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Thread: Looking for suggestions

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for suggestions

    I live in the UK and am looking to upgrade from my first mandolin!

    I currently play for a Morris Side (Banjo, Banjo/Uke and Melodeon) and Folk Group as well as a lot of Sessions, so my music is definitely Folk orientated - and definitely not Blue grass.

    I am looking for an instrument with a good rounded and balanced tone that will project well that I can start to play as a melody instrument and not just a chordal machine.

    My budget is around £600.00

    Any good suggestions would be very well received, A used "Hathaway" would be on the cards if I could find one - any other helpful suggestions?

    David P

  2. #2
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    What mandolin are you currently playing? An Eastman 304 or 305 would come in just under £600.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    What mandolin are you currently playing? An Eastman 304 or 305 would come in just under £600.

    A cheapish Pilgrim A type that has been properly set up for me, but a little weak on tone and difficult to get my fingers on the first and second frets due to the angle on the neck.......I also have an Ozark "Mandolele" that I changed back to GDAE tuning and had the nut replaced, but the tone is even more wishy-washy on that!

  5. #4
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    An Eastman would definitely be a step up from the Pilgrim and Ozark. Certainly a second hand Hathaway would also be great if one can be found. You might also keep your eye peeled for a second hand Moon or Buchanan mandolin, but if going the new route then the Eastman is hard to beat.
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    2018 Frank Tate tenor guitar
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel

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  7. #5
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    I would agree the Eastmans mentioned or a Kentucky KM150 for A5 or a KM272 for an oval hole if that fits your band’s music style better.
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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    Eastman 304 oval or 305 ff holes would be hard to beat at that price range.

  9. #7
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    I recommend Eagle in Huddersfield for mandolin knowledge, setup and service.
    I bought an Eastman from them remotely last December and am very satisfied:

    https://www.eaglemusicshop.com/cat/m...ms_per_page-24

    Look at the Eastman 304 or 305 there.

    Probably the 304 (oval hole) would suit your purposes.

    Nearer to your stated location, Acoustic Music Company in Brighton has an Eastman 305 (f-hole) listed as current stock.
    https://www.theacousticmusicco.co.uk...andolins-.html

    The proprietor sometimes posts on Mandolin Cafe and assured us he keeps his web stock listings up to date.

    Reverb.com has some interesting listings in the <£600 range but not from any known brands/makes
    Bren

  10. #8
    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    I'm very happy with The Loar brand; can't go wrong at their price point.
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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    You seldom see The Loar for sale in the UK.

    At least, I didn't when I was looking at options for several months last year.
    Bren

  13. #10
    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    Take a look at thomann UK, search The Loar Mandolin.
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    David P - what they said above. I did all this about 3 months ago, and I went for an Eastman 305 in the end - that might suit you as they have quite a strong agressive tone that is more likely to cut through melodeons and fiddles etc. outside than a mandolin with a sweeter tone. One or two of the fittings on the 300 series (304, 305, 314, 315) could be better, but it's fundamentally a well made good sounding instrument for the price. It has a thin matt finish which appears to give it a more woody tone than more expensive Eastmans, and some players seem to prefer that (including me, but what do I know I'm a mandolin beginner). Websites to have a look at for details, style and availability comparisons are Eagle Music, The Acoustic Music Company, and Celtic Chords. The last had some discounts on Kentucky last time I looked, but the less expensive Eastmans seem to be pretty much the same price wherever you look. The Kentucky 150 sometimes comes up on Ebay, but at the moment it seems like there aren't many used mandolins there in your price bracket. Have fun!

  15. #12
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    Thank-you for those replies from the Uk steering me towards an Eastman 304, something I had not considered at all..........

    The order is now in!

    David P

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  17. #13
    Registered User Paul Brett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    I got a Jimmy Moon A2 about 9 or 10 years ago. i play Irish Trad with an accordion and a "heavy handed" guitar player. I'm told it cuts through! I've seen them on Hobgoblin and Eagle second hand for that price.

    I also have an Eastman MD605 and while I love the tone, and it has become my main instrument, the Moon is brighter and louder.

  18. #14

    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    There is a used Hathway on facebook marketplace for £400 (also someone just posted a Celtic mandolin by Cas Davey).

  19. #15
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    Thanks for the thought but my new Eastman arrives tomorrow..................


    David P

  20. #16
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    Good for you, that 304 is awesome! I have the 314 cousin, no regrets….

  21. #17
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by J Mangio View Post
    Take a look at thomann UK, search The Loar Mandolin.
    "Thomann UK" is based in Germany and exports to UK from Germany, which can lead to some surprises with VAT and duty on delivery, and handling charges on payment of VAT and duty by couriers .

    As far as I know, Thomann has not yet registered for VAT in the UK, which would eliminate some of the extra.
    Bren

  22. #18
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    An eastman 304 or 305 sounds perfect for you, if you live near London there are a few stockists in the city. I purchased my Eastman from MAKs Guitars and they have a very large stock of Eastmans, and you can try them there.
    Hope that helps,
    -Ross
    Just a dude with a mandolin.
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  23. #19
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    A final update to those kind people who steered my towards an Eastman 304 as my first upgrade :

    It arrived this Tuesday and I am very pleased with the instrument. It sits very nicely in my hand and the tone and sustain is above my expectations, looks like the beginning of a long relationship

    My wife, who is a Concertina player, and who tends to dismiss my banjo and ukulele playing as the Devil's Work, came up with the ultimate accolade, "it is far too good for you!"

    David P

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  25. #20
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by David P View Post
    A final update to those kind people who steered my towards an Eastman 304 as my first upgrade :

    It arrived this Tuesday and I am very pleased with the instrument. It sits very nicely in my hand and the tone and sustain is above my expectations, looks like the beginning of a long relationship

    My wife, who is a Concertina player, and who tends to dismiss my banjo and ukulele playing as the Devil's Work, came up with the ultimate accolade, "it is far too good for you!"

    David P
    She has quite the sense of humor, David!
    2020 Pava Pro A5 Torrefied Varnish
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  26. #21
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    Glad to hear that you're enjoying your new Eastman!
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    2018 Frank Tate tenor guitar
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel

  27. #22
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    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    i think the Eastman is also a really good choice if you play in pubs and bars, as although they sound good, the 300 series are plain looking instruments that nobody will be tempted to steal because of the bling. Some mandolins (see elsewhere on this Forum) are things of such beauty and ornamentation that they'd do good service as pure ornaments, even if they didn't play.

  28. #23

    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    Congrats on the 304! Should have a good tone for your kind of music. I love the sound that the guy from Dervish gets out of his old Gibson oval mandola. Play in good health, just don't get the wife too jealous!

  29. #24

    Default Re: Looking for suggestions

    304 is very good, I am thinking about buying it. Unfortunately, this mandolin is still a little expensive for me. Is it really comfortable? Sometimes my hand hurts from working at the computer and I want a comfortable musical instrument.

  30. #25
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Looking for suggestions

    Travel .. Go to Brighton and try Trevor's selection .. https://www.theacousticmusicco.co.uk/

    Oh, nevermind ..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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