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Thread: HELP!! Bowlback or flatback for Italian Music

  1. #1

    Default HELP!! Bowlback or flatback for Italian Music

    Hi All!

    10 years or so I bought my first mandolin- a 40 Wesley electro acoustic. I've been playing on and off but quarantine has really allowed me to indulge in my playing to the point where I now play for hours a day. I have decided that it's time to buy a new mandolin, a 'serious' instrument as opposed to my cheap entry level Wesley.

    Being Sicilian, it's the folk music that attracted me to the mandolin, the polkas, the sciuri sciuri's and the unique southern italian sound. Now for my dilemma:

    My budget is approx 500. I recognise for the style of music I want to play Im better off with an A style mando (round hole) and I love the look of the Eastman Md304. However a voice in the back of my head is screaming 'buy a bowlback'. I know that the bowlback has limitations and finding an instrument I can try before I buy in London isnt going to be an easy task. However I can't help but feel that the Eastman is going to have me wanting more, that sharp unique sound that a bowlback makes.

    What do I do? My experience is limited so I'd love to hear your advice.

    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.

    Question Re: HELP!! Bowlback or flatback for Italian Music

    Both have all the notes you need to play.. CF Martin was building bowl back Mandolins , then developed their flat back ones from that..

    Cant Top build style derived from that ... body , volume (Cm3) wider not as deep..

    Sharp pointy picks?
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
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  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    SF Bay Area

    Default Re: HELP!! Bowlback or flatback for Italian Music

    Check out what David Hynds has to offer. NFI.
    Pava S/N 21
    Calace Bowlback

  4. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Westchester, NY

    Default Re: HELP!! Bowlback or flatback for Italian Music

    I have never dealt with Pamela's Music but they seem to have a bunch of bowlbacks, sone even from Sicily and pretty reasonable prices. If you can go there (near Tunbridge Wells in Kent) even better. I also checked Hobgoblin in the UK but they don't seem to have much in the way of bowlbacks. As ToyonPete noted, Dave Hynds would also be a good bet and he works on these instruments. Also John Maddock who is also acrtive on this site (also inn SW UK might have something. I am in the US otherwise would invite you over to look in my closet for something.

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