Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Eastman 515 vs J Bovier F5t

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    36

    Default Eastman 515 vs J Bovier F5t

    I live in a rural area that doesn't offer a lot of selection in person to test mandolins. I understand that I can get more bang for my buck going with an A style but lord that scroll envy has fully taken over. I have an opportunity for both an Eastman 515 and a J Bovier F5T at the same price point under a $1k budget. Which one(s) do you have experience with? Which would you choose and why?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: Eastman 515 vs J Bovier F5t

    515 is usually a clear winner. The later JBoviers were really nice, with those coming before being decent-to-nice.

  3. #3
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,019
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default Re: Eastman 515 vs J Bovier F5t

    I would definitely trust the Eastman as a high-quality, factory build. Playing each and considering the action, tone, fit and finish would be a good idea. The J Bovier F5T is a really nicely made instrument. Jeff Cowherd puts a lot into the assembly after the body and neck are hand-carved and put together in a small shop and shipped to him. He then installs the hardware, sets it up with much care, and works on giving the mandolin a unique voice. You didn't say if the one you are considering is new or used? I have owned two and they both were outstanding in tone and playability. Check the nut width on each and the neck profile to see what fits your hand best. Good luck!
    2020 Pava Pro A5 Torrefied Varnish
    1930's Stradolin A5
    1912 Gibson A Oval

  4. #4
    Playing on the porch
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    A Hilltop in Central Texas
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Eastman 515 vs J Bovier F5t

    I can only speak for the Eastman 515. I've been playing mine for more than four years and have been very happy with it. Really nice sound, projection and sustain. I have TI M154 strings on it and love the voice. Worth the price.

    Best of luck with whatever choice you make.
    ---
    2017 Eastman MD515 mandolin
    1928 Roth (Amati) violin
    1907 Foltz (Strad) violin
    20

  5. The following members say thank you to GMorgan for this post:


  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Chicagoland north
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Eastman 515 vs J Bovier F5t

    I can also speak favorably for the Eastman 515. I've played a couple of them at a local store that sounded and played really well. There was a 515V they had a couple of years ago that was so great I went in a couple of times a week to play it over a period of several weeks while it was there. I didn't have a reason to buy it, but I really wanted to enjoy playing it while I could. More recently they had another 515 (not a varnish) that was also quite nice, and wasn't there for long. Both of those instruments stayed sold once they went out the door.

    One of the things I really liked about that 515V was that the varnish finish was a red/orange sunburst like some of the old Gibson's. It was odd because from several feet away it looked fantastic, but when examined closely there were areas where the coloring was allowed to bleed over the ivoroid bindings, and there were actual drips across the back of the headstock. I was really surprised because I've never seen such sloppy work on an Eastman. Can't imagine how they let it out that way, unless someone said "hey this sounds and plays great - don't mess with it!".

    I cannot comment on the J Bovier because I've not seen one in person, but certainly I've seen comments from folks on the cafe who thought they had good ones.

    Best of luck with your search!

  7. The following members say thank you to Alfons for this post:


  8. #6

    Default Re: Eastman 515 vs J Bovier F5t

    Heck, let me know where the Bovier is! Iíll buy it! Jan

Posting Permissions

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