Re: Mandolin buying advice
That is a fair question, so let's define the premise a bit more accurately. The issue isn't actually one of "mandolins-vs-guitars" (where most of us envision a Gibson-style f-hole mando and a Martin-style flat-top guitar); it's one of "archtops-vs-flattops". Ever notice how much a good archtop jazz guitar costs? Yikes!
Originally Posted by Brutus1999
A quality archtop (whether guitar or mandolin), with its carved top & back and floating bridge & tailpiece, will always be more expensive than an equivalent guitar (or the rare mandolin) with a flat-ish (certainly not "carved) top & back and a glued-in-place bridge & saddle.
Since it takes about twice the time & effort to build an archtop instrument, the practical result is that, at any specific price point, the archtop instrument will be about half the quality of a similarly-priced flattop. Add some scrolls to that archtop and the comparison just gets worse.
Hope that eases your confusion!
"What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman