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Thread: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

  1. #1

    Default Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    I know this has been beaten to death many times, but, help a brother out. I'm in the market for a new mandolin, why I don't know, I just have a MAS itch that I have to scratch. The contenders are: J. Bovier F5, Kentucky KM1050 and KM1500. I have played a JB and even with a bad set up it sounded good and played fine. Never have played a 1050 and owned a 1500 once for a couple of weeks. Don't know why I sold it, but did. The only reason I'm looking at the Kentuckys is that I have a couple and they
    are great with no problems, but just want to upgrade. Both the JB and the KMs are fine instruments so that is where the problem is. Which will retain the satisfaction level the longest? Thanks

  2. #2
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    If you can play the actual instruments, choose the one that feels and sounds best to you.

    If you can't get them in hand, based on what you've written already about your experiences, then you should maybe decide what you prefer on the headstock: Yet another Kentucky, or a different name slightly less common.

    Or you might say, "I'll get the K 1050 because I've never played one."

    Or, "I'll get the K 1500 because I miss the one I had."

    Or, you could write the names on three pieces of paper and draw one from a hat.
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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    All good instruments. Only real way to differentiate is hands-on testing -- which I assume isn't available to you.

    Maybe just pick one...? If it's an upgrade and you like it, why spend a lot of effort trying to determine which of the three is the "absolute best," especially since the choice is really based on your subjective preferences -- which none of us can really know or address?

    Not to be critical at all, but it seems in the past you've "churned through" mandolins, owning one for "a couple of weeks," then selling it for reasons you can't remember. Given this, it's really hard for an outsider to know which one will have the longest "satisfaction level" for you.

    Some people are constantly trying to find the "Holy Grail" of mandolins (or any item they might own); others enjoy a diversity of different-level instruments, or become satisfied with the ones they own, even if there are "better ones around." I bet you'd like any of the instruments you're considering -- but if you're the restless type, you may be hunting a new one after a few years.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    Sounds like you've been bit bad , torpedo . Reading this site for many years now its clear that once bit never shy.
    Got no advice to offer in terms of the considerations you're deliberating over ....but recently I got a mandolin gig for 8 HOURS A DAY FOR 8 days in a row . I know ...right ? what the..?
    I found out after a day or two that whatever issues I MAY have thought I had with my relationship with my mandolin was NEVER my mandolin's fault . It was my lack of commitment , practice and performance time . Much to my surprise my playing improved immensely in that short, focused stretch and I fell in love with my mandolin all over again . I wonder how often this aspect of playing and enjoying our instruments gets overlooked ?

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  6. #5
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    I've seen a lot of dealers and private sellers will offer something like a 48hr trial period. Take advantage of it... if you can.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    Quote Originally Posted by roysboy View Post
    Got no advice to offer in terms of the considerations you're deliberating over ....but recently I got a mandolin gig for 8 HOURS A DAY FOR 8 days in a row . I know ...right ? what the..?

    " Honey...its not YOU ...its ME "

    Lol.....All I can picture is shredded fingers that look like hamburger.

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    While of course it is easier to get a great mandolin than it is to get great at the mandolin, it is also part of the fun to get another mandolin. I do not know anyone who had just one guitar, one fiddle, one mandolin, or OMG one banjo.

    Of all the mandolins I own, I am the first owner of exactly none of them. Not that I went about this deliberately, it is just recently something I realized. I have bought new in the past, but I seem to have moved those along.

    It doesn't sound like you can go wrong.
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  10. #8
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    While of course it is easier to get a great mandolin than it is to get great at the mandolin, it is also part of the fun to get another mandolin. I do not know anyone who had just one guitar, one fiddle, one mandolin, or OMG one banjo.

    Of all the mandolins I own, I am the first owner of exactly none of them. Not that I went about this deliberately, it is just recently something I realized. I have bought new in the past, but I seem to have moved those along.

    It doesn't sound like you can go wrong.
    Interesting. Have a number of friends who only own one (take your pick) instrument. Many have had them for 20 to 30 years. Others do have a second instrument, often sufficiently different from the main one to make it useful to them.

    Then there are folks like me that have a lot of low to low-mid level instruments and never really learn to play. Will admit to being worse with guitars over the years, but I still have way too many mandolins. If I had been a more responsible adult and just saved up money instead to buy a good instrument would be a lot better off. Still wouldn't be a better player but at least would have a decent instrument.
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  11. #9

    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    Eric, you were speaking directly to ME. That is exactly the way I am. It's like the T-shirt says, I play the mandolin because I like to, not because I'm good at it.

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    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    Quote Originally Posted by killntime View Post
    Lol.....All I can picture is shredded fingers that look like hamburger.

    haha...you would think . There were short breaks , of course , but I kid you not ...it was solo mandolin with some vocal so a lot of chording but mostly I played instrumentals and even surprised myself at how my chops came together with this much playing time . Good callouses helped immensely ,I'm sure , and I've had those for years . My point stands though . I think we can only expect a given instrument to make us sound so good . No matter , it still comes down to BEING good and working at THAT ...not playing hop-scotch with instruments our whole lives.

  13. #11
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    Quote Originally Posted by roysboy View Post
    My point stands though . I think we can only expect a given instrument to make us sound so good . No matter , it still comes down to BEING good and working at THAT ...not playing hop-scotch with instruments our whole lives.
    Your point stands for you, and for someone like me who is content. But, others might have completely different goals and motivation for playing and owning instruments (like collecting or looking cool for girls). I really don't mind if others want to jump from mando to mando, cause it creates stock for the used market

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    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Wilson View Post
    Your point stands for you, and for someone like me who is content. But, others might have completely different goals and motivation for playing and owning instruments (like collecting or looking cool for girls). I really don't mind if others want to jump from mando to mando, cause it creates stock for the used market

    wait wait wait ......' looking cool for girls ' ? girls are into guys playing mandolins ? even old dudes ? damn ...I'm going down to the music store to stock up.

  15. #13
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    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    Quote Originally Posted by roysboy View Post
    wait wait wait ......' looking cool for girls ' ? girls are into guys playing mandolins ? even old dudes ? damn ...I'm going down to the music store to stock up.
    🤣🤣🤣 touche

  16. #14
    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another "Which One To Buy" Question

    I think the Kentucky 1050 and 1500 have different width nuts. This is a significant specification to consider.

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