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Thread: Best A Style Mandolin around $2,000?

  1. #1
    Registered User Steve VandeWater's Avatar
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    Default Best A Style Mandolin around $2,000?

    I'm looking to possibly get an f-hole A style mandolin. I like crisp, bell-like tone and don't need a bluegrass machine. Looking to spend roughly $2,000. Any suggestions?
    It ain't gotta be perfect, as long as it's perfect enough!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    Many, many choices ! But, Check out Girouard mandolins ! Fantastic !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain

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    Registered User northfolk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    Hard to beat the Kentucky KM950, for about half that price?
    Thanks for your support?

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    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    http://store.dustystrings.com/p-4418...ByCategoryID=7

    If you're anywhere near Seattle to try it out. I like this one... a lot. NFI.

    Also, I've been very impressed with the Pavas I've played in that price range. The Weber Gallatin and Collings MT pop up in that range too, I like those a lot.

    Good luck on your search.

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    Registered User bluegrasser78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    Well I'd have to say a 1935 Gibson A-50 with F-holes and elevated board! I just picked one up for 1200 bucks and the sound is better than most F-5's no joke there! And I have vintage 5's, Not bad for a short neck! I do need to set her up better and for now I'll play her but it may could benefit from a neck set! Still I'm happy with the deal!

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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    Check out Silverangel mandolins made in Eastern Ky. I own one of Ken's El Toro models which stands on its own against my Northfield Big Mon, sound wise. His A style mandolins list for $2,000.

  8. #7
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    If I were in your shoes, Iwouldn't go for a 2K list instrument; I'd go for a used instrument, because there's good chance of finding gold for 2K at a "used" price - getting a lot of value for your buck.

    Start checking with your musician buddies. You might be surprised what you can turn up for that price.
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  10. #8
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    Used Collings MT are available for around $2000
    Here's a nice looking Collings MT2 for $2300
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/115746#115746

    New Redline A5 for $1950
    https://cartervintage.com/products/red-line-a-5-new
    used for $1500 or less
    https://reverb.com/item/4700388-redl...olin-with-case

    My favorite at around $2000 that I've played recently is this Hawthorn A5 made by Mike Black - new for $2200
    http://bfstrings.com/store/p86/HAWTH..._MANDOLIN.html
    Hawthorn is the house brand for Braford & Franzke in Kansas City. This one was built by renowned KC luthier Mike Black, whose A5 mandolins start at $3200. This is essentially the same mandolin, just without the binding on the fretboard & headstock with $1000 discount.

    Northfield Model M A5 is $1900 new
    http://www.northfieldinstruments.com/mandolins/model-m

    This is a nice looking Weill for $1800
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/118843#118843

    Gibson A9 for $1400 if you like the Gibson sound
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/118738#118738
    Last edited by colorado_al; Dec-19-2017 at 10:00pm. Reason: Found a few more in the classifieds
    2016 Franzke A5 Custom w/Rubner tuners & James Tailpiece & McClung Armrest
    2014 JBovier A5T w/Grover 308 tuners & McClung Armrest
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    2015 Blueridge BR-40TCE Tenor to Octave Mandolin conversion
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    Registered User Kevin Stueve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    I had almost decided the tone I wanted was a collings mt, the only thing comparable I had found was a weber f style for a lot more money, when a weber f bitterroot showed up in the classifieds in my price range. 2K buys a lot of instrument used.

  12. #10
    Registered User Steve VandeWater's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    Thanks all, I should have stated tnat I would likely be looking for used ones, not new.
    It ain't gotta be perfect, as long as it's perfect enough!

  13. #11

    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    For a used A style with a $2000 budget, the world is your oyster. Add teens Gibson to your list. I'm biased toward Silverangels, but there are sweet Pavas out there, and about a dozen others. Subjectivity reigns here, as you will get quality.
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    I have an A style Summit that sounds and plays great. I got it for $1600 but paid another couple hundred or so for fret work and setup.

    I would look at Collings as well.

  15. #13

    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    For crisp and bell like, I would find a few hundred more and get a used Collings MT2.

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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    Collings MT - keep your eyes peeled for one popping up in the classifieds here - you see them often in the 1700-1900 range used.

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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    Used Pava Satin, Weber, or Collings MT are safe bets for online purchase. To me, the Pava has more bell-like tone. Haven't played a Girouard but they have steller rep.

  19. #16
    Registered User Reinhardt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    I had a long term loan of an Old Wave A5. Broke my heart to give it back. Fantastic instrument and great value too. Compared very well to a Duff A5 which is a brilliant instrument but out of your price range I'd say.

    John

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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    Weber Gallatin A-14F, $1999 new ... pretty nice mandolin.

    https://webermandolins.com/instrumen...tin-a-mandolin

  21. #18
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    "Best A Style around $2,000?"
    "Best" is pretty subjective ... but for me $2,000 would be a lot of dough right now, so I'd definitely have to get some used ones in my hands and find the one that speaks to me.

    This past year I was fortunate to find a Collings MT for 3/4 that price with easy terms from a local musician who'd gotten scroll envy

    I love the Collings.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
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    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
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  22. #19

    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    I would agree with most of the recommendations above. You have to have a quality instrument that is in the neighborhood of what you are looking for. But you can change the sound of a mandolin fairly dramatically with strings, pick, playing an opening up (a newer mandolin or one that has been in the case for quite a while) that I think it is as important to get one that feels good (neck, fretboard, frets, setup) and you like the looks of. Just look at all the great mandolin players that play Bluegrass, Old time Celtic, Classical and they can make them sound great at any of them. It also seems that the great mandolin players sound about the same on any mandolin, so the player probably has as much to do with it as anything.
    So recommendations -
    -Collings MT or MT2 - fit/finish nearly perfect and very constant. They are terrific mandolins but the have a distinctive sound that does not appeal to me. But I have heard some great Collings mandolins, but mostly varnish finish. but for what you are looking for they might be a great fit.
    - There is a brown satin Pava that looks like new in the classifieds, if I were looking for a quality A mandolin I would own that one. If you don't like it or find something you like better you should always be able to get your money out of it. But if could be a lifetime mandolin for a very reasonable price (I have not seen a Pava at that price).
    - I recently acquired a used Weber Absaroka that has opened up and is a great mandolin. It will hold its own in a jam but is a very versatile mandolin and could play anything.
    -You could also get a new Northfield M in your price range as well.
    Good luck there are lots of good choices in your price range

  23. #20
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northwest Steve View Post
    I recently acquired a used Weber Absaroka that has opened up and is a great mandolin. It will hold its own in a jam but is a very versatile mandolin
    Those look nice. One local on CL for under 2K. Would like to hear/play it

  24. #21
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    This nice looking Gibson A5L just popped up in the classifieds for $1950
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/118951#118951
    2016 Franzke A5 Custom w/Rubner tuners & James Tailpiece & McClung Armrest
    2014 JBovier A5T w/Grover 308 tuners & McClung Armrest
    2017 Kentucky KM-272 w/SOliver Armrest
    2015 Blueridge BR-40TCE Tenor to Octave Mandolin conversion
    1960s Harmony H1213 Archtone Guitar to Mandocello conversion

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  26. #22
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    My 1922 A4 was about $1350 15 years ago, my plain brown A was $ 600 , 30 years ago...
    the A40 was $150, with F holes.. 45 years ago..


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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve VandeWater View Post
    Thanks all, I should have stated tnat I would likely be looking for used ones, not new.
    I think that you're getting a lot of good advice here. In my experience, the small factory / shop mandolins like the Collings MT and Pava come available used around $1600-1750, and I've seen Northfield Model M's in the same range as well. Occasionally, an independently built mandolin will show up similarly priced, particularly ovals, but in typical Mandolin Cafe fashion, I'm going to advise you that what you really want in an A5 is more often found just above your budget in the $2250-$2500 range.
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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  28. #24

    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_al View Post
    This nice looking Gibson A5L just popped up in the classifieds for $1950
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/118951#118951
    Yes, I would definitely be looking into this. Could certainly meet your criteria. And yes that brown Pava A5 is a steal as well. Both great options.

  29. #25
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best A Style around $2,000?

    For your stated purposes:

    Collings MT
    Girouard
    Pava

    ..not in that order
    Chris Cravens

    Girouard A5 Mandolin
    Montana Flatiron A-Jr.
    Girouard A Mandola
    Leo Posch D-18

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