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Info req on Ovation Mando

Alix (inactive) 08 Mar 99 - 10:18 PM
DonMeixner 08 Mar 99 - 10:30 PM
O'Boyle 09 Mar 99 - 06:33 AM
catspaw49 09 Mar 99 - 06:45 AM
Alix (inactive) 09 Mar 99 - 07:39 AM
katlaughing 09 Mar 99 - 07:45 AM
catspaw49 09 Mar 99 - 08:00 AM
Rick Fielding 09 Mar 99 - 11:34 AM
catspaw49 09 Mar 99 - 01:19 PM
Willie-O 09 Mar 99 - 04:25 PM
Alix (inactive) 10 Mar 99 - 12:55 AM
Bert 10 Mar 99 - 02:19 PM
Willie-O 10 Mar 99 - 08:02 PM
Rick Fielding 11 Mar 99 - 02:20 AM
Willie-O 11 Mar 99 - 09:41 AM
Willie-O 11 Mar 99 - 10:16 AM
Bert 11 Mar 99 - 11:30 AM
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Subject: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: Alix (inactive)
Date: 08 Mar 99 - 10:18 PM

Looking for info on Ovation and/or Applause Mandolins. I like the looks (I know, I'm weird). Does anyone have any opinions/experience about these?

Laura


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: DonMeixner
Date: 08 Mar 99 - 10:30 PM

Laura,

The mandolin player in my band has a dim opinion of them. He says when played accoustically they are very muddy and dull in sound. He also says if you want to play a good sounding but hard to hold instrument get an old roundback. If uncomfortable and hard to hold is your only requirement, get an Ovation.

He goes on to say that electrically they are just OK but that can be moderated by your EQ on your board.

Don


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: O'Boyle
Date: 09 Mar 99 - 06:33 AM

I played the Ovation in the shop not too long ago, and agree with the description above. If you are looking for an electric Mando at a decent price, I picked up Fender FM -52E SB. New, they run about $200 (american). It has pretty good sound on big butter bar style pick up. It also has volume and tone controls. It's a better sound for half the cost of the Ovation.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Mar 99 - 06:45 AM

As you all probably know we're running guitar threads right now and Ovation is on one along with their Kamen sister, Takemine. I mention this because I think the Ovation mandolin simply illustrates the direction Ovation seems to be taking. The line is almost totally geared toward the pop-rock crowd who are using more alternative instruments, and far less toward us "folkies." (See the Ovation guitar thread for miscellaneous ramblings).

As the world's absolute worst mandolin player, even I can think of dozens of options outside Ovation...and Don, I love your guy's analysis **GRIN**.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: Alix (inactive)
Date: 09 Mar 99 - 07:39 AM

Thanks for the responses. No music stores around these parts even carry the things in stock, I'd have to special order one, so I didn't want to do that without getting feedback from someone who's tried one.

Laura


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Mar 99 - 07:45 AM

From what I've seen here, you might want to check out elderly.com which is the address for Elderly Instruments. They might have a used mando that would suit you and I understand they are great at evaluating and have fair prices.

kat


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Mar 99 - 08:00 AM

Mick and I have both suggested that perhaps Max could work out a deal with them. If I lived as close as Mick does to Elderly, I'd be there WAY too often. I've had nothing but the best from them...good advice,nice folks,great prices and inventory,lots of vintage stuff......accessories,other instruments,tapes,books,CD's, electronics,gear...and a continually updated website. Can't say enough good things about them.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 09 Mar 99 - 11:34 AM

I've had a mixed reaction to Ovations over the years (a sort of like/loathe, relationship, based mostly on the fact that I actually owned one for about 10 years. It was my main "bar guitar" and sounded pretty good. However, with the help of my shrink, I've come to see that I was a certified loonball, filled with self-loathing, during that period, so perhaps I was just giving my Ovation the benefit of the doubt.

I've played several of their mandolins and they seem OK, if somewhat muted. Two things I noticed were: the balance seems off..a lttle bit peg-head heavy. Over a long evening , that will prove annoying. T'other thing is that the pick-up sound seems sub-standard, and a good electric sound would seem to the only real reason to buy an Ovation in the first place. As far as the cheaper instruments go, I'd recommend a Kentuckey ('bout the same in price, or perhaps a little lower) with a Fishman bridge pick-up. The mandolin that seems to be all but ignored and is usually priced way below a Gibson A model is Martin's flat back. Check the stores (and Elderly) and you might find one in the 500 dollar range. Better still is the Sigma, which is an absolute Martin knock-off and can be had for 2-300.


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Mar 99 - 01:19 PM

Again, speaking as the world's worst mandolin player, Washburn is also doing a superlative job in the knock-off market.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: Willie-O
Date: 09 Mar 99 - 04:25 PM

Those Applause mandolins are inexplicably overpriced; it's kind of the McDonalds/Holiday Inn factor I guess. You know just what you're getting and it'll be the same every time, everywhere, and everyone can recognize one.

I agree with Rick on the Martin mandolins; they're real nice with good sustain for Celtic kind of stuff; they are neither rare nor extremely common since the company produced the A-style in modest numbers for over 50 years. They're not a bluegrass mandolin which keeps them cheaper. I want one. Last time I checked Elderly had a 1926 A-style for about $525.

My main playing mandolin since 1989 has been a famous name indeed: a Bently. (A style with F-holes) Paid $85 US for it at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Solid (plywood, that is) like a rock and I can do stupid juggling tricks with it without fear even though I can't juggle. It's a poor man's Rolls Royce. It had that stupid floating bridge thing that is adjustable but warps; I threw that away a couple of years ago and put a stock solid bridge on top of the base (the thing with two feet that fits on the arched top); this is a modification I recommend to anyone. Improved the sound IMHO and is wonderfully stable.

In short: it's not really a brand name thing. Maybe one in ten cheap mandolins will be the equal of this one; they're durable and you can experiment on them without risking a fortune. Save 'em, trade em, buy em at garage sales.

But Laura, BY ALL MEANS GET A MANDOLIN!!! Hell, get three.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: Alix (inactive)
Date: 10 Mar 99 - 12:55 AM

Bill- already have 4, just looking for something a little different. Laura


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: Bert
Date: 10 Mar 99 - 02:19 PM

A guy in a local antique store here has a very old Washburn that need serious repair work, cracked bowl and soundboard. Would it be worth the $195 he's asking for it??

Bert. (who can't play the mandolin anyway)


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: Willie-O
Date: 10 Mar 99 - 08:02 PM

Hard to say. Most antique dealers that don't know instruments overvalue them. There's lots of old mandolins in all kinds of conditions being auctioned online on ebay.com . Again, few real bargains, but lots of instruments to compare.

Laura--4 playable ones? in that case you got me beat. The 8-string gallery currently holds the Bently, a little Regal that I did a lot of work on and have 4 strings on for that funky uke effect, a real nice plain mandola made in Ontario, and a yard sale Regal Octofone--major project for when I get my courage up.

Still looking for that special little porkchop....

Bill


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 02:20 AM

Hi Bill, is that mandola made by my friend Glen Reid in Burk's falls? If so, I have the prototype. I asked Glen to make it for me six years ago and it's been a wonderful instrument. It's got several thousand miles on it now and still plays like a dream. Another good luthier who makes inexpensive instruments is Peter Cox from Barrie Ont. They're very plain and sound great.


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: Willie-O
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 09:41 AM

It's a Peter Cox. I got it new from him at Owen Sound Summerfolk about seven years ago. Cedar top. An incredible bargain at $275--I think the price is around $350 now. I spent the whole weekend in his booth trying to decide which one played best, and I'm still very happy with my choice. (By the way, Ken Whiteley bought the fanciest one Peter had that weekend, and I spoke to Ken about it last summer, and he kind of hinted that he was open to offers on that instrument since he had another one ordered).

That's right all you 8-string players, a guy who makes em with no fancy binding, no peghead inlay, but quality (Canadian grown) materials, joinery & finish. Last time I talked to him I was trying to get him to tackle an octave mando or cittern...know if he did? Peter Cox
Hand Built Stringed Instruments
11 Finlay Mill Rd, RR 3
Barrie, Ont L4M 4S5


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: Willie-O
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 10:16 AM

Just found Peter Cox' web page

He's making citterns and bouzoukis as well as flattop and archtop guitars now.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Info req on Ovation Mando
From: Bert
Date: 11 Mar 99 - 11:30 AM

Thanks Bill, I'll take a look there.

Bert.


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