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Thread: Eastman MD515 Upgrades

  1. #1

    Default Eastman MD515 Upgrades

    I've made a few upgrades to my MD515 recently that I'm really happy with. The biggest one has been switching out the Ping tuners for some Grover 309s. MAJOR difference. They're super smooth, hold tune very well, and didn't break the bank. A few months ago I installed a K&K pickup, which I've never had any problems with in a live setting. I also got some rubber grommets to help deaden the strings behind the bridge, and just bought a Lakota leather strap which I really dig!

    I got this Mandolin from my FiancÚ for Christmas last year, so I don't plan on getting a new one any time soon. Does anyone have any recommendations on what else to upgrade? My luthier says most other parts are pretty solid.

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  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    S.W. Wisconsin

    Default Re: Eastman MD515 Upgrades

    I would take the grommets out and simply glue a piece of leather under the end of the tailpiece. It would be out of sight, and no fussing when changing strings and you don't have to replace it. I have done that for decades and works great. That is just me tho, nice looking mandolin, enjoy. Nice of your fiance too.

  3. #3
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    St. Paul, MN

    Default Re: Eastman MD515 Upgrades

    Depending on the model, it might already have felt under the tailpiece. If the grommets seem to help, I say keep them. Have used them on my Eastman OM.

    The only other upgrade I'd recommend would be taking it to get a pro setup, make sure the bridge is level and tight to the top, and that the nut is cut properly. Both are usually good on Eastman, but a good luthier can make it better.

    Other than that, my recommendation is it play it a lot. Sounds like you're doing it right with that instrument.
    2008 Weber Gallatin F, 2018 Collings MT, 1989 Flatiron Performer A, 1935 Gibson A-50, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305

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