I'm really enjoying my Martin tenor guitar - tuned in 5ths and with long scale length, it is effectively an Octave Mandola (i.e. CGDA). Mostly I play it as if it were a mandolin - it's a great finger-stretching/lateral-thinking exercise! When I try to play with others, playing up a 5th (or better yet, down a 4th!) is challenging.
Now I'm thinking I'd like an Octave Mandolin - that way, I'd get the finger-stretch but NOT have to transpose up a 5th (or down a 4th).
I know Weber makes an Octave mandolin, but I'm thinking I want a REALLY nice (= expensive . . . ) instrument. Are there any "top-drawer" makers who offer an Octave Mandolin? Also, are they always oval hole? Or can one get f holes?
Thanks for all help.