Re: My New Eastman 615
Congrats on getting the 615. That is what I use every weekend. Mine seemed a bit "thin" at first. I even posted here a couple of times about how disappointed I was in the vol. But ... it seems to be getting over that. Mine is starting to open up quite well and is evolving into a really well balanced instrument. Agreed on the heavier pick. I used a 2.0mm at first, but as it's opened up I've been able to come down to a more reasonable thickness - 1.2mm - which seems to allow for a bit faster picking.
Didn't know the 615s came with pickups, now. Mine did not. I have a set of custom designed JJB-Electronics on it. And actually run thru my guitar amp. Sounds great. Speaking of amps - I used to set the 615 in front of the guitar amp at gigs to get it to loosen up before using it. Seemed to work. Not sure if it's endemic to all mandolins, but it seems the 615 will stiffen up until it gets some vibrations going thru it. Don't think it'll ever be a cannon, but yours should open up and get a bit louder as it breaks in.
Quote: "You know, all things considered, we are very, very lucky to have all that we do, an embarrassment of riches, actually."