View Full Version : Feedback on inexpensive F5 kit from LMII.com

mad dawg
Mar-14-2004, 7:37pm
The F5 kit at Luthiers Mercantile International has an attractive price, at $286.95. #(On this page (http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?CategoryName=Kits&NameProdHeader=Standard+Guitar+Kits))

Does anyone out there have any experience with it? I wonder how it compares to more expensive offerings from StewMac and Siminoff, and if they cut corners on quality, parts, approach in order to keep the price down, or if it requires more work than the more expensive kits.

Mar-14-2004, 7:53pm
Good question: I read the parts list and it sounds fine, and that price includes Shaller Tuners $60, so really the kit is about $220.00. Hard to tell why it is cheap. You might call them and ask a few questions before ordering.

Mar-15-2004, 1:55am
I'm quite sure it is just the wood and no machining of any of the parts. I have looked around at the pics that they have of the kits and they are all un-machined unless you go specifically to the machined kits section, where the mando kit is not listed. This is the adjustment factor for the price and the reason it is lower.

mad dawg
Mar-15-2004, 4:11pm
Good call, Ryan; here is the reply I received from LMI:

Our kit is pretty different from the Stew mac one. It features all solid-wood, premium grade parts but none of the work has been done to them. You can look up the parts for our kit individually to see pictures and learn more about each one. It's basically a boxed set of all the raw materials you need to build a high-end mandolin (the scroll is not carved, nor is the back etc. Stew mac's kit has most of the work done for you).

Mar-15-2004, 4:49pm
Dito, knowing LMI I'm sure the wood is first rate but nothing is done to it. A lot more work than Stew mac. You can get just about anything you want from Siminoff, machined or not. You will pay for machining work done for you.

Mar-16-2004, 4:39pm
I have just started this kit. I am a beginning manolin builder, so I can't speak to the quality of the stewmac kit, but I am very pleased with the quality of the wood. The kit seams very complete, but there are no shortcuts here. If you want to build from scratch it is a good deal.

Jim Rowland
Mar-16-2004, 6:26pm
Mad Dog,the "kit" is as described above...box of woods and appointments suitable for mandolin building. I build from scratch usually,but ordered one because the price beats buying individual woods. The Maple is well figured and seasoned (and hard). I broke up the kit to use on different mandolins and have no complaints about anything included. It could make a very fine mandolin. If you want to build your first from high grade materials,it will be some tough going,but the price is right. They also throw in a copy of the old Siminoff builders guide which contains some good information,but not the best plan,in my opinion.