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What mandolin do you play?

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Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 17 Apr 02 - 01:21 AM
Anahootz 17 Apr 02 - 01:36 AM
BlueSage 17 Apr 02 - 02:08 AM
Doug Chadwick 17 Apr 02 - 02:19 AM
mooman 17 Apr 02 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,jonesey 17 Apr 02 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Bigchuck, whose cookie has crumbled 17 Apr 02 - 07:48 AM
Jon Freeman 17 Apr 02 - 09:07 AM
catspaw49 17 Apr 02 - 09:26 AM
Mooh 17 Apr 02 - 09:30 AM
jeffp 17 Apr 02 - 04:04 PM
Wesley S 17 Apr 02 - 04:33 PM
John P 18 Apr 02 - 01:52 AM
Seamus Kennedy 18 Apr 02 - 02:39 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 18 Apr 02 - 03:55 AM
Steve-o 18 Apr 02 - 06:40 PM
Jim Krause 19 Apr 02 - 02:50 PM
banjomad (inactive) 20 Apr 02 - 05:47 AM
van lingle 20 Apr 02 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,Stef 20 Apr 02 - 03:32 PM
Áine 21 Apr 02 - 04:55 AM
Lanfranc 21 Apr 02 - 05:54 PM
53 21 Apr 02 - 09:36 PM
Capt. E 18 Jul 08 - 05:31 PM
Zen 18 Jul 08 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 18 Jul 08 - 09:22 PM
Mooh 18 Jul 08 - 09:52 PM
GUEST,c.g. 19 Jul 08 - 04:55 AM
theleveller 19 Jul 08 - 05:53 AM
Dave Hanson 19 Jul 08 - 08:09 AM
open mike 19 Jul 08 - 10:52 AM
Sugwash 19 Jul 08 - 11:02 AM
astro 19 Jul 08 - 09:42 PM
Dave Hanson 20 Jul 08 - 02:15 AM
Charmion 20 Jul 08 - 07:15 AM
astro 20 Jul 08 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 21 Jul 08 - 12:19 AM
GUEST,phwree 21 Jul 08 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,phwree 21 Jul 08 - 07:23 AM
Stu 21 Jul 08 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,erinmaidin 21 Jul 08 - 08:15 AM
Wesley S 21 Jul 08 - 09:00 AM
Mooh 21 Jul 08 - 09:32 AM
Brother Crow 21 Jul 08 - 09:40 AM
John Hardly 21 Jul 08 - 09:46 AM
Wesley S 21 Jul 08 - 10:00 AM
ThreeSheds 21 Jul 08 - 11:40 AM
Mooh 21 Jul 08 - 12:30 PM
GUEST,Sharon G 21 Jul 08 - 02:55 PM
gnu 21 Jul 08 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 21 Jul 08 - 03:59 PM
Dave Hanson 22 Jul 08 - 02:51 AM
ThreeSheds 22 Jul 08 - 03:52 AM
nickp 22 Jul 08 - 04:28 AM
Dave Hanson 23 Jul 08 - 08:35 AM
astro 23 Jul 08 - 12:29 PM
Scorpio 23 Jul 08 - 11:05 PM
Ernest 24 Jul 08 - 02:09 AM
Dave Hanson 24 Jul 08 - 02:42 AM
GUEST,Doc 24 Oct 08 - 01:16 PM
Marilyn 24 Oct 08 - 01:55 PM
mandotim 24 Oct 08 - 03:19 PM
mandotim 24 Oct 08 - 03:24 PM
Tangledwood 24 Oct 08 - 06:41 PM
Marilyn 25 Oct 08 - 04:25 AM
mandotim 25 Oct 08 - 04:40 AM
Backwoodsman 25 Oct 08 - 07:05 AM
Tangledwood 25 Oct 08 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,Joe 29 Apr 09 - 07:49 PM
mandotim 30 Apr 09 - 03:47 AM
Zen 30 Apr 09 - 06:28 AM
matt milton 30 Apr 09 - 09:10 AM
mandotim 30 Apr 09 - 10:38 AM
matt milton 30 Apr 09 - 12:16 PM
mandotim 30 Apr 09 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Ani McNeice 08 Aug 10 - 05:29 PM
buddhuu 08 Aug 10 - 07:08 PM
Leadfingers 08 Aug 10 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,Ani McNeice 09 Aug 10 - 05:48 AM
garethfoxwilliams 31 Aug 10 - 12:42 PM
The Sandman 01 Sep 10 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,sbish12655 11 Sep 10 - 02:09 PM
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Subject: What mandolin do you play?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 01:21 AM


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Anahootz
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 01:36 AM

Larry Hughes #20
James Docy 10-17-2001
Silver Angel "Alma"
Former owner of Donaldson #68, now somewhere in Ohio.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: BlueSage
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 02:08 AM

I have four I use regularly.

-Older Flatiron F-5 Artist -Nugget A-5 -Flatiron Octave Mando (With heavier than normal strings and tuned down one whole step) -Schwab 5 string electric

Mike


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 02:19 AM

I'm not really sure! I inherited my mandolin from my Dad and he probably got it when he was at sea between the late twenties and the end of the 2nd world war. He more than likely swapped it for something else.
There are no ID markings on it but it is a flat backed, guitar shaped instrument with an oval sound hole. Around the sound hole and extending down to the bridge is a cream coloured plate with dark inlaid ornamentation. There is an ornate picture on the back of a woman in a flowing dress, sitting on a marble stool, playing a tambourine. There used to be an ebony bar screwed into the body across the strings, below the bridge (to increase the sound volume?) until I lost it when I was changing the strings.
I have had it variously described, by people who seem to know more than me, as either Italian or American. It is thought to have been made around 1910. The picture, which is in a romantic style, suggests it might be Italian but my Dad was on trans-Atlantic passenger liners for many years so either is possible?
Can anyone out there give us a clue?

Doug


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: mooman
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 04:42 AM

Chris Eccleshall A.5 "Pearly" DiMeglio 1899 neapolitain Paul Hathway octave mandolin

Regards

mooman


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 07:11 AM

Play a Korean knock-off called an Encore. Fenders are manufactured by the same outfit. Purchased it in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland while on a bike tour a few years ago. It's got a laminated top with a magnetic single-coil pick-up. It's a good instrument for the money, but I quickly found out it can't be heard real well over other instruments during a session. While playing in a celtic/Irish band last year the demands of gigging every weekend revealed the flaws. Had to replace the volume pot, pick-up and the tuners. Some Grover mini-guitar tuners and a Bartolini 'fat strat' improved the sound a ton. When replacing the pot and pick-up I had the tech re-wire it and now there's no low level hum. Run it thru a 15 band eq ahead of the amp and both pots wide open. Get a servicable mandolin sound.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,Bigchuck, whose cookie has crumbled
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 07:48 AM

1915 Vega Cylinderback, flattop oval hole make by me, Kentucky 380S. All good mandos with different sounds.
Sandy


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 09:07 AM

Roumanian built "Vintage" mandolin. Also a mandolin-banjo if that counts.

Jon


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 09:26 AM

This one.........and I play it quite badly I might add!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Mooh
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 09:30 AM

Moon mandolin, maple back and sides, spruce top, retrofitted with a Weber tailpiece. Best round hole flat top I've played.

My beater is a Washburn A style, solid top Asian import, not bad after a good setup job.

Came very close to buying a Godin electric last week...

Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: jeffp
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 04:04 PM

Turn-of-the-century (19th-20th) S. S. Stewart, inherited from my paternal grandfather. High action, very soft sound, but the price was right. Actually performed with it a couple of years ago. I plan to leave it to my nephew when my time comes.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Wesley S
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 04:33 PM

Weber Bridger model and an M-4 Mid Missouri. Also a Davy Stewart octave mandolin.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: John P
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 01:52 AM

Gibson A4, I think it's from 1918.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 02:39 AM

Shiro- a Japanese Lloyd Loar knockoff which is great. It cost $650 20 years ago, and is worth every penny. Also a Gibson A-2. Love 'em both.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 03:55 AM

A Freshwater "Handmade in Scotland" that I have had fitted with a fishman pickup and pre-amp. It has a very mellow sound and really delivers acoustically.

R


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Steve-o
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 06:40 PM

Gibson A-0 from about 1934, handed down through the family. Original owner played in a "mandolin orchestra"! Plays sweet with lots of sustain when doing Irish, and has power and chop when doing Bluegrass.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Jim Krause
Date: 19 Apr 02 - 02:50 PM

I have a late 1920s model Vega.
Jim


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: banjomad (inactive)
Date: 20 Apr 02 - 05:47 AM

Paul Shippey, carved spruce top, rosewood back and sides, handmade in Bristol, England, standard Fylde cedar/mahogany, both great mandos but the Shippey is the best mandolin I have ever played, sounds amazing. Dave


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: van lingle
Date: 20 Apr 02 - 07:25 AM

#2 Flatiron which I got to replace an old Gibson Army/Navy whose top kept collapsing. I traded it off after having a brace put in it which really deadened it's volume and beautiful tone. Dave


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,Stef
Date: 20 Apr 02 - 03:32 PM

Silver Creek, F5 Style Honey Brown Flamed Maple backs and sides and a graduated handcarved spruce top. I use a rare earth pickup and sometimes a Fishman bridge style. I'm lookin for a mando cello


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Áine
Date: 21 Apr 02 - 04:55 AM

I play (well, if you can call it that) a Fender FM-52E acoustic/electric A style, that Dear Hubby's uncle found in Waxahachie, Texas, for $150.00. Sounds great played 'unplugged'. It really sounds good (well, when Dear Hubby plays it), plugged into my wee Crate practice amp. It's a great mandolin for a beginner like myself.

All the best, Áine


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 21 Apr 02 - 05:54 PM

An Oscar Schmidt Model A copy. Not bad for a GBP 120 instrument!

Also a Sicilian made Dita Gaetano Miroglio Baglama, which I string and tune as if the three courses were the top three of a mandolin, only an octave higher.

I have a friend who has a 1922 Gibson H4 Mandola for sale. I love to play it, but can't afford the GBP4k he wants for it!

Alan


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: 53
Date: 21 Apr 02 - 09:36 PM

None right now, but I'd love to learn if I could afford one. Bob


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Capt. E
Date: 18 Jul 08 - 05:31 PM

I have a Shiro A (like a Gibson A9) that sounds wonderful. Lots of volume, great tone, equal to the Gibsons in my opinion. Best of all was I only paid $180 for it.

J in Austin


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Zen
Date: 18 Jul 08 - 06:30 PM

Fylde Touchstone mandolin, Gideon Weigert mandola, Terry Docherty octave mandolin

Zen


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 18 Jul 08 - 09:22 PM

I have a B & J "The Serenader" from New York, early 1900s?, not sure exactly, could be late 1800s, flat back, oval with the sweetest sound and action, wouldn't trade it for another of any kind. Got it in it's original case for $25. Put another hundred in it to have a little repair done and new strings. If you ever see one out there, pick it up and play it, you might be as happy as I am with mine. Or just let nw know where you saw it!


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Mooh
Date: 18 Jul 08 - 09:52 PM

Still have the aforementioned Moon, and added a Peter Cox walnut with carved cedar archtop last summer. Also tuned in fifths, a Joshua House guitar shaped bouzouki, a Wolf Bros violin, and a Gold Tone Irish tenor banjo. All tuned GDAE (low to high).

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,c.g.
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 04:55 AM

Gibson A from about 1920, Paul Shippey mandola. Both great instruments that deserve a better player than me, but I love them!


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 05:53 AM

mrsleveller has a Paul Hathway cedar and mahogany and a Thomas Buchanan maple and spruce which is really nice. She tried a Shippey before buying the Buchanan and it was truly amazing but over twice the price of the Buchanan so we settled for a close second best. We share a Paul Hathway octave mandola which is the big brother of the mando and I've got a Fylde archtop cedar and mahogany cittern that I just couldn't put down when I tried it and has taken the place of my Freshwater which I sold. All lovely instruments (plus a 1996 Lowden guitar which is my pride and joy).


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 08:09 AM

My pride and joy is a 2001 Paul Shippey rosewood and spruce oval hole, he is seriously the best builder in England, my 1917 Gibson A comes a close second.

eric


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: open mike
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 10:52 AM

Weymann Mandolute (keystone state)
http://www.elderly.com/vintage/items/90U-4463.htm
here is a previous discussion we had
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=49647


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Sugwash
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 11:02 AM

Two Sobells. A large bodied 10 string rosewood with a cedar top and a small bodied 8 string maple with a spruce top, two very different instruments. The small bodied is a fine band instrument which amplifies well, the large bodied is a nice accompanying instrument but is also capable of being heard in a session.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: astro
Date: 19 Jul 08 - 09:42 PM

A Weber, Gallatin A which is the first instrument I have ever played. I am having fun just tuning let alone playing. (I did first buy a Gold tone which I keep in my office so if it walks off I won't cry a lot).

Astro in LA and Tucson....

(taking lessons from a power player here which helps a lot)


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 02:15 AM

What is a ' power player ' as distinct from any other good player ie. Mike Compton, David Grisman or the virtuoso Simon Mayor ?

eric


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 07:15 AM

Trillium mandolin built by Bob Abrams of Nottingham, New Hampshire in 2007
Peter Cox octave mandolin from 2005
Also two Irish tenor banjos: a tone-ringless skin-head openback Slingerland from the mid-1920s that has had a tuner transplant, and a new Gold Tone resonator


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: astro
Date: 20 Jul 08 - 03:50 PM

Eric, I really don't have any distinction in mind between great players. There are many out there and fortunately, here in Tucson, we have a great player (Dave Firestine) with whom I have the opportunity to take lessons. It gives me the understanding that I have a lot to learn and am enjoying the "learning". I also look forward to attending workshops with other great mando players and to grow under their tutelage. It is a privilege to begin the walk to play music and to be a part of this great world of folk.

Astro


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 12:19 AM

My best is a 1923 Gibson A-4, purchased on Christmas Eve, 1967, at the Alexandria (Va) Folklore Center (don't bother looking -- the store is long-gone);

The one I play the most (in my Civil War reenactment band) is a Mid-Missouri -- don't know the model, and I'm too lazy to go upstairs, open the case, and look.

I also own a really nice Harmony Marquise, an A-40 copy (A shape, arched top & f-holes). That one is on loan to another member of the Civil War Comrades, but she wants me to stay on the lookout for another Mid-Missouri or equivalent, so if I find one of those at a decent price (fat chance), I'll have the Harmony at home again.

I also have what might be called an octave mandolin, which I cobbled together from an old Harmony tenor guitar, and

A really nice Vega tube-a-phone banjo mandolin, which I actually purchased on my honeymoon.

I think that's all.

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,phwree
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 07:19 AM

I have a mandolin inherited from my nanna's cousin's family or something, it's about 100 years old, and has a curved back, a round hole with a flower kind of shape in it, (it has been fixed up, but that is what was there originally) and I dunno what type it is. Help?


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,phwree
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 07:23 AM

oh, and it's in the shape of a teardrop, kinda similar to the Vivitone ones, but different...


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Stu
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 07:36 AM

Hullah bluegrass-style mandolin and a Hullah Deluxe bouzouki, both purchased from Tony 'Sully' Sullivan.

I've also got one of David Kilpatrick's Lionheat Romanian bouzouki's which I intend to use for travelling but it needs a bit of setup.

I've also got a Joe Foley bouzouki on order and hope to pick that up early next year : )


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,erinmaidin
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 08:15 AM

Was pleased to see that someone else is playing an S.S. Stewart! I've one from early 1900's that is absolutely gorgeous. Let me rephrase that, not much to look at altho' I think it's lovely, but the sound is amazing. Very voicy...the brights are bright ...the deeps are deep...the action is great. Love it love it love it and it is a workhorse! Has taken nearly as many falls as myself and come out shining, sturdy as a draft horse....uh....


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Wesley S
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 09:00 AM

I still have the Weber Bridger but I'll sell it one of these days.The two mandolins I play the most are a Weber Fern and and an "A" model from Hans Brentrup. My mandola is from Lawrence Smart and I'm still playing the Davy Stewart octave mandolin. I'm on the list to get an F-5 from Will Kimble next year.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Mooh
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 09:32 AM

Wesley S...From what I hear and see from the mandolin cafe, that's pretty fine company. Do any of them suit any particular style to your ears, or do you use them all for everything?

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Brother Crow
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 09:40 AM

A Rosta Capek A4 Exclusive Mandolin (Serial # 338) fitted with a Mcintyre MF-200 Acoustic Feather.

I also use a Baggs Para-Acoustic DI Preamp, and Zoom A-2 Effects when plugged in. When recording (or micing up), I use a Rode NT1A.

Piccies are at http://www.brothercrow.co.uk/instruments/index.htm

It's a fab mandolin, nothing I've played before or since does it for me....and I've played a lot of mandolins....it won't suit everyone though!

Graeme,
Brother Crow.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: John Hardly
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 09:46 AM

I have a very nice Bruce Weber signed Flatiron A5 and I recently bought a Kentucky that I could take on the road to art fairs.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Wesley S
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 10:00 AM

Mooh - The Brentrup has a really lush sound - I asked it to be voiced that way - so I tend to use it for ballads and folkier stuff. The Fern is a little louder and tends to be used for stuff that needs more bark and chop. Like when we attempt to sound like a bluegrass band. I rarely get to use the mandola in the trio and the octave mandolin is just for fun. I'll do ballads at home with it. With two guitar players in our trio {and one of them doubles on 12 string and banjo} it gets lost in the mix. So it stays at home unless it's a Christmas concert.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: ThreeSheds
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 11:40 AM

Look no further


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Mooh
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 12:30 PM

Wesley S...Thanks.

Generally, I find an archtop a little more versatile than a flattop. The Moon does the celtoidish and folk/rock material very well, and the Cox does most everything else well. However, on any one day they can sub for each other just fine. I tend to prefer less chop than what I hear in bluegrass playing.

Recently played another National resonator mandolin which rocks great, and a Gibson A9 which folks great. Some day, some way.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,Sharon G
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 02:55 PM

Usually, I'm playing fiddle these days.. butI have a Flatiron A-5 Jr which is pretty nice. I'm in Tucson too- and that power player mentioned above (Dave Firestine) has a Nugget, which is probably one of the loudest mandolins on the planet... so I'm better off just sticking to the fiddle.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: gnu
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 03:54 PM

Gotta plug this.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 21 Jul 08 - 03:59 PM

The cheapest solid-top A-style from the Hobgoblin catalogue, which ain't too bad. Fitted with a Fishman mandolin pickup for stage use.

Also a cheap Ozark Flatiron, not subtle, easy to play or always in tune, but very loud in sessions.

Somewhere in the loft I have a cheap A-style electro-acoustic with the top rather badly sunk. One of these days I'm going to take the neck and electrics and make a solid-bodied electric mandolin out of it..


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 02:51 AM

I still don't know what ' power player ' means.

eric


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: ThreeSheds
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 03:52 AM

Eric
try googling "power player" and you realise its a pretty meaningless phrase still I came across this


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: nickp
Date: 22 Jul 08 - 04:28 AM

I have an A style made for me about 10 years ago by David Wright from the wilds of Devon (well, not far from Exeter). It has a sycamore back which looks beautiful and spruce front with maple sides and neck. I love it. It's been refretted 3 times and had a few 'dings' retouched but still looks and sounds stunning.

When I want a different sound I also have a Gibson A4 circa 1917, Handel tuners, original bridge but missing the scratchplate.

Currently both have GHS "silk and steel" strings which I really like and are very easy to play although they are a touch quiet. The next change for the 'new' one will be D'Addario J75s - just a fraction heavier than the more common J74s. The Gibson will probably stay with the GHS.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 08:35 AM

So astro, what exactly is a ' power player ' ?

eric


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: astro
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 12:29 PM

And a fine fiddle player Sharon G is...she had a great concert where she displayed her talents at an historic chapel in a great neighborhood of Tucson this last year...though I haven't heard her play the mandolin.

Eric, a power player is not a scientific term, just means one of many very good players....just a throwaway term...I am far from starting new terminology, just starting a new life in music...and am enjoying it.


Astro in Tucson and am heading off to LA with Desert Dancer....hope to find some good contra dancing there this weekend and to check the apartment....


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Scorpio
Date: 23 Jul 08 - 11:05 PM

Still looking for any info about this one, my first mando, 40 bucks from a friend: Stamped 'Wilelm Krüse Markneukirchen', reportedly about 70 years old. It's a flatback, A-style, offset kidney-shaped sound hole, pickguard looks like cowhorn, but can't be 'cos it's too big and in one piece, position markers look like aluminium! Really beat up, but bags of volume, and good to learn on.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Ernest
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 02:09 AM

Scorpio: try googling for "Wilhelm Kruse Markneukirchen" In on of the hits a empoyee of the Markneukirchen Musical instruments museum claims that Kruse was a dealer, not a manufacturer.

Oh....my mando is a Martin backpacker.

Best
Ernest


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 24 Jul 08 - 02:42 AM

Ah now I understand Astro, it's what we here in the UK call ' meaningless bullshit '

eric


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,Doc
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 01:16 PM

What do you think of the James Docy.
Tone, playability, etc, comparable to?

Thanks.........


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Marilyn
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 01:55 PM

I have recently bought a Fylde Octavius mandola like this one:

Fylde octavius mandola

It is what is called an octave mandolin in America; often called an octave mandola here but I don't really like either name. Since the word mandolin means small mandola is seems silly to call it an octave mandolin which would mean 'big small mandola', but calling it an octave mandola is even worse because it definitely isn't an octave below a mandola, it's an octave below a mandolin.

I believe the strictly correct name is a tenor mandola because it's the tenor member of the mandola family but, if you say tenor mandola to most people here they think you mean the normal sized mandola (which is the alto member of the family - not the tenor).

So, even though I'm fairly certain that tenor mandola is the strictly correct name for it, I tend to call it an octave mandolin (and cringe when I say it) because at least people then know what to expect!

Anybody got any thoughts about this? I have done some research on this but not enough to be positive that I'm right!


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: mandotim
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 03:19 PM

Hi Marylin; there are lots of arguments about terminology, but the best rule of thumb is to initially follow the violin family, as the mandolin family correspond closely to this. Mandolin orchestras still exist, having been very popular in the 1930s and 40s.

Mandolin/violin; tuned GDAE
Mandola/Viola; tuned CGDA a fifth below the mandolin/violin
Mandocello/Cello; tuned CGDA an octave below the mandola/viola
Mandobass/Double Bass; Tuned EADG, waaaay down there!

It starts to get complicated when you build in some 'hybrids'. What you have is (I think) an Octave mandolin, tuned GDAE an octave below the mandolin. This is sometimes (confusingly) called a mandola, or sometimes a tenor mandola, or even an octave mandola, which it isn't. To further complicate things, some people put lighter strings on a mandocello and tune it GDAE, making it an octave mandolin with a mandocello body. Still with me?
Ok; still more people take an Octave mandolin like yours, and instead of having four pairs of strings with each pair tuned in unison, the two bass pairs are octaves, similar to a 12 string guitar. This is usually known as a bouzouki. (or Irish bouzouki, to distinguish it from the Greek original, which often had only three courses of strings.) This can be tuned GDAE, but other tunings are often used for particular playing styles; GDAD and ADAD are common ones. Some of these have a guitar type body, and are known as a Bouzar. Bouzoukis often have a longer scale length than octave mandolins, and are very good for mixed chordal/melodic accompaniment.
(Takes deep breath...) There are also instruments with five courses of paired strings. One sort is a mandolin with an extra bass course, tuned CGDAE, producing a mandolin that can also be played as a mandola. These are rare, as the bass string on such a short scale length tends to be a bit floppy. The second major sort is a long scale instrument with five courses, some of which may be octave pairs like the bouzouki. These are usually known as Citterns, and tunings for these are many and varied, though they tend to be around the same register as bouzoukis.
That's a potted description; don't get me started on Cuatros, bandolims, tiples and waldzithers!
Enjoy the Fylde; Roger Bucknall makes fine instruments.
Tim


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: mandotim
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 03:24 PM

My apologies Marilyn; I spelled your name wrong!
Tim


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Tangledwood
Date: 24 Oct 08 - 06:41 PM

Thank you for the explanation Tim, very interesting. For a while I've been trying to find out how to visually identify the mando family of instruments when seen on stage. As your identification is based on strings and tunings am I right in now thinking that reliable visual identification isn't possible?


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Marilyn
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 04:25 AM

Thanks, Tim. My Fylde is a really lovely instrument; a very fine classical guitarist friend of mine rates it highly and loves to borrow it (well he would - he chose it for me!!)

I bought a good instrument believing that I would be more likely to make progress quicker on it than on a cheap one. It sounds so good, even with my beginner efforts, that I can't put it down, so the theory works for me.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: mandotim
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 04:40 AM

Hi Tangledwood; visual identification can be difficult; for example, Steve Knightley of Show of Hands plays a large bodied, teardrop shaped instrument with four courses of strings. He refers to it as a mandocello, and it has a large enough body for that purpose; but he has lighter strings on it (the bass C strings on a true mandocello can be as thick as .075" !) and he tunes it either GDAE or GDAD as a rule; in other words, he's using it as an octave mandolin. Scale length is another way of identifying; long scales tend to be bouzoukis or mandocellos, slightly shorter tend to be octave mandolins, shorter again with a smaller body are usually mandolas or mandolins.
Marilyn; it's always a good idea to buy an instrument that's better than you are a player, so you can 'grow' into it. A well made and well set-up instrument also prevents bad habits (like the 'death grip' on the neck caused by a nut that is too high) that are difficult to break later. In my case, there is a huge choice of instruments that are better than my playing!
Regards
Tim


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 07:05 AM

I have the same Fylde as Marilyn, designed for GDAE tuning. Roger Bucknall told me the correct terminology is 'Octave Mandolin' which makes complete sense - it's mandolin tuning, but one octave down.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Tangledwood
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 06:53 PM

Thanks Tim.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 07:49 PM

I play an Arnold Hoyer mandolin. I don't know when it was made, but I bought it (used) 45 years ago. It looks like a miniture guitar with "f" sound holes and uses ball end strings. It is louder than my Epiphone or Crafter and plays better than those. I use it when playing with Bluegrass bands and in jam sessions. I have an electric Gibson Mandolin I use when playing with Country bands. I'm beginning to think I have the only Arnold Hoyer mandolin around because everyone tells me they've never seen one like it.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: mandotim
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 03:47 AM

Hi Joe; it's not the only one! There is a guy locally who plays one that dates from the late 1950s (he thinks). Hoyer mostly made archtop jazz guitars, and the mandolins were a miniature version of that design.
I've been thinking about the original question, and what mandolin I play. I've got loads of mandolin family instruments, but what I play keeps changing. I learned on a cheap A style, but needed more tone and volume to play in sessions. I bought an all-solid woods F5 copy, because I knew nothing and liked the shape. When I played a lot of Irish/Scottish music in sessions, I stopped playing my mid-priced F5 copy, and played a flat top that I made myself. Very loud, ringing tone, great for dance tunes and slow airs etc. I then started playing a wide mixture of styles, including folk, jazz, blues and bluegrass. I needed an all-rounder to avoid having to cart several mandolins about, so I bought an amazing Rigel, a presentation model given to a Rigel employee who left the company. It has all the bells and whistles, and does just about everything competently or better. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth every penny. I don't play it very much these days though; the wheel has turned, and I'm playing a lot of blues and bluegrass, and the F5 copy has matured with playing into a real bluegrass cannon. I've got a number of mandolins that are 'better' on paper, but the woody tone and volume of this particular Korean made knock-off beats them all hollow for this style of music. I did a 'blind' test A/B recording recently against a very expensive custom Gibson F5, and played it to some knowledgeable buddies. None of them picked the cheap one out.
I suppose what I'm saying is that a 'good' mandolin is one that fits the context of the player and the sound that they are looking to create. The mandolin is such a versatile instrument that one mandolin is probably never enough, and different styles of instrument enable the player to explore and develop. As long as the instrument has enough volume to be heard, plays well, stays in tune and has the appropriate tone for the setting, it's a 'good' mandolin. I always take the view that instruments are tools, not ornaments; they are meant to be used, not looked at and admired. Like the look of those Hoyers though!
Tim


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Zen
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 06:28 AM

As a primarily mandolin player I agree with much of what Tim said. I've owned a fair number of mandolin family instruments over the years, including instruments from Martin, Chris Eccleshall, Roberts, LeVoi, Paul Hathway, Terry Docherty, Fylde, Gideon Weigert and Sim Daley. All have had excellent and very different qualities and my likes in tone have certainly evolved over the years. My current main instrument, a Daley A-style, is a very "woody" and typically American-sounding instrument very well suited for old-timey and Appalachian tunes and blues while my other current mandolin, a Fylde Touchstone, has a typically European "ring" and long sustain which suits it well to some "Celtic" tunes. I've always also liked the Lyon & Healy sound and have a two-point in that style on order at the moment from Gary Nava which I'll probably use for classical and Irish/Scottish slower stuff. Certainly, having more than one mandolin has helped me in exploring a wider range of music and styles. I'd also agree that there are many less well-known instruments that can sometimes knock the socks off some of the well-known (and sometimes extremely expensive) makes. As Tim says, for me they are tools rather than ornaments to be locked away safely in their cases.

Zem


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: matt milton
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 09:10 AM

I have an Ashbury resonator mandolin. It doesn't exactly sound like a mandolin unless you're playing quietly. it has a sort of zithery, banjo-like quality. I bought it because I had a budget of around £200, and all of the proper mandolins I tried at that price just sounded characterless. They sounded plastic.

I also picked up a knackered 2ndhand mandolin from a charity shop recently. It's from a Czech factory called "Cremona" but that's all I know about it. Action's a bit high – it's quite painful and in fact near-impossible trying to fret barre chords high up the neck – but it's playable and has a satisfying tone. Has a very nice art deco looking flower painted on it.

I tend to fingerpick the mandolin because that's what I'm used to doing on guitar and banjo. Though I have found it difficult to properly sound the middle strings when fingerpicking barre chords; using a pick means the notes will still sound even if the soft fat parts of your left fingers aren't quite properly down. Generally I find playing barre chords cleanly, with all the strings ringing, on the mandolin a real struggle. Which has surprised me as I have no problem doing so on guitar or banjo. Any tips on this greatly appreciated.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: mandotim
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 10:38 AM

Hi Matt; the mandolin isn't really designed for finger picking; double strings and narrow string spacing tends to make it difficult, although I've seen it done with very pointed, banjo-style fingerpicks. Flatpicks are much easier to use, and to my mind fit with how the instrument was built to be played.

The barre chord thing is an adaptation issue I think; most acoustic (non-classical) guitars have a radiused fretboard, whereas most mandolin fretboards are flat. For a guitar player this means the middle strings aren't quite where you expect them to be under your fingers. This is compounded by the relatively high string tension on a mandolin when compared to either a guitar or a banjo, so you have to press down a bit harder to get a clean sound. A refret with taller/fatter frets sometimes helps, and you can get mandolins with radiused fretboards.

It's sometimes easier to play chord inversions that have partial barres (just two strings), or try to get used to the Bill Monroe 'chop' style chords that use all four fingers (as a rule)to play 'closed' chords anywhere on the neck. Some big stretches involved in those though!
Hope this helps.
Tim


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: matt milton
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 12:16 PM

Thanks, that's useful. I do understand that flatpicks are how it's supposed to be done. Depends on what I'm playing – for bluegrassy stuff I'm using a flatpick. But for example I'm currently trying some old English songs (from the Penguin Lloyd/Williams folk songs book) in a kind of cod-baroque-counterpoint way, for which I really need to be sounding the bottom and top strings simultaneously but none of the others. You just can't do that with a flatpick.

yeah, at the moment I favour using four fingers for big chords, and try to flatten my index finger or fourth finger to make it cover two strings where necessary. But I think I just need to do some serious, boring and mildly painful practice of playing nothing but barre chords until I get the wrist strength up.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: mandotim
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 02:22 PM

Hi again Matt; just a thought about what can be done with a flatpick; have a listen to the wonderful Evan Marshall, playing what he calls 'duo style' here . He's quite good.
Tim


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,Ani McNeice
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 05:29 PM

Just made this for a friend!


http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5613066&l=b52278dd47&id=692637246


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: buddhuu
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 07:08 PM

That a southpaw, or did the pic flip?

Looks cool :-)

For the record, these days I play a Kentucky KM-505. Total bargain.


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Aug 10 - 07:52 PM

My No 1 is a Terry Docherty from 1998 , with an Ashworth under the bridge pickup , and as a spare I have a somewhat older Gianni that I picked up with a Hard case for £180 in a sale about 1992


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,Ani McNeice
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 05:48 AM

Hi buddhuu
Indeed it is a southpaw!
It was a good job really or I may have been tempted to keep her!


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: garethfoxwilliams
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 12:42 PM

I too have an Arnold Hoyer. I've had it for about 20 years and never seriously played it, so I'm trying to get it valued. It's a Natural Blonde miniature arch-top guitar shape with F-holes. It's got a Pearlite covering on the headstock, A candy-stripe nut and even a Hoyer original magnetic floating pickup on the neck. Any clues to its value appreciated!!

Cheers
Gareth


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 12:39 PM

ihave a Black, Made in wearside


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Subject: RE: What mandolin do you play?
From: GUEST,sbish12655
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 02:09 PM

I play a 1941 Gibson A-50


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