Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
    Posts
    19

    Default Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    I am searching for my first mandolin and have spent a lot of time researching and playing a few. I am an older guy who wants to get something with a rich sound (for a mandolin) since I plan to be playing and keeping it. I would really appreciate some opinions on the 2 listed above or any other that should get my attention at the ~$1000 price tag. I am starting out, but I can also share that as an owner of a James Goodall guitar, and I am clearly aware of sound differences between better instruments. I played an Eastman MD815 today and thought it was great, but it is getting outside of my range. I care about sound more than looks. I've read good things about the Loar600 which has a lower price tag, but the MD615 has a nice sound. I welcome opinions. Thank you.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    There’s an Eastman 815/V (used - not mine!) in the classifieds that is priced less than a new MD615. Might be worth a look!

    I think many around here would choose an Eastman over “The Loar” branded models.

    The current MD615 is similar to the MD515 except for the built-in pickup and block inlays on the fingerboard, from what I’ve read, so you might include the 515 in your search.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    I bought an MD615 as my first (and only...so far) Mandolin earlier this year. It has good volume and tone to my ear. Getting used to the cramped fingerboard and bullet shaped neck is my biggest challenge. Sure made me stop complaining about the 1-11/16" nuts on my Martin and PRS! Not sure if the Loar is any wider or flatter. I paid well over $1000 for it (The Mandolin Store) though.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    I didn't see the 815 in the Classifieds. I will check out the 515s as well since it is slightly stripped down. I am hoping to find more places in MA that sell mandolins in order play more. The few I played yesterday showed clear differences. Thanks for sharing a little more about brand comparisons as well. These are the areas that my experience (or lack of) can't help.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    Quote Originally Posted by M19 View Post
    I bought an MD615 as my first (and only...so far) Mandolin earlier this year. It has good volume and tone to my ear. Getting used to the cramped fingerboard and bullet shaped neck is my biggest challenge. Sure made me stop complaining about the 1-11/16" nuts on my Martin and PRS! Not sure if the Loar is any wider or flatter. I paid well over $1000 for it (The Mandolin Store) though.
    I really appreciate the many videos on The Mandolin Store, and may also buy something from them. The videos at least offer some comparison, and some great playing as well. Thanks for sharing.

  6. #6
    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Willow Spring, NC
    Posts
    477

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    TMS is selling the 600 blem and the 700 blem for below your price point.
    2020 The Loar Supreme LM700 VS

  7. #7

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    Quote Originally Posted by J Mangio View Post
    TMS is selling the 600 blem and the 700 blem for below your price point.
    They are also an Eastman dealer so would be good to give them a call an explain what you are looking for and get their recommendation.

  8. The following members say thank you to Northwest Steve for this post:

    TonyC 

  9. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,502

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    No one had said it yet, but if o was spending $1,000 I’d look at Astyle. A Kentucky A900 is s better sounding mandolin. IMHO, than either you mentioned, just don’t have the strap hanger

  10. #9
    Playing on the porch
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    A Hilltop in Central Texas
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    I am also an older guy, who decided to switch from the violin to the mandolin a bit more than four years ago. I bought an Eastman 515 in the price range you prefer. I care much more about sound than looks, but it is also a good looking instrument. For that kind of money, I thinnk it is a very good choice. Enjoy the hunt!
    ---
    2017 Eastman MD515 mandolin
    1928 Roth (Amati) violin
    1907 Foltz (Strad) violin
    20

  11. #10
    Registered User bwnunnally's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Fairview, Texas
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    A little less than your budget but I recently got my first mandolin, an MW0 from Big Muddy Mandolin. I like locally made instruments, and Mike Dulak was extremely easy to work with, made up my mandolin and shipped it right over to Texas with coffee mug & coffee lol. http://bigmuddymandolin.com
    ---
    Bruce

    Beginner learning on a 2021 Big Muddy MW0
    My Music Site, Instagram

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to bwnunnally For This Useful Post:

    gtani7TonyC 

  13. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Tangent OR
    Posts
    751

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    The 615 has electronics... if you don't want/need those, you could look at the Eastman 515 which is closer to $1k. They should sound similar. I recently got a 515/V and I am *very* happy with the sound.
    Follow the Flatt Stanley Incident on Facebook

    Listen to original tune "When You Fly" by my old band The Kindreds

  14. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    Quote Originally Posted by bwnunnally View Post
    A little less than your budget but I recently got my first mandolin, an MW0 from Big Muddy Mandolin. I like locally made instruments, and Mike Dulak was extremely easy to work with, made up my mandolin and shipped it right over to Texas with coffee mug & coffee lol. http://bigmuddymandolin.com
    I was literally just reading about these before I read your reply. I am unfamiliar, but there was one listed on Craigslist locally and I was researching. I am curious about the tone. I see there is an M4 (listed here) and the M2 I mentioned above. I would appreciate your opinion and findings as you investigated these. Thanks.
    ---
    Tony

  15. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    4,220

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    Flat top mandolins can be amazing instruments and values, for every genre except bluegrass. I used to own a Flatiron 1N that was a loud tone machine, but they just don’t have the arch top F-hole projection needed for the traditional bluegrass chop. Flatiron, Big Muddy, Redline traveler, Crystal Forest, Sawchyn, and Morris are making some nice flat tops right now. If you don’t need the percussive chop in a jam or band setting, they can be a less expensive entry into truly professional quality mandolins.

    Can you play BG on them? Absolutely, but they get lost in a full jam/band setting, barring amplification, of course. There was a time when my 1N was clearly my best mandolin, and I played it at home much more than my Kentucky 675-S, but, for jams, the Kentucky got the nod.

    Good luck in the search! I agree with the advice to call TMS and seek their opinion/advice. Dennis has always been very open and more than a fair in our previous dealings. He’ll evaluate their stock and steer you in the right direction.
    Chuck

  16. The following members say thank you to CES for this post:

    gtani7 

  17. #14
    Registered User bwnunnally's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Fairview, Texas
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyC View Post
    I was literally just reading about these before I read your reply. I am unfamiliar, but there was one listed on Craigslist locally and I was researching. I am curious about the tone. I see there is an M4 (listed here) and the M2 I mentioned above. I would appreciate your opinion and findings as you investigated these. Thanks.
    ---
    Tony
    Video here
    ---
    Bruce

    Beginner learning on a 2021 Big Muddy MW0
    My Music Site, Instagram

  18. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to bwnunnally For This Useful Post:

    gtani7TonyC 

  19. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Western Massachusetts
    Posts
    19

    Smile Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    Well...my Mid Missouri M4 arrived today and it is amazing! I bought it used from Classifieds and it is beautiful sounding and has a pickup. Very different from my friend's Eastman 605, but once I got used to it, I fell in love. Such a lovely sound and so inspiring. Thanks to so many for freely sharing and inspiring me. However, I now know exactly how it is possible to own several different mandolins. Thanks again everyone.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210728_221931.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	374.3 KB 
ID:	195464
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210728_150618.jpg 
Views:	32 
Size:	545.2 KB 
ID:	195465

  20. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to TonyC For This Useful Post:


  21. #16
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Irving, TX
    Posts
    895

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    Congrats, Tony, on your acquisition. Never had one like yours, but love my oval hole A.

  22. The following members say thank you to Sherry Cadenhead for this post:

    TonyC 

  23. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Pacific NW, slightly outside BC
    Posts
    767

    Default Re: Loar 600 vs Eastman MD615

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyC View Post
    Well...my Mid Missouri M4 arrived today

    However, I now know exactly how it is possible to own several different mandolins. Thanks again everyone.
    Big Congrats that's always a good day. Don't have a flat top but enjoy playing them (have to watch string gauges tho...

    _______________

    possible to own several different mandolins.

    What? How long has this been going on??
    Kentucky km900
    Yamaha piano, clarinet, violin; generic cello
    Stage 1 pedal steel (highly recommended); banjo, dobro don't get played much cause i'm considerate ;}

    Shopping/monitoring prices: marimbas, Roland drumsets, Yamaha brass and single/double reeds

  24. The following members say thank you to gtani7 for this post:

    TonyC 

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •