I'm a long-time Nickel Creek fan, and after seeing Punch Brothers at Bonnaroo I decided to pick up the mandolin. I've played viola for about ten years, so I'll have a nice head start on fingering. Anyway, I did my research, browsed a bunch of MandolinCafe threads, and decided on the Loar LM-400. There were some blemish models for $460 on eBay, new models available from places like Gianna for $550, and a new model on Amazon with the ever-tempting free 2 day shipping for $460. I went with the Amazon option, thinking it was a really good price for a new mandolin with such fast shipping.
Now, however, I'm having second thoughts, seeing as it appears the LM-400 doesn't come with a factory hard case, whereas the $550 options did. Plus coming from Amazon I'll have to pay for setup, which the local place quoted as $65. All things considered, I think I should've gone with folkinstruments or Gianna. However, I was impatient and too excited to think 100% straight.
The question now is whether I should keep the Amazon model when it arrives tomorrow, pay for the setup, and use a gig bag in the meantime, or return it and order through one of the other sites. I really don't know if I have it in me to send my first mandolin away as soon as it arrives... Maybe if it's in particularly bad shape or just not a particularly pretty specimen?
Thanks a lot!