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Thread: F4 Mandolin Copy

  1. #1

    Default F4 Mandolin Copy

    Hi, I'm new to this site. I have a great F5 style mando made by Olin Davis, Rattlesnake mandolins and an old Gibson A-something. Both are wonder full but Ive been trying to find an F4 at an affordable price to use as a travel mando. Presently renting an Epiphone mm 40L and am only medium happy with it. Has anyone got any suggestions for an F4 copy under or about $1000?

  2. #2

    Default Re: F4 Mandolin Copy

    A used Eastman may fit the bill but I would play it first as their oval holes are not as good as their F-hole mandolins unless things things have changed since 2016 which was the last time I played one. Looked really good but overbuilt I reckon. Too heavy.

    On the Uk we have Pilgrim and Ashbury F4 copies. Both pressed tops I think but quote cheap and as a travel mandolin they'd be fine. I assume they are in USA perhaps under different brand name.

  3. #3
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Leesburg, VA

    Default Re: F4 Mandolin Copy

    I still regret trading my MK-O for a custom octave mandolin a decade ago. Yep. The Michael Kelly line, bought used. Once I had the frets and neck adjusted by Steve Sauve in North Adams, MA it was awesone. Truly it was a great instrument for its price point.
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Andrew Jerman Irwin-style 5 string electric "Stealie", Eastman 515, Crafter M85E, Dillion 335 style, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
    Boards: Acoustic Electric
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Rivera Clubster Royale Recording Head; Laney Cub 10 & Cab, Peavey Studio Pro

  4. #4
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    St. Paul, MN

    Default Re: F4 Mandolin Copy

    I've played the Eastman F style oval holes. Not as big a fan of those as the A style ovals. But that's just my opinion. I'd still suggest finding a used 614 and seeing if you like it.

    Other than that, can't think of a reasonable priced F style oval hole.

    Good luck in your search.
    1935 Gibson A50, 2018 Collings MT, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1935 Kalamazoo KM-21, 1941 Strad-O-Lin, 2018 Eastman MDO-305, 1950's Californian

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: F4 Mandolin Copy

    Chat with “Sonny” Morris. He’s making some nice mandolins at very good prices. Can’t recall offhand what his base F2/4 style is priced at, but he may work with you if you go without any bling. They occasionally pop up used in the classifieds. I’ve not personally bought from him to date, but I’ve inquired about a couple, and he was always very pleasant and generous with his time.

    I’ve only played a couple of Eastman ovals and both were actually very good, but there’s variability instrument to instrument with all their instruments, so I may have lucked out with the couple I tried...

  6. #6
    Registered User
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    Apr 2019
    Boston, MA

    Default Re: F4 Mandolin Copy

    Yeah I was going to mention Sonny Morris too. Last I saw, his price list was around $1250 for an F style (either oval- or F-hole), but that's probably at least somewhat out of date.

    Another option is Mia Mandolins, made by a woman named Clarinda in Arkansas. There's a new F4 on eBay from her right now at $900. I have not seen or played one, but there's one thread on here where people seem to have a positive impression.

  7. #7
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Default Re: F4 Mandolin Copy

    Quote Originally Posted by nathanh View Post
    Yeah I was going to mention Sonny Morris too. Last I saw, his price list was around $1250 for an F style (either oval- or F-hole), but that's probably at least somewhat out of date.
    There’s a used one in the classifieds for $1200:
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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