I've been playing guitar for 45 years, and started playing mandolin a few years ago for fun when my wife started playing fiddle. The mando I started with was a Harmony Monterey A-style, and I realized it was holding me back. I found a used Savannah SF-200 for cheap, and that seemed to do pretty well, but after a fret level and crown (it needed work and I'm a part-time luthier), I realized it was the source of my newly-developed left arm tennis elbow. I refretted it with Fender vintage frets (Dunlop 6230) and that helped.
However, MAS set in (I already had GAS!) and I purchased a used 2008 Eastman MD-515 from an Internet dealer almost a week ago. It arrived early this week, and after playing it for an hour, that tennis elbow flared up. I have to bear down to get it to fret cleanly because the frets are too small. Returning it is not in the cards.
So what are the options? It sounds fine -- I just can't play it as is. I hate to refret a perfectly good instrument (there are small wear divots in a few frets, but nothing requiring a refret), and I'm not even sure I can put larger fret wire on it and still have room for a reasonable fret end bevel before reaching the outermost G and E strings because it's so narrow at the nut.
Has anyone run into this issue, and are there options other than the obvious one -- sell it or trade it? I'm beginning to think I should have bought a Loar 600, which has the larger frets and a wider neck.