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Thread: mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

  1. #1

    Default mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

    I have a friend who wants to buy a mandolin to accompany himself when singing Italian songs. Are there any instruments in the $300 price range that might work well for that?

    Also could use a rec on a good place to buy. Do any shops include the price of a setup in the sale price?
    Last edited by JTC111; Sep-14-2019 at 3:47pm.

  2. #2
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

    Where are you located?
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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  3. #3

    Default Re: mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Where are you located?
    New York. But buying online is an option.

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    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

    Find an old bowl back or flat back Mandolin. A great visual to go with the music. And most of them sell below the $300 range. My father-in-law’s Mayflower bowl back (or “tater bud” ) Mandolin would have the look and sound to go with Italian songs.

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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

    I paid ~$300 for my Vega bowlback and it looks and sounds pretty good. It sounds good with O Solo Mio and Santa Lucia (my whole Italian repertoire). I see them on eBay from time to time for about the same cost as mine.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

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  8. #6

    Default Re: mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

    I appreciate the suggestions but my friend doesn't really have the experience to deal with an antique instrument. This will be his first mandolin and he needs it to play well with minimal work. As many of us who have bought antique instruments (in my case, guitars) know, there can be hidden issues that will cause us to invest quite a bit of money after the purchase. My buddy is going to be a new player and as such won't have the experience to evaluate or recognize issues with an antique instrument.

  9. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

    Best would be a used flattop like Big Muddy/MidMissouri or Flatiron or a few others. The only problem there would be the price. If $300 is his top price then any of those I mentioned would be a true bargain at that price and may not be readily available at under his top price.

    In all honestly it doesn't really matter what music he plays. Your friend can play Italian music on any mandolin. I suggested flattops for the sustain which would be nice to accompany singing. However, at that price I would just go for a decently made budget mandolin like these in his price range at Elderly. Elderly, the Mandolin store and many of the other MC sponsor-dealers would be good bets since they are attentive to set up.
    Last edited by Jim Garber; Sep-16-2019 at 10:47am.
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  11. #8

    Default Re: mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    However, at that price I would just go for a decently made budget mandolin like these in his price range at Elderly. Elderly, the Mandolin store and many of the other MC sponsor-dealers would be good bets since they are attentive to set up.
    I think The Mandolin Store includes a setup in the purchase price. Does Elderly do that as well? My only instrument experience with Elderly was when I bought a Bart Reiter banjo from them more than a decade ago.

  12. #9

    Default Re: mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

    I'd go for this Eastman LA-305 for $280.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/144304#144304
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Same model as Eastman MD-305, but labeled for Music&Arts retail.
    New, $500.
    Best, Stevo

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  14. #10

    Default Re: mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

    Quote Originally Posted by stevojack665 View Post
    I'd go for this Eastman LA-305 for $280.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/144304#144304
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	144304.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	122.3 KB 
ID:	179893
    Same model as Eastman MD-305, but labeled for Music&Arts retail.
    New, $500.
    Thanks for the heads up on that. I passed the info along.

  15. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

    Quote Originally Posted by JTC111 View Post
    I think The Mandolin Store includes a setup in the purchase price. Does Elderly do that as well? My only instrument experience with Elderly was when I bought a Bart Reiter banjo from them more than a decade ago.
    Yes, Elderly does that as well as other MC vendors. From their About page:
    Our repair shop sets up most instruments (new and used), unless we are selling them AS-IS at a bargain price.
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  17. #12
    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
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    Default Re: mando in $300 price range for Italian songs

    If the purpose is to sing Italian songs, I'd get an Italian-style instrument. There are some dealers who have vintage instruments in that price range and are reliable in terms of quality. Try Stutzman's and Bernunzio, both in Rochester.

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