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South Hills
Dec-10-2010, 7:33am
I have an opportunity to buy a Martin Style A mandolin that was made in the late 1940ís. The price is right, but I am going to play it before I commit to buying it.

My research indicates that Martin mandolins are of the same quality as Martin guitars. They are described as sweet, resonant and well seasoned and are well suited for Old Time and Celtic, but donít have the projection or volume and donít produce the desired chop sound for playing Bluegrass rhythm.

I am looking for comments/recomendations from the experts out there. Thanks.

Ed Goist
Dec-10-2010, 8:52am
My instructor has often played this 1955 Martin (http://www.woodsys.com/p-890-1955-martin-2-15-mandolin.aspx) during my lessons. It is the loudest mandolin I've ever heard. Jon also get wonderful tone out of her, and the chop is exceptional. However, I'm sure a lot of this comes from the fact that he's an exceptional musician. Still, it's a really nice sounding mandolin.

Oh, BTW, I'm certainly no expert...The Martin mandolin referenced above is the only one I've seen/heard.

Capt. E
Dec-10-2010, 9:46am
I didn't get the impression that the Martin you are looking to buy is the carved top, maple body, ff hole model 2-15, but instead the more common oval hole bent top style A. These are completely different instruments with different qualities. The bent top is, as you say, not a terribly good "bluegrass" instrument because of a lack of volume and some other tonal characteristics. A fine instrument in its own right, it is more suited to old-time, folk and classical. If you are looking for a "bluegrass" instrument, I would look elsewhere.
Playing it before you buy is the thing to do before making your decision.

Of course, Martin guitars seem to be the standard in bluegrass bands as Gibson is the standard for mandolins.

allenhopkins
Dec-11-2010, 12:16am
Identical current thread here (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?68164-Martin-Mandolins) in the "Looking For Info" forum. It's really not necessary to ask the same question twice, in two different forums (fora?).