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Thread: Eastman MD314?

  1. #1

    Default Eastman MD314?

    So here we go again. I have a serious attack of MAS right now for an F Style. I like my KM-505 but now its time for a F.

    As I live in Sweden I have a really limited range of mandolins. And the ones you find are sometimes 300 dollars more expensive here than in the US.

    Ive always been fond of the looks of Gibson F2s. As I mostly play americana music I think the warmer tone would benefit our sound.

    So I found an Eastman 314. Seems like it discontinued really fast.

    Most Eastmans seems to get good reviews.
    Would the 315/314 line be equal or better to my Kentucky KM-505?

    EDIT: The MD514 is not avaible but I also consider the 515. Even though its about 300 dollar more expensive.

    All best,

    Last edited by Roda; Feb-24-2019 at 3:26pm.

  2. #2
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Saint Augustine Beach FL

    Default Re: Eastman MD314?

    Hey Simon, I have owned a 315 and a 314 (both at the same time) and liked them quit a bit. The 314 had a richer Low end then the 315 but the 315 had a stronger mid range. I don't think you could go wrong with either one.

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  3. #3

    Default Re: Eastman MD314?

    Thanks for your input, Charles. Appreciate it!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Eastman MD314?

    Any of the cheaper Eastman ovals will sound about the same, 314, 305, 514, etc.
    Same for the F-hole models.

    So it doesn't matter if you get a 314 or a 514 tone-wise.

    But f-hole vs oval hole is a big difference, they are built to produce a different tone. Oval holes are darker, more low end, and more sustain down low. Old-time and even classical can be played on them. Their loss of upper mids and highs however make them less useful in an acoustic jam where you need raw power to cut through.

    For at-home-alone playing however (and I do a lot of classical too), I have found I prefer ovals, even when playing bluegrass, because I love the richer fuller sound.

    As always YMMV.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

  5. #5
    Registered User G7MOF's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: Eastman MD314?

    Don't the Kentucky have a flat finger board the Eastman is radiused?
    I never fail at anything, I just succeed at doing things that never work....

    Fylde Touchstone Walnut Mandolin.
    Gibson Alrite Model D.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Boulder, CO & Chesterfield, MO

    Default Re: Eastman MD314?

    Quote Originally Posted by kurth83 View Post
    Any of the cheaper Eastman ovals will sound about the same, 314, 305, 514, etc.
    Same for the F-hole models.

    So it doesn't matter if you get a 314 or a 514 tone-wise.
    I disagree. The matte finish of the 300 level vs the gloss finish of the 500 level makes a tonal difference. I actually prefer the more woody tone of the 300 series. The gloss of the 500 series imparts a brighter sound.

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

  8. #7

    Default Re: Eastman MD314?

    Thanks for your inputs, I actually found a used Eastman prototype...
    NMD thread coming later. Cheers.

  9. #8
    Registered User CelticDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    West Hartford, CT

    Default Re: Eastman MD314?

    Apologies for hijacking this thread. After a bit of a mandolin hiatus, I'm casting about for an instrument, and the Eastman's fit my budget at the moment. An MD314 would be really cool, but seems to be discontinued? I found one from a British dealer, so I may go for that. As someone else said, of the Eastman's I've played, I prefer the 300 series, and it makes sense to me that it's the finish. Any other thoughts on the 314, or alternates?

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