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Thread: First mandolin purchase

  1. #1

    Default First mandolin purchase

    Hi All, I currently play both banjo and guitar and have decided to add a mandolin. I've never owned or played one. I need to buy one for about $300-500. It can be new or used - any advise? Thanks, Jim

  2. #2

    Default Re: First mandolin purchase

    The Mandolin Store advertised the new Kentucky 505 for $499.I have a Kentucky 1050 an the 505 they said is now made in the same factory. One of those could make you happy for a long time. So if TMS will still honor that price That would end my search.

    That said the Kentucky 150 is amazing for $300.
    I have also had an Eastman 305 that was very nice. You should be able to find some nice Eastmans in your price range.
    If you look you might find a used Morris for close.

    Good luck in the search there are some nice mandolins in your price range.

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Default Re: First mandolin purchase

    I'd consider used, myself. The depreciation is already figured into the price, and if/when you want to upgrade, you won't lose value.
    Beyond that, the instrument will be somewhat "played in"; any changes that the break-in process may have effected will already be determined.

    Also, the dreaded "first scratch" is already there, so that bit of anxiety is dispensed with.

  4. #4

    Default Re: First mandolin purchase

    Though almost any style can be played on any mandolin, I think it would be helpful to know what you intend to play.
    The Eastman and Kentucky mandolins recommended are archtop mandolins with f-holes, that can be used in any style, but have a sound typically thought of as kind of bluegrassy.
    Alternatives would be archtop oval hole or flattop for folk styles or even bowlback mandolins for classical music.

  5. #5
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
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    Default Re: First mandolin purchase

    I just bought a great little Eastman 315 F copy from Blue Angel music in Pensacola Florida. They do a great set up. It was a demo. With shipping it cost me under $500.00. They had more than one available. They sell on Reverb. Give them a call, they are always ready to deal. The Eastman 305 is always an option for an A model.

  6. #6
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: First mandolin purchase

    https://themandolinstore.com/product...el-a-mandolin/

    This looks like a good one and the fine folks at The Mandolin Store are the best (nfi). I've been extremely satisfied with all my purchases from them.

    The Loar LM400 (with case!) deserves a look as well.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Zach Wilson; Jan-02-2016 at 9:36pm. Reason: Duh!

  7. #7

    Default Re: First mandolin purchase

    I just ordered an Eastmas MD305 from the Mandolin Store. Thanks to everyone for your help. Jim

  8. #8
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: First mandolin purchase

    Right on! Here's to you and many years of pickin'!

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