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Thread: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

  1. #1

    Smile Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Hey guys! this will be the first post of mine, and I need some help. I've been doing tons of research for myself, but I'm at the point where I don't really know what else to do. So, assuming these mandolins are in the condition stated by the owner, would any of these be a good buy. I don't mind going to the higher end -- I just want good price-to-performance. I'm open to any suggestions, even ones not based on these mandolins and just on good price-to-performance mandolins new or used. Thank you!
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    These are just some random ones I found used. Some seem like okay orices to me and some don't, but I'll let you guys help me out now if you'd like! I'm excited to play and learn!\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    I'd probably pick the Eastman "mandalin".

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    That was the first one I thought seemed like a good price. It seems to be in the worst condition though. But the finish won't bother me as long as the tone is good.

    edit: upon another look it looks pretty good.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Does it have to have a scroll?

    If you have done tons of research, then you will be aware that for a given $ amount, you should be able to pick up an A model that has a better tone than an F model at that price point.

    NFI on my part. https://themandolinstore.com/product...yle-mandolins/
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    I don't have to have a scroll. I have heard that the A styles are typically cheaper for a similar quality tone. The people in my area seem to only be selling their F styles. I'm not opposed to an A style. The only A styles I was seeing on the marketplace were crappy laminates.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Both of the Eastman 315's are a good price if in good shape. You would want to make sure there are not structural issues and no major fret wear.

  7. #7
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Eastman MD315 for $350 is a good deal. I'd jump on that one before someone else does

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    How bad will the frets look if the frets are overly worn? And besides something obvious like a crack or a sinking bridge or something, what kinds of structural problems can I identify? Thank you guys for the advice.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Either of the Eastman MD315s would be a good deal. Those will sell quickly.

  10. #10
    Mando-afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    I agree with several others. You would be happiest for your dollars spent to purchase one of the Eastman's. Great to have you aboard!
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Some of these do not appear to be music stores or mandolin players/owners. Buyer beware.

  12. #12
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Both those Eastmans are good deals. I would stay away from the MK's and Washburn.
    Charley

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  13. #13

    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    The strings will wear the frets and make a groove under the strings. Usually the first 5 or 6 frets on the A and E strings will be the first to show wear. Worn frets can cause issues when playing. If they are not real bad you can have the frets dressed and re-crowned , when they get worn to a point of no return they will you would need a partial or full re-fret. A fret dressing not that big of a deal but a re-fret will cost close to the least expensive Eastman's.

    The other thing when buying a mandolin is that you will want to make sure it is set up properly and replace the stings. A good set up can make a huge difference in the sound but also the playability of the instrument. If you have a great mandolin and it is a bear to play it will not be very enjoyable and you may not play as much. If you have one set up properly and it sounds good you will much more likely to want to play it often.

    Eastman makes a nice mandolin and either of the Eastman's are a pretty good deal. Should you want to sell it in the future you should be able to get your money back. Good luck in the journey.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Thanks a lot guys! This is great information. If the mandolin is in good condition, everything seems setup correctly (because I'd do a poor job of setting it up myself, most likely), and it's still available, I'll snatch one of the eastmans today or tomorrow! Any additional information is still helpful. Thank you!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Does the other Eastman also have a case? Having a hard case included is a nice bonus and will save you some trouble finding one.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    +1 on the Eastmen... and get detailed pictures, sound files, and make sure there is a 3 day trial period with right of refusal and use paypal or some other insulator from thieves. Look for problems. Plan on spending another $100 for proper setup. Or get a Eastman 305 or Kentucky 150, 250 from reputable dealer and you don't have to worry about any of that.

  17. #17
    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Sounds like a good plan. That second Eastman for $350 including the case would be the one I started with. The frets would be the key issue. A basic setup wouldn't break the bank but a refret might. All I can add is that you should probably expect to put new strings on it right off regardless of who you get it from.
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  19. #18

    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Get Rob Meldrum's e book on setup, and some feeler gauges. Then you can asses the action.
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  20. #19
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    The Eastman for $350.
    Chris Cravens

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  21. #20

    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Hey guys. I ran into one of you in another thread asking how it went, so I figured I'd update in case anyone else was curious. I went with the used Eastman MD315 for $350. I am extremely pleased with this decision. It was around half the price that the mandolin would be new, and is in incredible condition. Basically no problems beyond being dusty. The tone is surprisingly smooth and deep, and the intonation was about perfect out of the box. Now I'd just like to find somewhere to give it a good, professional lookover. Thanks guys!

  22. #21
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help a Beginner Sort Through Possible Deals?

    Quote Originally Posted by ImTheMan_do View Post
    Hey guys. I ran into one of you in another thread asking how it went, so I figured I'd update in case anyone else was curious. I went with the used Eastman MD315 for $350. I am extremely pleased with this decision. It was around half the price that the mandolin would be new, and is in incredible condition. Basically no problems beyond being dusty. The tone is surprisingly smooth and deep, and the intonation was about perfect out of the box. Now I'd just like to find somewhere to give it a good, professional lookover. Thanks guys!
    Awesome!

    Enjoy!
    Chris Cravens

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

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