Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Eastman mandolins

  1. #1
    Registered User Jim Yates's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    462

    Default Eastman mandolins

    Which of these mandolins would you choose if you had to make a choice? Why?

    MD605 or MD515?
    Jim Yates

  2. #2
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennsylvania, United States
    Posts
    13,947
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    Hmmm, the 605 includes a pick up so if you want to plug in, you're ready. They cost more or less the same.Judging by your avatar you're not overly hung up on the F style. If I were working with a vendor that had one of each, I would describe the sound I liked and have them choose the one that sounded more like that if plugging in wasn't that big of a deal to me.

    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

    + Give Blood, Save a Life +

  3. #3
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,114

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    Bias alert! I play A style mandolins. Okay, now that's out of the way, 605. Like above, the pickup is a big plus for me. Some gigs are easier to plug in than use a microphone.

    Other reasons - really like the block inlays. Everyone has dots. Blocks are different and stand out. Cherry finish - again, it's different. Lastly, the pickguard is cool. It's another thing not common on Eastman.
    2008 Weber Gallatin F, 2018 Collings MT, 1989 Flatiron Performer A, 1935 Gibson A-50, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/
    https://www.lauluaika.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Longtine-Pl...4404553312723/

  4. #4
    Registered User Paul Brett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Kilkenny, Ireland.
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    I have a 605. I was playing last Sat night and the other band members all commented on how good the pickup was. The general feeling is that its the most even sounding, plugged in, mandolin I've ever played with them. Acoustically I still rather my Moon A2 but I use the 605 for plugged in gigging.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Yates View Post
    Which of these mandolins would you choose if you had to make a choice? Why?

    MD605 or MD515?
    I personally prefer the dot inlay on the Eastman 500 series compared to the block inlay on the 600 series.
    I'd buy the 515 and then fit it with a JJB Prestige 220 which is essentially the same pickup as in the 605
    http://jjb-electronics.com/prestige-220.html

  6. #6
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,114

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    Okay, just spent a few minutes this afternoon playing one of each of those models. Both are good. The 605 may have a touch more bass from the deeper body than the F style, but both are very similar in sound.

    FWIW, they also had a 515-CC with no binding and curved edges. Also sounds good and maybe a bit more comfortable to hold.
    2008 Weber Gallatin F, 2018 Collings MT, 1989 Flatiron Performer A, 1935 Gibson A-50, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/
    https://www.lauluaika.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Longtine-Pl...4404553312723/

  7. #7
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Leesburg, VA
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    I love my 515; great sound. If I want amplified Eastman, I would go to the El Rey.
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Jerman custom 5 string electric, Eastman MD-515 & El Rey, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Rivera Clubster Royale Recording Head; Laney Cub 10 & Cab, Peavey Studio Pro

  8. #8
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    2,714

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    MD 605 all the way! The biggest and baddest mando buck on the market.

  9. #9
    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Posts
    4,058

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    I have an older 605 with no pickup, but it's a great little mandolin. I like the look of the back binding, which I don't think the 505s have.
    Eastman 605, Strad-o-lin, and Kentucky 300e mandolins.

    Member, Long Island Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra
    Visit my YouTube page

    (Formerly known here as Santiago)

  10. #10
    Registered User Jim Yates's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    462

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	eastman.jpg 
Views:	56 
Size:	24.8 KB 
ID:	184252
    2005 Eastman 605

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay's Eastman front.jpg 
Views:	36 
Size:	137.5 KB 
ID:	184253Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clay's Eastman back.jpg 
Views:	37 
Size:	36.5 KB 
ID:	184254
    Eastman 515 (not new, but I'm not sure of the year)

    Neither of these are new mandolins, and neither has a pickup. I have played the 605 and like it a lot, but not the 515 yet. A scroll is not a big deal for me, but I don't dislike them. I'm asking for a friend who kinda likes F-styles, but a nice A-style isn't a deal breaker.
    Jim Yates

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    orkney, scotland
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Yates View Post
    Which of these mandolins would you choose if you had to make a choice? Why?

    MD605 or MD515?
    Some years ago I walked into a shop with a large range of Eastmans, right through the range, bottom to top. I had a budget that went (almost) to the top of the range. I wanted something with f holes, that was the only prerequisite. They didn't have any 3-- series mandos (perhaps before they existed?) so the 5s were bottom of the range. I walked out with a used 515, which I still have as my main gig mando. It's really nice to play, great neck. Not the loudest acoustically, with a pronounced mid range I'd say. I wonder how much of my decision was based on its having the best set up. I've since played a 605 that is acoustically a bit louder and with a more rounded bass end, but I much prefer the neck on mine. The 6 series, as far as I'm aware, IS a step up in the grade of wood used, so should be better. Bottom line though - you really need to compare them to know. It's all subjective. Good luck!

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to saltybrian For This Useful Post:


  13. #12
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Leesburg, VA
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20191225_132518.jpg 
Views:	44 
Size:	708.9 KB 
ID:	184264
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Jerman custom 5 string electric, Eastman MD-515 & El Rey, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Rivera Clubster Royale Recording Head; Laney Cub 10 & Cab, Peavey Studio Pro

  14. #13

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    605. With Eastman the higher the first number the better- so get the best one you can afford- with the high quality builtin pickup.

  15. #14
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Leesburg, VA
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    I will add one caveat about the 515, and the El Rey for that matter. I find the Pingwell tuners underwhelming and will eventually upgrade them. YMMV.
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Jerman custom 5 string electric, Eastman MD-515 & El Rey, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Rivera Clubster Royale Recording Head; Laney Cub 10 & Cab, Peavey Studio Pro

  16. #15
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    Hey Dave
    I was gonna go for an El Rey, but we got locked down, so seems a bit pointless whilst my government ... i'll stop there ha ha.

    How would you compare in your own experience between amplified acoustic mando, and the ERM? I've seen some BAD demos, and also one really nice one.
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, 59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: 57 Gibson ETG-150, 80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

  17. #16

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    As often as not, I've preferred the 315 over the 515. So for me buying either would be down to eventual goals. I'd steer toward the 515 if it were going to be a long term deal, the 315 if what I was going for was a Collings or the like as soon as I could. Either would be a great second instrument long term.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  18. #17

    Default Re: Eastman mandolins

    This has been mentioned in other threads regarding different topics, but with Eastman's especially you have to go try them out. If you buy sight unseen/heard, you're bound for a decent instrument with any level in the Eastman line. Build quality is consistent, down to the 315/305. In my personal experience, what's inconsistent is tone. I owned a 515 and my buddy has a 615 that was definitely better sounding. Both played equally well, easy to play, and build quality was great on each. However, I have heard several 315s that knock both out of the park, and some 815s that didn't sound as good as my 515. I'd assume the same would go for the A models, I just don't have personal experience there. It sounds like maybe you're not married to the A or F, so I recommend just finding a shop that has a few and take em for a spin!

    But to answer your question, I would go for the 515 because it's an F style/F holes, and that's what I like. I should also mention, another inconsistency I've found is a lot of variation in neck shape. But generally, they seem to be V. Yet another really good reason to go try one!
    Last edited by rivervalleymando; Mar-26-2020 at 12:26am. Reason: I didnt actually answer the OPs question

  19. The following members say thank you to rivervalleymando for this post:

    Cobalt 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •