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Thread: New Mandolin Advice request

  1. #1

    Default New Mandolin Advice request

    Hi All --

    We're just about to go into lockdown here in Buffalo, NY -- and I'm hoping to use the indoor time to learn the mandolin.

    I'm planning to pick one up secondhand, and do the initial setup myself (I have Rob Meldrum's pdf, which is amazing, and will be most helpful, I know). I'm just looking for something inexpensive to play around with; if it 'sticks,' I'll get something better later.

    There are two available locally: a Rogue RM-100, which was used a few times and then put away and is available for a song, and a "Lyons by Washburn," which is a little bit more expensive, but comes with a hard case, and looks like just like Washburn M1. I'm seeking advice about the Lyon, and perhaps even which to pull the trigger on.

    I know the strengths and weaknesses of the Rogue, but I've been unable to find anything online on the Lyons by Washburn, other than it apparently has a maple top, back & sides and a mahogany neck.

    I don't think it matters, but I see that often when people ask about instruments, there is a follow-up about types of music the person intends to play: blues, folk, maybe a little blues-grass.

    Thanks in advance for your answers,

    Cass
    Last edited by cassady; Nov-22-2020 at 11:33pm.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    Lyon is a budget line from whomever now owns the Washburn name. I doubt it would be better than the Rogue. A maple top is not desirable.

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  4. #3
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    I would get the cheaper of the two if they are both in decent condition (nothing broken or stove in, neck straight, room on the bridge to adjust a bit up and down). You will be wanting to move up from either once you get into it and the bug bites, anyway.

    Have fun with the mando and good on you for getting Rob's ebook. Get an extra couple of sets from juststrings.com or strings and beyond. D'Addario EJ74's are inexpensive and popular. Maybe EJ73's if you don't have calluses yet. You'll burn a set of strings when you do the setup stuff from Rob's book.

    Welcome to mandoo world!
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    Either will get you going and it won't be long before you want an upgrade !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    I agree with HonketyHank, you will want to move up when the MAS strikes, and believe me it strikes. Good luck and remember this is fun even though your fingers will hurt for a while and you'll get frustrated at not sounding like David Grisman or Bill Monroe after one week's practice.

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    I would recommend you take a ride to Bernunzio Uptown Music in Rochester. There you can hold, play, listen to a variety of mandolins both new and used. I believe they are only open on Saturdays for walk in traffic. Check their website.
    I would pass on the ones you mentioned and go for something more playable and set up properly. Yes, it will cost a bit more but will pay off in the long run.

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  12. #7
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    Seconding the Bernunzio suggestion. Definitely worth the trip.

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  14. #8
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    So, I just looked at the Bernunzio website and their mandolin inventory is rather pathetic at this stage. Looks like covid has taken a toll on their shipments.
    So, then I would suggest the "mandolin store", you can't hold them but they get great reviews. It would be worth a phone call. Not much of interest on "craigslist buffalo" either. Sometimes you can score on there.
    An "A style" will get you more bang for your buck.

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  16. #9
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    Bernunzio's entire inventory isn't on their website; if you're considering a trip, give them a call first and see what they have. Dave Stutzman, just a bit west of Rochester, has a cheap Rogue, and you can be sure that it's well set up. (I've been dealing with Dave and his late father before him, for 50+ years.)

    Both John Bernunzio and Dave Stutzman are good, reliable dealers; I can state that from personal experience. Too bad Scott Freilich and Top Shelf Music aren't still around in Buffalo; I almost bought one of those Turturro "Turn-Over" mandolin/ukes from Scott years ago, but he ended up selling it to a member of the Turturro family who wanted to add it to the family archive.
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  18. #10
    Mando Training Wheels kegcrowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    greetings all! this may or may not be the place for this, but here goes. once upon a time there was a Walmart mandolin discussion https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...s-on-Clearance! and I purchased one of these darlings with the intention of setting it up and giving to a (child) person with a maybe interest in learning. That never happened. So it has sat around my house, never having been taken out of the box (indeed I have never even opened the box, so I am only assuming the box contains said "mandolin shaped object'. ) for the low price of shipping, I am happy to give this treasure to whomever wants it.
    Kathy
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  20. #11

    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    That's a very kind offer -- thank you very much! -- but I picked up the 'Lyons by Washburn' mandolin from a kindly old fellow last week.

    I won't get to the setup stage for a week or so - busy week or two at work.

    Thanks for everyone's advice! What a great community.

  21. #12
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    Buddy of mine lives in Buffalo and plays mandolin. he might be able to help you out if you run into trouble or just want to meet another mandolin player. He plays Irish (and rock and roll and just about everything else) so before the lockdown, he was hanging around at whatever bar hosted the local irish session. if they have a website, you can probably hook up with him and all the other musicians in the area even if it's just by social media. my 2 cents.
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  22. #13
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    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    That bar in Buffalo that has the jams is Rohall's Corner, Amherst St.

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  24. #14

    Default Re: New Mandolin Advice request

    For what its worth, I have a Rogue mandolin that I bought last year. Basically, I got the mandolin because I wanted to learn how to do my own set up work. I got Rob's book (Thank You Rob!!). The Mandolin needed a lot of work! But I methodically worked through by Rob's method, and let me just say, the mandolin turned out GREAT! It is so comfortable to play. It splits time with my The Loar LM 520. Now honestly, the Rogue doesn't sound near as good as the the LM-520. But it is very comfortable to play, and it does sound much better than its price point would suggest. .....my .02....

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