Howdy! I have been doing a lot of reading and classified-hunting on the site and am interested in getting some opinions.
I have been learning on a Fender FM-52E that my wife surprised me with a couple years back, and the top is beginning to cave...which has given me a bad, bad case of MAS!
I am looking to buy a reasonably priced "lifetime" instrument. I am interested in bluegrass but end up playing in that setting less than in an alt-country or even a church hymn/praise setting, so I need a mandolin with some versatility. I am a hobbyist so probably will have to stop at one good mando.
I am looking in the $1000-$2000 price range, American-made. I will give you a comparison at the bottom and top end, and see what you guys have to say. If you have other suggestions by all means let them fly. (Most notably missing in the comparisons are used Weber products...I am interested but leaning otherwise at the moment unless convinced otherwise.)
Used Gibson A-9
Used Rigel A+ (also included: the A-Natural in the classifieds, which is actually within driving distance from me)
Used Gibson F-9
New/Gently Used Collings MT
Let's hear what you guys have to say. Thanks!