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Thread: Mandolin study

  1. #1

    Default Mandolin study

    Hello. I am from Russia, so sorry for my English. I learn to play domra now. And i want to start play mandolin. So I have 2 questions.
    First, what mandolin is better? New Ibanez m510E, about 230$ or used Samick ( i don't know the model, it cost 300$ and it is about 20 years old) which i can take for 140$. I am a student and this price difference is big for me.
    Second, I search for University in Europe (especially German and Austria) with mandolin and can't find nothing. Only one in Cologne. Maybe someone knows any information?

  2. #2
    Registered User Joe Dodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin study

    If you could stretch your budget a bit, I would imagine the Eastman 305 listed at the top of the Classifieds section of the forum would probably be a huge step up from either of the two models you mentioned. That same model could probably be found used within the price range you've mentioned. I don't have any personal knowledge of either the Ibanez or the Samick, but they're beginner models that probably wouldn't satisfy a serious student. If that's the best you can afford, look for a great set-up.

    I'm afraid I have no advice on the second question.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mandolin study

    Thank you for answer. Unfortunatly, i can't spend so much money, because i bought professinal domra for study. I understand this is beginner models. I want to start learning, and want to choose better low-cost model. I am in Saint-Petersburg and even here there are not madolins. I tried only Stagg 50 and Caraya.

  4. #4
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin study

    I understand that (1) you can't stretch your budget, and (2) your choices are very limited in your locale.

    My advice is to turn over every stone and try to find more choices of used mandolins, and if you can't find any others, then try out each of those mandolins in your own hands. Neither is a very desirable long term instrument, so I would choose the one that feels and sounds best. You'll have to get hold of them and try them to find out.

    If it is impossible to try before you buy, then flip a coin to decide!
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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin study

    The Ibanez 510E is a basic plywood A-model mandolin with a big ol' single coil magnetic pickup and its related control knobs mounted on the top. As a learner, I doubt you'll be playing through an amplifier any time soon, so you don't need the electric pickup, and the weight of the pickup and controls will decrease the vibratory responsiveness of the top. I'd take that one off the table -- especially since your paying 20% more for it than you could buy it over here.

    The Samick's an unknown, since you don't know the model. Some Samick mandolins like the MA-3 have at least a solid wood top, which gives the hope that they'll sound better. At the lower price, I'd go for it -- with the proviso that you get a decent set-up, or that it's decently set up already. Can you get strings for it over there OK? And a tuner, and some kind of case or bag for it? I also like Mark G's advice, to keep your eyes and ears out for other private-sale mandolins. St Petersburgh's a big city, and I'll bet there are more mandolinists around.

    Here's an off-the-wall thought: even though you're probably not planning to play bluegrass music, there apparently is, or has been recently, a bluegrass club in your city, according to Bluegrass Today (2015). They might well be worth contacting, to get some information about possible mandolins for sale, places to get them set up and to buy accessories. Could be of some help.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Mandolin study

    Thanks! Very interesting advices. I'll try to find something. Most of mandolins for sale in nearest region are old and broken or Soviet plywood rubbish or very expensive. Pickup is advantage for me because I can get practice with music band which wants to play with me. Of course i am going to buy something better in the future, but now i want to try.
    I find out this is Samick SM20E
    I Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin study

    I have an Ibanez M510E. I use it when I need to plug in because my other instruments don't have pickups.

    As others have said, it's not a solid wood construction. That's a disadvantage in terms of sound. But it makes the instrument more affordable, which is also important.

    It feels quite nice under the fingers. The action is comfortable, which is important for beginners. But you already play domra, so you'd have no problem. The sound is okay for the price. It sounds like a mandolin, both unplugged and plugged in. Not all of them do.

    Here I'm playing my Ibanez. I don't have any recording of the instrument played through an amplifier, I'm afraid.

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  9. #8

    Default Re: Mandolin study

    Cool! Thank you for answer

  10. #9

    Default Re: Mandolin study

    Domra, nice!
    Can you post a photo and/or vid to the MandolinCafe Social Group?
    Quality not so important! All friends here.

  11. #10
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin study

    Some discussion of the Samick SM20E in this thread. Not much positive.

    Either way you're getting a plywood mandolin with a magnetic pickup -- which I guess is more attractive to you, since you may want to play in a band with it. From what I can see, the two are similar instruments. I'd go with the cheaper one, but of course the condition of the used Samick is a major consideration. Note the post in the above-linked thread about top sinkage.

    Good luck whichever way you decide to go.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
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    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
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  12. #11
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin study

    Hi Slinky,

    There was a thread here not too long ago featuring a You-Tube video filmed in a St. Petersburg music store. Here is the link:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...330&viewfull=1

    A store with this many guitars and ukes should either have some mandolins or knowledge of the local mandolin community. Sure, mandolins and players could be rare in St. Petersburg, but there are probably some there. Have you been to this store? Maybe they can help with your search!

    Good luck!

    Bob
    Purr more, hiss less.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Mandolin study

    I posted my videos if you interesting. https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/g...#gmessage71754
    Bob, this shop has no mandolins. But this link is very useful, i find its author. Will try to ask him, Thanks!

  14. #13
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin study

    Hi Slinky, it seems to me like there's hardly a way around Cologne; here's their website: https://www.hfmt-koeln.de/en/study-p...-mandolin.html

    The mandolin department is actually in the town of Wuppertal. The top teacher there is Caterina Lichtenberg. She is married to my good friend Mike Marshall who also teaches in Wuppertal and would be the teacher to go for classical and (most of all) other styles, such as bluegrass, new acoustic and jazz stuff.

    There is also a place to study in Vienna (Wien) at the Conservatory, where you would study with Rike Eckart: http://www.austromandolin.at/pages/m...in---coach.php


    Hendrik Ahrend
    Northern Germany

  15. #14

    Default Re: Mandolin study

    Thanks for info! i saw the site of Conservatory in Wien, but there is no information about mandolin. https://www.muk.ac.at/en/programmes/...-of-music.html But find one mention in MAG. FRANZ FELLNER's bio https://www.muk.ac.at/en/programmes/...z-fellner.html.
    It's strange for me. How does it work?

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