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Thread: $1000 Budget

  1. #1

    Default $1000 Budget

    I have about a grand to spend on a F-Style(this is the style I want). I know I can get more with an A style but, F is what I want. Any suggestions? I am just getting started and want something to grow into. If I get where I am proficient, then I will get something nicer. I'd love a Ratliff, but its not in the cards right now.

  2. #2
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    There are three Eastmans in the Classified right now. A 315, 415 and 515. I think the 515 is $1049, the others much less, all from good shops that are Cafe sponsors.
    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

  3. #3
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    Agree with the Eastman suggestions. The used 315 at The Mandolin Store is well below your budget. It will be good enough to be a backup if and when you get something nicer.

    If you want new, I'd suggest the Kentucky KM-752 at The Mandolin Store. Looks to be a good price on that one. Have played one like it and was impressed. Good bluegrass sound. (Bias alert - have been thinking about getting one to dip my toe into the F style body. Just haven't been able to convince myself to do it yet.)
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  4. #4
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by zdub View Post
    I have about a grand to spend on a F-Style(this is the style I want). I know I can get more with an A style but, F is what I want. Any suggestions? I am just getting started and want something to grow into. If I get where I am proficient, then I will get something nicer. I'd love a Ratliff, but its not in the cards right now.
    It was more fun when your budget was $1500.

    If I was interested in playing bluegrass, and had $1K to spend on an F5, I’d be looking for a Kentucky KM1000 like this one:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/159999#159999
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
    2005 National RM-1
    2007 Hester A5
    2009 Passernig A5
    2015 Black A2-z
    2010 Black GBOM
    2017 Poe Scout
    2011 Passernig F5
    2018 Vessel TM5

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  6. #5

    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    Unless you happen onto a screaming deal you are looking at Eastman, Kentucky or The Loar instruments. You can get a very good mandolin from any of them. I lean more towards Kentucky but you may get a better deal on an Eastman or Loar under a grand. Kentucky prices really jumped a few years ago and the used prices have followed.
    I have resisted bring this up because it is above your budget but if you can work overtime, some odd jobs or sell something her is a great deal -
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/159323#159323
    I emailed him about his Ratliff and seems like a nice guy. I can't believe it has not sold. Would be much more mandolin than any of the above mentioned and would be all most any of us would need. Good luck in your search.

  7. #6

    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    I thought about saving up and getting a country boy from him. He said June is his delivery time. I just have never played one. Are they good instruments?

  8. #7
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    Ratliff's are fine instruments, but I'm prejudiced because I have 2, A and F, both Countryboys. All the instruments are made the same, the difference is the bling, including finish options. The one in the ad is real nice, not much more than a new CountryBoy A. You could play those a long time before you 'outgrew' them.
    Play it like you mean it

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  9. #8

    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    Ratliff's are great but you're not gonna get one for a grand. Country boy f style goes for just over 1700.

    An f style for a thousand bucks your best bet is either a Kentucky or eastman.

  10. #9

    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    Yeah, I was either gonna save for one or get an eastman or kentucky.

  11. #10

    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Em Tee View Post
    Ratliff's are great but you're not gonna get one for a grand. Country boy f style goes for just over 1700.

    An f style for a thousand bucks your best bet is either a Kentucky or eastman.
    It appears new Ratliff Country Boy F5's are $2250
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/158547#158547

    There is a really nice used one for $1500 plus skipping, surprised someone has not bought it. Great value for a hand made F5.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/159323#159323

  12. #11

    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Northwest Steve View Post
    It appears new Ratliff Country Boy F5's are $2250
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/158547#158547

    There is a really nice used one for $1500 plus skipping, surprised someone has not bought it. Great value for a hand made F5.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/159323#159323
    So much for an economical alternative.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    I'm an anti-sunburst guy, so for me it was an Eastman MD415GD, which won my blind tone contest against an MD315 and MD305.

  14. #13

    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    What do you all think of the Eastman 515 Varnish? It's just slightly above $1k.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: $1000 Budget

    I've played a couple of 515V's and they were quite impressive. Love the red/orange coloring on them too.

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