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Thread: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT-O?

  1. #1
    Electric fiddle and mando
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    Default What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT-O?

    Looking for a mandolin with a big sound, open, rich, and not nasal or thin. What's the best in the sub 3k category?

    I like this...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd39F-01Mpk
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    Registered User Jeffff's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    I have my heart set on an Old Wave C#.
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    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    10Strings....God hates a chicken. That's one great sounding mandolin! I'm a bluegrasser & I want one,

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    Mike Parks woodwizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    New or used ?... new, Gibson F9 for one choice ... very much sub 3K and a great sounding mandolin
    I Pick, Therefore I Grin!

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    Brentrup Evangelist Larry S Sherman's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    That Collings in the video is in a shop near me...Maple Leaf Music.

    Larry

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    Registered User Cheryl Watson's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    If you do not need a big chop, that one there sounds mighty good!!

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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    Modern oval-hole with big sound, open, rich, and not nasal or thin for under $3K? Here's one...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E49P2-ibkZY

    ff-hole with big sound, open, rich, and not nasal or thin for under $3K? Here's one...
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2383447588083

    Last edited by Ed Goist; Feb-21-2012 at 10:23pm.
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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    duplicate post
    Last edited by Ed Goist; Feb-21-2012 at 10:24pm. Reason: consolidated replies into one post
    "What a long, strange trip it's been..." - Robert Hunter
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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    If you like it, buy it!! That's a fine sounding mandolin

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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry S Sherman View Post
    That Collings in the video is in a shop near me...Maple Leaf Music.

    Larry
    That's really good to know! Do they all sound that big open and rich? Or is this one just a little special for some reason. Honestly... lol
    Violin, Viola, Mandolin, Guitar, Bass, Cittern, Bouzouki, & Keys. Diamond, Strymon, Neunaber Technology, Boomerang, DTS, T1m, Radial, Telonics, TC Electronic, Foxrox, Tech 21, and Damage Control Pedals.
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    Quote Originally Posted by doc holiday View Post
    10Strings....God hates a chicken.
    What do you mean? Is that a brand of Mandolin?
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    If and when I want a mandolin in that price range, I'd call up Barry Kratzer.
    I have a Bulldog, and while I'm no great mandolin player, people who I know are and everyone likes it a lot. For that kind of cash He'd build you a one of a kind that will sound wonderful.
    Just my 2cents.

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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    How about a Mowry for just a bit more?
    http://www.mandolincafe.com/cgi-bin/...uery=retrieval

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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    Went into a mandolin shop in Pa today that boasts having "90 plus mandolins" in stock. I was prepared to buy a Collings and ended up coming home with an........ . . . Eastman 515 with satin finish! Really sounded amazing for the price, well for any price. The store owner kept talking about how mediocre Eastman is. And of how they only make "consistently mediocre instruments..." He kept saying that over and over and over. Consistently mediocre, I said "thanks for the cool band name." But he kept saying it... I think he wanted me to buy something more expensive but in the end I got what I wanted. He had a nice Gibson a4 with a BIG crack all the way down the whole length in the front which was $2400, and I inquired about finding one that didn't have a big crack and he said they are almost nonexistent. Anyways... Once I replace the tuners and tailpiece I think I am going to be very happy with my Eastman 515...
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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    Congratulations! Sounds like a great mandolin.
    I really like the necks on the Eastmans. Very nice mandolins...I just wish they had bigger frets.
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    Congrats on finding what you were looking for... and end up saving some money to boot! As for the store you went to: I must say it's a bit disconcerting to hear how they tried so hard to put down Eastman, ostensibly to try to make an expensive sale. What I don't get is - if Eastman is so mediocre, why even carry it at all? It sounds like they don't really believe in their products, and that's something I'm always leery of.

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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    Quote Originally Posted by barrangatan View Post
    Congrats on finding what you were looking for... and end up saving some money to boot! As for the store you went to: I must say it's a bit disconcerting to hear how they tried so hard to put down Eastman, ostensibly to try to make an expensive sale. What I don't get is - if Eastman is so mediocre, why even carry it at all? It sounds like they don't really believe in their products, and that's something I'm always leery of.
    I know... Even after I told the owner he was really making me feel bad about my purchase he said, "Well, do you want me to lie to you and tell you that's a nice instrument?" ... I mean, I've been playing music for 22 years now... I know what sounds good and what doesn't. Funny thing is, his accomplished mandolin teacher came in and we started comparing instruments... And he said wow, "that Eastman 515 sounds great!!" And I said for just a starter, "He said no, at any level, I'd be happy with it myself." So that further clinched the deal for me. After I bought the instrument though, the owner did say eastman is a good company and stands behind their instruments. Not sure if that makes up for the 15-20 actual times he called them Mediocre or not, ...
    He could have said politely, "That Eastman will not be made to quality of this Collings mandolin, but it's still a great choice at that price range if not the best." <--- That would have been a little nicer and less abrasive. lol
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    Soooooooo......were there 90+ mandolins in stock? I was going to stop in there on the way to visit a friend but a Weber got in my way.

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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    If you want something made in the US how about a Weber or a Rigel? I've played one of these: http://rigelinstruments.com/publish/adeluxe.shtml and really love it.

    If you're not particular, the Eastman mandolins are pretty nice. I've also enjoyed picking a few of the Loars I've seen

  20. #20

    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    Thats quite a jump going from the MT-O to the 515. I own both (for now) and enjoy them both, the sound profiles are just light years apart. I'm an oval hole guy at heart and the MT-O just blew me away.

    Congrats, you'll love that 515 and if you ever get the upgrade bug, get a Cumberland bridge, It really mellowed and even'ed mine out, made it even more responsive than it already was.
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    Quote Originally Posted by 10strings View Post
    Looking for a mandolin with a big sound, open, rich, and not nasal or thin. What's the best in the sub 3k category?
    I have a Weber Bighorn that was just over $3k new and really love it.
    BUT - if you can get your hands on an Eastman 515 and if it sounds good TO YOUR EAR just buy it and don't be unduly swayed by other people's ears or comments.
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    I feel so dumb right now. I got confused... It was actually a 315, not a 515. hahah Anyways, I played every mandolin in the Eastman series they had and the 315 sounded the best to me and the mandolin teacher there. Killer instrument at a great price!! I owned a $3000 breedlove cascade and I like this 315 better. Really...
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    There is something to be said for consistency...
    Good to hear you're happy, OP. The sound, and playability of the Eastman I played blew away a Kentucky which had a pricetag of $600 more. To me the Eastman's yellow/red burst was more attractive than the greenish Kentucky burst too.
    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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    In The Van Ben Milne's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    There is something to be said for consistency...
    Good to hear you're happy, OP. The sound, and playability of the Eastman I played blew away a Kentucky which had a pricetag of $600 more. To me the Eastman's yellow/red burst was more attractive than the greenish Kentucky burst too.
    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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    Default Re: What's the best mandolin for the money right now? Collings MT

    Hmm, I too find it kind of funny that he would consistently put down a product he sells, although honestly that has been my experience with eastman. I used to try every mandolin in every store I went into, and that included a lot of Eastmans (because they are EVERYWHERE it seems). To me every one sounded consistently thin, and the finish just seemed kind of cheap to me, especially on the back of the headstock. However, I did try one once that honestly sounded GREAT, and I would have picked it over the two collings and a weber that were in the store that day. I think generalisations about instruments are dumb, because it all comes down to sound and sound is different for each instrument. There are a lot of people who love their eastmans... Personally though, the more I play my hand built and can recognise what went into building it, the more picky I am. I spent a lot of time sitting at the booth NEXT to an eastman booth at the last festival I was at, and while I didn't play any of their instruments myself (I had no interest in doing so), the sounds that came from that way were genuinely grating on my soul.... like I said though, there was that one... if it works for you, great! I'm just trying to explain why maybe that guy said what he said (other than simply trying to be a salesman)... I'd honestly probably say the same thing if asked.
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