View Full Version : Hypothetically, which would you consider the best deal?

Dec-13-2020, 12:16pm
I'm not really interested in either piece. Just trying to educate myself. Lots of variables granted. Just from the information given, which one of the two is the better deal? Or is it too close to judge?


Dec-13-2020, 1:04pm
Apples and oranges. One has an oval hole, the other has f's. Different kind of sound, different type of response. You'll just have to play them and see what you like.

The prices on both instruments seem to be within reason.

Bear in mind that these older instruments will generally need some set up work to play their best. Both will have smaller frets than most of the better modern instruments, and they may or may not suit you well if left as-is. I have installed modern frets on many of these old-timers, and have always been pleased with the results.

The Gibson would have been considered to have been a somewhat better grade instrument than the Strad-o-lin when they were built. But time has shown us that some of the Strad-o-lins are certainly good, viable instruments.

My first decent mandolin, and my only mandolin for several years, was a 1941 Strad-o-lin that I bought in 1980. My next mandolin was an oval hole Gibson, purchased about 1988 or so. I still have both of them.

Dec-13-2020, 6:30pm
Everything costs more in the SF Bay area these days ..

Jim Garber
Dec-13-2020, 6:33pm
If the SOL were all solid not laminated I think that price would be fair but otherwise high for a laminated one.

Dec-13-2020, 8:30pm
Everything costs more in the SF Bay area these days ..
Okay. Thanks!

Dec-14-2020, 4:37pm
I'd say the Gibson A is the "better deal," but that's only if you like the way it sounds and feels.

Older Gibsons have a pretty established market history, and although I'd gulp at paying $1.4K for what was near the bottom of the Gibson mandolin line, it appears to be in the "great unmodified condition" the seller claims. Original case, too.

Strad-O-Lins are very nice "cheap" mandolins, and have recently been "discovered" by mandolin players, with resulting increased demand and market presence. However, their prices are all over the place; my current Strad cost me less than half of what is asked for this one, and although it's not as fancy a model, and I bought in here where prices aren't as inflated as the Bay area, I find this one a bit overpriced.

Any chance you could play both of them? That would make a lot of sense, if sellers would cooperate.

Eric Platt
Dec-14-2020, 5:52pm
That Strad-O-Lin has been available on Reverb for a while. And while tempting, I think the price is just a touch high with the replacement tuners on there. Would also be nicer if it were solid. But my good Strad was laminate b/s and sounded fine. FWIW, the price is $75 high on Reverb.

If the Gibson really doesn't need any work then that's a fair price, IMO.

Disclosure - was seriously thinking about that Strad before getting my Weber.

Dec-18-2020, 4:01pm
I got a Sheridan brown, Aluminum Bridge portion 1922 A from the 5th String Shop on the western end of Geary st . in the early 80s..

they even sorted out an incremental Layaway Plan @ $600.