I was intending to buy a custom mandolin built to my specifications, unfortunately the deal has fallen through. I am greatly dissapointed, but as a result, I'm now back shopping for an instrument. Looking for an oval hole for Celtic, Old time and classical music styles.
I was hoping to buy an American crafted mandolin, but, in my price range of $1 to $2 K max, that really limits my choices. So far, I've been considering lower end Breedloves, a Rigel, perhaps a Weber... or a start-up builder, etc. I hope to have a chance to try a few out before I committ (or before I am committed, whichever comes first).
I've also had my hands on a couple of Eastmans at the Wash DC gathering last Dec and was especially impressed by their build quality at a price that is affordable for a working stiff like me. I know they are Pacific Rim, but I want the best bang for my buck. Not sure who sells Eastmans, so your inputs are appreciated.