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Thread: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

  1. #26

    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minstrelle View Post
    Thank you everyone. Yes I'm here and appreciate all your help. I was busy practicing before LOL.
    The consensus seems to be that I should stay with what I have, it is after all a lovely instrument. I am a she, not a he by the way!
    You're probably a Myers Briggs P, a perceiver. I am, too. We're the kind who like browsing but often regret buying. Other people, J's (judges), make fast decisions and feel good about getting them out of the way.

    The quick test: If you're still looking at the dinner menu when the server comes around, you're a P.

    Enjoy what you have. There's probably an oval in your future. And when you do get around to looking for it, you'll enjoy the search!

  2. #27
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minstrelle View Post
    I think I should have bought an oval soundhole mandolin. I got the F hole shape instrument. Purchased an Eastman 505 from the Mandolin store by mail
    Quote Originally Posted by Minstrelle View Post
    Thank you everyone. Yes I'm here and appreciate all your help. I was busy practicing before LOL.
    The consensus seems to be that I should stay with what I have, it is after all a lovely instrument. I am a she, not a he by the way!
    If you don't mind, can we hear more from you about why you feel like you may have bought the wrong instrument? We can theorize all month in trying to help you, but hearing a few more details from you would really bring out more on-target answers.

    Thank you!
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

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  3. #28
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    One has absolutely no right to even mention the Shmergel to a newbie, much less the Stealth. Shame on you. He has probably been here long enough to realize the chances are slim of owning a Loar, and there you go mentioning the Shmergal, and adding salt to the wound with the Stealth, affectionately called the holerchanger. Show some mercy why don't you.
    Well, Now that the Shmergel Stealth has been mentioned....is it available in the left handed version ?
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  4. #29
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    As a beginner I went back and forth on getting an oval vs. F hole. I spoke to Dennis and Brian at TMS and ended up with a MD505 and couldn't be happier. Give it a while to grow on you.

    Rob
    Eastman MD505CC/N

  5. #30

    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    I heard a side by side comparison on a YouTube class and almost gasped at the beauty of the oval hole sound. Then I watched a video exchange on Artistworks and saw the oval that I almost bought. But Dennis at The Mandolin Store thought the F hole instrument was more versatile.

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  7. #31
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minstrelle View Post
    I heard a side by side comparison on a YouTube class and almost gasped at the beauty of the oval hole sound. Then I watched a video exchange on Artistworks and saw the oval that I almost bought. But Dennis at The Mandolin Store thought the F hole instrument was more versatile.
    Thank you for the info!

    My opinion, and I'm sure others will offer theirs and they'll be just as valid, is that you have to follow your heart. If you're hearing the sound you really love from an O, you should get one. And especially since you talked with Dennis Vance originally about it, I'd suggest talking to him first about it, again.

    I'll add though, while I haven't ever worked with Dennis, he has a great reputation, and I think he was probably right about versatility. But then again, if you're hearing what you want from an O, versatility may not be one of your requirements from a mandolin.

    Good luck with this!
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

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  9. #32
    Struggle Monkey B381's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Buy or trade...I have both a Eastman 305 an Eastman 404.....very different animals.
    "It doesn't matter how much you invest in your instrument until you invest in you and your ability..."

    Kentucky KM-150
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  10. #33
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Some folks think you need this or that mandolin. If the one you have plays easily, sounds good, play it. You will grow and learn what you like about mandolin. Play every mando you can get your hands on. That way you can find out what you actually like best and then go for it. OF course what you like is subject to change. If Bill Monroe had played an A model, well all of those F's might not be so popular. One of my favorite mandolin players played a taterbug. It had an oval hole but I just play A models with F holes. They are less expensive than F's and sound as good to these old ears.

  11. #34
    fretboard roamer Paul Merlo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    I was quite relieved to read your anguish was choosing between oval and F holed mandolins, because my first impression of the subject line implied that you bought a banjo.
    Paul

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  12. #35

    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Oh no!!!!

  13. #36
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minstrelle View Post
    I heard a side by side comparison on a YouTube class and almost gasped at the beauty of the oval hole sound. Then I watched a video exchange on Artistworks and saw the oval that I almost bought. But Dennis at The Mandolin Store thought the F hole instrument was more versatile.
    I have both F-hole and oval hole instruments - they are all wonderful, and oval hole and F-hole instruments DO sound different. I use my oval hole for more "folk"-type playing and some classical, and F-hole for most everything else. I agree with those who say you will probably eventually want both. And welcome! There are other women here (myself included!)

  14. #37

    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Lots of advise but I might add one thing that I did not see mentioned. Strings can make a huge difference in sound. So you might experiment with a few different strings when the time comes and see if you find a sound more appealing to you. Pics can also make a difference.

  15. #38
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minstrelle View Post
    I heard a side by side comparison on a YouTube class and almost gasped at the beauty of the oval hole sound. Then I watched a video exchange on Artistworks and saw the oval that I almost bought. But Dennis at The Mandolin Store thought the F hole instrument was more versatile.
    First off. I know nothing. Now, I would be careful judging sound off of YouTube sound clips/comparisons. First there’s the unknown quality of the recording, and then there’s the quality of your speakers. Unknown to us pontificating on what you would do. I respect Dennis and his advice. I’d stick with the 505 for a while. Just this hacks $.02
    Thanks

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  16. #39
    Struggle Monkey B381's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    There a difference in the oval vs f style....it's quite noticeable.
    "It doesn't matter how much you invest in your instrument until you invest in you and your ability..."

    Kentucky KM-150
    Eastman MD-404
    Eastman MD-305
    Morgan Monroe MFM-300 (passed on to a new player)
    Rover RM-75

  17. #40

    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    I bought an oval a few years back to dabble in classical music (the dabbling continues). Had a 605, bought a 604 and fell in love, never went back to the F hole as a main player after that.

    IMHO there is no wrong instrument, only the next one...
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
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  18. #41

    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    - - - Updated - - -

    It is my opinion that if your first mandolin is a base line quality instrument, like all Km 150 and above Kentucky or equivalent Loar or Eastman, the type is unimportant. As long as you are not fighting a poor setup you are fine. Play for six months or so. Find out how to pull tone out of your mandolin. I did not understand this concept at first, but where you pick the strings, how hard you grip the pick, and how you fret a string has a lot of tonal effect. Once you can get what tone you can from your instrument, you are in a position to better evaluate other mandolins. You picked a great choice for this. Buy some different strings, like silk and steel or Monels and see how you react to them.

    Once you can play a fiddle tune or two, play as many mandolins as you can at stores or any musical gathering you attend. Most players will gladly help you out. Your second mandolin, be it a year or five down the line, will be the more important decision. That is where I’d council a $1200-1500 used A style. But for now learn to play some on what you have now. You will gravitate toward the style you wish to persue. Never did I think I’d be playing bluegrass licks, but I found them so infectious as to be pulled that direction.
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  19. #42

    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Donít sweat the difference yet. I am a celtic-style player of many years experience who plays a 505 for several reasons even though weíre ďsupposedĒ to prefer an oval-hole. It just suits me better in many circumstances (volume, strong bass, fast attack.) (Full disclosure: Iím always looking for the Right oval-hole!) Hang on to that one, work with it, it will reward you richly and take you a long way. Most of all, have fun.

  20. #43
    Registered User Al Trujillo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minstrelle View Post
    I think I should have bought an oval soundhole mandolin. I got the F hole shape instrument. Purchased an Eastman 505 from the Mandolin store by mail
    I used to think that I needed an oval-hole ever since I bought my f-hole. However in the intervening years I've played a few "O's" and concluded that I have a hard time hearing the sound coming from them and decided that I would keep the one I have. Unless you've played them before you might keep the one you have for a while and give it a try.

    Good luck on your search!

  21. #44
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Other than flat top guitars, the only 2 oval hole instruments I’ve owned are a Flatiron 1N and a Weber Hyalite OM. I loved the flatiron tone, but Dennis is correct, the F hole style really can play anything. Oval holes can, too, but, taking a flat top oval hole instrument to a BG jam is akin to taking a knife to a gun fight (sorry, bad analogy, but it’s all that popped into my head presently). I know, I did it once, and though my 1N was loud, it didn’t project through the fiddles and banjos. The Weber was also a great instrument, I just couldn’t bond with the 22.5 inch scale length. The Flatiron was a victim of downsizing when our youngest left for college. I miss having it, but, though I loved it, my Skip Kelley A5 is so much better I wasn’t playing the Flatiron at all, except when I’d think about selling it and get sentimental.

    I’ve worked with Dennis a couple of times, and he’s always exceeded my expectations on trade in values (based on discussions with local shops and a couple of other nationally well known shops who shall remain nameless, because they’re great shops I respect and weren’t trying to screw me, the policy is just the policy) and his willingness to try to make you happy. If you’re really sure you’re not going to be running out to BG jams soon and just have to have an oval hole mandolin, give him a call and talk options. If you don’t hear what you want, you can always sell the 505 and buy what you really want, but you’ll probably take the “used mando” price hit. Or, stick with what you have and when you’re ready to upgrade, then go for the Collings/Weber/Pava/Vintage Gibson oval hole that will be a keeper...

    Best wishes. Love these little 8 string wonders, but they can make you OBSESS, lol!
    Chuck

  22. #45
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    I don't know if the OP is in a position to buy an oval holed mandolin at this point but this American made Breedlove looks pretty tempting...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/149647#149647

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  23. #46
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    If you want to try and work with it I would do three things, play closer to the fretboard, Try different picks material and shape, and I would try different strings. But best bet if an Oval is what you want then find the oval you want and trade.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  24. #47

    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    I bought the wrong instrument and I knew it but as a beginner I thought that it was my skill that was wrong because it was such a nice instrument. I was very relieved when I accepted that it was the wrong instrument and found the right one. The people around me were in awe of the first one so I stuck it out for a year. All I can say is that if it feels wrong or sounds wrong ........ itís wrong no matter what anyone else thinks. On the other hand If you can afford 2 thatís another story.

  25. #48
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    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Dunno if I can afford the 505 but shoot me a PM if you want to get rid of it.

  26. #49

    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Lots of good advice here but Iíd have to say that if youíre really not happy with it then get the oval hole. You might lose a bit but think of it as you paid for experience and training which is never a bad thing. If youíre not happy itís going to affect your playing and general state of mind about it so get over it/keep it or sell/trade it. Most of all have fun...life is too short for second guessing.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

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  28. #50

    Default Re: What if I bought the wrong instrument?

    Well I went a little crazy and def bought the wrong instrument (banjo). Well at least it wasn't the synth.

    I figure - it's such a crazy time, why not go with it. After all, now that I think, what i plan to do with it is subversive..

    Hope the OP has sorted out the right mandolin. The wrong instrument isn't for everyone.

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