Re: Any recommendations for entry level F-style at a good value?
I would recommend a used Eastman 615 or a new Eastman 515. Both near your $1k limit. Hand carved, thin finish. Eastman mandolins have narrower necks than normal and use the vintage style skinny fretwire. The necks have more of a V shape. Get your hands on one if possible to see if it fits you.
Honestly, for your money at the $1k level an A style will perfrom better dollar for dollar. You can even get a hand made Howard Morris A style (US made if that is important to you) for ~$1k.
There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946
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