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looking for mandolin: help?

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Musicman 03 Jan 02 - 05:06 PM
Aidan Crossey 03 Jan 02 - 05:14 PM
Clifton53 03 Jan 02 - 05:26 PM
Oversoul 03 Jan 02 - 05:27 PM
mooman 04 Jan 02 - 10:07 AM
Musicman 04 Jan 02 - 10:56 AM
Aidan Crossey 04 Jan 02 - 11:10 AM
Willie-O 04 Jan 02 - 11:14 AM
mooman 04 Jan 02 - 01:30 PM
Wesley S 04 Jan 02 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,z 08 Mar 11 - 10:23 AM
Wesley S 08 Mar 11 - 12:37 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Mar 11 - 01:37 PM
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Subject: looking for mandolin: help?
From: Musicman
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 05:06 PM

I am looking to upgrade my mandolin and could you some assistance in makes/price. I currently play a fender, inexpensive model ($300/CDN new) but am finding it dosn't resonate as much as i'd like.. plays nice but not nice enough.

so, what are good makes for ~$800US? anybody got one for sale?

thanks........

musicman


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Subject: RE: looking for mandolin: help?
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 05:14 PM

Musicman ... check out the classifieds in the mandolincafe. The Mandolin Cafe


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Subject: RE: looking for mandolin: help?
From: Clifton53
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 05:26 PM

I have a Tacoma M1 mahogany model that I'm very happy with and it is within your price range. Like some of the Tacoma guitars, it has an offset soundhole. Elderly has it listed for $799 U.S., but you can call and get a lower price, with a hardshell case.

Clifton


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Subject: RE: looking for mandolin: help?
From: Oversoul
Date: 03 Jan 02 - 05:27 PM

I just got a Weber mandola and I am very happy with it. You might consider one of their mandolins, I certainly will if I ever need another mandolin. By the way, my favorite mandolin is a roundback Dixon model 808. For the life of me, I will never understand why these things are not more popular.


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Subject: RE: looking for mandolin: help?
From: mooman
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 10:07 AM

What type of music do you play on the mandolin, Musicman? That will help narrow down the choice a little (which is huge in your price range if you include secondhand instruments). Would you be willing to import from Europe?

Also this page of the Mandolin Cafe site lists dozens (maybe hundreds) of mandolin builders and is searchable by country.

Best regards,

mooman


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Subject: RE: looking for mandolin: help?
From: Musicman
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 10:56 AM

Mooman... i play mostly celtic music...

my problem is that i'd like to be able to play the instrument before buying.. hate buying unseen or unplayed (of course unless someone can personally recommend an particular instrument.)

i am more interested in what are the makers of good instruments in that price range that i could be looking for .. 2nd hand is ok too...... I mean, i'd love a gibson, but i've seen prices from $2500-$25000 for them.... sooooo........

mm...


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Subject: RE: looking for mandolin: help?
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 11:10 AM

Why not post a message on mandolincafe's message board in the Celtic section and ask the diddlers who hang out there what they think. Personally I play an Ashbury YH-30 AM which I bought from Hobgoblin for £150 (c $CDN350) and it plays as well as models which have a much higher price tag and far higher snob value.

But you're right ... you need to be able to get your hands on the beast you intend to buy and spend a bit of time in its company before deciding whether you and it are going to be a suitable match!


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Subject: RE: looking for mandolin: help?
From: Willie-O
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 11:14 AM

For that kind of money, you could conceivably find one of the player-grade Gibson A's from the teens/20's. Like an A or A-1.

I met a guy last summer who got a 20's Gibson Junior A snakehead for about $900 Canadian--under $600 US. -the snakehead style peghead (narrowing to the end) usually adds about 40% to the selling price.

Also, the Martin A-Style and B-style mandos are surprisingly affordable, even vintage ones. They aren't bluegrass instruments but they have nice sustain and sweetness. This Guy has a couple, Elderly.com usually does too.

Find that 8-string!

W-O


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Subject: RE: looking for mandolin: help?
From: mooman
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 01:30 PM

Musicman.

I can fully appreciate your need to try before buying!

You will be able to get a Gibson A, A-0 or A-1 as Willie-O says above for your budget provided you are patient. I was looking towards getting one last year (having long since sold a beautiful A-3) but my wife lost her job in the meantime which has put a ceiling on expenditure! I saw several on e-bay and several other sites within your budget. Generally speaking a good Gibson A will be highly suitable for "celtic" music.

I have also owned a Martin A-style and, as Willie-O says they generally have a very sweet tone but do not usually have the projection of Gibson As.

If you like the "sweet" tone type of mandolin, there is scarcely anything better than a vintage 1920s Lyon and Healy (Washburn) mandolin. These are highly sought after by classical players and you might find one in your price range. I tried one on a recent trip to London and it was superb and quite suitable for Irish music.

I believe Wesley S has a Weber and plays Irsh music and you might like to ask his opinion on that make. I believe he is very happy with it.

All best regards,

mooman

P.S. If a European make comes up near you that you do not know and you would like an opinion on it, I have worked on or repaired and played most of them! (my own mandolin is an English Eccleshall A-5).


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Subject: RE: looking for mandolin: help?
From: Wesley S
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 01:45 PM

Musicman - Yes I have a Weber Bridger that I've very happy with. I would think you would have to part with about $1600 to get one new. I got mine at Mandolin Bros. But the other Webers that are in your price range - the oval hole flat tops are very nice also. I've tried several of them and liked them all. Overall I tend to prefer the oval hole Webers to the F hole model Webers.

My other suggestion if you have the time and patience check out Davy Stewart down in New Zealand. The rate of exchange there means you can get someting exceptional for around 6 or 7 hundred I believe. Check out his website. I bought one of his octave mandolins and I love it - but it took almost a year to get it. His delivery time may have improved. He works on luthier time which is different than what we mortals use. But wonderful instruments for the the price and very appropriate for Celtic music.

By the way I own a Mid-Missouri M-4 too but I would still advise you check out the Webers and Stewarts.


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Subject: RE: looking for mandolin: help?
From: GUEST,z
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 10:23 AM

i have what i believe is an old edgemere mondolin. it is a bowl back shaped body. the tuners are shot the tailpiece is rusted. other wise it appears solid, with a nice fret board. there is a star on the headstock. i really want to get this instr. up and playing. are modern parts ok to use? should there be a makers mark on it somewhere? i think its an edgemere, because i saw the same mando in an old sears catalog.(circa 1908)...and it looks exactly like the picture. any help?


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Subject: RE: looking for mandolin: help?
From: Wesley S
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 12:37 PM

If we knew where you lived that might help. Take it to a good repairperson and get their opinion on it. I think those bowlbacks use a light guage of strings but a qualified repairman could tell you for sure.

Also check the forum at the Mandolin Cafe.


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Subject: RE: looking for mandolin: help?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 01:37 PM

If it's within your travel range, the Mandolin Cafe headquarters location is in Lawrence, KS (US), which occasionally proclaims itself in web advertising as "the Mandolin Capitol of the World." (There may be some local bias(?))

A fairly large campground group at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield KS every September uses the Mandolin Cafe name, and a number of members of the group have recommended "Mass. Street Music," also in Lawrence, as "the ultimate mandolin store."

As I haven't been looking for a new instrument in several years, I've not made the trip to visit either, so I can't make a personal recommendation; but campground "endorsements" have been quite favorable. Mass Street does advertise "vintage, used, and new" and their reputation - as I've been told - implies that they have a "better than decent" stock that should be representative of what's in the general market. The website listing is mostly "vintage" with higher prices than you're looking for up front, but you may be able to dig deeper than I went to find more reasonably priced ones available.

I'll note that Lawrence KS is also the location of the University of Kansas, and a fair percentage of the Festival attendees in the Cafe group appear to be "about that age" so old codgers like me have to "make allowances," but the Mass Street website might be of some help in finding what brands are popular - at least in my vicinity.

John


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