Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Oscar Schmidt Mandolins?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Oscar Schmidt Mandolins?

    I am a newbie and I have found an Oscar Schmidt OM-40 for 375.00 vs retail for 579.95 from Oscar Schmidt. Is this a quality instrument? or am I wasting my money?

  2. #2
    Robert Fear Folkmusician.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,089

    Default Re: Oscar Schmidt Mandolins?

    Hello,

    The OM-40 is a laminated instrument. I am not familiar with the exact mandolin, but I have seen quite a few variations from the same factory. Many are ok for what they are (an all laminated mandolin), but will not be among the best instruments for the money. Are you set on an F-style? You can find all solid F-style mandolins in the Sub-$400 range (sans setup). There is a large selection of nice A styles at this price point.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com
    1-800-493-4922

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Oscar Schmidt Mandolins?

    Thanks for the reply, I do prefer the look of the F-style over the A style. What is the problem with the all laminated? does it flatten the sound?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Oscar Schmidt Mandolins?

    FWIW, from what I find looking around online they can be had at MANY places for less than $375.00. Wherever you get a mandolin (this or another one) you need to make sure that it is set-up well. It will make a world of difference to you.
    Bill Snyder
    Vintage Tools, etc

  5. #5

    Default Re: Oscar Schmidt Mandolins?

    I agree with Robert (FolkMusician.com). The biggest favour you can do yourself right now is forget about an F scroll, and put your money to better use on an A instrument.

    At the entry level of the market, the cost of the f scroll is very roughly $200, which means you are spending about half your outlay on a design feature that does nothing for the sound or playability of the instrument.

    $400 on an A instrument means that 'another' two hundred bucks is devoted to the instrument, not to the decorations. A $400 F instrument will almost always be a bit of a clunker that you would soon find yourself wanting to replace with a better instrument, but at $400 you could get an A that could serve you well for years.

    Just as important, the cheap F instrument will almost certainly be more difficult to play, making learning a bigger chore, and making it less likely that you will succeed in getting past the basics and start to really enjoy mandolin.

    ron

  6. #6
    Registered User Jason Kessler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    587

    Default Re: Oscar Schmidt Mandolins?

    My first mando was an Oscar Scmidt F-model. It was a great first instrument. While the tone was a bit thin and quiet, it played GREAT all the way up the neck, with near-perfect intonation.

    What others say about getting more-instrument-for-the-buck with an A-model is definitey true. However, there,'s something to be said for getting the instrument that you,re aesthetically attracted to. If it excites you visually, you're not gonna let it out of your hands. And, for me, that attraction is worth paying for.

    $375 is a good price, not a great one. It's pretty much what you'd expect to pay for the instrument.

    So, I say: if it looks sharp, plays great, and fits the budget, grab it.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Oscar Schmidt Mandolins?

    As Robert wrote, you can get a LOAR 520 for about 375. It would need to be set up though the Oscar S. would also need to be set up. The LOAR is an "intermediate-advanced intermediate" quality. The O.S. is of somewhat lesser quality. At least, that's what I seem to have figured out after looking into this for some time............

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Gainesville, Georgia.
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: Oscar Schmidt Mandolins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Kessler View Post
    My first mando was an Oscar Scmidt F-model. It was a great first instrument. While the tone was a bit thin and quiet, it played GREAT all the way up the neck, with near-perfect intonation.

    What others say about getting more-instrument-for-the-buck with an A-model is definitey true. However, there,'s something to be said for getting the instrument that you,re aesthetically attracted to. If it excites you visually, you're not gonna let it out of your hands. And, for me, that attraction is worth paying for.

    $375 is a good price, not a great one. It's pretty much what you'd expect to pay for the instrument.

    So, I say: if it looks sharp, plays great, and fits the budget, grab it.

    "So, I say: if it looks sharp, plays great, and fits the budget, grab it.[/QUOTE]"

    The problem for me starting out is that I had absolutely no way of evaluating the instrument. Could play zero. So I paid $720 for a Michael Kelley F $150.00 for a setup,bone nut,fret leveling. Top sunk a little had neck adjusted and bridge fitted better to the top $100.00 Sold on Craigslist for 320.00 Good riddence. You've got the bug. I can dig that. But do yourself a favor and save up for a decent "A" style Eastman some of the other suggestions. Unless you can really evaluate what your getting a OS is a real crap shoot.

  9. #9
    Destroyer of Mandolins
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Oscar Schmidt Mandolins?

    Oscar Schmidt is one of the world's well known makers to be sure, even though their instruments are now produced to their specifications under the Washburn label. Their reputation for the autoharp is unquestioned and the OU-5 ukulele remains one of the best values in the music world. Their mandolins, on the other hand, leave something to be desired, although they are a very well made laminate instrument. As the others have said, you can do better for your money, particularly if you abandon the scroll decoration. If I were after a good playing, inexpensive laminate second mandolin (that is, a high quality 'beater') I would certainly choose the OS, but for a first instrument I would want more bang for my buck. Begining students need all the help they can get, and a good first instrument is a major plus.
    Last edited by Tim2723; Apr-11-2012 at 9:01am.
    Dedicated Ovation player
    Avid Bose user

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •