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Old 10-23-2021, 08:54 PM
phydaux phydaux is offline
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Default Buying first mandolin - Arm Rest & Tone Guard?

I'm looking at getting my first mandolin. I'm looking hard at the Elderly Instruments Mandolin Outfit as seen here:

https://www.mandolessons.com/resourc...ng-a-mandolin/

That's a Kentucky KM-150 Mandolin A-Model mandolin set up by the techs at Elderly Instruments, Kentucky gig bag, extra strings, and other accessories. Now I'll probably also spring for the Planet Waves leather Mandolin Strap.

An Arm Rest isn't too expensive and doesn't detract from the looks of the instrument, so I'll probably spring for one of those. But I've also seen an accessory called a Tone Guard.

Do any of you use a tone guard on your mandolin? Is there any reason to NOT get a Tone Guard?

Also, am I right when I say that if I take all the strings off a mandolin then the bridge will fall off and I will be astronomically BONED?

Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2021, 09:27 PM
phydaux phydaux is offline
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I DID NOT see this thread.


https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=626101
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Last edited by Kerbie; 10-24-2021 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 10-23-2021, 10:32 PM
phydaux phydaux is offline
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So the consensus on the other thread was that there's nothing BAD about arm rests & tone guards, so I'm springing for them. It's only a few more dollars.

How about the Kentucky KM-150 as a starter mando? Decent choice?
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Old 10-24-2021, 05:16 AM
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I've opted for just an arm rest on the Eastman MD505 that I bought last year.

Good luck. Mandos can be addictive..

D
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Last edited by Kerbie; 10-24-2021 at 02:27 PM. Reason: Not allowed.
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Old 10-24-2021, 05:46 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Hi, I "was" a mando player, but have had little opportunity fr some years, but I still have, and love my Lebeda F5.

FWIW, I felt that the toneguard was unnecessary, and could cause issues when the instrument was in its fitted TKL case. However, I did get an arm rest from a chap in Texas who makes lovely ebony guards, plan or decorated fitted with the same mechs as fiddle players use on chin rests.

I'd strongly advise against ANYTHING that is secured to the mando with any kind of adhesive.
YMMV etc.
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Old 10-24-2021, 08:04 AM
Dave Hicks Dave Hicks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phydaux View Post
I'm looking at getting my first mandolin. I'm looking hard at the Elderly Instruments Mandolin Outfit as seen here:

https://www.mandolessons.com/resourc...ng-a-mandolin/
...

Also, am I right when I say that if I take all the strings off a mandolin then the bridge will fall off and I will be astronomically BONED?

Thanks!
You can change strings one at a time, and avoid the problem. If the bridge does get moved (they can, due to hand pressure while playing), you can get it back into the right place with some trouble, but it's not impossible. The harmonic at the 12th fret and the fretted note there should be the same (an octave apart, I guess?). If not, move the bridge.

There might be a dent in the finish that indicates the current bridge position, which will help you get it back in the right place. Banjo players face the same problem and often pencil marks around the bridge.

D.H.
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Old 10-24-2021, 08:09 AM
phydaux phydaux is offline
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Thanks for the replies. I'm placing the order now.
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Old 10-24-2021, 09:56 AM
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I believe that arm rests and tone guards will soon be viewed by mandolinists the way chin rests and shoulder rests are for string players. That is to say necessary, unless you are specifically trying to play music in a historically accurate way.

The major downside to tone guards and arm rests is that they can make it difficult to fit the mandolin and accessories into the case. You are getting a gig bag, so that will not be a problem initially.

I have never had a mandolin that the tone guard did not make louder, and I think armrests make playing more comfortable.
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Old 10-24-2021, 02:03 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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You have chosen a great first mandolin from a great retailer, so good for you. I find an arm rest places my hand at a better angle, and a tonegard helped the mandolin resonate, but neither is really necessary. Watch a lot of beginner videos and pay attention. The fretting hand technique is quite different. Mandolessons.com is a good free site. You will probably find yourself wanting a thicker pick than with guitar.

It's big fun though, but baby steps and practice. Lots.
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Old 10-24-2021, 02:36 PM
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I’m new to mandolins having purchased an F model a couple of months ago. I was puzzled at first why the mandolin sounded so different depending on the way I held it. After researching in this forum I figured it out and got a Tone Guard earlier this week. For me, it made a huge difference in the quality of the sound. I’m glad I bought it, tho’ it does detract from the beauty of the instrument, IMO. I’m considering an arm rest for the comfort aspect.
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Old 10-24-2021, 08:24 PM
phydaux phydaux is offline
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I actually ordered the KM-250. And a gig bag, arm rest, Toneguard, strings, capo, leather strap, harmonic dampeners, and some other accessories.

And now the waiting....
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  #12  
Old Yesterday, 02:14 PM
Narwhal Narwhal is offline
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It's not a bad starter mandolin, but IMO I would invest more in mandolin and less in accessories. [Never have found need for harmonic dampeners, and you can easily see if they are needed by testing it out with and without a small scrap of leather there].

I am a big fan of ToneGards for busking, playing in large jams, and when using a pickup [as they eliminate pickup sound originating from shirt buttons and body contact]. But ... outside of those contexts [and esp if seated] you can easily avoid crushing the back of the instrument into your belly and IMO that is equally effective.

While many like them, when I tried an arm rest I found it left my picking wrist with too much bend and that caused overuse issues when I played for an hour+ at a time. I found this to be the case on both mandolins I tried it out on and got rid of the armrest.

Quite a lot of professionals use tonegards and very few use arm rests. While you can always do it your way, I have spent 10+ years performing with my mandolin and am pro-tonegard but questioning of arm rests.
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Old Yesterday, 06:38 PM
phydaux phydaux is offline
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If I decide I don't like them then I'll just take them off.
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