Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Dead Mandolin?

Related threads:
Lets Talk Mandolin Strings (48)
Mandolin strings – advice please (20)
Amplifying a mandolin (59)
mandolin repair (16)
Mandolin Picks (49)
Making my mandolin louder (24)
Mandolin from recycled material (17)
Mando strings--WOW! (2)
Mandolin strings-HELP! (8)
HELP! RESONATOR MANDOLIN PLANS (7)
Tech: Mandolin pickup (5)
Tech: Octave mandolin pickup (13)
Help with mandolin specs (5)
Mending a mandolin (29)


Charmion 28 Dec 04 - 08:33 AM
Leadfingers 28 Dec 04 - 09:05 AM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 10:07 AM
ced2 28 Dec 04 - 11:45 AM
Pauline L 28 Dec 04 - 01:29 PM
Gypsy 28 Dec 04 - 01:39 PM
Songster Bob 28 Dec 04 - 02:08 PM
Mooh 28 Dec 04 - 02:35 PM
Charmion 28 Dec 04 - 03:59 PM
Mooh 28 Dec 04 - 04:06 PM
Charmion 28 Dec 04 - 04:15 PM
Leadfingers 28 Dec 04 - 07:38 PM
Kaleea 28 Dec 04 - 11:34 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Dead Mandolin?
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:33 AM

I started playing the mandolin in August, when Edmund and I went to the Celtic College in Goderich. The day before we left, I still had no instrument, so I went to the big downtown House O' Instruments and bought one for Cdn$150.00. The name on the headstock was Montana and it looked okay -- and the guy in the store had nothing to say that would indicate otherwise.

I found it difficult to play, but assumed that the problem was me, not the instrument. (It's a poor workman who blames his tools.) I had real trouble producing any decent sound at all from the D and G strings, and had to exert serious effort to make the treble strings ring correctly. I worked really hard and learned several tunes, and was actually beginning to sound musical when the D strings wore out, fraying at the 4th fret. I bought new strings at the Ottawa Folklore Centre, where they recommended medium-gauge Elixir strings (if I was okay with spending $20 instead of $12) to get a more resonant sound out of the instrument.

But with the new strings the mandolin was even harder to play, and I finally took it to the Folklore Centre to get a more experienced mandolin-player's opinion. A young fellow named Emrys (who can execute bluegrass licks that leave me dizzy) picked it up and started playing -- and lo and behold, he struggled just as much as I did. He examined it and diagnosed an impossibly high action and the beginnings of a bend in the neck. He then handed me an expensive high-class mandolin off the rack and asked me to play that, and I produced a good tune that brought a sincere compliment from a passing guitarist. So the problem was not me.

My mandolin habit being fully established, Emrys had no trouble selling me a "Kentucky" A-type mandolin with F-holes and arched top and back for $385, minus 10% discount for the Boxing Day sale. (I'm hooked but not totally besotted, so the expensive high-class mandolin is still on the rack.) I am now ripping through the Reel de Point-a-Pic, and planning to learn Les Cinq Jumelles next.

My question for this forum is this: What should I do with the Montana mandolin? I don't believe musical instruments should be used for mere decoration, and it clearly is no axe for a beginner. Emrys at the Folklore Centre said they would not take it on consignment because, even with the most tender loving care from their in-house technicians, they could not sell it with a guarantee because it lacks a truss rod.

After five months, do you think I have any right to expect at least some of my $150 back from the downtown House O'Instruments?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dead Mandolin?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 09:05 AM

Under UK law , a retailer is legally bound to supply goods which are fit for their proper use . Unless the Montana was sold under a Bought As Seen agreement or was sold as second hand (Used) they would be OBLIGED to repair to as new , replace or REFUND the purchase price .
TAKE THE THING BACK !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dead Mandolin?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 10:07 AM

David Grisman.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dead Mandolin?
From: ced2
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 11:45 AM

But do remember the only good banjo is a dead banjo!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dead Mandolin?
From: Pauline L
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:29 PM

I have a similar problem with my mandolin, Gibson type A, about 45 y.o., with a sweet, lyrical sound. At least, until recently, it sounded good. The strings go out of tune so fast that I can't play more than a few notes. This is something that almost anyone could tell. What I can tell, because I know my instrument. is that it's lost its beautiful sweet sound. I can't even bear to play it any more. The strings are very low to the fingerboard, and I think that may be the proble. It has new Elixir strings on it. I recently lent it to a friend who plays mandolin much better than I do, and I wonder whether that's the source of the problem. Any advice or suggestions, please? I can't bear being separated from its true, beautiful self.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dead Mandolin?
From: Gypsy
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:39 PM

Well, there are ways you can tweak it, if they won't take it back. Lower the action a tad. Put REALLY light strings on it, so the neck won't warp any more than it is already. Kinda pricey mandolin to be unplayable, but you might be able to make it work.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dead Mandolin?
From: Songster Bob
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 02:08 PM

Modern mandolins with arched tops typically have -- or can be equipped with -- adjustable bridges. If yours has a solid, one-piece bridge, get an adjustable one (maybe $20 US) and set the action as low as is necessary.

That the mandolin wore out a string at a specific fret sounds like poor workmanship, though, probably rough frets, so I'd be for looking it over carefully, noting every single fault, and try for your money back. Rough frets are not caused by playing (dented frets, worn spots, yes, but not rough edges -- playing tends to knock those off) but by poor quality-control by the maker. Add the action problem and the neck bend (if it's an adjustable neck, that can be a simple tweak, though) and you have a returnable instrument.

You've had it four months or so, so I'd say try to return it, and if they say, "merchandise only," you've got a lifetime supply of strings, plus a strap, hard case, and electronic tuner, at least.


Bob Clayton


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dead Mandolin?
From: Mooh
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 02:35 PM

I would suggest that Pauline's Gibson is worth taking to a luthier and having it repaired/set-up, but that Charmion's Montana mandolin isn't likely worth the effort or expense.

Charmion, HOWEVER...I assist at the instrument repair course at the Celtic College in Goderich and if you return in 2005, bring your Montana and maybe we can help you. We routinely tackle jobs that a business wouldn't, assuming there's time and the job is actually possible. There are three of us conducting walk-in repairs as well as course participant projects. Last August I can recall many different repairs to mandolins, violins, guitars, autoharp, harp, bouzouki, and misc side repairs to things like cases, stands, and other accessories. We take on expensive vintage instruments and entry level new instruments, so that the owner can PLAY.

Feel free to pm me if you need to know more, I may be able to help you.

Peace, Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dead Mandolin?
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 03:59 PM

Leadfingers, Songster Bob and Mooh: Thank you all for your excellent advice. I took the moribund mandolin back to the big downtown House O' Instruments, which was apes*** with post-Christmas bargain-hunters. "It sure don't play good," said the amiable guitar-slinger behind the counter. "And if it don't play good for me, it sure won't play good for you."

The boss wouldn't go for a full refund after five months -- just think; if I'd given up easier I would have got my money back! -- but he did spring for a credit note not only for the Montana mandolin but also for the gig bag I bought at the same time. I now have a hard case for the Kentucky and -- as you say, Bob -- the credit to keep me in strings till I die or my fingers fall off.

Mooh, you and the rest of Ernie King's toilers at Goderich were our fall-back position, had I not got satisfaction with the vendor.

The Kentucky is now a full member of the establishment, and the first cat hairs have already settled into the plush lining of the new case.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dead Mandolin?
From: Mooh
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 04:06 PM

Charmion...Glad to hear you got some satisfaction in the end! If you return to the College drop by and say hi...or better yet, take the course!

Happy New Year.

Peace, Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dead Mandolin?
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 04:15 PM

Barring accidents, illness, war or inescapable demands at work, Edmund and I will be at Goderich in 2005. See you there!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dead Mandolin?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 07:38 PM

I wish you LOTS of good picking Charmion , and much enjoyment from music !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Dead Mandolin?
From: Kaleea
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 11:34 PM

We Catters should be more adamant to Music stores & Luthiers & etc. that we will not accept inferior merchandise. Let this be a lesson to us all. I always offer to assist friends, students, & anyone else in choosing an instrument. I used to advise going to a reputable Instrument dealer instead of a discount house which happens to sell a few guitars or whatevers on part of an isle over yonder, but sometimes the formerly "reputable" dealers carry the same potential firewood.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 10 July 7:20 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.