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Thread: Which of these two Mandolins would be better?

  1. #1

    Default Which of these two Mandolins would be better?

    Hi, I'm looking to buy my first mandolin. I'm a fairly experienced guitar player and this would be my second instrument. I don't want to pend too much as I'm a student, and so long as it's playable and holds its tune I'll be happy. I'm currently looking at the Ozark 2001 and the Ozark 2250 models.

    https://www.eaglemusicshop.com/prod/...p-mandolin.htm

    The 2001 is a "Portuguese" style.

    https://www.eaglemusicshop.com/prod/...tm#description

    The 2250 is called an "Army" style.

    Both are made in Romania and very cheap. The 2001 is all solid wood, where as the 2250 is solid top only. The 2250 is £40 more expensive. Both come with a set up.

    I will mostly be playing Irish traditional and folk.

    Have any members any experience with either model? Or any alternatives at a similar price point?

  2. #2
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question flip a coin?

    One of my friends had an original army/navy war time Gibson in olive drab green.. It was nice..
    being in Oregon, I have not seen or tried either of those you linked to..

    Your buying from a retailer that does pre delivery setup to each mandolin they sell is a valuable thing..

    (9 timezones to the west of GMT.)
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  3. #3
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which of these two Mandolins would be better?

    I have no experience with either of these mandolins or seller, but I would go with the army/navy copy(2250). I like the aesthetics and it’s a design that’s been around for a century or so. I wouldn’t be turned off by laminated back and sides at this price point. Honestly, if my conversion is correct(about $225 US dollars), I’d buy this just to try(If it was available in the US)and possibly add to my collection.

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    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which of these two Mandolins would be better?

    I have a very good viola made in Romania.

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    Default Re: Which of these two Mandolins would be better?

    Hi.
    I have a Romanian mandolin though a different model (a Portuguese II model which has a narrower Body).
    It think it is a decent Instrument for the Price (and you can regulary find them even cheaper in good used condition).
    Mine has a Pretty wide fretboard and, as far as I can tell from the photos, this one as well.
    The Army/Navy one seems to to have a "normal" narrower fretboard.
    So thats something to take into consideration.
    "A mandolin is more than just a music instrument - it also is a symbol of the people's struggle." - Mahatma Gandhi

    "The mandolin is a great instrument, if a man has the courage to use it." - Jesus of Nazareth

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    Registered User mreidsma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which of these two Mandolins would be better?

    I second the Army/Navy style. The mahogany will give a warm tone that will sounds great with Irish tunes, plus the fretboard and neck should be a bit thinner and more comfortable. (I prefer my Kalamazoo with mahogany back and sides for Celtic.)

    -M

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    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which of these two Mandolins would be better?

    Also chiming in with another vote for the Army/Navy shape. I have a mandolin of the same shape (a Poe Scout) and it's quite a bit of fun to play. I also think that I'd feel more comfortable buying that body shape without playing because it is, like someone earlier mentioned, a tried and true build. There are plenty of builders making instruments of that shape, and they all seem to get positive feedback (Poe, Morris, Sawchyn, Flatiron, etc).

    Let us know what you decide!
    2016 Martin TEN515 Tenor Guitar
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Which of these two Mandolins would be better?

    In some ways I actually like that Portuguese job, for the larger body, (= more sound) but I don’t think the build quality is there at that price and the soundhole looks pretty small. Looking further at that website I think I would encourage you to consider the 2251 model. It’s only £30 more than the Army, has an adjustable truss rod (so does the Army but not the Portuguese), larger soundhole, snakehead peghead, and you could probably upgrade the tuners later, they look like standard-spacing types. Altogether has a more elegant look than the others. If I was going to be travelling in the UK and Europe for awhile and wanted to get a mando there rather than bring my own, I think I’d look at something like that.
    Last edited by Bill Cameron; Apr-13-2020 at 12:26pm.

  9. #9
    Mandolin Player trodgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which of these two Mandolins would be better?

    A couple more advantages for the Army/Navy style - An adjustable bridge which will help you dial in a comfortable setup and the neck joins the body past the 12 fret. More playable neck!
    “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.” -- Aldo Leopold

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    Scroll Lock Austin Bob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which of these two Mandolins would be better?

    Hard to tell by the pictures, but I think you have a reasonable expectation going in concerning the overall quality of these. The only thing I would add is that the tuners on the Portuguese style look a bit worrisome to me. I'd pick the Army/Navy style just because the tuners look to be a bit more standard design, and that can be pretty important on an entry level instrument. I have very limited experience with inexpensive classical style tuners on guitars, but most of the ones I've ever seen were suspect at best.
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

  11. #11
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which of these two Mandolins would be better?

    Slot head tuners as a type are not that much different..

    As far as staying in tune we have scores of posts,
    by people seeking better tuners assuming that is why It's not staying in tune..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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  13. #12

    Default Re: Which of these two Mandolins would be better?

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleE View Post
    I have no experience with either of these mandolins or seller, but I would go with the army/navy copy(2250). I like the aesthetics and it’s a design that’s been around for a century or so. I wouldn’t be turned off by laminated back and sides at this price point. Honestly, if my conversion is correct(about $225 US dollars), I’d buy this just to try(If it was available in the US)and possibly add to my collection.
    I'm leaning towards this one, if only because it seems a bit more solidly built. I haven't seen any mandolins around in that style either, I think it's a bit unusual for Ireland.

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