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Thread: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

  1. #1

    Default Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    I have the option of selling my KM150 for what I originally paid, and am considering getting an Eastman 305 or 505 instead.

    Is this a worthwhile upgrade for a beginner/intermediate player? Or should I save my money for an Ellis A5 down the line?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    I started playing mando less than a year ago, and at the suggestion of the folks at the Mandolin Store, purchased an Eastman 305 over the KM150. I have been playing stringed instruments for many years, and have a Martin D16 guitar, and a Pisgah 12" Dobson open back banjo, both of which I chose for sound quality and craftsmanship. I am more than happy with both of these criteria on the Eastman 305 mando. I don't envision that I will need to upgrade this instrument, at least not in the foreseeable future. Tone and playability are good, and the craftsmanship is well above average. Good luck in your quest for your new mando, personally, I can recommend the Eastman without reservation.

  3. #3
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    In my mind, you are considering a lateral move to the 305 and at best a modest improvement to the 505 if you find that the neck profile or tone more pleases you. I would save your money for an upgrade, which does not have to be the level of an Ellis to satisfy. The $1000-$1500 window will open a world of opportunities to you in the used A5 market.
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    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    What pheffernan said. Save your money for the great leap forward, the first of which is a used small-shop mandolin in the neighborhood of $1,000 to $1,500.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Thanks for the reply! Could you recommend any particular models or makers to look at in that price range?

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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Quote Originally Posted by bokchoy_ninja View Post
    Thanks for the reply! Could you recommend any particular models or makers to look at in that price range?
    It depends on what you seek. Lately, there have been some Ratliffs that we've discussed. Silverangel Econo models. Summits are probably in the same weight class. Rigel A Plus (or Natural if you can find one). Flatiron A-styles. Etc.
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    If you split the difference between the Ellis and the Kentucky you broaden the options to brands like Pava (made in the Ellis workshop) Collings MT's
    And Girouards.....

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/151665#151665

    Many more examples in the classifieds.

    NFI
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  8. #8

    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    This would be a big upgrade and a great value -

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/153221#153221

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  10. #9

    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    It depends on what you seek. Lately, there have been some Ratliffs that we've discussed. Silverangel Econo models. Summits are probably in the same weight class. Rigel A Plus (or Natural if you can find one). Flatiron A-styles. Etc.
    What I'm after ultimately is a twin-point style mandolin, similar to the Ellis. If I can get something with 90% of the sound for 25% of the cost, I'd happily jump on that. I just don't know how to start looking, to be honest. Don't think there are any mandolin shops or makers near me (in San Diego), and shopping online seems risky.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    You need to get your hands on as wide a variety of mandolin as you can and listen and feel. So many variables in mandolin world, and the best online advice and videos can only get you a little way toward figuring out what YOU like. (And what you like now may well be different than what you like after youíve played your first step-up mandolin for six months or a year.)

    If you donít have good stores near you and are even considering mandolins like the Ellis A5, then a trip to Nashville would be a worthwhile investment, to compare your KM150 to a wide variety of mandolins in your price range.

    (That being said, buying an MD305 wouldnít be a bad choice. Even if (or when) you upgrade, the MD305 is a nice spare for time and places that you might not want to risk taking a more expensive mandolin.)
    Doug Brock
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Something like this might be as close as you are going to get.....

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/152815#152815

    Charles is well regarded here on the Cafe as are all of the other sponsors, you can buy with confidence.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  13. #12

    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Brock View Post
    You need to get your hands on as wide a variety of mandolin as you can and listen and feel. So many variables in mandolin world, and the best online advice and videos can only get you a little way toward figuring out what YOU like. (And what you like now may well be different than what you like after you’ve played your first step-up mandolin for six months or a year.)

    If you don’t have good stores near you and are even considering mandolins like the Ellis A5, then a trip to Nashville would be a worthwhile investment, to compare your KM150 to a wide variety of mandolins in your price range.

    (That being said, buying an MD305 wouldn’t be a bad choice. Even if (or when) you upgrade, the MD305 is a nice spare for time and places that you might not want to risk taking a more expensive mandolin.)
    Fair enough. I do like the Ellis mandolins but if there are options worth considering in the $1k-$1.5k price range then I'll definitely check those out, too. Do you guys go and visit the specific luthier shops? Or are there reasonably big mandolin stores scattered around the country?

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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Quote Originally Posted by bokchoy_ninja View Post
    Fair enough. I do like the Ellis mandolins but if there are options worth considering in the $1k-$1.5k price range then I'll definitely check those out, too. Do you guys go and visit the specific luthier shops? Or are there reasonably big mandolin stores scattered around the country?
    Some folks go visit luthiers, but I’ve not had that luxury. There are some good stores out there, but these days even a decent music store might only have a couple of good brands (typically Collings and Eastman). I have to drive three hours from Kansas City to one store that does have a better variety (Morgan Music). For me, the next step would be a ten hour drive to Nashville where there are several stores with large selections of mandolins that you can try. Depending on where you live, there are other good stores out there - Elderly (but currently closed due to the pandemic), The Music Emporium, etc. (Just look at Mandolin Cafe sponsors.)

    Yes, there are nice choices in the $1000 to $1500 range, but you’re likely going to have to pay shipping if you want to try one out for a 48 hour trial period.
    Doug Brock
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    This two point from Cafe member Barry Kratzer (aka Bull Dog Mandolins) is in your price range


    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Kratzer-Two...0AAOSwGnpeVCGb

    Small shop 100% American made.

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    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Quote Originally Posted by bokchoy_ninja View Post
    What I'm after ultimately is a twin-point style mandolin, similar to the Ellis. If I can get something with 90% of the sound for 25% of the cost, I'd happily jump on that.
    A two-point is going to shrink the field considerably as well as raise the cost. The options that sprang to mind immediately were Phoenix, Old Wave, and Rigel:

    https://reverb.com/item/22724008-rig...resso-con-pana
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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    A two-point is going to shrink the field considerably as well as raise the cost. The options that sprang to mind immediately were Phoenix, Old Wave, and Rigel:

    https://reverb.com/item/22724008-rig...resso-con-pana
    That's fair... if I were to consider A styles as well, any specific recommendations?

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Yes this Weber....

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/152642#152642

    That is a great deal and will be a big step up from your Kentucky.

    It should serve you well until you can afford an Ellis two point. I can totally relate to why you are drawn to the Ellis two point, they are beautiful.

    Good luck with your search!
    Charley

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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    A couple of other two-points to consider, depending on budget, include the Pomeroy at Fiddler's Green:

    http://www.fiddlersgreenmusicshop.co...omeroy-2-point

    For half the price, there is this Morris in the classifieds:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/150016#150016
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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Quote Originally Posted by bokchoy_ninja View Post
    That's fair... if I were to consider A styles as well, any specific recommendations?

    This Ratliff just got relisted as a bottom of the budget option:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/153221#153221

    Mark doesn't list an asking price but I'd imagine this one to be in range:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/152763#152763

    Charley's suggestion would be on my list as well.
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  23. #20

    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Right on, thanks for the advice guys. I have to say though that I don't feel great about the prospect of shopping for a mandolin on-line. May have to make a pilgrimage to one of the big resellers.

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Always best when you can play them in person.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Quote Originally Posted by bokchoy_ninja View Post
    Right on, thanks for the advice guys. I have to say though that I don't feel great about the prospect of shopping for a mandolin on-line. May have to make a pilgrimage to one of the big resellers.
    For a lot of us, where that pilgrimage is either impossible or cost prohibitive, the catch and release of used instruments, appropriately depreciated, is an alternative method for sampling a range of mandolins and hopefully identifying some keepers.
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  26. #23

    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    For a lot of us, where that pilgrimage is either impossible or cost prohibitive, the catch and release of used instruments, appropriately depreciated, is an alternative method for sampling a range of mandolins and hopefully identifying some keepers.
    Yea that's fair. I'm planning to be in Detroit near Thanksgiving so I may get a chance to visit Elderly. It's so hard to compare instruments unless you have them side by side.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Always best when you can play them in person.
    For sure!

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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Quote Originally Posted by bokchoy_ninja View Post
    What I'm after ultimately is a twin-point style mandolin, similar to the Ellis. If I can get something with 90% of the sound for 25% of the cost, I'd happily jump on that. .............
    If there were something like that available, there would be more than a few jumpers, arm wrestling might be involved
    Play it like you mean it

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  29. #25
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    Default Re: Trade in KM150 for an MD305 or MD505?

    Quote Originally Posted by bokchoy_ninja View Post
    Yea that's fair. I'm planning to be in Detroit near Thanksgiving so I may get a chance to visit Elderly.
    Youíre planning to wait another seven months?

    Quote Originally Posted by bokchoy_ninja View Post
    It's so hard to compare instruments unless you have them side by side.
    Thatís why you eventually buy a second!
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