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Thread: Newbie needs equipment advice

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Lawrenceville, GA

    Question Newbie needs equipment advice

    Hello everyone. I am a newly joined member here although I have been reading and browsing things for a couple of weeks.

    I have been bitten by the Mandolin bug which apparently is easy to catch and difficult to shed (why would anyone want to shed it anyway?).

    I am looking to buy my first mandolin. I would like to get a good quality F-style upper beginner type of mandolin. Will consider an A-style mandolin. I have established a $500 budget for this acquisition. After a lot of reading I think that my best bet may be buy used. Used mandolins often come with strap, case, pick (maybe) and so forth. I am not opposed to buying new but it appears that I would need to up my budget by a couple of hundred bucks.

    Any and all advice will be most welcome. Right now I have my eye on a Michael Kelly F-Style Legacy Deluxe which appears to be in really good shape. I am looking forward to learning and practicing on the mandolin. Right now I am a professional banjo player. Yessir, I make big bucks by detuning one of me resonator banjos and then sitting out on the back deck while practicing finger rolls for forty five minutes or so. My neighbors usually pay me handsomely to stop.

    Everybody out there have a great day and stay safe.

  2. #2
    Registered User pit lenz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Cologne, Germany

    Default Re: Newbie needs equipment advice

    Hello Pilot70D,
    welcome aboard and enjoy this fun journey!

    If you don't want to jeopardize your back porch based income plan, I'd strongly recommend an 8-string electro mandolin and a Marshall JCM800 full stack. Plenty loud and eight strings to detune...

    Concerning your original question, many pickers here will agree that (among others) an Eastman MD-315 (F-style) or MD-305 (A-style, same sound but cheaper) would very well fit the description of a "upper beginner type of mandolin". Well built and nicely balanced sound for the money.

    There's currently an MD-505 (a little fancier than the 305) in the classifieds section, that is slightly higher than your estimated budget, but if you bang it loud enough, you'll get the additional 150$ back from your neighbors in no time.

    I started my own trip with a 150$ Kentucky-150 but soon went up to an Eastman MD-515 that I liked a lot. Sold that later to move to the Northfield camp. We have several guys around here with 315s and 515s and they sound just great.

    Hope that was any helpful.
    Disclaimer:I have no horses in this race...

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  4. #3
    formerly Philphool Phil Goodson's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Statesville, NC

    Default Re: Newbie needs equipment advice

    Pilot, you don't need to post the same thread in 2 different sections.

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Newbie needs equipment advice

    You can buy a good Mandolin under $500 like Seagull S8.
    Here is a good list of mandolins.

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