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Thread: Time to get a mandolin

  1. #1
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    Default Time to get a mandolin

    I've been fooling around with a mando for a while, and I've decided it's time to get myself one. I've got an $800ish budget (although that is slightly flexible). I'm thinking an a style, or a two point, for whatever reason I'm not feeling the f style, and I really like the sound of an oval hole- although again, I'm willing to switch it up for another good sounding mando . What do you guys recommend?? Thanks in advance!!

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    Default Re: Time to get a mandolin

    You can get a nice "A" model for $800. You will get recommendations for Eastmans, Kentucky's and Rovers.

    All nice mandos, for sure. But...and I'm just saying (that was to ward off the ham-sandwich stuff)...at $800 you are getting VERY close to used Gibson A-9 territory. There was recently one in the Classifieds for $1050, I believe.

    The A-9 is a whole lotta mandolin. Maybe as much as you will ever need.
    No...YOU stand back.

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    Default Re: Time to get a mandolin

    Hey, you can't be JeffR. I was here first.

    I agree w/ birdman98, in that your budget is close enough to $1000-$1200 territory that you could well be looking for a used A-style Flatiron, Gibson A9, Ratcliff, Ratliff, Givens Legacy, Howard Morris,or similar. I would definitely favor buying something used but well looked after, and you will get the fullest value for your money. I'm also a multiple A-style owner, and though I haven't made a major mando purchase in a few years, almost everything I have bought was in this cost window.

    This is great time to have some money and be in a position to buy, and we are seeing a lot of good deals. My advice is to be patient, research and consider, maybe save several hundred dollars more, and then act when a good instrument comes along.
    Jeff Rohrbough
    "Listen louder, play softer"

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    Registered User Nonprophet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Time to get a mandolin

    You can buy a new Howard Morris A style for $850 with a gig bag. Research his name here and you'll find lot's of nice things said about Howard and his mandolins.

    They do come up for sale sometimes used in the classifieds and on feebay, in fact there is a used one on feebay right now (NFI). For me, whenever possible I try to buy American-made products.

    NP

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    Default Re: Time to get a mandolin

    I love my Silverangel "Econo" model...gently used for 900 bucks (the original owner was upgrading within Ken's line)...light years ahead of my Kentucky 675-S...larger frets, nice radius, and great tone IMO. The only upgrade I may eventually make is with the tailpiece, though with a recent "adjustment" to the cover it stays on better, so maybe not...

    Breedlove, Howard Morris, A-9, used Flatirons, etc, are all close as stated. If you like "different" but still great mandolins, check out Johnathan Mann's offerings as well (though he may be getting out of your range for a new acoustic...haven't looked in a while).

    Good luck...there are a lot of great A-styles out there in the 700-1500 range...
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Time to get a mandolin

    For that money, I second the used Gibson A-9. Look on the Classifieds here on the Cafe.

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    Registered User man dough nollij's Avatar
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    Default Re: Time to get a mandolin

    New Eastman 504 or 604. I got my (now gone) 504 for $499, and it was by far the best deal on a lower end oval. My (now also gone) 505 was a fantastic mandolin, for the same price (ff hole A model). Mine was an unusually good one. Definitely want to buy from someone like The Mandolin Store who has a bunch of them, and can send you the best sounding one. Got the 505 from them; the 504 from Gianna Violins. Great set up and service from both.

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    Mandolindian rgray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Time to get a mandolin

    If new is your preference, take a look at the Kentucky KM-900 for about $900 but I think most shops are backordered. Great reviews. There is a used one in the classifieds for $800. (NFI)

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    Default Re: Time to get a mandolin

    Thanks for these replies! What are good places to look for gibsons- any other suggestions than these classifieds? Not that these don't have a great selection, just wondering if there are other sites I could be monitoring.

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    Default Re: Time to get a mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by acousticphd View Post
    Hey, you can't be JeffR. I was here first.
    hahahaha! We need to settle this elsewhere- not enough room in the cafe for two of us.... haha!

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