Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

  1. #1

    Default Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    I am currently in the middle of a search for my next Mandolin. The more I read about selecting the right instrument, the more I realize I want to touch/hold/play it before I purchase. Any Northern Michiganders out there with recommendations on local shops to visit with a good mandolin selection?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    Make the trip to Elderly in Lansing. Not Northern Michigan but well worth the drive. They have most major brands in several models and also always have a large variety of vintage/used mandolins.

  3. The following members say thank you to Cosmic Graffiti for this post:


  4. #3
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Frederick,MD
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    Agreed-- Elderly is well worth the trip if you're considering upgrading your mandolin. Hint-- don't look at the prices or even maker's name until you've narrowed down to just a few instruments. Blind testing might suggest some lesser priced instruments that suit you more than some expensive ones. When I visited there I tried just about everything on the mandolin wall. After playing some high end and/or vintage models, I went "meh" while some "lesser" ones impressed me a lot.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    Yet another big thumbs up for Elderly. There are some impromptu jams there on Saturday mornings.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    Marshall MI is where Northfield Instruments is located, you could get down there and check out the new Artist Series and OM.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  7. The following members say thank you to bigskygirl for this post:


  8. #6
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI.
    Posts
    7,064

    Default Re: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    +1 for Elderly! Big sky girl makes a good point about the relatively short additional miles to go to Marshall (50 miles more maybe) to look at Northfields goods.
    If you've never been to Elderly, don't take too much money with you, you just MIGHT be tempted by all kinds of cool stuff.
    You are wise to want to go "hands on" I would trust the folks at Elderly to point you in the right direction if you can't make the pilgrimage but, if you can? Do it! It's a lot more fun to go and see the things available.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  9. #7
    Registered User Don Julin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Traverse City, Michigan
    Posts
    424

    Default Re: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    I have lived in Traverse City MI for most of my life. We are blessed here to have three of the top mandolin builders in the world (Nugget, Newson, and Northfields) in Michigan. Maybe we should refer to the region as the three N's. That said, the stores around these parts are much more guitar oriented. We have a great little guitar shop called Traverse City Guitar Company were they almost always have a good selection of vintage guitars, tube amps, and a great staff, but not too much in the way of mandolins. Worth stopping in if you find yourself downtown. IMHO Elderly is a treasure and is worth the drive from anywhere in Michigan. The new Northfield shop is in Marshal and as far as I know, is the only place you can try out the new Model M's.

  10. The following members say thank you to Don Julin for this post:

    jasona 

  11. #8
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Grass Valley
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    To the OP, I am like you, I want to play the instrument first.

    My modest collection is made of almost all instruments that have blown me away once I've played them. I have tried several times to buy things "on line" but none of them worked out and if I had played them first I never would have tried. I have played many instruments by big name makers that were nice but not for me.

    Good luck with your search, today more than ever there are lots of really nice mandos out there. (BTW in 2010 I vacationed in Nashville so I could play a lot of instruments!)

    Keep us in you loop as you progress, we all enjoy the hunt!

    Billy

    billypackardmandolin.com
    Billy Packard
    Gilchrist A3, 1993
    Weber Fern, 2007
    Gibson F4 Hybrid #1, D. Harvey 2009
    Gibson 1923 A2
    Numerous wonderful guitars

  12. #9

    Default Re: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Busman View Post
    Agreed-- Elderly is well worth the trip if you're considering upgrading your mandolin. Hint-- don't look at the prices or even maker's name until you've narrowed down to just a few instruments. Blind testing might suggest some lesser priced instruments that suit you more than some expensive ones. When I visited there I tried just about everything on the mandolin wall. After playing some high end and/or vintage models, I went "meh" while some "lesser" ones impressed me a lot.
    Paul, This is how I bought my first mandolin. I played everything on the all and ended up with an Eastman that I just love. I still play it and think it sounds great even though my 1924 Snake Head gets most of my attention. We are in love you see.

  13. #10

    Default Re: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    Absolutely go to Elderly's. also, I'd strongly recommend you go to Marshall, MI and play the newest Northfields at their HQ.

  14. #11
    This Kid Needs Practice Bill Clements's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    767

    Default Re: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    While in Lansing, also visit Marshall Music Co.
    "Music is the only noise for which one is obliged to pay." ~ Alexander Dumas

  15. #12

    Default Re: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    Thanks to all the posters for the advice. I went to Elderly for the first time today and loved it! My fingers hurt from playing so many different mandolins. I fell in love with and came away with an Eastman MDA815 Mandola. That wasn't the best part of the day... I got to play their 1924 Gibson F-5 Lloyd Loar!!! Unbelievable - super great experience and one I will not forget for a long time.

  16. #13

    Default Re: Hands on shopping in Northern Michigan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dchip View Post
    .. I got to play their 1924 Gibson F-5 Lloyd Loar!!! Unbelievable - super great experience and one I will not forget for a long time.
    Stan is the man!....Spent a few years living just a few miles east of Hell....Michigan and many a Saturday morning at Elderly.

Posting Permissions

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