View Full Version : Mid-Mo vs. Eastman 504?
First mando. I know I have to try them both and make a personal decision, but I also wanted to hear about the experiences of others. A lot of people who know their stuff recommend the Mid-Mo, but those Eastmans -- even the cheap ones -- have nice wood to them.
Can't go wrong either way, IMO. Ask yourself what sort of sound you want. Traditional bluegrassy? Go with the Eastman. Sweet, pleasing flattop sound (less bark, more ringing sustain)? Go midmo.
I have owned both, and they are both nice mandolins-- in fact, I would probably peg these two as the best of the "budget" mandolins. I still have my Mid-Mo, and the only reason I don't have my 504 anymore is because I replaced it with a 514. My preference would be for the 504, but not because it's a "better" mandolin, but because I love that old-fashioned oval hole look. It really comes down to which one speaks to you.
They really look like different instruments to me. I enjoyed my Mid-Mo very much. Excellent simple workmanship, nice tone, etc. A different character than the arched instruments. I strongly second the "figure out what sound" comment above, factoring in what will continue to look right to you.
Thanks. As a violin and Gibson 335 guitar player, I'm used to flame maple archtops with antique finishes, but I am leaning toward an oval hole mandolin. It's going to take a considerable ride for me to hear these two together -- though I may have to. I suspect I'll end up with the Mid-Mo 11, partially because I like its sound and partially because if I stick with mandolin, as I sense I will, I'm going to want to upgrade to a f-hole archtop F some day, so why not start with something appreciably different that provides a real alternative.