Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Looking to upgrade

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    6

    Default Looking to upgrade

    OK, I have $5000 to spend. Let me have an opinion as to the best mandolin for around that price.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    A, F or 2 point? Type of music you play mostly? Knowing that will help but a lot will come down to personal preference for sound, neck shape and feel. You should be able to find a great mandolin for your budget.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    I play bluegrass and oldtime. Prefer a F style. Currently looking at Collings and Weber

  4. #4

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    For five grand I'd buy the best used F style I could find. You can find luthier built instruments in that range. You would get the low end of new F styles for that. The exception that comes to mind is the Northfield Big Mon, a worthy contender in any company.

    But just look at what you can get in the classifieds. Not saying a Collings MF wouldn't do you very nicely.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  5. #5
    Hands of Pot Metal
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Posts
    1,402

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    It’s the one you played that sounded the best, to you. Gibson, Flatiron, Weber, Collings and Ratliff come to mind. You can spend all or part of your budget there.

    I don’t think there’s a ‘best’, but there will be a voice that really speaks to you. Listen well.
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,170

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    It’s the one you played that sounded the best, to you. Gibson, Flatiron, Weber, Collings and Ratliff come to mind. You can spend all or part of your budget there.

    I don’t think there’s a ‘best’, but there will be a voice that really speaks to you. Listen well.
    +1 on that ^^^^^. Play lots of mandolins, one will feel like "coming home." That's the one for you.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Kernersville, NC
    Posts
    2,556
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    Nice budget. Visit a store that has as many to play as possible. Know that mandolins sound different in a large room. Wander off somewhere cozy to play. You will likely chose one that you never considered.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    3,246

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    Check out a Girouard , built by Max Girouard !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Kernersville, NC
    Posts
    2,556
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnKF View Post
    OK, I have $5000 to spend. Let me have an opinion as to the best mandolin for around that price.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/137490#137490 Done!

  10. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Mark Wilson For This Useful Post:


  11. #10
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,686

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    It all depends on what kind of sound you're going for.
    In addition to all the mandolins previously mentioned, 5K will get you a nice F-4.
    Or you might drive over to Gruhn's and take a look at the Wienman.

    As a matter of fact, I count 40 mandolins between $4000 and $5500 in Nashville: 11 at Gruhn's, and 29 at Carter's. You're within easy driving distance. Spend an afternoon there, and hopefully you'll find something that suits you.
    Last edited by rcc56; Apr-06-2019 at 9:16pm.

  12. The following members say thank you to rcc56 for this post:


  13. #11
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Frederick,MD
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
    +1 on that ^^^^^. Play lots of mandolins, one will feel like "coming home." That's the one for you.
    I agree-- if you're willing to spend that much, it would be well worth your while to get to a dealer who has quite a few instruments on hand, even if it means traveling a good distance. Play them all, in all price ranges until one "talks" to you.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

  14. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO & Chesterfield, MO
    Posts
    2,564

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    It all depends on what kind of sound you're going for.
    In addition to all the mandolins previously mentioned, 5K will get you a nice F-4.
    Or you might drive over to Gruhn's and take a look at the Wienman.

    As a matter of fact, I count 40 mandolins between $4000 and $5500 in Nashville: 11 at Gruhn's, and 29 at Carter's. You're within easy driving distance. Spend an afternoon there, and hopefully you'll find something that suits you.
    Take a few days to visit Nashville. Bring your current mandolin and play it side by side with every mandolin in your price range at Gruhn's and Carter's. Ask to use a private room where you can really listen without distraction. I would play the ones that you like a few times over a day or 2.
    I would pay particular attention to this one:
    https://cartervintage.com/collection...iwamoto-f5-new
    If it is as good as the one at Dusty Strings, you'll be hard pressed to find better at that price:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	MN986-2_1024x1024.jpg 
Views:	11 
Size:	100.7 KB 
ID:	175889Click image for larger version. 

Name:	MN986_1024x1024.jpg 
Views:	20 
Size:	75.9 KB 
ID:	175890

    Also, If you have cash in hand, I'm sure you can negotiate the price by 5-10%.

  15. #13

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    It all depends on what kind of sound you're going for.
    In addition to all the mandolins previously mentioned, 5K will get you a nice F-4.
    Or you might drive over to Gruhn's and take a look at the Wienman.

    As a matter of fact, I count 40 mandolins between $4000 and $5500 in Nashville: 11 at Gruhn's, and 29 at Carter's. You're within easy driving distance. Spend an afternoon there, and hopefully you'll find something that suits you.

    Now that is a mandolin town. I'd be hard pressed to lay my hands on even one good used mandolin.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  16. #14
    Troy Shellhamer 9lbShellhamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Conway, NH
    Posts
    884

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    Collings MF Deluxe

    (Or if you can find a used Gibson f5 Custom from TMS with the big frets...)

    I'm obviously biased
    *2002 Collings MT2
    *2016 Gibson F5 Custom
    *Martin D18

  17. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Greer, SC
    Posts
    441

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    I would buy the Elkhorn currently listed in the classifieds here on MC.
    Last edited by Bob Buckingham; Apr-07-2019 at 4:23pm. Reason: link was wrong

  18. #16
    Registered User Al Trujillo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Southern Colorado
    Posts
    669

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    Avenue Guitars has a sweet used Weber Fern at $4,500....
    https://www.avenueguitars.com/collec...-mandolin-2004

    But...for the same price they have an incredible new Northfield Big Mon...the only black top that I ever thought I'd want to own!
    https://www.avenueguitars.com/collec...top-sn-b190134
    Last edited by Al Trujillo; Apr-07-2019 at 8:55pm. Reason: Added Northfield information

  19. #17
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    413

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    Spend the day in Nashville. Play everything. Pick the one you like best.

  20. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,893

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    Collings and Weber are making some awesome instruments right now, so I don’t think you could go wrong with either, but I agree, make the trip over to Nashville and play as many as you can. You may find a Collings or Weber that you love, or you might be surprised what speaks to you, and by what you think you’d love but don’t...
    Chuck

  21. #19
    man about town Markus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,944
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    I just played a collection of 7 Webers at a local store. Two clearly had it [if you're talking projection, woody/deep tones, and sweetness far up the neck] ... which were the most expensive one, and one of two seemingly identical Gallatins. Playing those two Gallatins back and forth was weird as despite the same looks there seemed to be such a strong difference between the two, one just sang. Everything else were fine mandolins, but it was a good personal reminder that buying in person is worth a pretty large amount of effort.

    I'm upgrading in a month or so and was planning on ordering online - now realize that I'd rather delay it a few weeks and even drop the budget by a few hundred bucks to afford playing them all in person.

    With my last instrument there was one on the wall that seemed superior, I am hoping this time it's the same experience.

    I am generally not a fan of Webers and am not looking for an F style - but I nearly walked away with that one Gallatin as it was among the nicest $3k F styles I've played in a long long time.
    Collings MT2
    Breedlove OF
    Ellie eMando
    Schmergl Devastator

  22. #20

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    An open mind and a town like Nashville, coupled with a healthy budget equals a great buying experience.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  23. The following members say thank you to Br1ck for this post:


  24. #21
    Registered User Al Trujillo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Southern Colorado
    Posts
    669

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    This Weber Big Sky has been posted on Classified's...very nice! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYT5195S67E

  25. The following members say thank you to Al Trujillo for this post:


  26. #22

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by 9lbShellhamer View Post
    Collings MF Deluxe

    (Or if you can find a used Gibson f5 Custom from TMS with the big frets...)

    I'm obviously biased
    Unforeseen circumstance had me going to Gryphon just two weeks after my last visit, and I paid extra attention to the Collings line of f styles. What Collings does really well, IMHO, is nail the fine line between resonance and bright cutting tone. My Arches kit is quite a bit louder, has a pleasant tone, but doesn't have the richness Collings builds into their mandolins. Never mind the fit and finish Collings provides.

    But the price is steep. Well so is every other f style. I doubt my shaiiowness could live with the basic MF, but the MF Deluxe is a beauty. Much above that and the sphincter factor takes over. I am also enamored with the Merlot finish. Sight unseen, a Collings is as safe a bet as you can get. But even then, the ones I played yesterday were not created equal. All were very good.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  27. #23
    Registered User Steve Sorensen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Santa Clarita, CA
    Posts
    2,305

    Default Re: Looking to upgrade


Posting Permissions

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