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Thread: Feeling Octave Mando

  1. #1

    Default Feeling Octave Mando

    Hi everybody, I'm locked down here in UK because of this coronavirus thing; because of my age I'm in a high-risk group apparently but I'm going stir-crazy! Pretty soon i'm going to write The Coronavirus Lockdown Blues/Breakdown/Shuffle - depends on whether I survive and how it turns out...

    I want to get an f-style octave mandolin; not a mandola, not an Irish bouzouki, they're not the same thing. Although I have champagne tastes I've only got beer money, so there's no way I can afford something like the Weber I lust after. Not many other luthiers seem to make them, but I've seen that Feeling make one - Chinese, of course. I've also seen them offered by a Chinese company called Pango who claim to manufacture for 'several big-name companies' (Oh yeah? Like who?) The Feeling looks very similar to the Pango product in pictures and may actually be the same thing rebadged.

    Does anybody have any experience of either of these brands? If so, what are they like please? Are they worth buying? And just maybe you might have other suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Feeling Octave Mando

    someone did a Pango F style mandocello unboxing in the CBOM section - you might find more general info there- they seemed to me comparable to Michael Kelly products,
    for Beer money, a trinity college octave is actually quite decent, though not an F and is a flatop

    you won't really find many low budget F octaves, I used to own 2 different Freshwater octaves , there are probably a lot of used ones out there, they are very solid but the necks tend to be thick.

    anyway I would look through the CBOM section plenty of octave talk there.
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Feeling Octave Mando

    I have a Feeling Mando guitar (F style 6 string).
    It's well made for a cheap instrument. The wood is pretty good.
    It sounds acceptable, no more than that.

    Hope that helps.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Feeling Octave Mando

    Eastman makes a 305 A style octave mandolin with F holes.
    Loar LM-370

    “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.” ― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  6. #5
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feeling Octave Mando

    1. I concur with the recommendation to peruse the CBOM (Cittern, Bouzouki, Octave Mandolin) Forum.

    2. Think hard about your decision to buy an F-model (scroll, points, f-holes) OM. Weber makes 'em, but they're pricey. Anything else is Asian-made, and while that's not a bad thing, consider the compromises that would have to be made to create an instrument of that size, with the more intricate carving necessary to make an F-model, and then to sell it at an "affordable" price. The Eastman instruments mentioned above are not F-style, but they're good value for the money, and a step above the Gold Tones and Trinity Colleges, at least IMHO.

    You can look on the used market, but doubt you'll find too many F-styles. I've seen Flatirons (though they have the long "bouzouki" scale), Petersens, etc. from time to time, but they're not F-models. It's a niche instrument, not a lot available at any one time.

    Good luck!
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
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  7. #6

    Default Re: Feeling Octave Mando

    Good suggestions above.
    Living in the UK, if you want to go cheap on one you’re probably looking at an import, and probably from China.
    Check Amazon (for example) and you may notice that there are not many deliveries taking place during the lockdown. Not many at all.
    -though I just heard that China is making a big effort to hopefully get back into full production, so there may be a lot of deals to be had.
    Something to look forward to.

    I personally think you’re sights are high, I’d just get any mandolin and use this free time that we have effectively.
    This is an ideal time, soon it’ll be everyone back to work!

  8. #7

    Default Re: Feeling Octave Mando

    I did a review of a Feeling mandolin. It got 5 stars from my mandolin man who is an expert maker and it also got rave reviews when I played it at our bluegrass pick. Since I bought mine, they have cranked up the price substantially. I paid £290 and it is now nearly £400. Obviously, buying sight unseen may be risky but if you read what I have written, and assuming things have not changed- apart from the price, you may be pleased but you need to be sensible.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...pruce-top-quot

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Feeling Octave Mando

    “Cheap” and “octave mandolin” are something of an oxymoron if you’re going to find something you’re likely to be happy with. As from today, you’ll also have to buy sight unseen as every shop will be closed for the forseeable future. That said, there aren’t actually that many options for buying one in the UK. I suppose there is Hobgoblin and Eagle Music but I’m not sure whether they presently have anything suitable in stock. I did however notice that, amongst the £3500 - £5500 examples, Trevor at TAMCO does have an Eastman (A style) in stock for £749.

    Tamco are the only establishment I would consider buying sight unseen from. I suppose I’m somewhat spoiled as I have a Clark GBOM in the herd.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Feeling Octave Mando

    When everything opens up again you could nip down to see these guys, they usually have great instruments, friendly, knowledgeable... they’ll be back!
    https://hobgoblin.com/branches

  11. #10
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feeling Octave Mando

    I don’t have an F style octave but I sure am appreciating the variety that my new Eastman Octave A style provides. Very nice quality and tone for the $750!
    Dan Brooks

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