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Thread: Eastman Octave Mando...

  1. #1

    Default Eastman Octave Mando...

    Hi. Looking for info on the Eastman octave mandolin. I have a cheap mandolin that I love to plink around on, and want to add the octave to my collection. I've found a possible Eastman model, but can't find ANY information or reviews. Any thoughts from you all? Maybe the lack of info tells me all that I need to know. It is a short scale, I do want that.
    Thanks in advance for any insight.

  2. #2
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave Mando...

    There are LOTS of thoughts here re the Eastman Octave... look around for a bit and you will find them. I have had one for a while, and I like it a lo

  3. #3
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave Mando...

    There is quite a bit out there on this forum and in other places. Mostly when they first showed up and then as the 2nd batch arrived. That's when I got mine. While I have looked at other OM's since then haven't been too serious as am still happy with the Eastman.

    Good luck whichever way you decide to go.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Eastman Octave Mando...

    I've been looking for a good while, they are always out of stock. Sun Valley Guitars just got some in yesterday (Friday Oct. 1). I ordered mine today. :-)
    https://sunvalleyguitars.com/

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    Default Re: Eastman Octave Mando...

    My Eastman MDO-305, bought just weeks ago through the classifieds here, is my first mandolin of any stripe so I’m far from an authority on them. OTOH I can say that it feels good to play it, the sound is well balanced along the neck and across all strings. The timbre is fine for my wants but if you’re a sound snob check it out first. I’ve picked up replacement tuners because I dislike the originals but that’s a personal preference. Above all, if you get one do like you should with any stringed instrument, have a setup done.

    Do browse around here because there are lors of discussions about the Eastman.

  6. #6
    Registered User urobouros's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave Mando...

    I also had an MDO-305 & thought it was great value for the money. I'm a cork sniffer myself so wasn't satisfied until I upgraded but you can't do better for less than $1K. In my ever so humble opinion of course
    2020 Big Mon
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    When learning an instrument, there are no cheat codes, short cuts or crash courses. It's simply a matter of practice! - Mr Jenkins (HS Music Teacher)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Eastman Octave Mando...

    I had an MDO-305, and agree that it's a good value and a good instrument. For me it was just the scale length -- I was really surprised at the difference between the 21" of the Eastman and the 20" scale of the Weber that I have now. The Weber does sound better, as you'd expect, but it's not a monumental difference. But that one inch made a ton of difference for me being able to quickly adjust melodies from the mandolin to the octave, and it turned out to matter to me.

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    Default Re: Eastman Octave Mando...

    At that price point, it's going to be hard to find an OM that is any better. You might even have to go up another $500-$1K to get the next level even used.

    As Adam mentioned, the Eastman is a short scale, but not a really short scale. It's really short compared to a bouzouki, but in the OM world, I think that short-scale means 19" or 20". I agree that every inch makes a significant difference, regardless of your preference.
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  9. #9
    Registered User urobouros's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman Octave Mando...

    The transition to a shorter scale on my OM made a big difference in playability for me. I find scale length to have quite the butterfly effect on playability & I'm often surprised by which one I prefer on a given instrument.
    2020 Big Mon
    2016 Skip Kelley A5
    2019 Weber Bitteroot F17
    2011 Weber Gallatin A20
    2013 Colling Mandola
    Richard Beard Celtic Flattop
    And a few electrics

    When learning an instrument, there are no cheat codes, short cuts or crash courses. It's simply a matter of practice! - Mr Jenkins (HS Music Teacher)

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    Default Re: Eastman Octave Mando...

    If I were shopping for an OM for < 1000 the Eastman is what I’d buy. They’re well built and good sounding instruments.

    I recently switched from a Weber 22.5 inch Hyalite to a 20 inch Bitterroot, and I agree that the shorter scale length made a tremendous difference in playability for me with melody/lead stuff. Of course, there are people out there who feel the shorter scale length just doesn’t work for them, so take my .02 for the .00 it’s worth. If you get the Eastman I recommend trying D’Addairio J-73 mandola strings instead of their J-81 OM strings. The mandola set eliminates the G string floppiness the OM set can give on the shorter scale, or at least it does so on my OM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Eastman Octave Mando...

    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    If I were shopping for an OM for < 1000 the Eastman is what I’d buy. They’re well built and good sounding instruments.

    I recently switched from a Weber 22.5 inch Hyalite to a 20 inch Bitterroot, and I agree that the shorter scale length made a tremendous difference in playability for me with melody/lead stuff. Of course, there are people out there who feel the shorter scale length just doesn’t work for them, so take my .02 for the .00 it’s worth. If you get the Eastman I recommend trying D’Addairio J-73 mandola strings instead of their J-81 OM strings. The mandola set eliminates the G string floppiness the OM set can give on the shorter scale, or at least it does so on my OM.
    Hi CES

    I'm using EJ72 mandola strings on my Weber Yellowstone octave, and the G string floppiness is an issue for me. Could you clarify your recommendation please? When I search for J-73's I come up with light mandolin strings. Mandola strings are numbered EJ72 for light, EJ76 for medium, and EFT76 for medium flattops.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Eastman Octave Mando...

    Quote Originally Posted by Timk View Post
    Hi CES

    I'm using EJ72 mandola strings on my Weber Yellowstone octave, and the G string floppiness is an issue for me. Could you clarify your recommendation please? When I search for J-73's I come up with light mandolin strings. Mandola strings are numbered EJ72 for light, EJ76 for medium, and EFT76 for medium flattops.

    Thanks
    Clarification: I was typing on my phone and club thumbed it. EJ 72 are what I’m using and they’re working well for me. Sorry for the confusion! Not sure if going heavier on the G strings would be OK or not. That might be a good question for Weber or maybe the dealer who sold it to you. I know there are some companies that sell individual strings so you can customize, and there are plenty of string tension calculators online if Weber only gives you a max not to exceed…

    Good luck, and sorry again for the mis-type!

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