Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 51 to 61 of 61

Thread: Looking for opinions on the best Asian made Mandolin for $2500

  1. #51

    Default Re: Looking for opinions on the best Asian made Mandolin for $250

    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalSky View Post
    Interesting, I heard the Eastman 815 has a radius fretboard. I don't know about the fret size, but if they are smaller, that would be a negative as I like larger frets.

    I've been looking at some American made mandolins, but I'm pretty insistent on the F-style with the scroll and F-holes. I realize I could get an A-style for cheaper, but the looks just don't do it for me, so that is part of the equation as well.
    Eastman has modern frets and radius board and wider nut. For me it was between a 815 or 915 vs the Kentucky 1500 then I realized I wanted the modern features so it became the 1050. I went with the 1050 because reputation of the kentucky master models surpass the eastmans it seems. But to be fair here I am comparing a $1,000-1500 used range. If I were set on spending $2500 Id pass on these models and get a Summit, Weber, or Northfield. ####, there are some Gibson F9s that fall close to this if you look. Id 100% get the Gibson over anything. But then you are at the bottom w rosewood board, flat, vintage frets, etc... So yea... Good luck.

  2. #52
    Registered User George R. Lane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    2,836

    Default Re: Looking for opinions on the best Asian made Mandolin for $250

    Here is a nice Bitterroot for $2,600.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/130343#130343
    2010 Weber Yellowstone

    I maybe wrong, but it is highly doubtful.

  3. #53
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Crockett, TX
    Posts
    702

    Default Re: Looking for opinions on the best Asian made Mandolin for $250

    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalSky View Post
    What's the consensus on a 1996 Flatiron F5 Master signed by Bruce Weber?

    Now I'm suddenly increasing my spending budget... even though I shouldn't. I keep telling myself... "Well, I could spend 4k if I really wanted to".
    Well, you started the thread asking about something specifically with a much different budget. My reply, and others, was based on that budget.

    If you're going to move the goalposts now, or can't even decide what your budget is, I don't understand how you expect to get good advice.
    Chris Cravens

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

  4. #54
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO & Chesterfield, MO
    Posts
    2,231

    Default Re: Looking for opinions on the best Asian made Mandolin for $250

    You might want to check in with Jeff Cowherd at JBovier mandolins.
    His F5 checks all the boxes that you're looking for. It sounds like his 2018 models are due any day now.
    https://mandolins.ecrater.com/p/1642...-in-production

  5. #55

    Default Re: Looking for opinions on the best Asian made Mandolin for $250

    If you have the money to drop without knowing what you want, you are doing yourself a disservice. Drive somewhere, fly somewhere and try everything you can. No matter what you buy, you wont be happy because you simply dont know what you want. Ive been in the same position with things like this before.

  6. #56
    Pittsburgh Bill
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    435
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Looking for opinions on the best Asian made Mandolin for $250

    Quote Originally Posted by itstooloudMike View Post
    I am also a longtime guitar player, with an ear for good tone, and an appreciation for a smooth playing instrument. I had an Eastman 815 for a while, and was never satisfied with the sound or playability. I did eventually learn that I vastly prefer a radius fret-board and larger frets. I also like a rounded neck profile, rather than a deep V profile. My quest for tone and playability led me to Weber mandolins. You can find nice used Bitteroot F-styles for $2500 or less. These are great American-made mandolins. Make sure to get one with maple back and sides rather than mahogany. I had a Bitteroot with mahogany back, and the tone wasn't as "bluegrass" as I wanted. I then got a Bitteroot A-style with maple back, and it was awesome. Used Webers are often a great investment, and a lifetime instrument. I never lost any money from owning a Weber (always purchased used). My current mandolin is a Summit F-style, which I love. These can also be bought for $2500 or less. The Summit plays very much like a Weber, and sounds very much like a Gibson. It's an awesome bluegrass mandolin. Neither of my Webers or my Summit have neck or headstock binding, but I personally like the more understated appearance. My goal was always to get the best sounding and playing bluegrass mandolin I could, for $2500 or less. With that budget, I would not be looking for a Pac-Rim mandolin. The smart money is with a used American-made mandolin, from a well-known maker. There are lots of those between $2K and $2.5K. And don't overlook a nice A-style. If you really have to have fancy binding, there are some beautiful A-styles out there for $2K.
    I agree with most of your comments in your effort to assist a new player. But keep in mind she may not want a bluegrass sound. I never did as bluegrass makes up about 2% of what I play. Just a personal thing for me but I NEVER use a chop chord. After I started playing old country and rockabilly I found the bluegrass sound fits very well. For this I purchased and use my Kentucky KM-950. For everything else I reach for my Collings.
    I support the idea that no mandolin is ideal for every one or every type of music. Part of the fascination for me is that there are so many great builders and something for everyone's needs.
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Collings MT
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Kentucky KM-950

  7. #57
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2,136

    Default Re: Looking for opinions on the best Asian made Mandolin for $250

    Get thee to a luthiery.

    Or at least to a store that carries lots of mandolins. You're now talking about spending up to 4 grand and you don't play mandolin, don't know what you like, aren't sure what your budget is, and think Eastmans and Kentuckys could be worth $2,500. Which they could be, to you or another player who loves their tone. But you don't know what they sound like in real life and if you did, it's possible that your mandolin ear hasn't developed to the point where you know what you like.

    All of which is OK. Lots of us have been in similar straits.

    Buy a ticket to Nashville. Hit Carter's, Gruhn's and Cotten Music. Take in a show, eat some good food, listen to and play if possible lots of mandolins. Buy one that floats your boat. Or buy a lesser one, under the theory that playing it for six months will teach you what you like and don't like, and save you money in the long run.

    That's all I got for you. Good luck, and enjoy the journey.

  8. #58
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Looking for opinions on the best Asian made Mandolin for $250

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Bill View Post
    I agree with most of your comments in your effort to assist a new player. But keep in mind she may not want a bluegrass sound. I never did as bluegrass makes up about 2% of what I play. Just a personal thing for me but I NEVER use a chop chord. After I started playing old country and rockabilly I found the bluegrass sound fits very well. For this I purchased and use my Kentucky KM-950. For everything else I reach for my Collings.
    I support the idea that no mandolin is ideal for every one or every type of music. Part of the fascination for me is that there are so many great builders and something for everyone's needs.
    The OP mentioned in the first post that he/she was primarily interested in playing "classic bluegrass" type music. My suggestions were based on that.

  9. #59
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    492

    Default Re: Looking for opinions on the best Asian made Mandolin for $250

    Well, if you might increase your budget another $1,500 you might consider spending the extra available cash on mandolin lessons. Good luck in your quest but don't blow the whole wad based on input from us Cafť members. As happens with many people the thrill wears off and you may ultimately find the mandolin is not your thing and you move on. This explains why there are many pristine old mandolins sitting in cases in the back of closets.

  10. #60
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO & Chesterfield, MO
    Posts
    2,231

    Default Re: Looking for opinions on the best Asian made Mandolin for $250


  11. #61

    Default Re: Looking for opinions on the best Asian made Mandolin for $250

    We've discussed mandolins from under $1000 to $4000. You can make a case for any of them. For someone unfamiliar with the instrument, how are you going to make an informed decision anyway. The wild card for me would be that the OP has developed a taste for nice instruments. My Eastman 505 was a perfectly good mandolin, but my guitar taste was Martin. Since the point is to be inspired, and face it, a really nice instrument is inspiring, it would behoove one to buy that level, whatever it is.

    So realizing that whatever your first mandolin is, it will likely not be your last, buying a used mandolin at the top of your budget is what you should do. Only you know how important looks are to you, and if you need to sacrifice tone for that, it's your business. Whatever will get you playing the most is the right decision.

    I have never thought a beginner buying an expensive instrument was ever a bad thing. Just never buy a brand new Ellis F unless you KNOW it's the one.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •