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Thread: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

  1. #1

    Default ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    The search continues , but, I have narrowed the field. Want to go with an F-style mando.
    Looking now at the Eastman MD515. Just as I was ready to pull the trigger, checked the Mandolin Store and they are sold out!!! Felt comfortable about making a purchase there without seeing the mando because of all the great comments here. Thoughts in the back of my mind are perhaps now going with an A-style, maybe the Kentucky KM 252 or the Eastman MD505. Then I thought about The Loar LM400. Anybody have any experience with The Loar? And what would be a good substitute F-style for the Eastman MD 515 ? Then I saw , elsewhere, Michael Kelly mandolins. Look nice but haven't heard anything on the Michael Kelly mandos. I know you all have your favs but some more input on the aforementioned mandos would help me to narrow the field again. But perhaps, I should just wait for the Eastman MD515 to become available again? And another question - what exactly does it mean when the description on a mandolin is graduated? Is this important and does it change the tonal characteristics of the mando? Just curious. I await your opinions and thanks in advance for all the great info here!!! After 40+ years of acoustic guitar, teaching myself mando is like a breath of fresh air!!!
    Last edited by Espresso Geek; Jun-10-2015 at 12:48pm. Reason: Wrong forum!!! Probably should have put this in the General Discussion forum!!

  2. #2
    Runnin' Free Theo W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    I'd be wary of Michael Kelly mandos, unless you can try them. The Loars have a good reputation here but I'd be careful of them too. Every Loar I've played has been a dud except one f-model at a local store. If you're buying online I'd say go for a Kentucky or an Eastman. Buy used if you can, so that you can save some cash and get good resale value. Just my opinion though. Good luck!
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  4. #3
    Registered User dcoventry's Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    Call Robert Fear at folkmusician.com. He may have the very Mando you seek.

    Also, he sells more Loars than anybody else so has a wealth of knowledge.

    Call him

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  6. #4

    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    THanks for the heads up on The Loar's and Michael Kelly's. Hey, I live in Colorado also!!! Front range in the Boulder area!!

  7. #5

    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    @dcoventry - thanks for the info. I will have to check Robert Fear out.

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    Have any walk in shops in Boulder or Denver ? to hold things in your hands ?
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    JBovier F5-T and call it a day.
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  12. #8
    Registered User LongBlackVeil's Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    I personally would only consider Eastman, loar, Kentucky, and jbovier in this range. No other brands are close to these. I personally like loar the best, I like their bigger necks. Don't like Eastman much because their necks are terrible imo.
    "When you learn an old time fiddle tune, you make a friend for life"

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  14. #9
    Runnin' Free Theo W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    I'm on the western slope near Hotchkiss! You should consider going to wildwood music in Boulder. I enjoy that store a lot. There are a couple others but I can't remember the names. You may be able to get someone to play a few mandos for you to hear. Or you could bring along a chord chart and strum some chords.
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    Every Loar I've played was "better" than every Eastman I've played. Having said that they are both good mandolins just different, I prefer the sound of the Loar YMMV.

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  18. #11
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    Denver Folklore Center

    Tejon Street Music, Colorado Springs

    Old Town Pickin' Parlor, Arvada

    Suggestions... Never hurts to have actually tried instruments "hands on" before buying 'em.
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  20. #12

    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    @Theo B - I was in Wildwood Music a few years back when I was looking to my Martin guitar. Don't remember them having any mandos, but since I wasn't looking for mandos perhaps I didn't notice. Will have to check it out!!!! Thanks!!!

  21. #13

    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    @allenhopkins - thanks for the links. I will have to check out those stores and try some mandos. Makes sense to try before you buy!!!

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  23. #14

    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    @mandroid - I will have to check out some local stores. Thanks for the thought.

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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    I just recently acquired a Kentucky KM250 and I am totally impressed. The sound is wonderful. I would have preferred an F style because I love the look of the scroll but this mando is definitely a keeper. Even my cat likes it. He will come in and sit right in front of me all the while I am playing.

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    Constantly In Search Of.. Michael Bridges's Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bbaker2050 View Post
    JBovier F5-T and call it a day.
    +1 on this! Love my JB. Jeff Cowherd is killin' it
    Music speaks to us all. And to each of us, she speaks with a different voice.

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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bridges View Post
    +1 on this! Love my JB. Jeff Cowherd is killin' it
    +2. My jbovier els is superb.
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  30. #18
    fishing with my mando darrylicshon's Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    My J Bovier beats my loar 600 but i like both but play my J Bovier most of the time
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  32. #19

    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    @Bruce Cech - I will have to take a look at the KM250. Thanks for mentioning it!!!

  33. #20
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    If it is at all reasonable to get there, absolutely try before you buy. You might find that you particularly like the neck someone else hates, or that a particular mandolin is great even though the model in general has been criticized. Your tastes and preferences and comforts are going to be different, and no two mandolins are going to be exactly exactly alike.

    Trying one out is crucial. I would travel a couple of hours for a mandolin purchase. With a smile.
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  34. #21

    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    definitely try Denver Folklore Center they have both brands you were initially talking about.
    also try the Old Town Picking Parlor in Arvada.

    I am not a fan of the pricing at either but have no problem asking them to "get closer" in price so that I can support my local shop. That wording sometimes helps.

    good luck

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  36. #22
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Theo B View Post
    I'd be wary of Michael Kelly mandos, unless you can try them. The Loars have a good reputation here but I'd be careful of them too. Every Loar I've played has been a dud except one f-model at a local store. If you're buying online I'd say go for a Kentucky or an Eastman. Buy used if you can, so that you can save some cash and get good resale value. Just my opinion though. Good luck!
    This was my experience with Loar also. The handful of them I played at the local shop were not great I thought, but I played one, which had been purchased a couple of years ago from the same shop, recently that really blew me away for the price. It was a 600 VS. It was easily a $2500 mandolin in the under $1k price range.
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  38. #23
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Espresso Geek View Post
    But perhaps, I should just wait for the Eastman MD515 to become available again?
    It's available again, and at a significant savings as a blemished example: http://themandolinstore.com/product/md515-blem/
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  39. #24

    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    @pheffernan - thanks for the heads up. I did see that MD 515 at the Mandolin Store. Wonder how the minor finish checking(blemish) would effect the overall tone of the mando? I am sure it is purely a visual thing, but...... anybody have any thought on this?

  40. #25
    Runnin' Free Theo W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: ...and I am still in the hunt!!!

    Minor finish checking will have no effect on the tone of an instrument. Just one's pride.
    Theo Wecker
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