Well, my alvarez mando was damaged this weekend by a passer by at a b-day party we were having for my brother. It's fixable, but the first thought that popped into my brain was "well now I HAVE to get a new mando"--for backup, of course).. MAS has really sucked me in over the last month. I tell ya, reading in here on the cafe really just makes me drool.
So, I think my price range is around 1400-1800. I've seen a ton of good deals at this price range. I realize the bang for the buck comes from getting an A, but those Eastman F-styles look pretty solid and I've seen a lot of good feedback on these instruments.
Now, obviously, I'm going to be heading to First Quality Music in Louisville or to another place in Washington Courthouse in OH before I purchase one of these (can't wait to give 'em a run), but I wanted to get the Cafe's opinion at this price range. Should there be other instruments (Weber, Gibson, etc.) at this price range that would be worthwhile to look at?
Just want to cover all the bases on my research before I got out and buy this. I'm going to be playing primarily bluegrass with some blues, funk, reggae, country, well, pretty much a little of everything. I would like to set mine up to play a gig if I ever got good enough (or someone was so desperate for a mando player and i was their last resort). Either way, how do people have their instruments set up?
Also, in my research, I was looking at the Eastman 515 and the 615, and my limited knowledge of the builds, I'm having a difficult time differentiating between the two. Is it just the 615 has more bells and whistles than the 515? Just curious.
Also, for those that have played the Eastman and the Collings MT, could you give me a read on how they compared to each other?
Thanks a ton for your help. I'll let you all know my decision and will post a pic when I get it...
Have an awesome day!!!!