my son and I love it.  I think my next instrument purchase will be either a better tenor banjo, or octave mandolin of some sort.

I really think that Larrivee makes a great do it all mandolin.  It picks fiddle tunes and bluegrass amazing well and has enough strength to cut well, much more so than my son's Breedlove mandolin.  His chords very well but in the last few months, the Larrivee is starting to find it voice.  It's been played a lot and a few of the frets have grooves in them ~ when I got it the frets were spotless.  This is the first "new" instrument that I have really bonded with.  A lot of the guitars I've bought have been used, so I've missed out on a lot of that initial bonding experience with a new instrument and watching it find its voice over time.  Going used is good as you'll get a great sounding instrument that's been played in at a better price.

Last night I changed the strings on it and it just exploded with sound.  I had a set of Gibson Sam Bush strings on it for the last 5 months or so and just strung it with Gibson Bill Monroe strings.  I liked them from the get go.  I tried D'Addario's on them but prefer Gibson strings.  Funny, I've never picked a guitar from them that blew me away.  I don't think that you'll be disappointed if you do end up with one some day.  If it's new, plan on playing it in!

John


I want yours! (The OP's).

I mostly set aside guitar in favor of mandolin ~8-9 yrs ago, although I have come back to my guitars more in the past few years.  I have too many mandolins to list, but I went through the common progression of decent import, better import, used Flatiron, several used nice handmade mandolins, a couple old Gibsons, and on and on.
I have and play several good handmade A5s (Old Wave, Ken Ratcliff, Jon Mann, Givens Legacy), but my main love is for A-style oval hole mandos (1915 Gibson, '90s Old Wave).

The A33 is an A5 I would consider if/when I could find one pre-owned (the most I have ever spent on any mandolin was ~$1400).  I had a chance to finally pick up and handle a couple of freshly finished A33s during an impromptu visit to the Larrivee plant in July, and was impressed.  They looked and felt very well made, with a punchy and lively tone.

I have been a bit confused about the new and used market prices on the these; I have seen new ones listed everywhere between ~$1400 and ~$2000.  I think it will be hard to judge what kind of money is needed to buy a preowned Larrivee until they have been around for a few more years.  I did not get the impression the plant is turning them out in great numbers; I saw only a very modest number in various steps of production, and 4-5 finished A- and F-style instruments on that day.
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Johnny M
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« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2011, 02:07:37 AM »

I would'nt say I play mandolin,  but I'm working on it.
got hooked with an old Ibanez A model that I received as part of a trade, passed it on to a friend who wants to learn mandolin.

Now this Ratliff R5 is my main mandolin squeeze. 



Wow, that is a VERY nice mando you have there.  All the little details taken care of and from what I've heard, a dream to play.

Enjoy that in good health.
John
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Nort
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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2011, 05:47:48 PM »

Thanks John,

It's true Audey Ratliff builds a very fine mandolin,
I looke around alot, sampled some Gibson, Flatiron, Weber, Kentucky, etc. (Larrivee had'nt started building theirs yet)
what I really wanted was a nice full sounding mandolin, preferably American made.
researched alot of the small builders, and Ratliff seemed to fit what I wanted, after having it for awhile, I'm pleased to say
It's a keeper!  bigrin
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WileE
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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2011, 09:37:18 PM »

There are some really nice mandolins here.  Here's a picture of my old Gibson A50 (mid 1940's, I think).  The tail plate is not original but I do have it.  It's pretty beat up but it sounds great.  Unfortunately one of the tuner buttons just disintegrated.  I've looked around some but haven't found any replacements.  Does anybody have any ideas how to replace it?

BTW.  The picture was taken outside in the summer.  Right now we're covered in snow and the temp this morning was -7 degrees Fahrenheit (yes, minus 7 here in sunny California).  I didn't get to play guitar yesterday because I was too busy thawing out my hot water pipes.  The joys of living in the mountains...



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Dr. LJ
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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2011, 03:34:58 PM »

Ratliff does make some nice mandolins.  I love mine, which is a 1997 model.  Audey is a very nice guy, very helpful and easy to deal with. 

LJ
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sealcove
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« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2011, 06:42:52 PM »

Mandolin is my primary instrument.  I have never seen a Larrivee mando in person, but at this point I am happy with my Phoenix and my Old Wave. 
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Johnny M
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« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2011, 06:47:54 PM »

Mandolin is my primary instrument.  I have never seen a Larrivee mando in person, but at this point I am happy with my Phoenix and my Old Wave. 

You can't post pictures here until you have at least 10 posts, but do you have any links to pictures of your Old Wave?  If I were into getting another mandolin, that would be at the top of my list.  Maybe one day ...

John

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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2011, 03:49:40 AM »

WileE can you post a close up of the button I may have one if not I'll see what I can find for you.
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WileE
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« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2011, 09:13:46 PM »

WileE can you post a close up of the button I may have one if not I'll see what I can find for you.

Here are some attempts.  It looks like the post itself is 3/32" in diameter at its smoothest roundest part.  The buttons are 7/16" at their widest point.  All of them really need to be replaced.  Any guidance or direction that you can provide would be great.  Thanks Rob -- I appreciate it.

Sorry for the temporary steering away of the thread.   blush

WileE

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« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2011, 04:45:08 AM »

WileE PM me your address I think I have what you need.


Sorry for the highjacking.
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WileE
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« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2011, 03:40:49 PM »

WileE PM me your address I think I have what you need.


Sorry for the highjacking.

Done.  Thank you, Rob.

Back to our regularly scheduled program...
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sealcove
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« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2011, 03:59:56 AM »

You can't post pictures here until you have at least 10 posts, but do you have any links to pictures of your Old Wave?  If I were into getting another mandolin, that would be at the top of my list.  Maybe one day ...

Sorry, I wasn't following the thread.  Here are some shots from the builder and dealer: http://picasaweb.google.com/sealcove/OldWave481
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arbutusq
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« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2011, 11:35:05 PM »

I have a lowly Gibson A9 and honestly I don't want another f hole mando.  It ain't pretty but has buckets of tone and is suitable for anything I want to do.   I do love the Larrivee F style I got to play at a jam though.  Brighter and more modern sounding with great balance and articulation.  The guy who owns it is really trying for the Bill Munro sound and his mandolin doesn't let him down.

Is it true that you can get a Larry oval hole.  I really want an oval hole.
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Johnny M
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« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2011, 12:48:52 AM »

sealcove ~ i remember following your thread over on the Mandolin Cafe.  That is a fine looking Old Wave you have there.  One day ...

I saw that the Mandolin Store had a oval hole A style Larrivee around Christmas, but got picked up pretty quickly at a great price.  They had a soundclip and it sounded nice ~ very nice.  That's the only oval hole I've seen for sale ... so they are out there.  Unfortunately, the Mandolin Store won't be carrying the Larrivee line in the future.

I've had my Larrivee A-33 for about a year and a half now and its really come into its own.  Like you, my f hole sound is covered.  Plays great and has a strong voice, but sweet when tickled.  I mainly play Irish and Bluegrass tunes, but have been working on some ideas.  I'll be throwing in a K&K Twin Fusion pickup on it shortly, so I'm looking forward to that.

John
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« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2011, 12:01:36 AM »

Although I love my C09, mandolin is my primary instrument.

Here is a few pics of my current main player, a Weber Vintage F. I have had it somewhere around 9 months. It's a joy to play and has a very sweet voice for the music I like to play.

A full shot of the front:



Nice flamed 80 year old maple back:



A Close Up of the front:




I owned a few FF styled instrument in the past, but I have found the more subtle, bell-like tone of the oval hole gives me the tone I am looking for.

This little one is a joy to play!  

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« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2011, 01:35:33 AM »

Although I love my C09, mandolin is my primary instrument.

Here is a few pics of my current main player, a Weber Vintage F. I have had it somewhere around 9 months. It's a joy to play and has a very sweet voice for the music I like to play.

A full shot of the front:



Nice flamed 80 year old maple back:



A Close Up of the front:




I owned a few FF styled instrument in the past, but I have found the more subtle, bell-like tone of the oval hole gives me the tone I am looking for.

This little one is a joy to play!  

Hey CZER09RW,

That is real looker in my books.

 For the past year and a half I've also been playing mandolin as my main instrument.  My A-33 has really turned into a nice strong mandolin and all that I could ever ask for.  My MAS stopped once I got it and if I got another mandolin  5 years down the road, it would be to complement it rather than to replace, or upgrade it.   I would love to have an oval hole one day, maybe an Old Wave or Pomeroy, but that day is well into the future.  I'll probably have to buy my son a better mandolin first and hand his down to his little brother.  He's been playing a year and a half now and has really come a long way.  He plays an Open Mic every month, takes lessons, is in a "Rock Club" at school and just put on a concert last week.  All this at 8 years old.  We bought him a Breedlove Spirit for his 7th birthday and told him if he practiced hard, I'd get him one with a scroll, which he thinks is the "coolest".  Something like yours would definitely be ideal in a perfect world.  When the time gets closer and the coins start adding up, I'll watch the Mandolin Cafe's classifieds ~ lots of instruments there to drool over. 

Play it in good health 

John
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« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2011, 01:40:00 AM »

Just looked at the picture I posted when I started this thread and should update it.  That pic was taken about a year ago and have since added an armrest and K&K Twin Fusion pickup with carpenter jack.  It was also much cleaner than it is now  blush

John
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« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2011, 02:35:31 AM »

my son been playing a year and a half now and has really come a long way.  He plays an Open Mic every month, takes lessons, is in a "Rock Club" at school and just put on a concert last week.  All this at 8 years old. 

 bowdown
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« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2011, 03:49:11 AM »

bowdown

Yeah, I'm a proud papa  bowdown  They've only been gone a week and I already miss the little buggers  

I got an e-mail from my wife this afternoon and he's going to a Japanese pre-school on Tuesday and will be playing his mandolin.  He's been in the country a week and already has a gig.  Things just seem to fall in place easily for him musically and he loves riding the wave. He said before he left that he wants to try busking there, so we'll see what happens.  Here's a link from the concert last week.  http://www.youtube.com/user/DenmanPaddles#p/a/u/1/qU9be1NR4Tg

He's the short one playing an A style mando.

John
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« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2011, 06:56:14 PM »

Hey CZER09RW,

That is real looker in my books.

 For the past year and a half I've also been playing mandolin as my main instrument.  My A-33 has really turned into a nice strong mandolin and all that I could ever ask for.  My MAS stopped once I got it and if I got another mandolin  5 years down the road, it would be to complement it rather than to replace, or upgrade it.   I would love to have an oval hole one day, maybe an Old Wave or Pomeroy, but that day is well into the future.  I'll probably have to buy my son a better mandolin first and hand his down to his little brother.  He's been playing a year and a half now and has really come a long way.  He plays an Open Mic every month, takes lessons, is in a "Rock Club" at school and just put on a concert last week.  All this at 8 years old.  We bought him a Breedlove Spirit for his 7th birthday and told him if he practiced hard, I'd get him one with a scroll, which he thinks is the "coolest".  Something like yours would definitely be ideal in a perfect world.  When the time gets closer and the coins start adding up, I'll watch the Mandolin Cafe's classifieds ~ lots of instruments there to drool over.  

Play it in good health  

John

Oh yeah! As long as they are showing interest in playing you need to feed that fire!  

The choice of instruments these days are much easier on the pocketbook, and much better in playability/quality. The PacRim stuff is now at a level where you can get them something very, very nice that will inspire them to play for a time until they're ready for the next level.

It'd be nice if we all had it as easy at Scott Thile. His kid was playing main stages of bluegrass festivals at age 8! But, players like Chris Thile don't come along very often...  
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