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Tech: Recommended Luthiers

astro 05 May 09 - 04:35 PM
treeman 05 May 09 - 06:56 PM
Richard Bridge 05 May 09 - 07:22 PM
Peace 05 May 09 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,astro (at a different computer... 05 May 09 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,Peace 05 May 09 - 07:39 PM
astro 05 May 09 - 09:59 PM
GUEST,Dan's laptop 05 May 09 - 10:09 PM
wysiwyg 05 May 09 - 11:00 PM
astro 05 May 09 - 11:12 PM
wysiwyg 05 May 09 - 11:14 PM
Dan Schatz 06 May 09 - 12:12 AM
astro 06 May 09 - 01:03 AM
M.Ted 06 May 09 - 09:07 AM
treeman 06 May 09 - 08:53 PM
Richard Bridge 06 May 09 - 11:20 PM
astro 07 May 09 - 01:18 AM
GLoux 07 May 09 - 11:39 AM
GUEST 07 May 09 - 06:31 PM
M.Ted 07 May 09 - 06:33 PM
astro 07 May 09 - 06:33 PM
astro 07 May 09 - 06:36 PM
M.Ted 07 May 09 - 08:38 PM
astro 08 May 09 - 02:15 AM
M.Ted 08 May 09 - 09:55 AM
Spot 08 May 09 - 02:26 PM
astro 08 May 09 - 08:24 PM
Midchuck 08 May 09 - 10:08 PM
Spot 09 May 09 - 04:52 PM
Waddon Pete 09 May 09 - 05:11 PM
astro 10 May 09 - 02:10 PM
Spot 10 May 09 - 03:01 PM
Richard Bridge 10 May 09 - 03:33 PM
DADGBE 10 May 09 - 06:25 PM
GUEST 10 May 09 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,astro... 10 May 09 - 10:14 PM
astro 09 Sep 09 - 06:30 PM
Dan Schatz 26 Feb 11 - 09:57 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Feb 11 - 10:19 PM
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Subject: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: astro
Date: 05 May 09 - 04:35 PM

I was thinking about eventual repairs and changes to my mandolins and as a new player the question arose: who would I want to use. To aid this, I was wondering what makes a good luthier and what do mudcatters look for when looking for someone to work on their instruments. Finally, I was wondering in the USA and elsewhere, who do you use?

Astro...on the prowl to learn and to grow as a musician...how much fun is that!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: treeman
Date: 05 May 09 - 06:56 PM

Astro: The best advice usually comes from friends who know a friend. My recommended expert in the UK would be a lad called Paul Archer, who lives in the Teeside area, North-East of England. He is a wonderful guitar player; a wonderful fiddle player and probably plays instruments I don,t know about. He builds and repairs stringed instruments.What more can you want? He can be contacted at www.archerguitars.vpweb.com


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 May 09 - 07:22 PM

Repairs (not neck sets) and fettling and pickup installation and balancing and refrets etc etc - Brian Rodgers, Walderslade, near Chatham, Kent. Used inter alia by parts of Last Night's Fun, Davey Slater, the Barden of England, Tania Opland, Paul Steele who is writing a resulting article for the Zemaitus owners' club - oh, and me. A little bit OCD about the perfection of what he does.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: Peace
Date: 05 May 09 - 07:29 PM

http://www.myhresmusic.com/    in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

http://rufusguitarshop.com/    in Vancouver, BC, Canada

http://www.rufusguitars.com/   on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: GUEST,astro (at a different computer...
Date: 05 May 09 - 07:35 PM

I have acquired the bug for getting and loving different instruments and do plan to eventually have better tuners placed on my Collings mandolins...hence my interest in finding the best workman for them. I am also interested in looking into the care and feeding of these instruments.

treeman I have found it very useful to talk to local players about all sorts of things and will follow your suggestion, though I am still interested in what others look for. Why not use the experience of experienced players to extend your own!

Richard, when it comes to these instruments I too want the best attention to detail given to them by anyone working on them...you want the best for your girls...

Thanks guys for your inputs...

astro, getting the mandolins out to get some practice in now that I am done with teaching in Los Angeles for the day...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 05 May 09 - 07:39 PM

Re feeding the instrument: Alberta could suck the moisture out of a friggin' stone. Different circumstances in different areas, but it's not just a matter of where the guitar (instrument) is repaired, but where it's gonna live. Good point astro.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: astro
Date: 05 May 09 - 09:59 PM

Yeah, Peace,

I take my mandolins back and forth from Tucson (dry as a board) to Los Angeles (can get quite humid) so I always need to monitor the moisture.
I need to buy actual readouts for humidity to keep in the case...

Then I had my case top fall on top of my Collings MT-2 mandolin and score the finish on the top of it. I tried to convince Desert Dancer that I needed to buy a new mandolin, but there wasn't any buyin it...shoot! It didn't bite into the wood of the mandolin, just the finish...

Astro


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: GUEST,Dan's laptop
Date: 05 May 09 - 10:09 PM

Depends on where you are. If you're in the Northeast, I'd recommend going to Nick Apollonio, in Rockport, Maine - he specializes in building instruments, but he's often up for a repair job.

In California, I've seen excellent work done by Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 May 09 - 11:00 PM

More are mentioned in old threads-- use search term .

~S~


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: astro
Date: 05 May 09 - 11:12 PM

Thanks Dan, I was just up at Gryphon (my daughter goes to Berkeley) and for the life of me I can't remember the name of their luthier, though we had a really pleasant short talk. I would think of them for any real extensive work...

WYSIWYG, thanks for the advice, though I thought it might be useful if more, recent interactions with luthiers might be relevant, not to say I won't take your advice. One of our advantages here, the compiled knowledge stored up through all of the threads here.

(Just a side note: what is the backup for all of the past threads and I wonder if anyone in ethno-musicology is aware of all of the info here for some type of thesis or dissertation work for a graduate degree for a graduate student?)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 May 09 - 11:14 PM

I have no doubt that if a known luthier fell out of favor, his/her recommender would post an update in the thread where first recommended!

:~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 06 May 09 - 12:12 AM

Glad I could help, Astro. I had an old Seagull guitar I had bought when I was in high school that I basically felt I'd outgrown, so I gave it to some friends as a wedding present. When I visited them a few years ago, the action was so high as to be almost unplayable.

This past January, I borrowed the guitar for my gig in California, and suggested my friend take it to Gryphon for a setup. When I arrived and tried the guitar out, it was like night and day. They action was excellent, the trimming they did on the saddle had opened up the sound remarkably, and the instrument sounded more like a good D-18 Martin than a $300 Seagull.

I played it and ogled it so much that my friend finally had to tell me "Stop drooling, because you can't have it back."

So yes, I would enthusiastically recommend Gryphon.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: astro
Date: 06 May 09 - 01:03 AM

Well, Dan

They were certainly nice folks when I visited...will go over in the next week to see my daughter graduate and will stop by. Desert Dancer has never been there so will stop there to let her take a peep...we then are off to NW Folklife...

Michael...aka astro...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: M.Ted
Date: 06 May 09 - 09:07 AM

If your instrument was made by a luthier, you can and should send it back to them for any sort of work.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: treeman
Date: 06 May 09 - 08:53 PM

Astro; Thanks for acknowledging my post. Your comment was very pertinent 'Why not use the experience of experienced players to extend your own!'. Recently I reinvigorated Paul Archers garden in exchange for some guitar lessons. I,m a semi-retired landscape gardener and Paul freely admits to not knowing much about gardening. Fair exchange! All those years of struggling to become reasonably adept with standard tuning and then the joy of having the basics of open tunings explained in such a short time. The wonders of guitar playing never cease.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 May 09 - 11:20 PM

I have heard the case argued that guitar makers are usually not the best person to whom to return for setup. They build the intruments, and when an instrument is built they want to build the next one. It is innate. In general they are not motivated to return to old work.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: astro
Date: 07 May 09 - 01:18 AM

Treeman,

For so many years I toiled at being a scientist (physicist) and listened to music but never took part in it (except in the shower). I learned a lot from experienced hands at the research I worked in, it only makes sense that it can happen here in music.

You know, I am certain that there are previous threads that I will gain info and knowledge from (perhaps even wisdom), but there is something about talking to people directly (even if through a thread) that is special and illuminating. I appreciate the patience shown to me as I begin this path of music (I am having a blast).

Richard, I bet that can be true, but I would suspect old love can be ignited in them as they explore the older instrument that they labored over. There can be a lot of curiosity in how that old love aged...

Astro just now laboring over my practice...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: GLoux
Date: 07 May 09 - 11:39 AM

If you're talking about a Collings mandolin, you should call them and discuss what you'd like done. If they think they should do the repairs they will tell you...if they can recommend someone more local, they will do that. I have nothing but good experiences when dealing with them.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 09 - 06:31 PM

Thanks Greg,

I have had the same experience. I had problems with my tuners on my MT-2 binding up. I called them, they immediately sent out a new set of Tuners and I had the luthier at the Folk Shop in Tucson put them in.
Do you happen to own Collings?

Astro, just finished my last astronomy lecture for the semester and feel ready to party!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 May 09 - 06:33 PM

I've owned two custom guitars. one made by Michael Millard, one made by John Zeidler, and a couple of ukes made by Bob Gleason. All asked that I send them the instruments if there was
ever a problem. I remember Zeidler getting angry when he heard that someone else had altered one of his instruments.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: astro
Date: 07 May 09 - 06:33 PM

Sorry, did not have my cookie set here at school...that was me on the last post...

chagrined astro....


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: astro
Date: 07 May 09 - 06:36 PM

M.Ted,

I could imagine that the builders would have a certain "ownership" even if they had sold them...

Do you still own them?

astro


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 May 09 - 08:38 PM

I have the Ukes and the Froggy Bottom, but I sold the Zeidler instrument after I'd had it for four years and realized that I'd only played it three times. I found it to be an imposing and demanding instrument--you couldn't just pick it up and noodle on it, it required total concentration--sort of like a racing bike--


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: astro
Date: 08 May 09 - 02:15 AM

M.Ted,

I am new at playing and am really trying to place the focus and concentration on it and also to make certain that I am enjoying time that is now and not sometime of the future when I'll be much better at playing. I saw a Givens and a Collings-Nugget mandolins on Mandolin Cafe, if only I had $13000 smackers!

Astro....


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 May 09 - 09:55 AM

I gave up on playing mandolin years ago, because the instruments were just too expensive! ;-) I've never figured out why they cost so much more than guitars--


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: Spot
Date: 08 May 09 - 02:26 PM

Hallooo everybody...   :-)

I too had tuner probs with my MT2.. Email to Messrs Collings resulted in a no quibble new set by return of post!! Can't argue with that!! No probs for 3/4 years!!(wish they'd sent me Waverlys,though!!)
;-)

    I've just had my 10 year old Lowden set up by "The Octave Doctor" alias Eltham Jones in Bristol UK... Good guy,did it on same day to save me a load of miles, fabulous job done and well priced!! He was recommended by Lowdens themselves - I want him to do my MT2 when it's ready - I have faith!! I can't understand why mandos are so damned expensive either, but I still keep buying the buggers...!!

                      Regards to all.......Spot


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: astro
Date: 08 May 09 - 08:24 PM

Hi Spot,

I noticed on my MT-2 tuners that the post (hopefully I am using the right descriptives here) that the string passes through was somewhat bending over due to sloppiness between it and the bushing on the head.With the tension of the strings, this bending caused binding and so tuning was a bear...really hard to turn the tuners.

The new tuners sent to me by Collings don't seem to have that space between the two. I hope I am somewhat clear there...they were the Elites tuners...the ones sent to me are also Elites, but without the problem.

For as nice of Mandolins they are, I wish they would use better tuners..in them. I will replace them with Waverlys eventually.. probably one this next year and then the other mandolin the following year.

These dang things do cost an arm and a leg, but like you I keep finding ones that I want to buy!

Take care...astro


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: Midchuck
Date: 08 May 09 - 10:08 PM

For Martin and Collings guitars:

I have shipped instruments from Vermont to New Mexico (for those in Britain - that isn't as far as from Vermont to England - but close) to have them worked on by Bryan Kimsey. It's worth it.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: Spot
Date: 09 May 09 - 04:52 PM

Astro...

          I think my original tuners were Schallers - they were a poor set, unusually!! I also think Messrs. Collings replaced them with Gotohs.... I also think I want some Waverlys but not sure if they're a simple swap fit!!   I also think Mr. Eltham-san would do a fabulous job of sorting them out!! ;-) I also think that, as I failed to win the lottery (A G A I N!!) this week, they'll have to wait!!    :-(

       I also think it's time I stopped thinking and acted!! ;-)

    I'd be very interested to know how you get on with fitting W's to your MT2...   please keep me posted....

                Regards to all .....Spot


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 09 May 09 - 05:11 PM

If you read this and are in need of a good person in Suffolk, England, then Colin Fulton is well worth contacting. PM me for details.

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: astro
Date: 10 May 09 - 02:10 PM

Spot,

I was talking to the luthier over at the folk shop in Tucson, and I guess they fill the old holes for the tuners with wooden dowels, then drill out the new needed holes for the new tuners and then place the new tuners in that cover the dowels. More than likely the holes for Waverlys won't fit the old ones.

They sure are expensive ($650) and thus I will do only one mandolin per year.

I want to buy a tenor banjo this next year along with dreaming of a Givens or Nugget mandolin that won't come for a few years. I just got a Wheatstone concertina (circa 1928) paid off for my sweetie and so there is a need for a new five string banjo for her and a guitar...the money will be flowing freely for a few years...forget the lottery, I never win anything...

Astro with an open wallet, though much lighter one...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: Spot
Date: 10 May 09 - 03:01 PM

Astro.

         $650 equates to something like £430 !! Sheesh!! That is damned expensive...Plus shipping to UK, Customs..VAT.. an pro fitting!! God knows how much that'd come to!! More like £600 in total I guess... That cannot be worth it so think I'll pass on that one!!Pity you not in UK - I have a Bellflower for sale, not new but mint with Fishman and new head.... OE hardshell.... It might've suited your lady...it suited me fine till I hurt my fingers!!

                   Go easy...   Spot   :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 May 09 - 03:33 PM

Do NOT use simple dowels. The grain in a dowel runs along the length of a dowel. So if you pt the old screws back again they would be in end grain.

Use transverse cut plugs, with the grain running ACROSS the plug. Make sure it lines up with the grain in the headstock, too.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: DADGBE
Date: 10 May 09 - 06:25 PM

You instrumentalists in the San Francisco bay area are lucky. You have among you some of the finest luthiers/restorers in the world.

I've worked on instruments for over 50 years and even had my own shop in northern New York State. But after a lifetime of playing and fixing them, there's one person who stands out as the most amazing repair man of them all and it ain't me.

It's Lewis Santer, also a fine musician and a fanatic perfectionist. Send me a private message for contact info.

Ray


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 09 - 10:13 PM

Thanks DADGBE,

Very interesting information...Are you still working as a luthier too? What instrument(s) do you play...

Interesting too Richard, I'll mention that to the luthier in Tucson...

Astro


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: GUEST,astro...
Date: 10 May 09 - 10:14 PM

Oops again, I am at the school office waiting as my final exams are finishing running through again and checking up on threads...

Astro in Long Beach....


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: astro
Date: 09 Sep 09 - 06:30 PM

Well,

Its been some time since I read these threads...since then I replaced several of my mandolins with two R. L. Givens mandolins. I had a luthier at McCabes replace the tailpiece on one and it is great. Doug is the luthier who did the work. A very nice person and pleasant to talk to.

astro ready to go home and play...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 09:57 PM

The spammer left his phone number. Should we all call?

Dan


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Subject: RE: Tech: Recommended Luthiers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 10:19 PM

Collect?


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