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Thread: When or why to upgrade

  1. #51
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    When is NOW. Why doesn't matter.

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  3. #52

    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    Because you can

  4. #53
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by fatt-dad View Post
    (we lost Cindy.)

    f-d
    Not the first time we lost someone here, maybe she is just absorbing all the information.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  6. #54
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    I'll agree with those suggesting you probably won't get much of an upgrade from the KM 150 until you get into the 900-1500 dollar range. KM-900/950 and 1000/1050 and Eastman offerings in that range, Silverangel Econo (at least used), Weber Gallatin and absaroka (used), Gibson A9 (used), Ratliff. Collings MTs seem to be more in the 1600-1900 range used now, and are excellent instruments, though I chose to keep my SA Econo over my MT. The MT had an almost perfect neck and was an exceptional mandolin, but I preferred the tone of the SA (if the MT had been my only mandolin I'd have been very happy with it).

    Sure, there are some really good beginner mandolins being made in the 500-900 range, but they're not going to be an incrementally large enough step for you to really notice. I have an Eastman 315, which sells new for $699 at most places, and it's a very good mandolin for that price. Bought it on clearance and use it as a beater/office mandolin, and am pleased with it, but never played it at home when I had the SA or the MT to pick up preferentially. And, though it's about twice the cost of a KM-150, I don't think it's necessarily an upgrade, unless you just gotta have a scroll...
    Chuck

  7. #55
    formerly Philphool Phil Goodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Giordano View Post
    ... I have two mandolins, a The Loar and a Weber oval....... I bought the Weber because I always wanted an oval. ...
    Hey Lou. I see that your The Loar is being sold. Have you upgraded without telling us?
    Phil

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  8. #56
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Don't play head games with yourself over your worthiness to own a nice instrument. In fact I would argue that your musical progress would best be made investing in an instrument slightly beyond your means. You will have made a commitment to yourself to improve. Because of this you will find the time to play more. Furthermore, you will want to open the case to look at it's incredible beauty. If you open the case you will pick it up to look at the back. If you pick it up, you will play it. If you play it, you will get better.

    So I say to beginners and neophytes alike, buy a $4000 mandolin to start with if you can. Or a $1500 used A. Don't shortchange yourself. Starbucks can do without your $5 a day.

    Not worthy? Balderdash. Choosing to toil over a musical instrument in lieu of watching TV automatically makes you worthy.

    I can't tell you how much I'd like to stamp out that notion. I can't imagine how many more folks would be playing today if they had started out on a good instrument, be it a flute, accordian, banjo, or mandolin. Playing at any level should be a joyful experience unencumbered by self doubt or derision.

    OK, maybe not banjo. Banjo is for self loathing masochists.
    I agree with all of your points. I've been to Elderly and played a bunch of high end models, but realized the Eastman is a pretty good instrument and I'm content (as of now) with it. I'm well beyond the "am I worthy" stage. Hell yeah I'm worthy !!! BTW, I don't watch TV at all (I see a TON of live music instead), except the GB Packers, where I'm afforded the opportunity of ~3hrs of uninterrupted playing, except when Rogers does something unbelievable and I have to stop and shake my head for 5 minutes.....
    - 2013 Eastman MD 505
    - 2013 Fender MandoStrat

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  10. #57

    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    That Rogers guy is really something, isn't he? We have to be content with Steph, Kevin, Clay.......

    Eastmans are pretty good, but I kept going into Gryphon, who has about as good an Eastman selection as you could hope for, and playing the Northfields and Collings and whatever was taken in trade or consignment, and the tone of the G string just got to me. Don't play these if you are happy. The jump for a significant improvement is a lot of money. But whatever you do, don't keep going into Elderly and playing mandolins. Go get your strings and leave. Don't wonder over and see what used mandolins came in the door. You don't want or need to know, do you? What's a piddling $500 off the new price, even if $3995 seems so much more reasonable than $4500. But hey, if $3995 seems like it'd doable, right there next to it for just $4450 is a clean instrument someone paid $5500 for, so man that's like having a grand in the bank.
    Silverangel A
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  11. #58
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    Well, if we're going down that path, don't go into Elderly & play the 1928 F5 fern. Am amazing instrument. (Huge bias alert - I have personal experience with it and know the owner.)

    All that said, I've played a few Eastman mandolins & could happily live with one. Then again, am reasonably satisfied with my Gibson A models.
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  12. #59
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    I'm back!
    I had to be in Seattle and so, as one does, I decided to check out a music store, and Dusty Strings showed a good selection of mandolins on its website. IRL, I was warmly welcomed and encouraged to sit in front of their wall of mandolins and try them out, and move into one of their small (not quite soundproof) rooms if I wanted to. Prices ranged from $700 to $4000+. This the best experience I've ever had in in a music store. Usually I feel ignored (talking about you, renown music store near Boston). Long story short, I fell in love with a Weber Gallatin, which broke my budget of $999. It was used, one ding, and cost $1400. I bought it. It was too great to pass up.

    The play-ability, the sound, the volume, the appearance, everything about it called to me. I'm not sure I'm worthy, but I AM sure I will work to be!

    I highly recommend Dusty Strings, for their selection of instruments and for the excellent staff and service. Thanks all y'all Cafe commenters for your advice and encouragement!

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  14. #60
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    Congratulations on your new mandolin. I hope it gives you pleasure for many years to come.

    The last time I was in Seattle was a loooong time ago, but I had a great experience at Dusty Strings too.

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  16. #61
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    Way to go Cindy, enjoy the Weber. When something speaks to you and it is within your means you will regret not getting it if you don't. I have yet to buy a new mandolin that was in my hands and not in an ad. I live in a mandolin wasteland and would love to play one that speaks to me, tho it would have to speak quite loudly, I love the one I have.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  18. #62

    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    You certainly made the very best upgrade you could have. Anything less would have been incremental. I've always thought the price that bought the most was a used $1200-1800 mandolin.

    Now your next upgrade really will be just because. Because you want a scroll, or because you want binding and inlay. From here on out tone wise it will be deminishing returns.
    Silverangel A
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    1913 Gibson A-1

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  20. #63
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    Congrats on the new mandolin. That's certainly a nice upgrade. Like others have said, you won't need to buy another one unless you want to. A couple of my friends play Gallatin models and they have never felt like they needed anything else. One performs regularly with his. Just a great instrument.

    Enjoy it.
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  22. #64
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    You folks are so much luckier than some. Y'all get out and travel around, visit nice, big music stores that aren't Guitar Center. Y'all have tried more mandolin brands and models than I am even aware of. I live in the acoustic music desert of central California and have only played fewer than 10 mandolins in my life. Three of those were beat-up Harmonys and two more were old beat-up tater bugs. That leaves the other five, all of which were at the Guitar Center I bought my The Loar 520 from.

    I simply cannot imagine what it would be like to play a truly fine mandolin. Whatever you do, whether you upgrade or not, take the time to enjoy the advantage y'all have over some of us poor folk. I ain't complaining, I'm trying to remind y'all how lucky you really are.

    Buckle your seat belt and then sit back and enjoy the ride. Blessings all

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  24. #65
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by RustyMadd View Post
    You folks are so much luckier than some. Y'all get out and travel around, visit nice, big music stores that aren't Guitar Center. Y'all have tried more mandolin brands and models than I am even aware of. I live in the acoustic music desert of central California and have only played fewer than 10 mandolins in my life. Three of those were beat-up Harmonys and two more were old beat-up tater bugs. That leaves the other five, all of which were at the Guitar Center I bought my The Loar 520 from.

    I simply cannot imagine what it would be like to play a truly fine mandolin. Whatever you do, whether you upgrade or not, take the time to enjoy the advantage y'all have over some of us poor folk. I ain't complaining, I'm trying to remind y'all how lucky you really are.

    Buckle your seat belt and then sit back and enjoy the ride. Blessings all
    You are correct about appreciating our fine mandolins, but I live in a mandolin desert too (would have to drive a minimum of two hours to find a store that even has ONE mandolin,) so I have bought all of my mandolins sight unseen (except pictures.) However, I have also not been disappointed, so don't give up - there is hope out there!

  25. #66
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
    You are correct about appreciating our fine mandolins, but I live in a mandolin desert too (would have to drive a minimum of two hours to find a store that even has ONE mandolin,) so I have bought all of my mandolins sight unseen (except pictures.) However, I have also not been disappointed, so don't give up - there is hope out there!
    As do many of us.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  26. #67

    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    Central California is a lot of territory, but not so much. You could get to the Bay Area in four to five hours. Heck, you could hit Gryphon and Sylvan and do it in a day if you were really motivated. Camp out at a State Beach in Santa Cruz even.

    That would give you access to Eastman, Northfield, Collings, Weber, Pava, Girouard, and even Ellis. Not close to going to Nashville, but a pretty good overview of current small builders.

    Heck, if I were in Bakersfield, I'd head for Phoenix and TMS.
    Silverangel A
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    1913 Gibson A-1

  27. #68
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    I have recently upgraded myself. I have enjoyed my hard won Eastman 305 for a good while. I was happy with it until I wondered what more there was and made the mistake of playing a Collings... that did me in ... A friend told me "if you can't afford a Collings, don't ever play one." I knew that I WANTED to upgrade, but at the rate it was taking me to save up my $$, I wasn't sure I'd ever get into Collings money, and I wasn't sure I'd be completely happy with a Collings. Fast forward a year and a half later and having saved and saved (selling A LOT of armrests... thank you all) and playing anything and everything I could get my hands on and even buying and selling something that turned out to be not my flavor, I am awaiting delivery of a Custom made (100% for me) Silverangel Econo A... Ken Just finished all the details and will be sending it out on Monday. I'm as pleased as punch and I don't even have the instrument yet.

    Congrats Cindy!,.. Share some pics of your new baby!!!
    aka: Spencer
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  29. #69

    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    I took my SA into Gryphon recently and played it side by side with Northfields, Collings, and a Weber. They are all very different, but my SA was certainly in the same league.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  30. #70
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    Default Re: When or why to upgrade

    -Rant On-

    Once again the question was fairly straight forward but since it has to do with acquiring (i.e. consuming) the thread is going on 4? pages. Examine yourselves. The un-examined life isn't worth living.

    Am I the only one that seems to notice this trend? Maybe I'm the only one that cares about it. Maybe I should just mind my own business and return to helping in any way I can and leave you fine people alone to follow your own bliss.

    Sorry- Rant Off - Blessings

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