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Thread: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

  1. #26

    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Nikos Apollonio.

  2. #27
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Marty, I can certain remember years ago when Nikos was advertising really nice instruments on our Classifieds for under 1000, but I just looked at his website and it seems like his instruments have gotten a lot more expensive over the last couple of years. I didn’t see anything under the OP’s limit.
    Last edited by multidon; May-01-2019 at 8:14am.
    Don

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  4. #28

    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Double post, sorry!
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  5. #29

    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by DocT View Post
    Any intonation issues like those said above.

    BTW, thanks for the video lessons.
    Thanks! Mine plays in tune all the way up with no intonation issues, but I got it used so I don't know if it had work done previously.

    Thanks,
    Baron
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  7. #30

    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    I got my Eastman Octave new from Kieran Moloney in Galway and it played perfect straight out of the case. No doubt Kieran gave it a once over before shipping but absolutely no hesitation in recommending one at that price point, I'm really enjoying it

  8. #31

    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smurts View Post
    I got my Eastman Octave new from Kieran Moloney in Galway...
    I'll have to go see them! I've walked by the shop many times, but honestly I assumed it would be like most other music shops in touristy areas... lots of poly finished ukuleles and maybe a plywood tenor banjo.

  9. #32
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    I can't speak to the quality/tone/feel of the Pono OMs directly, but I bought a tenor uke from them that's an outstanding little instrument, and one of the few in the sub-1000 dollar range with truss rods. I sent a "thank you" email to the guys at the Ukulele Site for their set up and commented that I was really impressed that an "entry level" uke could be so good. I was good naturedly reprimanded that my uke was not at all entry level. Assuming similar quality, I would definitely consider their OM offerings unless you just have to have arch-topped tone, in which case the Eastman really has no competition under 1000.

    FWIW, my Pono uke's build quality reminds me a lot of my Flatiron 1N's, as a point of reference.
    Chuck

  10. #33
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    One other "hack" you might be able to do; get an 8-string baritone uke, and restring with the appropriate gauges to GDAE. Hey presto, nylon-string octave mando! I did this with a four-string baritone uke, and it has a lovely classical guitar tone. It does not approximate a steel-string instrument at all, but it is a fantastic alternative and a great, relatively inexpensive way to dip your toes into fifths-tuned instruments without the commitment to the high cost of real mando-family instruments.

    I used the D'Addario String Tension Calculator to figure out what I needed. Happy to help if this sounds appealing.
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  11. #34

    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    I'll have to go see them! I've walked by the shop many times, but honestly I assumed it would be like most other music shops in touristy areas... lots of poly finished ukuleles and maybe a plywood tenor banjo.
    No quite the opposite, Iíve only been in there once but have had a couple go online dealings with Kieran and heís as helpful and knowledgable as they come. The shop is great, plenty of high end instruments there to pore over

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  13. #35
    Celtic Bard michaelpthompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    I have a Gold Tone, which I like pretty well. Bought it used from a friend for $300. I'm told it's equivalent quality to the Trinity College. I had my favorite luthier do a set up, which very much improved the action and playabiity.

  14. #36

    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    I can't speak to the quality/tone/feel of the Pono OMs directly, but I bought a tenor uke from them that's an outstanding little instrument, and one of the few in the sub-1000 dollar range with truss rods. I sent a "thank you" email to the guys at the Ukulele Site for their set up and commented that I was really impressed that an "entry level" uke could be so good. I was good naturedly reprimanded that my uke was not at all entry level. Assuming similar quality, I would definitely consider their OM offerings unless you just have to have arch-topped tone, in which case the Eastman really has no competition under 1000.

    FWIW, my Pono uke's build quality reminds me a lot of my Flatiron 1N's, as a point of reference.
    I'm very pleased with the build quality of my Pono octave mandolin. All solid woods, Engelmann spruce and Honduran mahogany. Gorgeous unstained ebony fingerboard and bridge. Tasteful MOP rosette. Ebony binding. Neck is well shaped and straight. Frets are all level and properly dressed. Tuners are nice quality.

    Best, Stevo

  15. #37
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Just bought the Ashbury style 32E octave mandola from Amazon. Yes I may burn in hell, but after all these years Im playing something I can call a musical instrument. It was 40% off the 735 euro mrrp, just over 400 euros...
    So I couldnít say no, but I did sit in dread for 48 hours wondering what I had bought.

    And there were problems, and of course you see the problems before you get a chance to tune up and play the thing.

    The string cover plate made of hard wood with diagonal grain is slightly off centre by 2 mm. The white Ashbury logo is very white, almost no rainbow-like mother of pearl, so it almost looks painted, the wooden bridge made from local senna siamea looks like it was cut with a chainsaw, and the end pins for the strings are hammered in unsymetrically, some 1mm out.
    Whatís interesting is that all of the sort of extra type work after the main factory production seems a bit bodged whereas the rest of the instrument is of an extremely high standard, I still hadnít heard it so this gave me hope!

    And this is what I cared about:
    The action is great, though the neckís been torsioned a bit too flat.
    The rest of the body, finish, pegs etc are excellent, it came with chrome strap buttons and a really nice case.

    So I tuned it up, and, WOW WHAT AN INSTRUMENT!
    Im really happy with it. It has such a pretty tone, the 4th string growls but still has a woody sound, capo at the fifth fret gives a warm tenor mandola sound, and high strings around the 12 fret are lovely, and also really LOUD with a sort of clean resonance. No twanging boom here.
    Iíd definitely have payed the full price too -if Id had the money! And there are the even nicer looking style S mandolas too.
    So thanks Ashbury. Iíll post a vid soon.

  16. #38
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    The Ashbury is a nice instrument and great value for money. Sadly mine is going to its new home today. I loved the instrument but it wasn’t getting played enough especially after I bought a new guitar so it had to go.

  17. #39
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    atsunrise- congrats on your new instrument. Sounds like a great buy. The small problems you noted are all easily correctable I think. If it were mine, I might be tempted to try drilling new mounting holes to center the truss rod cover a bit better, smooth the rough edges of the bridge with a little fine sanding, and of course re-seat the bridge pins properly.

    Funny thing about using locally sourced “Senna Siamea”. It would be perfectly adequate for the job, having about the same hardness as black walnut. But it has a name that would have most of us in the USA scratching our heads. From a marketing standpoint, they should use the “trade name” for that wood- “pheasantwood”. It was so named apparently for the grain colors and their resemblance to a pheasant’s tail feathers.

    The Vietnamese county of origin for these gives me pause. Luthiers abound in Vietnam, but some who have purchased Vietnamese made instruments n the USA from big jobbers like Antonio Tsai have had negative experiences related to problems with unseasoned or inadequately seasoned wood. I would hope, however, that an outfit like Hobgoblin would exercise some sort of quality control over that. Because of the high humidity over there, it’s likely the wood has to be kiln dried to be usable.
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
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    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

  18. #40
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Big fan of what Kilin Reece is doing at Pono and they're widely available.




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  20. #41

    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Where are Pono Octaves made?
    Loar LM-370

  21. #42

    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by DocT View Post
    Where are Pono Octaves made?

    My Pono MND-20 has a label saying made in Indonesia.

  22. #43
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    I believe Pono is owned by ko’olau?
    The factory in Java:

    https://youtu.be/Rpkq1i6VtC8

    and:
    http://koolauukulele.com/pono/

  23. #44

    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    I own a Gold Tone OM800+, which can easily be found around or under $800. I enjoy mine, and I would recommend it to anyone who is fairly new to the octave mandolin. Eastman makes a beautiful looking octave (MDO305) for $875, which can be found at https://www.eastmanguitars.com/mdo305. Now, I have never played one but I would put complete trust in anything made by Eastman.

  24. #45

    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    I played an Eastman MDO305 octave mandolin in a shop today and it was nice. Well built and comfortable to play.
    Best,
    Stevo

  25. #46
    fishing with my mando darrylicshon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    I have a Michael Kelly Octave Mandolin, which i paid $600 i am very happy with it. It plays well and sounds good, well at least to me.
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  26. #47
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by darrylicshon View Post
    I have a Michael Kelly Octave Mandolin, which i paid $600 i am very happy with it. It plays well and sounds good, well at least to me.
    You got a good deal. I paid $900 for mine (the F5 model Octave Plus). It has about 21" scale and with a narrow neck is very easy to play. Intonation on mine was bad; I eventually had a local luthier carve a new saddle. I bought my Cricketfiddle F4 shortly thereafter, haven't plaid the MK since. Tried selling it a few times; no one wants these.

  27. #48

    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by stevojack665 View Post
    I played an Eastman MDO305 octave mandolin in a shop today and it was nice. Well built and comfortable to play.
    Best,
    Stevo
    I bought a 305 this past weekend. Love it!

  28. #49
    Jerry Cobbs jerrycobbs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Got my MDO-305 a couple of weeks ago and can't keep my hands off of it. Eastman has a hit on their hands if they can keep up with demand.
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  29. #50
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    Default Re: Who makes a good inexpensive Octave Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    You got a good deal. I paid $900 for mine (the F5 model Octave Plus). It has about 21" scale and with a narrow neck is very easy to play. Intonation on mine was bad; I eventually had a local luthier carve a new saddle. I bought my Cricketfiddle F4 shortly thereafter, haven't plaid the MK since. Tried selling it a few times; no one wants these.
    Send it to Randy January at the lending library. Take a deduction off your taxes next year
    https://www.cbaweb.org/Learning/LendingLibrary

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