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Thread: Eastman MDO305 Octave

  1. #1
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    Default Eastman MDO305 Octave

    Haven't been around in a while but anyone got any input on playability, tone, etc on this here?
    https://www.gbase.com/gear/eastman-mdo305-octave
    Last edited by CBFrench; Jul-25-2022 at 9:28pm.

  2. #2
    Registered User tjmangum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MDO305 Octave

    I'm pretty much a beginner and I've found the Eastman to be a lot of fun. You'll find that these are pretty close to a standard for an entry level Octave. Do a search. Lots of discussion on the forum.
    " Give me some words I can dance to and a melody that rhymes" - Steve Goodman

  3. #3
    Every day is a gift. Sheila Lagrand's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MDO305 Octave

    I call mine Charlotte and I enjoy playing her. And I suspect if I ever decided I would consider getting rid of her, that she would be easy to sell.
    Phoebe, my 2021 Collings MT mandolin
    Dolly, my 2021 Ibanez M522 mandolin
    Louise, my 193x SS Maxwell mandolin
    Fiona, My 2021 GSM guitar-bodied octave resonator mandolin
    Charlotte, my 2016 Eastman MDO 305 octave mandolin
    And Giuliana, my 2002 Hans Schuster 505 violin, Nehenehe, my 2021 Aklot concert ukulele,
    Annie, my 2022 Guild M-140 guitar, Joni, my 1963 Harmony 1215 Archtone archtop guitar,
    Yoko, my ca. 1963 Yamaha Dynamic No.15 guitar, and Rich, my 1959 husband.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Eastman MDO305 Octave

    I own one and have only good things to say about it. I always wanted one and the price was right. Comes with a padded gig bag but when I find a hard-shell case that fits it I'll buy it.

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Eastman MDO305 Octave

    I have the Eastman MDO-305 and after 11 months, I’m pleased with it. I bought it, played it awhile (weeks) and then took it for a setup. I also replaced the OEM tuners with Rubner tuners. The stock ones were serviceable but it’s even better, now. Between the setup and the tuner change the price effectively increased by 20-25% but that’s justified by my satisfaction; now it encourages me to play. I use D’Addario EJ-72 phosphor bronze mandola strings with good results. A fairly common comment is that it sounds thin or nasal. Well, goll-ll-llee, Sgt. Carter, it’s got a small, shallow body! I view it as the parlor guitar of the mandolin family. It fits nicely in accompanying roles with voices and with other instruments.
    Finished my rookie year and still determined to learn!
    Ratliff F-style Country Boy
    Eastman MDO-305 Octave Mandolin
    Kentucky KM-272

    I donít know what I want to be when I grow up.

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  8. #6
    MN Mandolin Orchestra Benjamin Gieseke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MDO305 Octave

    I've had mine for a couple of years and like it a lot. I 100% recommend a good set up and switching from the stock strings to these:

    https://www.stringsbymail.com/daddar...-53-18197.html

    The strings it comes with are too loose for an OM of this scale. Mandola strings are long enough and a better tension, it will sound less buzzy and have a tighter low end.
    Summit F-200X (#133)
    1919 Gibson A-2
    Eastwood Mandocaster
    Eastman Octave Mandolin

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Eastman MDO305 Octave

    i have one and enjoy the voice it has but find i don't use it enough to justify keeping it. I've listed it in the classifieds. Nice straight neck , no fret wear, it's like new with a new set of Rubner tuners installed, Eastman soft case and a couple of sets of new strings included.

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Eastman MDO305 Octave

    Mine arrived last December. It's great to play. The body is a little thin so the tone is not as deep as I expected, but still has a nice airy tone that blends well. I don't play it near as much as my regular mandolins, but it always seems easy to play.

    Plus I love the satin finish so much more than a glossy finish. For some reason glossy finishes irritate the skin on my forearm. The only drawback with the finish is it feels like it wasn't buffed out. It has some small spots that feel slightly grainy or rough. Use some wet/dry sandpaper of 1500 grit or higher to very lightly sand the body surface when changing strings. Then wipe it down. After that both of my Eastmans feel silky smooth.

    I haven't had any tuner issues on either of my Eastman mandolins. I guess I got lucky. I've been surprised how stable the tuners are after reading so many complaints about them. I am going to try a set of D'addario mandola strings the next time I change them just to see the difference.

    Buy from a dealer known for doing good setups. It saves a lot of playing time and money when you find a seller who can do it right.

  12. #9

    Default Re: Eastman MDO305 Octave

    I like mine too. The tuners donít have a solid feel to them but they still seem to hold well enough. No regrets.

  13. #10

    Default Re: Eastman MDO305 Octave

    Just use the blue or (preferably) the orange mandola strings.
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

  14. #11
    Registered User urobouros's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MDO305 Octave

    Though I didn't like the tuners, the MDO305 is a lot of bang for your buck. It's a lot of OM for a starter but I'm a gear snob and ended selling mine to fund a Weber.
    2020 Northfield Big Mon
    2016 Skip Kelley A5
    2011 Weber Gallatin A20
    2013 Collings Mandola
    2021 Northfield Flattop Octave Mandolin
    2019 Pono Flattop Octave
    Richard Beard Celtic Flattop
    And a few electrics

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