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Thread: F-Style for under $3K

  1. #1
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    I hate to ask for the "best" F for under $3K, but I'm getting ready to buy my first F-style and am looking for recommendations of quality instruments in that price range.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  2. #2

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    pomeroy instruments. don paine is the builder. although i believe that he said his prices were going to inch up.

    his F5's started at $2500.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

  3. #3

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    There is a nice looking Gibson F5-G in the classifieds for $2600. I've got one and they are bodacious!

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    You haven't provided much information so you're likely to get a whole range of advice, because there's a lot of good 'F' mandos out there for less than $3K. #

    What style do you play ('F' models are good for bluegrass and jazz, but not generally popular for celtic or classical). #

    Do you want to buy new or used? #In other words, how important is having an original owner's warranty? #

    Where are you located? #How important is it to buy close to home (for servicing, repairs, etc). #

    What models have you tried out so far? #Which ones have caught your eye and ear? #

    Do you intend to keep it for the long haul, or are you looking for a model with good resale value to use as a trader when you upgrade down the road?

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    I found my Gibson F5-G for under $3,000...also a Gibson F-9 is solid and my other fave ... Ratliff ...
    Matthew Harris

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    Flatiron Festival F's are usually priced used a little above the 2K range...I like mine:D

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    Mandohack has a cherry Gibson F9 listed in the classifieds for $2100 I believe.
    mick meinsler

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    There are a lot of up and coming builders out there who are under 3K. When I got the $$ for a good mandolin I bought from a smaller builder who was at $2500 and it was a good mandolin.

    Looking back I wish I would have just bought a used mandolin like one of those Gibson F-5g's or maybe a Collings 'A'. With a Gibson you get a mandolin that is right down the middle and will allow you to form your own opinions on what you like in a mandolin. When you get to that point then you can sell it, get you money back and then order that custom you've been wanting. Small builder mandolins sometimes are tough to sell on the used market without taking a hit. At least in the under 3K range.

    That's just my 2 cents..

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    Thanks for all the recommendations so far. Keep 'em coming.

    Couple of more questions. Other than the classifieds here, where are good places to check for used mandos . . . I know the usual like Elderly's, Mandolin Brothers, etc., but would be interested in other sources.

    I'm also interested in the "up and coming" builders who maybe haven't made the name for themselves, but do have a lot of promise based on what you guys have seen.

    Thanks again,
    Tim

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    Larry Muth in Canada is getting a good reputation. I have one of his f styles coming this spring. Closer to $2000 than $3000 with the exchange rate. There have been discussions about him and some pictures on here before. He also has a web site.
    Dave in Loveland, OH
    dvoyles276@fuse.net

  11. #11
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    If you get a New F9, the lifetime warrentee is in your name, remember.


    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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    I highly recommend a Silver Angel.

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    I have had excellent results with Elderly. I have found it pays to question and request that a salesperson who is a mandolin player gives you an in-hand description. I have two mandolins purchased used through them that I would not part with. I recently bought a Tope F (new builder)in your price range from them. I am very pleased. And yes, I have been able to return an instrument or two over the years that I was not satisfied with ... without a hassle.

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    Weber builds two F type mandolins under $3000. Also, if you take your time I bet you can find a yellowstone used for under 3000. Nick
    ntriesch

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    Bob Snieder makes excellent mandos. Siren mandos come with a varnish finish which you rarely find it this price range. The finish isn't perfect but after 6-7 months it sounds wonderful. Both are under $3000.

  16. #16
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    Some other places to look are Mandolin World Headquarters--Charles Johnson tends to have a fairly good selection of mandolins (both big name and small builder), Greg Boyd is a Weber dealer and seems to always have some really nice used instruments as well, and Tony Williamson at Mandolin Central often has some good stuff (though his selection tends to be in the higher end--e.g. Randy Wood, Duff, Rattlesnake, and of course Gibson). These are, at least, some of the spots on my Favorites list.
    Greg Henkle

    2002 Prucha F5
    1962 Martin D18
    1965 Fender Telecaster

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    Ditto on the Weber Yellowstone!

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    I was looking back through the posts and see Neal's questions about what style I'll be using it for; new/used; etc. to help with recommendations. I play mostly bluegrass/newgrass, so I'm looking for something with a good chop, as well as overall playability. Used is fine for me and, in fact, it would be preferred actually with my thinking being I could probably get more for my money that way. Unfortunately, I haven't got to play any good mandolins, just the cheaper stuff they have in the local music stores in my area. So, I don't have much to compare with and I really appreciate the help here. I have bought and sold a number of used guitars and most dealers/individuals will give you a 48-72 hour approval. Is the same true for folks in the mando community?

    Take care,
    Tim

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    Oh yeah, one other thing Neal asked was whether this purchase would be for the long haul, or something I would want to use for resale/trade-up later. It would probably be the latter. That is, the $3K is my range now, but I expect I will want to trade up as I progress and as the $$ becomes available. But, this one is probably something I'd want to keep for a few years. Thanks.
    Tim

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    Hi Tim. All the advice from members so far has been good. I personally agree with the guys who suggested a used Weber Yellowstone or a Gibson F-9. I've owned both of these models and each would be a good fit for your needs.

  21. #21
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    In that case, Mandohack's F-9 looks even better, I'd say. I think he has a page of description and pix at www.jazzmando.com.

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    TBoone- give some of #these a listen. #Soundwise, I think they all sound pretty nice, I'd be looking for playability and resale myself. #You couldn't go wrong with the F-9, I have played one of those, and found it very playable to my taste.

    DISCLAIMER: #(read very fast) I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL MANDOLIN PLAYER. #NOR AM I A VERY GOOD ONE. #I HAVE VERY LIMITED EXPERIENCE WITH MANDOLINS. #ANY ADVICE GIVEN SHOULD BE SUSPECT. THE BULK OF MY EXPERIENCE IS WITH FINE GUITARS. #AND NOT SO FINE GUITARS OF AN ACOUSTIC NATURE. #HOWEVER, I'VE BEEN SUCKED IN TO THE MANDOLIN WORLD AND MY INTERESTS HAVE SWITCHED. #HELP ME PLEASE HELP ME. #THIS WILL HAPPEN TO YOU. #LEAVE NOW WHILE YOU CAN. End of disclainmer, thank you very much for your time.

  23. #23
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    mandocat is correct; the Weber Yellowstone CAN be had for less that $3,000. I would check the Weber dealer list and correspond with them, regardless of where they are located. A dealer in North GA offered one for $2,500 a couple of years ago!

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    The bottom line is you just have to take your time and look. Look at all the shops, go online , listen for deals and you will find what you are looking for for a great price. To me, thats half the fun. Nick
    ntriesch

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    [QUOTEThe bottom line is you just have to take your time and look. Look at all the shops, go online , listen for deals and you will find what you are looking for for a great price. To me, thats half the fun. Nick [/QUOTE]

    mandocat is right, with time, I firmly believe you can find a 10K sounding f-style for under 3K.

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