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Thread: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

  1. #1

    Default Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    Hey all!
    I'm currently in the process of figuring out what my first F-style mandolin will be.
    Right now I'm looking at the Eastman md315 (leaning towards this one) the epiphone mm50 and a gold tone gm70+. What are your suggestions for someone just starting out? I have a really basic entry level A - style but wish to upgrade to something nicer now that I've taken it on more seriously. Worried about the quality of the Epiphone and the Gold tone compared to the eastman.

    Thoughts and tips?

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    The Eastman 315 hands down. Merry Christmas!
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  4. #3
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
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    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    Of the three you listed I'd have to go with the Eastman also. However , I recommend you check out this used Kentucky in the classifieds. E/
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  5. #4
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    Eastman all the way or a second hand Kentucky if you can find one. Plus as a friend's da used to say "when you buy, you sell..." meaning always think about how easy or not it will be to sell said item if you need to. You'll likely be able to sell the Eastman a lot quicker when it's time to upgrade later down the line.
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  6. #5
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    Here is a used Eastman 515 in the classifieds for less then a new 315. The 515 has better tuners and a solid cast tailpiece.

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/105125#105125

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    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  7. #6
    Registered User Kris N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    +1 to the Eastman or a used Kentucky.

  8. #7
    Shayan Givehchian
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    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    hello there .
    i recently i was in the same situation you are now . i was looking for an f style oval hole .
    i went down to elderly instruments and played a bunch of their instruments not having played descent mandolins ever before. and ended up with the Eastman md514 for 1000$ and i cant say enough good things about it . they are great for the price and just amazing instruments overall
    i would say choose between either Kentucky or Eastman for under 1k budget. as for some say the 315 Eastman is better sounding than the 515 it felt like it was to me but every instrument is different i guess but the matte finish is very good looking. the Kentucky are also great instrument but between the two ill go with Eastman again. northfields are also amazing if you can stretch you budget a little bit.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    Yep, Eastman 315 or used/"blem" 515, without any further consideration...

    I get more comments from random people on the tone of my 315 beater than I do on my MT and Silverangel, though I much prefer the tone of the latter two personally. Probably selection bias, as the 315 goes camping, to the lake, etc, libations are often present when I pull it out, and I tend to play the others at home or in church, so they're publicly heard a little less often. That said, my 315 is definitely one they got right!!
    Chuck

  10. #9
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    Eastman is in a whole other league than Epi or Gold Tone, and not just "good for the money" but genuinely good. An Eastman could easily be a lifelong player.
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  11. #10

    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    No contest. Not even close. Eastman all the way.

  12. #11

    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    I have a 505 that is a fine playing mandolin. Has a nice finish too. I had to play it a good bit for a couple of months and try different strings to get it right. I do have my eye on a Weber, but will keep the Eastman until I'm sure I have something better, I usually keep only one of each type instrument. Tried a Collings that might sound better long-term than the 505, but it wasn't worth paying over 4 times the 505 in hopes the Collings would mature or I could find strings and action that worked. You'll like the Eastman. Good luck.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    The last Eastman 315 I played was a very good mandolin. No worries there.
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  14. #13
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    I have an MD 315 and totally love it.

  15. #14
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    As I heard (not seen), Eastman trained and hired a lot of carvers , rather than Buy a Few CNC carving machines..
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  16. #15
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    I bought a new Eastman MD315 with blemishes no one can find but me, for $500 this past year. It's a fine little mandolin. I'm one to look for a bargain, so I'd consider a blemished 315 or a used 515 if I were in your shoes.
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    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    I tried again to attach a link from this site to a classified add under mandolins... I failed to do so. Hmmmmmmm R/
    Last edited by UsuallyPickin; Dec-26-2016 at 7:49pm. Reason: failure to compute
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  18. #17

    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    Not clear what you are upgrading from--A-style body but with oval hole or f-holes? If you want a more bluegrass-capable--ie, f-holed-- mando, you can go up a grade or two in the Eastman line for the same money by getting an A-body with f-holes; 505 or 605. As is frequently mentioned here, more bang for your buck in the A-body.

    If you are already playing a cheap mando with f-holes, you might find more to choose from by focussing on a quality upgrade rather than specifying f-style. But follow your dreams.

  19. #18

    Default Re: Eastman , Epiphone or Goldtone

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    As I heard (not seen), Eastman trained and hired a lot of carvers , rather than Buy a Few CNC carving machines..
    Eastman's parent company is Eastman Strings. They've traditionally had a strong focus on more conservative instruments, like violins, cellos, etc., and FWIK brought some of those carvers over to man their mandolin shop. They've always had a strong quality focus in their instrument building, unlike Epi and Goldtone who are more mass-manufacturing orientated.

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