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Thread: Seems like a "no brainer"

  1. #1
    2TonCommon
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    Default Seems like a "no brainer"

    Good evening everybody.
    Since I sliced my thumb carving a whale(yes, a whale) to the tune of 25 stitches I thought tonight my be an auspicious moment to ponder a seemingly no brainer business issue. As you may(or may not) know, I've been looking for an inexpensive A style mandolin kit to have some fun with. Keith T. has some really nice parts, but I don't have the acumen/skill for his quality stuff. Just wanted a stupid Saga AM-10 cheapish mandolin kit to either succeed or, more likely, completely screw-up and not worry about losing a ton of money. So, here's my deal - WHY has everyone stopped making budget but profitable A style mandolin kits? A Saga kit can't cost more than $5.00 US dollars to make somewhere in China and yet sell here for between $100.00 to $180.00(dubious Walmart Ad)? I don't want a spectacular mandolin, I already have one. I just want to have some fun putting together a somewhat easy kit(except the Grizzly kit - have had really bad luck with their stuff) that I might get lucky with and have it sound good and look funky. In any event, good luck trying to contact Saga, seems they either don't really exist or are incapable of responding, or maybe just don't give a d***. In any event, I won't be doing anything mandolinish until my thumb decides to re-attach itself permanently. Just thought I'd throw this out here tonight before the the painkillers kick-in and I won't even know what a computer is
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Have a great night everyone!
    Joe

  2. #2
    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seems like a "no brainer"

    Just tell me it wasn’t a narwhal.

  3. #3
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Seems like a "no brainer"

    They cost what they cost. You can't buy the raw wood alone from a lumber yard for anywhere near $5, and it won't be well seasoned.

    Best price wholesale on an inexpensive bridge, tuners, tailpiece, binding, fret wire, strings, etc. is going to be over $60; a slotted fingerboard is $16 to $22; $5 in metal parts plus a die if you make your own truss rod; etc. And then there's the finishing materials . . . It all adds up.

    If you want a Saga kit, the list price is $180. If you want to order one and they are not responding, you can order it from a Saga dealer. Instrument Alley advertises the Saga kit for $100 in the US. I don't know if they are legitimate or not, but that's about as low a price as you're going to find.

    International Violin sells a pre-assembled F-5 style mandolin in the white, product number 58933 for $375; or an F-5 kit, product number MK-5 for $370. They are legitimate, and they pick up the phone Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4:30 pm US Eastern Time, and have a phone number for international sales.

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  5. #4
    2TonCommon
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    Default Re: Seems like a "no brainer"

    No, a very hard spalted myrtlewood one. Damn near cut my thumb off. I'm SOOOOOO full of stupid
    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWilliam View Post
    Just tell me it wasn’t a narwhal.

  6. #5
    2TonCommon
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    Default Re: Seems like a "no brainer"

    Excellent advice and appreciated. Saga however has reassigned their merchandise to, you guessed it, Amazon. And of course - currently not avaialable. Very frustrating. Instrumentalley same thing - no stock. It's like thev've vanished or been discontinued.
    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    They cost what they cost. You can't buy the raw wood alone from a lumber yard for anywhere near $5, and it won't be well seasoned.

    Best price wholesale on an inexpensive bridge, tuners, tailpiece, binding, fret wire, strings, etc. is going to be over $60; a slotted fingerboard is $16 to $22; $5 in metal parts plus a die if you make your own truss rod; etc. And then there's the finishing materials . . . It all adds up.

    If you want a Saga kit, the list price is $180. If you want to order one and they are not responding, you can order it from a Saga dealer. Instrument Alley advertises the Saga kit for $100 in the US. I don't know if they are legitimate or not, but that's about as low a price as you're going to find.

    International Violin sells a pre-assembled F-5 style mandolin in the white, product number 58933 for $375; or an F-5 kit, product number MK-5 for $370. They are legitimate, and they pick up the phone Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4:30 pm US Eastern Time, and have a phone number for international sales.
    Last edited by 2TonCommon; May-17-2019 at 12:34am. Reason: spelling

  7. #6
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Seems like a "no brainer"

    Saga has never been in the habit of keeping their products consistently available.
    You might save up for the International Violin white mandolin or kit instead.

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  9. #7
    Notary Sojac Paul Kotapish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seems like a "no brainer"

    These guys have an F-5 kit for $150: https://www.solomusicgear.com/produc...dy-spruce-top/
    Just one guy's opinion
    www.guitarfish.net

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  11. #8
    2TonCommon
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    Default Re: Seems like a "no brainer"

    Hi Paul.
    Thanks for the one-up, but alas, they are out of stock plus I was looking for an "A" style maple so I could try out some colored staining techniques. These particular mandolins are Sapele which doesn't take colored stains at all. In any event, thanks very much for your help, I truly appreciate it. Have a great evening,
    Joe
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kotapish View Post
    These guys have an F-5 kit for $150: https://www.solomusicgear.com/produc...dy-spruce-top/

  12. #9
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Seems like a "no brainer"

    Get thee to the lumber yard, get a piece of metal pipe and a propane torch, a coping saw and/or a jig saw, a gouge, a couple of good cabinet scrapers, and an assortment of files and rasps. You don't have to have a bandsaw and fancy bending iron to make a mandolin.

    Remember, Strad didn't have no belt sander . . .
    Or a jig saw, a torch, or even store bought sandpaper . . .
    And he made his own calipers.

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  14. #10
    Gibson F5L Gibson A5L
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    Default Re: Seems like a "no brainer"

    Fellow traveler … Good fortune with the thumb healing. I had a somewhat similar incident with a finger tip and over time all was well. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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