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Thread: Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

  1. #1
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    Question Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

    Hello,

    I'm researching mandolins to buy one for my fiance. He is an intermediate player who currently only has a garbage $80 mandolin that someone gave him. He will only be playing it for fun, mostly The Band style of music. I'm looking to spend in the $300 range but am willing to go up to $500 for an excellent value. I'd like to get an A-style, arch top -- would also prefer the top/back to be solid wood, not laminate.

    I've called every single music shop in my half of the state (NJ) and no one carries mandolins, or if they do they only carry overpriced crappy ones.

    Can anyone recommend to me a few types of mandolins that would be appropriate for my fiance and any good online places to buy from?

    Thank you, much appreciated!!!
    Becca

  2. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

    Well, might not think it from reading some recent threads, but lots of Cafe people seem to like Loar mandolins; solid carved tops/backs, somewhat beefy necks, benefit from good set-ups, yada yada...

    Buzzy Feiten at Lark Street Guitars in Teaneck advertises an LM-220-VS for $375 and an LM-400-VS for $539. Don't know how close that is to you.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Flatiron 3K OM

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    Default Re: Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

    http://www.folkmusician.com/Mandolins/departments/28/
    http://www.themandolinstore.com/Scripts/default.asp

    Both of these have great reputations among forum members, and are known for good deals AND well set-up, easy playing instruments. They both carry Kentucky, The Loar, and Rover (at least, I know Folk Musician carry Rover), and you should be able to find what you want amongst those. Both of these retailers are also great about answering questions and hooking you up with what you need.
    Mitch Russell

  4. #4
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

    If you want a more modern (thinner) neck, the Eastman 305 is about in that range. It's bling-less, but is solid wood and hand carved. There might be some available through some of the sponsors if you give them a call. Actually, give them a call anyway, they can probably help out whatever you're looking for.
    --------------------------------
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    Default Re: Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

    Wow, thanks everybody!!

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    Default Re: Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

    Hey guys, I just bought a Loar 220 from folkmusician.com today and think it'll be a great fit. Thanks again for all your help!

  7. #7
    Registered User maki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

    Congratulations! How did she take to it? Was it a surprise?

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    Default Re: Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

    Quote Originally Posted by maki View Post
    Congratulations! How did she take to it? Was it a surprise?
    I think it was a he, not a she.

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    Default Re: Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

    Yes, HE hasn't gotten it yet, it arrives this weekend (can't wait!).

    Becca

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

    Becca you have to let us know how it goes.. please!
    Kip...
    Blessings,
    Kip...

    If you think you can or think you can't... you're likely right!

    Eastman MD515, amid many guitars and a dulcimer.

  11. #11
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

    Hope he likes it. Be sure to steer him here to the Cafe if he hasn't already discovered it, for information, advice and laughs.
    BTW-- he's lucky to have a thoughtful fiance like you.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Help buying mandolin as gift for intermediate player.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Busman View Post
    Hope he likes it. Be sure to steer him here to the Cafe if he hasn't already discovered it, for information, advice and laughs.
    BTW-- he's lucky to have a thoughtful fiance like you.
    Amen... What Paul said!
    Kip...
    Blessings,
    Kip...

    If you think you can or think you can't... you're likely right!

    Eastman MD515, amid many guitars and a dulcimer.

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