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Thread: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

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    Registered User GDAE's Avatar
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    Default mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    I have a young friend who wants to take up mandolin after messing around with one of mine. She's in the Saratoga Springs area, and I'm nowhere near there...any suggestions of good places to look there? And someone refresh me on what are the better starter instruments? Not sure what her budget is, but I'd guess under $350.

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    Registered User Justus True Waldron's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    Hey, someone else in my town! Frank Wakefield lives here, we've got a great builder, and it seems a lot of good bluegrass bands I know have played at either Cafe Lena's or the Parting Glass at some point, so it's not too bad a mandolin town (for New York anyways...) Saratoga Guitar is the only real music store in Saratoga, they are pretty good about acoustic instruments (probably because one of the Gibson Brothers used to work there). I don't know what their sub-$350 mandolin collection looks like though... I seem to remember a lot of Morgan Monroe, which I don't hear that much good about, and Eastman, which is more expensive. Parkway Music in Clifton Park is very similar. Either place could probably order something as well. If ordering something is the way to go, it might be worth giving my Luthier Marty Macica a call (In Schuylerville, 20 mins east of Saratoga). He's a builder, and I play one of his instruments. They are amazing, but definitely waayyyy out of the price range [= He doesn't have a lot of cheaper instruments on hand in his shop, but he ordered me my first two mandolins (Kentucky A models), and I know he does that for other people too. Once in a while he has an older something or other he's revived that could make a good starter mando as well. One good thing with this option is the setup, as Marty is a player and a first rate setup guy, and could probably give some pointers on starting too. I know he used to teach lessons as well, but I don't think he does any more. Could be worth giving him a call if there is nothing that stands out in her price range on a rack at one of the stores.
    - 2004 Macica A
    - 1952 Selmer Centered Tone
    - Eastwood electric mandola
    (and lots more)

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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    Do have her check Parkway Music. They have Eastman, Fender, Epiphone , Michael Kelly. They also sometimes get used instruments.

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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    BTW GDAE-- does your friend play any other instruments already?
    She might want to check out the Irish Session at The Parting Glass on Wed. nights. The few times I've been there, there have been one or two mandolins, and most players would probably let her check theirs out. If nothing else, she'll hear some good music and the food is good too. Ditto the beer, but you didn't mention HOW young she is.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
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    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

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    Registered User GDAE's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    She's in her early 20s. Plays piano very well and played violin in the past, so she is not new to music, just to mandolin.

    Thanks for the suggestions...I'll pass them along!

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    If you're up for a two-hour drive, there's Mountain Music in Old Forge.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    Quote Originally Posted by GDAE View Post
    She's in her early 20s. Plays piano very well and played violin in the past, so she is not new to music, just to mandolin.

    Thanks for the suggestions...I'll pass them along!
    Tell her to dust off that fiddle and get out there and play!
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

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    Registered User Justus True Waldron's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    what kind of music does she like, or is she interested in playing?
    - 2004 Macica A
    - 1952 Selmer Centered Tone
    - Eastwood electric mandola
    (and lots more)

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    Registered User J.Albert's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    As Allen mentioned above, it would be worth the trip to visit Mountain Music in Old Forge. Just make it an all-day trip...

    Just give Al Worthen a call first, to be sure he's open...

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    jug stomper Michael Eck's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    Yes again for Parkway Music (Clifton Park) and Saratoga Guitar (Saratoga Springs). Parkway has a wider selection currently. Both have excellent friendly service.

    Do note that Saratoga Guitar will be hosting its annual guitar show in Saratoga on Friday and Saturday Mother's Day weekend. That could be a good opportunity, too.

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    Registered User Laird's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    Saratoga is about an hour from me, but the only music shop I've seen there is a tiny place--mostly used instruments--on maybe Philo Street. I've never seen a mandolin there that's worth the money. I'm guessing this Saratoga Guitar is someplace else and I haven't seen it yet?

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    Registered User Justus True Waldron's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    Saratoga Guitar has two stores - one a little hole in the wall on Caroline, and the other a newer and larger store a few miles away. I don't think the one on Caroline has any mandolins, I'm pretty sure they exist there just to supply the bar bands on Caroline with emergency strings and stuff. The other store has an acoustic room with some decent guitars and probably 5 mandolins... Parkway had probably 10 or so when I was in the other day. Still, both of these places carry pretty much exclusively the pac rim brands that leave me unimpressed... Morgan Monroe, Michael kelly, etc. However, since we're talking about a beginner here that might be just what the doctor ordered. I like to pick on the selection at these stores, but I did buy my electric mandola used from parkway last year and I'm very happy with my purchase...
    - 2004 Macica A
    - 1952 Selmer Centered Tone
    - Eastwood electric mandola
    (and lots more)

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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    Hi Justus,
    You might want to look in the classifieds for a Collings gloss top oval hole. I know it is not what you want but it is being offered by Maple Leaf Music over in Brattleboro Vt. Their website shows what they have new and they may have some used as well. I was in there a couple of years ago and they had more than a dozen instruments on the wall. I hope the young woman finds something suitable. I found a used Eastman 504 in Saratoga on that trip that was listed on the cafe.
    Good hunting.

  14. #14
    Registered User Justus True Waldron's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Erbe View Post
    Hi Justus,
    You might want to look in the classifieds for a Collings gloss top oval hole. I know it is not what you want but it is being offered by Maple Leaf Music over in Brattleboro Vt.
    I'm confused... do you have me mixed up with somebody else? I'm very happily playing my Martin Macica A and doubt I'll be buying another mandolin ever!
    - 2004 Macica A
    - 1952 Selmer Centered Tone
    - Eastwood electric mandola
    (and lots more)

  15. #15
    Registered User Laird's Avatar
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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Erbe View Post
    I know it is not what you want but it is being offered by Maple Leaf Music over in Brattleboro Vt. Their website shows what they have new and they may have some used as well. I was in there a couple of years ago and they had more than a dozen instruments on the wall.
    Nice enough shop, though small. When I'm passing through Bratt I usually stop by and try out a couple of their Collings. If I ever upgrade, I'll probably see what they have their first (unless I happen to be in a part of the country with more available mandos per capita).

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    Default Re: mandolin stores in Saratoga Springs/Albany area?

    Sorry Justus, I was confused about who started the thread.

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