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Thread: Just bought my first mandolin!

  1. #51

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    If you are willing to spend about $1200, you can buy a very good A style. Good enough you can walk out of a store after having played the likes of Collings, Weber, and Northfield and think you have a pretty good mandolin at home. It will shift your thinking from if I only had a good mandolin, to if I could only play better. This is an invaluable lesson and well worth the price. I had already come to this realization when one day I took my Silverangel into Gryphon for an adjustment. While waiting I played a lot of nice mandolins. When my SA was brought to me to test, it was every bit as good, different yes, but good. Now I’ve finally put heavier strings on it, there are no excuses left.

    If you are on a stricter budget, a Kentucky 900 will get you close. I think the Eastman 300 and 500 are good, but will certainly end up being a stepping stone. I am certainly NOT saying a $1200 mandolin is a cure for MAS, only a time delay.

    Look in the classifieds now. Get what I’m talking about for less than $1k
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  2. #52

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Because you can get an independently built instrument by an established American luthier in the same price range as a factory built import F5:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/152471#152471
    I did not know this, thanks!

  3. #53

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Northwest Steve View Post
    I 100% agree with the above and I don't think you could find a better mandolin for the money. A US made mandolin from a small shop builder that has build many mandolins and doing it for a long time. Buy it, you will be glad you did.
    I may be persuaded!

  4. #54
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Belle -- whatever happened to the Eastman MD805 you were checking out? That struck me as a pretty good deal, price-wise.
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  5. #55
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    That's a very good price for one of their top-end 800 series instruments. Play it and see if you like it.
    I have never found the quality of Eastman mandolins to greatly improve with a higher number model . I had a 815 once and my 300 series Eastman was much better to my ears ! I had the same experience with other Eastman mandolins .
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  6. #56

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Belle -- whatever happened to the Eastman MD805 you were checking out? That struck me as a pretty good deal, price-wise.
    Hi, I did go and test it with the 3 chords and scale I know :0) It was nice. Then I picked up a $2000 mandolin and WOW, that was beautiful! I walked out with nothing, not sure what to do. They still have it as I just looked online. So still looking.

  7. #57
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    For some people, there can be a significant difference in the feel of different neck profiles, so for that reason among others, it's always best to try out different brands wherever you can, rather than relying solely on recommendations from other players. Eastman mandolins are great, but the feel of the neck is not for me. I would prefer the Kentucky. But many people prefer Eastman as a starter instrument. Just goes to my point. I know it's not possible for everyone to try before buying, but I think everyone would agree that trying out as many as you can get your hands on is a good idea if you can swing it.
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  9. #58

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    ...

  10. #59
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    I don't remember, not unusual for me, your price range but this seem like a great deal to me. Hand made and decent price.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/152471#152471
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  12. #60
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    The latest Ratliff A in the classifieds seems a great bargain. https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/152471#152471

    NFI
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  13. #61
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I don't remember, not unusual for me, your price range but this seem like a great deal to me. Hand made and decent price.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/152471#152471
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    The latest Ratliff A in the classifieds seems a great bargain. https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/152471#152471

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  15. #62

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I don't remember, not unusual for me, your price range but this seem like a great deal to me. Hand made and decent price.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/152471#152471
    Well, I said $700 but I can go higher, just thought I should be able to get a nice one for that. I am new and learning so much from all of you!!

  16. #63
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Belle Starr View Post
    Well, I said $700 but I can go higher, just thought I should be able to get a nice one for that. I am new and learning so much from all of you!!
    In your opening post, you said that you’ve played a lot of guitar. Well, a common saying in these parts is that you should expect to pay twice as much for an archtop mandolin as you would for a flattop guitar of equal quality. So, a $700 archtop mandolin would be equivalent to a $350 flattop guitar, give or take.
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  17. #64
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    If you can go to $950, buy the Ratliff today and don't look back. Killer deal on a quality luthier-made instrument from a known dealer with a good reputation.

  18. #65
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    re: Mandolin-looking objects. You want solid wood and hand-carved. Plywood mandolins steam-pressed to give an arched-looking instrument are cheap and look, "Right." They are just different. Solid wood and hand-carved are details that matter.

    Hand-carving an f-model takes more talent and time. Doesn't affect the outcome.

    f-d
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  19. #66
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Belle Starr View Post
    Hi, I did go and test it with the 3 chords and scale I know :0) It was nice. Then I picked up a $2000 mandolin and WOW, that was beautiful! I walked out with nothing, not sure what to do. They still have it as I just looked online. So still looking.
    A $2K mandolin should sound better than a $6-700 one. When I worked for an instrument dealer decades ago, he'd caution customers not to compare instruments they could afford, with those beyond their budgets. As he said, "The one you can afford to buy will sound cheaper, and you'll think you'll be disappointed with it."

    Remember, you're starting out. The first mandolin you buy is unlikely to be the last one. Find one that's good, playable, and satisfactory until you "get good." Then re-evaluate, perhaps upgrade, perhaps decide it still meets all your needs.

    Just my 2˘,
    Allen Hopkins
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  20. #67

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    But starting out on a Ratliff will save you money in the end. Always buy the best you can. Mandolins like the Ratliff don’t last long. Many are looking for this type of deal.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  21. #68

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    A $2K mandolin should sound better than a $6-700 one. When I worked for an instrument dealer decades ago, he'd caution customers not to compare instruments they could afford, with those beyond their budgets. As he said, "The one you can afford to buy will sound cheaper, and you'll think you'll be disappointed with it."

    Remember, you're starting out. The first mandolin you buy is unlikely to be the last one. Find one that's good, playable, and satisfactory until you "get good." Then re-evaluate, perhaps upgrade, perhaps decide it still meets all your needs.

    Just my 2˘,
    I agree with your 2 cents, thanks!

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  23. #69

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Belle Starr View Post
    Well, I said $700 but I can go higher, just thought I should be able to get a nice one for that. I am new and learning so much from all of you!!
    I have played some guitar :0) and this is good to know, thanks!!

    - - - Updated - - -


  24. #70

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    The latest Ratliff A in the classifieds seems a great bargain. https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/152471#152471

    NFI
    checking it out!

  25. #71

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    I’m going to sound like a broken record and say, better mandolin= you’ll want to play a lot=get better faster.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  26. #72

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    I’m going to sound like a broken record and say, better mandolin= you’ll want to play a lot=get better faster.
    Good point!

  27. #73
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Belle Starr View Post
    checking it out!
    Rarely are you going to find the kind of consensus evident in this thread. If you buy the Ratliff, you should be able to get your money out of it should you ever decide to do so. Were you to purchase a new import F-style, however, you’d lose ~30% in depreciation the minute that you opened the case.
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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  29. #74

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    If I were to be asked, by far the biggest contribution to my progress and enjoyment would be buying my Silverangel. All I wanted was to play it. I started playing scales. Wanted to get better. Wanted to hold it.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  30. #75

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    If I were to be asked, by far the biggest contribution to my progress and enjoyment would be buying my Silverangel. All I wanted was to play it. I started playing scales. Wanted to get better. Wanted to hold it.
    Hi, so there is the Silver Angel by Ratcliff, and the one listed for sale by Ratliff?? I have been in touch with Charles J. regarding the Ratliff. That is what I want, to just love to hold it and play it with fiery passion!

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