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Thread: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

  1. #1
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    Default Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    I just released my new Eastman MD305 from Covid19 isolation, tuned it up, and had a plunk for an hour or so. I'm completely happy with it, which doesn't happen with many of the many musical instruments I've owned. Thanks to all here who recommended it, you were absolutely right!

    What I wanted was a value well made plain looking woody sounding and easy playing mandolin, and that's exactly what this is - but there's more than that. I didn't expect this to have a three piece neck, but there it is - a narrow sandwich of some visibly 'other' wood between the outer layers, maybe that will add some stability. Then there's the alloy tailpiece common to a number of Eastmans and now even on this base model. What they don't bother telling you in the spec. is that this tailpiece depresses the strings slightly, and has a rubber or foam plastic piece on the inside which (I think) has a harmonic supression effect. The machines are, as someone else said on another thread, stiff, but they seem to work OK and don't stick and slip.

    Straight off it sounded a bit hard with a brassy G, but after maybe 20 mins playing it started to loosen up and sound more woody, with more 'pop' to each pick stroke and the initially tight sounding Es opening up. By that time I'd messed with picks and settled (for now) on a 1.0 Dunlop Ultex Sharp - I''ve ordered a selection of thicknesses of these to see what works best. It also sounds like it's starting to sustain longer than straight off - of course it may be playing me in

    I intended to get a Tone-Gard device, so for the moment I fitted a Wolf 'Forte Secondo' viola (not violin - much wider) shoulder rest I have, and I think that's doing the same job. It stays on the mando surprisingly well, it keeps the mando back maybe 1.5" off me and (I think) improves the sound.

    This one's a keeper - even if I get a better mando sometime in the future, this is a good honest instrument that works well, that you can leave on a bar table while you get a drink without worrying about it. Thanks again for the recommendation!

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    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Your happiness is what matters.
    2020 The Loar Supreme LM700 VS

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    Registered User poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Pictures or it didn't happen
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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Pictures?...well, a brown mandolin, just like every other Eastman MD305 If this picture attach works, though, it'll show the viola shoulder rest, which surprisingly, enables me to play it standing up with no strap. Why would you do that - because you can?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    A good choice!

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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Don’t confuse short term “settling down” with long term “playing in”. You’ll likely experience the former with every string change.

    There are about as many people who say Tonegards don’t work as there are who claim that the sound of mandolins don’t improve with time. I now have 3 of them so you can tell which side of the fence I’m on; just make sure you buy the right size. I think an Eastman will need the larger “vintage” one but you need to check. There was a UK one for sale in the classifieds the other day but the seller wasn’t clear about the size. (They also said that it originally cost $35 postage - mine was $25 at the end of November).

    Play the hell out of it!

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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    I am amazed As to how the Eastman 305 is keeping people sane during these Covid times. I take my hats off to the luthiers in the Eastman factory who are making such quality instruments for so little money. They deserve a pay rise even if the price of the Eastmans go up a bit
    Nic Gellie

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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Don’t confuse short term “settling down” with long term “playing in”. You’ll likely experience the former with every string change....Tonegards... There was a UK one for sale in the classifieds the other day but the seller wasn’t clear about the size. Play the hell out of it!
    Good point about strings settling down vs instrument playing in. I saw that ToneGuard on Ebay, but at 80 I could order one from the US maker with a guarantee for about the same. If the viola shoulder rest works out for me instead (depends on how much it falls off), they're something like 30.

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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    If you order direct (as I did) don’t forget to factor in VAT and the 8 Royal Mail commission. I don’t think ordering 1 will take you above the duty threshold.

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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Congrats... Glad you like it..... enjoy. And start putting money away for your upgrade. The more you know, the more you know you don't know. Enjoy the journey. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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    Registered User Pappyrich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    You summed up my feelings towards my Eastman 305 very succinctly. Glad you like it. I've had my for about 1.5 years now, and still think it is a very adequate mandolin. No plans to upgrade, yet.

    Enjoy!
    Richard

    Eastman 305 mandolin
    Martin D16 guitar
    OME 11" banjo
    Pisgah 12" banjo

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  19. #12
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Congrats Maxr, I loved my 305!... great little mando!
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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    I love the chinrest as a tone guard! That's brilliant

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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe Captain View Post
    I love the chinrest as a tone guard! That's brilliant
    That's a shoulder rest he's using in place of a tone-gard, not a chin rest, says this unrehabilitated violinist.
    Now, what was I after when I wandered in here?

    Phoebe, my 2021 Collings MT
    Valerie, my 2016 Eastman MDO 305
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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Time will tell whether the shoulder rest will stay on well enough to do the job of a Tone-Gard. So far as sound goes, it works.
    Eastman MD305 mandolin...

    2 x Fiddles, 1 x 5 string viola, 1 x 5 string octave viola, 2 X nyckelharpas
    2 X 12 string guitars, 3 x 6 string guitars, 1 x Cuatro de Puerto Rico
    5 x recorders - descant, alto, tenor
    1 X Highland bagpipes
    1 x Garvie 'Session' pipes

    Which is why I won't be upgrading the mandolin anytime soon.

  24. #16

    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    I have an Eastman also, and I really like it (also!).

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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Congrats, maxr! And, nice bit of ingenuity with the shoulder rest...
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    Congrats, maxr! And, nice bit of ingenuity with the shoulder rest...
    Cheapniss is the father of ingenuity...and I'm Scottish.

  29. #19
    Registered User maxamy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Nice... Congrats

  30. #20

    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Ingenious idea about the shoulder rest.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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  32. #21

    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Quote Originally Posted by J Mangio View Post
    Your happiness is what matters.
    In addition to his happiness mattering, it also matters that he's found a good mandolin at a reasonable price, which others on the board might also enjoy.

  33. #22

    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    I just opened mine up as well yesterday. The figuring on yours is more pronounced than mine, I think. Congratulations!

  34. #23
    Every day is a gift. Sheila Lagrand's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    I got my MD 305 in late September (or early October?) of last year, and by December I added an MDO 305. Yeah, I like mine.

    Congratulations to both of you!
    Now, what was I after when I wandered in here?

    Phoebe, my 2021 Collings MT
    Valerie, my 2016 Eastman MDO 305
    Rich, my 1959 Husband

  35. #24
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    Default Re: Eastman MD 305 unbox - thanks all, I'm a satisfied customer.

    Quote Originally Posted by neverenoughtea View Post
    I just opened mine up as well yesterday. The figuring on yours is more pronounced than mine, I think. Congratulations!
    Might just be the photo. Mine has some figure on the back (none on the neck), but it's not bookmatched, so I think it's just chance rather than design. It also has a bunch of narrow vertical lines running up and down the back, which I suspect might be toothed plane marks which haven't been completely taken out with a scraper before being filled with stained filler then varnished. The joins in the three part top are easy to see also. If this was a $3000 mandolin that might be some cause for concern, but hey, this is a budget instrument for the sound quality, so for me it's all 'character'. Have fun with yours, I expect they all sound as good as each other.

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