The mandolin reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!
89 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Private Party
Year Purchased: 2009
Price Paid: trade ($US) (bought USED)
I play bluegrass, old-time, celtic, folk, rock, whatever. I have had a Stiver F since 1989, and have owned Rigel, Ludewig,Weber, a couple old Gibson A models, a couple Martin A models, a couple Kentuckys, and have played just about everything on my pilgrimages to Elderly Instruments, so I can make some comparisons. Other than my Stiver, this is the best sounding mandolin I have owned, by quite a bit. Loud, full, clear, all the standard adjectives. It is not inferior to my Stiver, nor better, just different. Sweeter sounding is probably the best I can describe the difference. The Pomeroy has a varnish finish, adirondack top, and one piece back, all of which probably help the sound. But Don clearly knows how to make mandolins; this is a wonderful sounding mandolin.
Sound Rating: 10
It was several years old when I got it, but set up was fine. I like the slight radius fretboard and larger frets. The frets take a little getting used to; if I fret too hard and push a little sideways I sometimes bend a note just getting down to the fretboard. It has a fuller neck profile than my Stiver (which is very much like a loar-style Gibson), although nut width on both is 1 1/8". Now that I have been playing it for a while, I prefer the fuller neck profile. Probably sort of like the surge in popularity of wider neck mandolins like Breedlove, the Gibson Sam Bush, etc. More for the hand to grip. But this Pomeroy is not wider, just fuller.
Setup Rating: 10
This is a beautiful mandolin. Top of the line everything. Triple bound front, back and headstock, bound fretboard, sunburst is lighter brown than the traditional dark Gibson look, but not as light as my 1984 Stiver. Gold hardware, James tailpiece, nice flowerpot headstock inlay, topnotch workmanship on everything.
Appearance Rating: 10
The James tailpiece is top of the line. Don't know what brand the tuners are, but the engraving is very nice, they work great, and I don't foresee any problems. There has been a little flaking of the varnish finish on the neck right along the binding. Finish on the rest of the instrument is beautiful
Reliability Rating: 9
When I got it, I emailed the maker, Don Paine in Colorado. He was very helpful and friendly.
Customer Service: not rated
As noted above, everything on this mandolin is top notch.
Components Rating: 10
Pomeroy is not as well known a name as some makers, but I have played a lot of mandolins and this is absolutely among the top tier of small shop mandolins.
Overall Rating: 10
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