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Thread: Just bought my first mandolin!

  1. #1

    Default Just bought my first mandolin!

    Hi, Newbie here, first post, though I have been reading a lot of posts the past couple weeks. I decided to take up the mandolin and did a lot of research and this group popped up all the time. What a wonderful place to come for information!! Anyway, I have played a bit of guitar and banjo and decided why not?! This is what I ended up buying, I thought it was so beautiful, so took my chances with a 14 day return policy. Am wondering if anybody has any info. Name inside it is Brookdale guitars. I could not find one lick, I think it sounds amazing, but I have not played any other mando ever. Anybody ever heard of this name??
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  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Belle Starr For This Useful Post:


  3. #2

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    It looks like one of Bruce Wei's instruments or the other fellow in Vietnam. That tailpiece looks like the crown of Denmark- or the one on the Carlsberg bottle!
    Have fun with your new instrument!

  4. #3

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    It looks like one of Bruce Wei's instruments or the other fellow in Vietnam. That tailpiece looks like the crown of Denmark- or the one on the Carlsberg bottle!
    Have fun with your new instrument!
    I am having fun! Learning to play Will the Circle Be Unbroken. Inside where it has the name is also a picture of a couple cowboys and one on a bucking bronco.

  5. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Googled, can't find "Brookdale" as an instrument brand. NickR's initial reaction seems accurate on the face of it: the instrument has the elaborate inlay and tailpiece commonly found on those built in Vietnam and sold on-line by sellers (generally in Taiwan) like Bruce Wei, Antonio Tsai. and others.

    Quality of these instruments does tend to vary. They're uniformly visually striking, but sometimes their construction is less than first-class. Buyers have reported failure of metal parts, inlays that fall out, and use of unseasoned wood with subsequent warping.

    I hope none of these problems affect your mandolin. A properly adjusted instrument, of whatever brand, can be very good to learn on. I might suggest that you take advantage of any opportunities to try other mandolins, on a comparison basis; you say that you play other instruments, so certainly have a basis for comparing acoustic quality. Also, probably you should be careful as to the conditions under which you keep your instrument; sufficient humidity, at least 45-50%, would be recommended.

    Others have reported that the quality of Vietnamese-made instruments may be improving. I sure don't want to be discouraging about your first mandolin; it may be an excellent instrument, but I can't find other instruments with that brand to compile any sort of comparative evaluation.
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  6. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    This indeed is a mandolin made in Vietnam and sold by one of two major sellers on eBay. They are Antoniotsai and Bruceweiart. The label inside means nothing, someone was buying and reselling it. It could be a good deal as long as you paid very little for it.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Mar-16-2020 at 3:37pm.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #6
    Registered User Roger Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Wow, lots of bling on that puppy! From the pics, it appears to be well make. Enjoy!
    If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a vet.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Googled, can't find "Brookdale" as an instrument brand. NickR's initial reaction seems accurate on the face of it: the instrument has the elaborate inlay and tailpiece commonly found on those built in Vietnam and sold on-line by sellers (generally in Taiwan) like Bruce Wei, Antonio Tsai. and others.

    Quality of these instruments does tend to vary. They're uniformly visually striking, but sometimes their construction is less than first-class. Buyers have reported failure of metal parts, inlays that fall out, and use of unseasoned wood with subsequent warping.

    I hope none of these problems affect your mandolin. A properly adjusted instrument, of whatever brand, can be very good to learn on. I might suggest that you take advantage of any opportunities to try other mandolins, on a comparison basis; you say that you play other instruments, so certainly have a basis for comparing acoustic quality. Also, probably you should be careful as to the conditions under which you keep your instrument; sufficient humidity, at least 45-50%, would be recommended.

    Others have reported that the quality of Vietnamese-made instruments may be improving. I sure don't want to be discouraging about your first mandolin; it may be an excellent instrument, but I can't find other instruments with that brand to compile any sort of comparative evaluation.

    THank you! I tried to find some information on it before I purchased it, but nothing is what I found. I do believe it is one of those Vietnam mandolins and I am going to return it. Luckily I have 14 days. I am not looking to have future disappointments with it so back it goes. I will look for something that is well known, Eastman, Gibson, Kentucky or such. On I go searching for another mandolin!! The hunt is always fun. p.s. I did think it sounded good but am still returning it.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Good call. You'll be happier in the long run.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Vid?

  11. #10
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    How much did this mandolin cost?
    Doug Brock
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  12. #11
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    It's interesting how overly ornate instruments seem to correlate to either very expensive instruments (such as Martin D50 Deluxe Limited edition https://www.miami-guitars.com/produc...bearclaw-sitka) or very cheap instruments (seemingly infinite number of low-end instruments), but not too much in between.
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315
    Pisgah Wonder open back banjo, cheap old German fiddle, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

  13. #12

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by rickbella View Post
    Good call. You'll be happier in the long run.
    Yes, agree!

    - - - Updated - - -

    too much haha, glad I can return it!

  14. #13

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Brock View Post
    It's interesting how overly ornate instruments seem to correlate to either very expensive instruments (such as Martin D50 Deluxe Limited edition https://www.miami-guitars.com/produc...bearclaw-sitka) or very cheap instruments (seemingly infinite number of low-end instruments), but not too much in between.
    wow that is beautiful!! I paid too much and glad I can return!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon DS View Post
    Vid?
    VID?

  15. #14
    Registered User mtucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Kentucky km150 would be a better place to go, very well made for the price.

    BTW some great free education here... https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSr...j7DNWu0RQFnmAA

  16. #15

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by mtucker View Post
    Kentucky km150 would be a better place to go, very well made for the price.

    BTW some great free education here... https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSr...j7DNWu0RQFnmAA

    THank you for that information! I think I want F style, but I will check it out

  17. #16
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    With the goal of F Style, do you have a budget in mind?
    If you ofer this figure to the ones here with more experience they will be able to give you some very sound direction to find a decent instrument.
    It is often said that The Mandolin Store is a good source for a mandolin that has been set up correctly. They are in the midst of moving, but they might be able to still help out.
    Eric Hanson
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  18. #17

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Hanson View Post
    With the goal of F Style, do you have a budget in mind?
    If you ofer this figure to the ones here with more experience they will be able to give you some very sound direction to find a decent instrument.
    It is often said that The Mandolin Store is a good source for a mandolin that has been set up correctly. They are in the midst of moving, but they might be able to still help out.

    Hi, I am thinking around $700. I will check them out!

  19. #18
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Lots of info on these forums. Just search for the many threads on newbie or beginner mandolins.
    Jim

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  20. #19
    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
    Hi, I am thinking around $700. I will check them out!
    I think your best bet in that range is the Eastman MD315 (ideally used): https://reverb.com/item/32872381-eas...in-w-hard-case
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  21. #20
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Belle Starr & pheffernan,
    That looks like a great mandolin! So many great features in one. Even a hardshell case.
    You would also may be able to get your money out of it in the future if you decided you wanted to upgrade.
    Win/Win
    FWIW. The Mandolin Store also has one of these new for $745.00. Also a hard to beat price. If you get it from them you would be sure to have it ready to play, and no setup required.
    Eric Hanson
    Click #016/ Born on 2/29/08 - Sold to the next Conservator of this great mandolin!
    The search has ceased! (At least for now)
    Collings A-Style

  22. #21

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Lots of info on these forums. Just search for the many threads on newbie or beginner mandolins.
    thank you!

  23. #22

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    I think your best bet in that range is the Eastman MD315 (ideally used): https://reverb.com/item/32872381-eas...in-w-hard-case
    thank you, checking it out!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Hanson View Post
    Belle Starr & pheffernan,
    That looks like a great mandolin! So many great features in one. Even a hardshell case.
    You would also may be able to get your money out of it in the future if you decided you wanted to upgrade.
    Win/Win
    FWIW. The Mandolin Store also has one of these new for $745.00. Also a hard to beat price. If you get it from them you would be sure to have it ready to play, and no setup required.
    thank you!!

  24. #23
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Welcome Belle ! Your willingness to heed the advice offered here shows you'll do fine at your new quest. Play, have fun, and play some more.

  25. #24

    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankdolin View Post
    Welcome Belle ! Your willingness to heed the advice offered here shows you'll do fine at your new quest. Play, have fun, and play some more.
    Well thank you!

  26. #25
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just bought my first mandolin!

    Welcome to the Cafe and enjoy your fun new mandolin. If possible, have a shop set it up. Adjusting the string height will make those high tension double courses a lot more fun. I'll say as a barely novice player myself, that as you start learning, pretty much any mandolin that has a good comfortable set up is great to learn on. If the looks of this one inspires you to play more, that's great. Have a ton of fun.At the very least, you bought one of the prettiest first mandolins folks have bought!

    Jamie

    Edit to add: One thing to do even if you don't get it set up, is change out the strings to something nicer like D'Addario EJ74s. That one likely came with not the best strings.

    Ugh.. Missed that you are returning. I like the Eastman mandolins a lot. You can get a lot of mandolin for $700, especially if you look at A styles (sound the same as F styles with less cost) or even used. Our classifieds are very safe space to look and consider.
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