1. bolzano
    I just registered. I started playing the mandolin very recently (about two weeks before covid!). I am currently playing on a 50$ Rogue mandolin but I think I am going to upgrade to Elderly instruments' "beginner" setup. I heard it was good from mandolessons.com

    Do you know of any other "entry" level setups in the 400$ - 500$ range (or forum posts where this is discussed)? I would be interested.

    I am also curious if there are "meetups" where people who are newbies like myself can pick up a thing or two from people who have been playing for awhile. Do you know of any in the Willamette Valley area?
  2. tangleweeds
    Idle curiosity here: Could you please post a link to the Elderly setup?

    I've got a very nice Eastman, but I still enjoy my Rogue too. I've used it for learning setup, using Rob Meldrum's ebook. A huge upgrade was swapping out the annoying tuners it came with for an inexpensive set of Golden Gate tuners from Amazon. That required re-drilling the holes on the headstock, but that wasn't hard, even though I'm a woman with minimal woodshop experience (I'm old enough they still had electives at school, but also old enough that they sent us girls to sewing while only the boys got woodshop), but at least I can manage a drill.

    I just received a new bridge for it (also an inexpensive Golden Gate), but since I've just restrung it that's going to wait until its new cheap but solid-cast tailpiece ships from China, and I can put that on at the same time.

    So even if you upgrade to a better mando, you can still learn a lot from your Rogue! It's currently the only mando I have in quarrantine with me, as I was supposedly short-term cat sitting for my old roomie who was seeing to an ailing eldery parent back East when COVID-19 hit. So he decided to stay back there in case air travel got shut down, and I've got this lovely litte house to myself and only my Rogue to play, but that's just fine now I've got it nicely set up.
  3. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Hello and welcome! Yes, I went to Elderly looking on my phone but wasn't sure what you were referring too. I did find a sort of beginner's kit, but out of stock, the one I saw. Guess I'll have to watch Baron's video.

    At any rate, it seems you have a plan already. I like what tangleweeds wrote, it seems she did a setup on her Rogue. If you haven't done that properly, or had it done by someone professionally, then I think you should do that before spending $$$ on a beginner's kit. OTOH, if Elderly includes a setup with that item, it may be a good deal. Maybe you could post a link for us?
  4. HonketyHank
    Hi, Bolzano. The Oregon Bluegrass Assn has a calendar of events here: https://www.oregonbluegrass.org/calendar/ . I don't know how well maintained it is nor how newbie-friendly the various jams, etc, are, so maybe best to call ahead if a contact number is given.

    I am pretty sure Elderly does a good setup on what they sell. The Mandolin Store does too. They are both reputable dealers and I would recommend calling both and telling them your price range and see if they have something they would recommend. Neither is going to take advantage of you. If you can get a Kentucky 150 or higher or any Eastman in your range I think you should seriously consider it.

    It is good to have you here. I look forward to hearing how your shopping turns out.
  5. SOMorris
    Welcome to the group, Bolzano. I also highly recommend Rob Meldrum's e-book. Even if you wind up buying a more expensive mandolin, you will learn a lot just going through the set up process he outlines. And, you will wind up with a Rogue mandolin that plays well.
  6. bolzano
    Wow! Thanks for the responses. I sent an email to Rob Meldrum to see about getting a copy of the book you recommended.

    Idle curiosity here: Could you please post a link to the Elderly setup?

    Sure thing, the Elderly setup is here: https://www.elderly.com/products/eld...andolin-outfit

    I have thought about doing some work to build/improve the Rogue, but it does not actually belong to me (borrowed from friend) so they might have feelings when I give it back in a different state than I took it. However, I do love this idea, I would actually love to do something like this.

    @Mark Gunter
    I did find a sort of beginner's kit, but out of stock, the one I saw. Guess I'll have to watch Baron's video.

    Holy smokes you are right, it is out of stock... I wasn't even paying attention. I do have an email from them from a few weeks ago saying they would be willing to include a case and the tune up if I wanted to get a different mandolin... But that was pre-covid so I might reach out again and see. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) my starting to learn how to play mandolin coincided with COVID.
  7. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    The first thing to learn is that we all love spending other people's money. Happy to help you shop!

    For $500, you might look at the Kentucky 252 or 272. They're solid little mandolins for the price. The Mandolin Store carries them, they're great to deal with, and they will ship it set up and ready to go.
  8. Louise NM
    Louise NM
    I just saw this in the classifieds. If you like oval holes, here's another. Either one would see you go quite a ways down the road.
  9. bolzano
    Oh wow, I love both of those... I'm trying to decide if I want to try my hands at Rob's book or get a mandolin. Saving money is of course optimal and this is actually a very straightforward book.
  10. Southern Man
    Southern Man
    Rob's "book" is free and online. Just e-mail him. A great resource.

    And welcome.
  11. Chaya
    Welcome bolzano. I don't have much to add to all the other good tips here, except to say that if you're watching your pennies, an a-style mandolin can save you something like $100, just because it doesn't have the fancy carving of an f-style. I'm a fan of the a-styles. I see that Elderly is out of the Kentucky 150, which is a very nice instrument for the money, but you might ask them when they plan on getting more in. It does require a good setup, though!
  12. bolzano
    Well, I ended up going with a used Morgan Monroe mandolin, looks really beautiful. I got it from Elderly, it needed some fretboard work, I am having them do it before they send it. Read some reviews, everyone has good things to say. I did TRY to do fix up the one I have but I don't have a ton of time (still in grad school). I really just want to be able to practice in my breaks, have it sound nice and then get back to studying/research. I put the Rogue back together and have been practicing on it... Really looking forward to playing a mandolin that doesn't buzz while I play, and has better intonation. Also, so that I can use ALL of the tuners. I AM SO EXCITED :-)
  13. HonketyHank
    Congratulations on making the move. I look forward to hearing how it sounds. Study and research come first, of course, but post a video when you can.
  14. SOMorris
    Good news, Bolzano.
  15. SOMorris
    Has your mandolin arrived yet, Bolzano?
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