View Poll Results: Vintage Flatiron vs Eastman MD305

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  • Buy the Flatiron!

    12 92.31%
  • Keep your Eastman

    1 7.69%
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Thread: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

  1. #1

    Default Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    I'm a beginner mando player and intermediate acoustic guitar player. I've got an Eastman MD305, but I've got the opportunity to snag a Gibson Flatiron Performer A from 1993 in excellent shape for about $1300.

    As I understand it, the woods are the same (both solid spruce topic and solid maple back and sides). Flatiron components (especially tuners) are better.

    Thoughts about whether this upgrade would be "worth it"? (given that I do have the money), especially from those who have played both?

    (I haven't played the Flatiron yet... It's about an hour away, so this is my first step toward that.)

    Much appreciated, y'all!

    PS - Alternatively, I could put a set up 1920 Waverly tuners on my Eastman. Make my life decisions for me, please.
    Last edited by mrw; Apr-03-2021 at 4:58pm.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    I think you will be happy with the Flatiron. I will venture to say you will like it better than the Eastman.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    The Flatiron should be a substantial upgrade over the Eastman.
    Palatable to a Goat: Music from Gregg Daigle and Don Grieser
    http://HillbillyChamberMusic.bandcamp.com

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  6. #4
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    The Eastman is a good mandolin, especially for the money. The Flatiron should be on a different level, however. I've played lots of Eastmans and owned a Flatiron Performer A. I wouldn't hesitate to get the Flatiron.

  7. #5

    Default Re: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric F. View Post
    The Eastman is a good mandolin, especially for the money. The Flatiron should be on a different level, however. I've played lots of Eastmans and owned a Flatiron Performer A. I wouldn't hesitate to get the Flatiron.
    This is super helpful, @Eric. Thanks!

  8. #6
    Registered User Denman John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    Drive the hour and go play the Flatiron and then decide. There’s no substitute for in hand experience. Your lucky it’s only an hour away.
    ... not all those who wander are lost ...

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  10. #7

    Default Re: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    EXCELLENT point. I'll report back.

  11. #8
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    N+1 is always a solution..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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  13. #9
    Registered User Steve Lavelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    Buying my '93 Performer F was a huge upgrade for me. I still get the itch for another mandolin from time to time, but I haven't succumb, yet. I've had it refretted and replaced the bride and the nut. THe only thing I'd change is to scoop the upper frets because I hit my pick on the end of the fretboard because my sweet spot is right there.
    Steve Lavelle
    '93 Flatiron Performer F
    Customized Eastwood Mandocaster (8str)

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  15. #10
    Registered User BBarton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    If it is in excellent condition as indicated, it's probably worth snagging at that price! You're not likely to lose on the investment down the road. I had an '88 Artist A5, and should never have let it go!!
    Too many instruments...too little time

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  17. #11
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    To me that is a no brainer. The Eastman is a very nice instrument at it's price point, but the Flatiron is another level of tone and feel. Flatiron is my choice.
    Tony Huber
    1930 Martin Style C #14783
    2011 Mowry GOM
    2013 Hester F4 #31
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    2017 Nyberg Mandola #172

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  19. #12
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    I've never played a Flatiron so I'm no help there. I started with an Eastman 305A didn't know anything much about playability and tone differences on a mandolin. I kept it about 2 months. The only thing I remember is it was pretty bright sounding to me and different strings could have solved that somewhat but mas took over and I moved onto another mandolin that was richer and mellower sounding. Eastman is a good brand as I own a Eastman archtop and acoustic that I'm well pleased with. Regardless it's all in the tone and playability you're after, you know when you hear it and play it

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  21. #13
    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: Vintage Flatiron Performer A (1993, Bozeman) vs Eastman MD305

    The Eastman is great for the price, but the Flatiron is in the next big step up in mandolins. If it is in good shape and stays that way, you can get your money back out of it later. If you can afford it, you really won't regret buying it.

    I've never regretted buying a good instrument. A number of inexpensive ones were a waste of time and money.
    -Dave
    Flatiron A
    Way too many other instruments

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