Re: Trinity River Mandolins: Opinions Please
Those look remarkably like the low end Johnson/Savannah brand they are quite inexpensive (perhaps as inexpensive as one may safely go to get a mandolin that with a regular set up could be playable enough to learn on). What I mean is they look and have the same specs as the Johnson/Savannah. I would skip the F model and maybe get one of the others. Be sure you can send it back if the frets aren't cut correctly and the instrument won't intonate. Certainly, don't buy it off e-bay unless you plan on not being able to return it and count on having to spend an additional $50-100 on a set up and new strings.
I've bought one of the oval hole models branded Johnson (now Savannah) and after I had it set up, it holds tune and intonates fine. The sound is weak but it served as a good beater and now my kids (8 and 6) play with it. If your budget is really under $100 these could be great or not. If you can save up to $250 consider the Kentucky KM150S from a reputable dealer (like the Café sponsors).
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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