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Thread: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

  1. #1
    Cambridge Mandolinist Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    Hi folks,
    Been digging around looking for info on Eastwood's Mandocaster.

    [I'm looking for a workable 8 string replacement for my Vessel F5 in a rock band setting. Since I already play a Mandobird and lug the amp around, I thought I'd get a solidbody electric because I could avoid plugging into the PA.]

    All of the posts I've seen have indicated that some tweaking was necessary to get the mandolin in excellent playing shape. Is there anyone out there who has one straight off the shelf that needed no work? And if so, can you tell me where you got it. That shop may have done some set up work, and that would be good to know.

    Thanks!
    Daniel

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    I traded for one a year or two ago and thought it looked great, but was pretty weak sounding. My Epiphone Mandobird had twice the output. When i brought this up to the Eastwood peple, they suggested i adjust the pickkup. That did no good. I ended up trading it to another MC member and mandolin builder, Andrew Jerman. He can probably tell you more than me. So, in my opinion - not worth it !
    Chippster

  3. #3
    Andrew C. Jerman
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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    I have had several of them and they all suffer from the same thing. The electronics package is inferior, the neck is too thick for my taste and the bridge is difficult to intonate. It is a very well built instrument, especially for someone coming from guitar, but unless you are able to do the mods yourself then you would do better to buy a custom built instrument. I'd suggest John Smith or Tom Morici. I believe they both would be priced competitively taking the cost of the modifications into consideration. Of all the imports, I do think this is built well enough to be worth modifying.

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    Recipient of medication Cliff D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    I acquired an Alden which is the European name for the instrument (& I've seen a couple of other names as well) almost a year ago. I very much regard Thistle as an authority in these matters, but I would make the following observations based on current experience. I don't notice much difference in output between the Alden pups & the Risa (set up as a mandola) I have. I still think the Alden is possibly the best value for money instrument I have purchased to date. Yes the intonation, as sold is poor, but widen the holes at the tail stop with a power drill so that a steeper bridge angle can be accommodated, & these problems are cheaply mitigated. I don't find the neck too clubby, but I play many different instruments beside mandolin.
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    Sorry madam, but we are fresh out of bull-dogs today!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    Hi! I got mine on instrumentalley.com, and all I had to do was tune it when it came out of the box. If you watch for 'em, they'll occasionally run an ebay deal so you can pick one up for like 20 or 30 buck less. They're really helpful, too. Not just a website, as they do supply a phone number.

  6. #6
    Cambridge Mandolinist Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    Thanks folks!
    I appreciate your candor and enthusiasm.

    Daniel

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    Registered User Rhinestone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    I've had one of these little puppies for a while and I play it a lot. It holds tune well and with the tweaks I detailed in this earlier thread it plays like a well set up electric guitar.

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...od+Mandocaster

    Since that post,I've replaced the stock pickups with Lace Sensors which you can pick up for around $125 for a pair. It really sings now. Also there is a hard case available now for these things which I've recently acquired as well.
    I know 2 other guys who played mine and ordered one of their own and they had me put my tweaks on theirs also which takes about 2 hours bench time per unit. I'm starting to get good at it. For the 2nd year straight I've mentioned all this to Michael at the Eastwood booth at the L.A. NAMM show where I usually demo their instruments and he always says he'll address that but so far I haven't seen it. They didn't even have one at their booth this year. But even with the add-ons and tweaking I've still got just over $400 into it and it suits me just fine now. When those little frets go,I'm gonna get it re-fretted with larger ones and then It'll be perfect. So I look at it as an almost finished work in progress that will eventually cost (and be well worth) around $550 that to my way of thinkin would compare favorably to a boutique ax that might well cost over twice that.
    -Michael Johnstone-

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    Recipient of medication Cliff D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    Rhinestone - I was most interested to hear about your modifications, & particularly see how you approached the problems of the bridge design: I see you took a somewhat more sophisticated approach then I did! I'm reasonably happy with the string gauges as sold at present, but time & experience are great shifters of perspective!
    Sorry madam, but we are fresh out of bull-dogs today!

  9. #9
    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    Bumping this thread, as Eastwood is offering a very nice Mandocaster package as their "Thursday Lunch Special" today.
    NFI.
    "What a long, strange trip it's been..." - Robert Hunter
    "Life is too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde
    Gear: The Current Cast of Characters

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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    I have one that I never play. To adress the shorcomings that Thistle listed, I replaced the bridge ( ) and got improved intonation and replaced both pickups (tried a lipstick replacement and a beefier single coil) with mixed results, but the original pickups were weak on tone and signal. I realized after playing it in a band situation that I wasn't happy with how it sounded (too much like an electric guitar), so now it just sits in storage.

  11. #11
    In The Van Ben Milne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    I bought the cheaper version (Clearwater?) which has cheaper hardware. I bought it to play while I had my Mandobird in pieces and in the paints op. From memory, I think I dumped the bridge as low as it would allow. I figured its probably not worth getting rid of (pricewise, freighting it down under brought it up to Eastwood territory) so for now, it's now a loaner, and it's great for this purpose. I don't think anyone should be too critical considering the price point.
    In the future I might do it up and customize it when I get it back and if I'm bored enough (I have the hardware from my mandobird bird lying around and pretty cool concept for it).
    Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.

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    Registered User MandoSquirrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Goist View Post
    Bumping this thread, as Eastwood is offering a very nice Mandocaster package as their "Thursday Lunch Special" today.
    NFI.
    I saw that yesterday before coming to the Cafe( in Mike's email), & have been telling myself since "you need to save the money for other essentials!"
    Elrod
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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    Just picked up a lefty on the Lunch Special. Planning to get a Fender G-Dec 30 "Country" Edition to go with it. Some of my old musician buddies are recording a lot of Americana / alt-country / heartland rock stuff, and I want to make myself useful.

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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    Quote Originally Posted by JPL View Post
    Just picked up a lefty on the Lunch Special. Planning to get a Fender G-Dec 30 "Country" Edition to go with it. Some of my old musician buddies are recording a lot of Americana / alt-country / heartland rock stuff, and I want to make myself useful.
    Mandocaster has landed. Just got a few minutes with the G-Dec Country at the local guitar shop when I realized the mando has a wonky input jack, leading to a lot of buzzing and crackling and other nasty stuff. Getting that fixed.

  15. #15
    Registered User hrishi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastwood Mandocaster evals?

    I completely missed the Lunch Special part!!
    Just ordered a lefty at Rock and Roll Emporium in SoCal.

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