Evaluation & comments of the  
Standard and McClung model
armrests
I sent a couple of armrests out to be evaluated.  I sent one
1/2" Standard and one of the new "McClung", both in
Rosewood.

Also included are others have to say about their armrests.
Andrew Lewis, Ft Worth TX
Comfort:  
Standard  "Not uncomfortable due to the smooth contours, but I feel the "hump" of it pressing into
my forearm a little bit, and it felt a little unnatural."
McClung  "Very comfortable. The angle of the armrest makes it feel almost nonexistent (even though
it is a little more substantial in size)".
Appearance:
Standard  "The rounded edges give it a nice soft appearance that is unobtrusive to the eye, and the
smaller visual profile may be preferred by some."
McClung  "The sharper edges actually blend well with the lines of the mandolin (including the
tailpiece)".
Control or Feel:
Standard  "When my arm would brush against it while chopping or repositioning , it felt fine, but it did
keep my arm nicely in a central position. Raising my arm slightly above the top was an improvement
in positioning my arm for better tone and technique".
McClung  "Perfect. I hardly noticed the armrest, and I felt  like my right hand was in a much better
position for achieving optimal tone and motion".
Tone and/or Volume:
Standard  "Directly compared to the instrument without the armrest, it seemed to "choke" the sound
just slightly. With the armrest, I think I lost just a little volume and openness"
McClung  "Just a hair of choke on this one as well, but like the Standard, the difference was slight
enough to make me wonder if I was just imagining it."
Overall Preference:
"McClung wins for comfort and the position it put my arm in for good tone and technique. It also
looks good on the mandolin. The Standard model, however, is not a bad second choice at all".
"Big Joe" Vest, Whitehouse TN
Note* Big Joe received a high angle McClung and really need a medium angle to increase his comfort.

"Doug...Here are the comments on the armrest. I've kept the standard and returned the other.  You
should get it in a few days.

I really liked the McClung model, but it put just a bit of pressure on my forearm which made it a bit
uncomfortable.  I may have gotten used to it in time, but the other was comfortable right from the
start.  The thing I liked about the McClung is that it positioned the hand high enough to keep the
hand from hitting the bridge.  This seemed to make it a bit louder.  I do not plant my hand, but it will
sometimes make contact.

Comfort:  Standard was most comfortable
McClung was a bit too high...cut into forearm

Visual Appearance:  Both looked good.  You might try sanding with a grade or two finer sandpaper
to make it even a bit smoother and it will buff it a bit also.  Not a necessity, just a suggestion.

Control or Feel:  Standard was GREAT!  I liked the control a bit better than the Cumberland Acoustic,
which I've used for several years.  The feel was really good.  The McClung had great control, but was
not as comfortable.

Does the mandolin vibrate more freely:  YES

Pricing:  $35.00 is a good base price for either.  You can add options above that.  The McClung
should be a bit more because of the extra labor.

Which did I prefer and why:  Standard because of the items mentioned above.  Both were really good.

Does either make a difference:  Better tone, volume, and projection and protects the top from forearm
sweat.  I've used armrests for years and would not have a mandolin without one.

Additional Comments:  Good product.  I like it better than the armrest I've used for years."

I did get the new Mc Clung arm rest and it is much better than the previous one.  I really like it and
have mounted it on my mandola.  It was a great addition giving more volume and cleaner tone to that
instrument.  It makes night and day difference on that instrument.

I think this is a winner of a design and I am greatly impressed.    
Big Joe's Guitar Works
Note * I sent Sonya one of the inlaid standard armrests.

"First let me apologize for taking so long to write you about the arm rest you sent a
while back.  I had placed it in the bus to try it out, and for a long time couldn't find
the package. Finally, I discovered it and tried it out.  WOW!  I was just thinking how
sore my arm was from sitting on the edge of the mandolin.  But when I tried out
your product, it was such a relief!  So comfortable.  And it really is  beautiful to look
at!  Matches  my Gibson very well.

A thousand thanks for sending it to me.  I haven't taken it off since!!  

May the Lord richly bless you.  

Thanks again,
Sonya Isaacs"
Layne Pryce, Asheboro, NC

Doug I'm finally done with the evaluation of your armrests. I took my
time and I did my best to provide you with a fair and objective review.
I played each armrest and compared them with one Andrew Mowry made for
my mandolin. Here are my findings:
The standard did not do it for me in the comfort category although it
was more comfy than my Mowry, which I do not use anymore.
The McClung is the most comfortable arm rest I have ever used. The angle
of the rest and the positioning on my mandolin supported my arm in the
optimal playing position. Your armrests are as  good as any I have ever
seen. Your choice of materials are first rate. If you ever make the
McClung in the flamed maple I want one!! The standard arm rest did not
give me the same amount of control and dexterity as did the McClung. I
could not discern any appreciable tonal differences between the standard
and McClung armrest. Although that could vary from mandolin to mandolin.
Your pricing is fair and I consider it a bargin considering your
accessories are hand crafted. You should label each as such. My
preference is the McClung for the previous stated reasons.
I found Doug's site through a link on the Mandolin Cafe message  
board.  My new Weber mandolin was seeing a lot of use, and I was  
beginning to worry about forearm wear.  Doug offered many attractive  
armrests made of interesting woods.  I bought one, he shipped it the  
same day, and the armrest is exactly as advertised.  Very nice  
workmanship.  It not only serves its intended purpose, but enhances my  
instrument.

-Jonathan Ward
Durham, NC
Jake Fisher, New York

It feels very comfortable. I played 2 one hour sets on NYE and I could really tell the difference. I think
the upward angle is a great idea! A lot of times my arm will get a bit sore from the hard edge of the
mando but not anymore. I got a lot of compliments on the look of it as well.
Thanks again!
Jake
Tim Thornton, Boulder Colorado

I wanted to share my compliments on the Doug Edwards armrest. I was undecided about these but
had emailed Doug a time or two and ended up inviting him to a house concert I did in Fort Worth.
Doug was a great guy and let me try a few of his armrests out.

I ended up leaving with the McClung (angled one) in rosewood. I think it matches my ebony Weber
pickguard nicely. I also think it's really comfy on the right arm. Sound-wise, the first thing I noticed
(even in a room with a noisy fan on) is that the top is more resonant than it was with the weight of my
right arm dampening it. I know the armrest dampens it a little too, but to my ear it's a notable
improvement with the armrest compared to without. And I've continued to love my sound
improvement since that night. I'd even dare to say it improved my volume and tone about the same
as what a couple years of playing would have!

Getting my arm up a little higher has also done a wonderful thing for my picking technique--I no
longer weight the bridge. This is giving me less top dampening (again), better trem, and all around a
better feel as I play. I do wonder whether the angle is the slightest bit extreme for my particular way
of holding the mandolin (and I'm not sure what angle my McClung is--I guess he has two). I've
noticed I play with my right wrist bent inward a little, but I'm not sure it's more than the natural bend
of my wrist required for the motion of strumming and picking. I've played a bunch of gigs that way,
and no pain or stretching issues. No problem getting where I need to go either. I hope it won't catch
up with me when I get past middle-age.   

Thanks for being such a great guy, Doug. Good to know you, and great product. My review should
not be taken as a survey of the armrest smorgasboard--Doug's are the only ones I've tried! I'm just
sharing my images and that I really like what I hear and feel--NFI.        
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