I'm looking to move to Montreal to chill for the summer, and since I'll be traveling light I'm thinking to get an Eastwood Airline e-mandola (the run in the mid-US$300s). That way I can practice it quietly unplugged, or can team up with folks in electric groups or whatever, and it'll be slimmer and more durable than an acoustic.
I've played mandolin and octave-mandolin before, and CGDA mandola seems a good compromise to get a darker sound but still not have a huge fret reach. Though the Airline has a long-ish scale so looks amenable to alternate re-stringings.
Anyone have any check/hold advice before I buy it? And is there any supplier of this instrument that would be more likely to QC it than a "pull off shelf, chuck in box" general seller? Or do I just have to buy a stock one and take it to a local luthier if it needs tweaking?
Since it's a solid-body, I'm thinking not to get a case, so I can pack it in my luggage between all the layers or clothes. Just going to pack picks, a capo and strap, a cord, and look into getting a small battery amp in Canada.
Any last insights before I go through with this?