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Another MM68 Report

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mikey2
Posted 2003-12-26 12:11 AM (#198322)
Subject: Another MM68 Report


Joined:
December 2003
Posts: 24

Location: OR
As I am a somewhat beginner at the mandolin, a couple buddies came by today to see and hear (play) the new MM68 with the Pignose 40 amp. One brought an amplified Larrivee L10E w/SWR Strawberry Blonde amp and the other played my A and F style mandos. They're both much better players than me but neither had heard a MM68 before, acoustic or amped. They first were remarking about the lyracord round back looking kinda "machine" made. I pointed out that the guy's Larrivee was made largely from modern CNC equipment also. Then the playing began. I was too embarassed to play for them but they both were eager to play the Ovation. They were both surprised to hear what sounded like real mandolin sounds although a little bassier. I had the EQ at center for no effect. Then they had a ball playing with pre amp OP24+ Their mistakes were more evident but the little MM68 had more volume with the amp than either of them needed and with no distortion! They also couldn't believe they could walk right up to the amp with the plugged in Ovation and not get feedback! Needless to say I think the guy that brought the Larivee guitar is going to buy one of these Ovation MM68 mandos. He wanted to take it home to show his wife but I just didn't trust the look in his eye that also said he had a "gig" the next day!

If you Ovation lovers have not tried one of these with an all tube amp (if you play mandos); try one, I think you'll like it.

Al: I heard you say somewhere you had several of these but the one you sold me was your last, is that true? Any reason? Are you getting more?
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Bailey
Posted 2003-12-26 1:23 AM (#198323 - in reply to #198322)
Subject: Re: Another MM68 Report


Joined:
May 2002
Posts: 3005

Location: Las Cruces, NM
mikey2

I think your friends are seeing what I saw when I played an Ovation mandolin. Today, you almost have to be plugged in if you play anything but the most traditional bluegrass/folk, and the Ovation mandolin takes care of a whole raft of problems that arise with sticking a pickup on an acoustic mandolin, feedback being just one of the problems. I had to buy a preamp for mine (acoustic with a BB Jr) so I would have volume and frequency control. If you got to plug in there is a lot to be said for having it all together on the instrument and integrated by the factory.

I like bluegrass, but I really enjoy playing mandolin on country songs also.

Bailey
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mikey2
Posted 2003-12-26 2:09 AM (#198324 - in reply to #198322)
Subject: Re: Another MM68 Report


Joined:
December 2003
Posts: 24

Location: OR
Bailey, are you using the TI 154 strings or the Adamas 8080 as come with it?

They played a lot of the 70's Eagles stuff, America, and country/folk like John Denver, Willie Nelson, etc.. My friends are eyeing a couple on ebay right now. Ha! Not too much action here for us mando players. Search shows only few hits.
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Bailey
Posted 2003-12-27 2:21 AM (#198325 - in reply to #198322)
Subject: Re: Another MM68 Report


Joined:
May 2002
Posts: 3005

Location: Las Cruces, NM
Mikey2

I don't have a Celebrity mandolin, I just had the chance to play my nephew's a few times when we were rehearsing for some bluegrass gigs. (My nephew is a good fiddle and banjo player who set in with us occasionally). I really liked it (the Celebrity), and we tried it out through some great tube amps that we had setting around our practice site. As for mandolin strings, I just live with any phosphor bronze that are priced OK. Mandolins and fiddles aren't as sensitive to string quality as guitars, when I was playing in bands, I just changed them when they started breaking or when somebody would buy me a set for my birthday or some other event. After I finish here, I'm going to pull out one of my mandolins and jam a little, I doubt if I will even notice how the strings are if they stay in tune, mandolins and fiddles aren't like guitars. (And mandolin and fiddle players aren't like guitar players with their constant obsession with how their strings sound, when they should be concerned about how they play their music) put a good set on there and pick till they die.

Bailey
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mikey2
Posted 2003-12-27 12:19 PM (#198326 - in reply to #198322)
Subject: Re: Another MM68 Report


Joined:
December 2003
Posts: 24

Location: OR
Bailey
Great post! Nice to get direct answers from voices of experience. I was beginning to wonder about my mandos never hardly going out of tune! I might not touch one for a month but when I take it out it's in perfect tune. I just don't see the need to change if they sound ok and stay in tune. I use J76 on my mandola, J62 on two mandos, and j74 on anotther mando. the M68 has Adamas 8080 w/ball ends. Boy do I like the idea of the ball ends for changing. Changing 8 strings on such a small instrument is not my idea of fun actually. Have a good one.
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Bailey
Posted 2003-12-28 2:06 AM (#198327 - in reply to #198322)
Subject: Re: Another MM68 Report


Joined:
May 2002
Posts: 3005

Location: Las Cruces, NM
Mikey2

That's one reason I play them till they die, changing those loop end mothers isn't the most fun way to spend time but after 30 years or so I can get it done when needed. I rely heavily on a crank and good small needle nose pliers with a wire cutter. I change one at a time bringing it up to tune as I go so I am pretty close to standard when I finish (I start with the thing in tune to standard). This training helps me change a broken string on the job in about 5 min or less and be back in action.

Bailey
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mandohack
Posted 2004-01-22 7:53 PM (#198328 - in reply to #198322)
Subject: Re: Another MM68 Report


Joined:
June 2003
Posts: 35

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
With deep regret, I must inform all who responded to Mikey2 on this thread, that Mike passed away the beginning of this month.
Fighting a fierce illness, Mike posted most of his threads from a hospital bed. He exhanged many warm observations on the Mandolincafe.com website, and was quite an encourager to many of us. We became immediately fond of him and were quite shocked and distraught when we heard of his death.
Mike, we'll miss you, but if it's any consolation, it's good to know you spent your last days enjoying playing music on your MM68.
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alpep
Posted 2004-01-22 8:13 PM (#198329 - in reply to #198322)
Subject: Re: Another MM68 Report


Joined:
December 2001
Posts: 10429

Location: NJ
Wow
very sad

I sold him that mando and he was really in love with it. I hope that it made his last days more pleasant.
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TRboy
Posted 2004-01-22 8:53 PM (#198330 - in reply to #198322)
Subject: Re: Another MM68 Report



Joined:
February 2003
Posts: 2177

Location: the BIG Metropolis of TR
Go rest high on that mountain,Mikey!

Mike
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Bailey
Posted 2004-01-24 1:45 AM (#198331 - in reply to #198322)
Subject: Re: Another MM68 Report


Joined:
May 2002
Posts: 3005

Location: Las Cruces, NM
Mikey2

Now that your playing all those great mando tunes on your celestial mando, save a place for the rest of us hackers, we'll be there before we know it. I really enjoyed the time we spent talking about our favorite 8 stringers. Send your buddies a few celestial tips if you have a chance. I visualize somebody up there trying out your acoustic/electric and throwing away their LLoyd Loar soul mando in favor of the Ovation.
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