Jazz Guitars review by Jonathan A.
Lead Mandolin review by Nina G.
A few months ago I became the lucky owner of this special instrument.
Though I’m an amateur mandolin player, I had the great chance to participate in several concerts during last summer where I had to interact with real musicians in different music ensembles. I would have never been able to respond to these circumstances without Mr. Morgan’s mandolin.
The quality of the sound is excellent, exactly as mentioned in the description. Apart from all the great features, its impressive volume really helped me because I could always hear myself (even if there was no monitor close to me on stage) during the live performances and that made me feel secure as in two of the ensembles I participated in I had to play next to instruments such as accordion, flute, double bass, violin even a trumpet.
Also this mandolin is so balanced! I am truly in love with its lower tones; crystal clear and velvety! All the strings produce a full, sweet, professional quality sound.
I participated in concerts with a mandolin ensemble, an ensemble that plays traditional music from all over Greece and an ensemble that plays folk music from Ireland to Turkey and Syria. This instrument is perfect from all kinds of music and all styles of technique.
And another thing; its unique, special design is obvious. But when I bought it, I was surprised to see that it’s really even more beautiful than the photos. Every single detail on it “shouts” QUALITY. It’s a piece of art luthiery and I am so happy to have one of my own.
It has a very pleasant smell (yes, smell!), too, which is a bonus I didn’t expect!
It took me a really long time to decide which instrument to buy. I was at first skeptic to buy an instrument via internet. However, Christos, whom I knew from http://www.themandolintuner.com , is the greatest guy. Though he is very busy, he is always there to answer all your questions. He was very patient with me and I am more than thankful. Now that the whole procedure is over, I totally recommend this site, if you want to buy one of these really extraordinary instruments. It is 100% reliable. The customer’s service is great. The mandolin made its long journey from Tasmania to my hands, in the island of Crete, in a perfect condition.
One of the greatest pleasures in my life is to play for myself with my Richard Morgan mandolin. It inspires me to study harder. This mandolin is not only a value for money instrument; it is a lifetime companion, my dream that came true.
I thank Mr. Morgan and Christos Rizos for that.
Banjola review, by John H.
Life but not as we know it came to mind when I first saw a picture of one of Richard Morgan’s mandolins – it just wasn’t like anything I’d seen before and its beauty was reportedly more than skin deep with particularly penetrating sound emanating from a unique sound board . I asked Richard, who lived some 2000km to the north, to make me one. Our 4 month journey was punctuated by frequent phone calls about technical aspects of the construction – at times a little challenging for me to get my head around but always with Richard’s passion and commitment shining through. I was delighted with the resulting mandolin. So much so that we started another journey with a banjola as the destination.
As Richard hadn’t turned his hand to banjos before, there was even more dialogue this time, some of which I understood. Interestingly, Richard found the process helped him grow as a luthier.
The construction (see below) was similar in many respects to the mandolin featuring mostly wonderful Australian native timbers.
The banjola’s scale length of 53cm is shorter than a normal G scale banjo and Richard compensated by stringing it with heavy strings (13, 20, 26, 35,13). I’ve changed to lighter strings and tuned to open A# as I prefer the action of the lighter strings. An Almuse hum bucking pickup works beautifully – very clean. With its timber body and light weight the banjola is a lot more comfortable to play than a normal resonator or open back banjo.
Most importantly, it sounds great. Aesthetically, it’s a work of art – superlatives like superb don’t quite do it justice.