Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Another Newbie Here

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    10

    Post Another Newbie Here

    Hello All,
    I like others are looking for my first mandolin, and like others on a budget to $700. Any suggestions? Was looking at either Eastman, Kentucky, and Loar, f style mandolins, but will be interested in other makes that maybe suggested.
    I'm interested in Bluegrass, country and folk music. I do play guitar, banjo, and ukulele, and thought I expand into the mandolin. Any insight will be greatly appreciated, thank you all in advance.
    Last edited by W2DWL; Oct-26-2021 at 10:15pm.

  2. #2
    Resident Hack
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Welcome!

    A lot of brave pioneers have come through these parts asking the same questions. Read read read and ask yourself what sort of sound you're looking for.
    Off the top advice, for a no thinking approach is look for a used Eastman 505.
    What I play
    2021 Skip Kelley Two-Point
    Eastwood 'Ricky'
    Morgan Monroe RT-1E
    Epiphone Genesis guitars
    Various Basses

  3. #3
    small instrument, big fun
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Location
    Nashua NH
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Same here. I just bought my first mandolin from Elderly Instruments, a Kentucky KM-250, and it came with a gig bag. This mandolin is the one recommended by mandolinlessons.com as a good starter mandolin.

    The mandolin itself was only $525, but I also got a bunch of accessories, Tone Guard, arm rest, leather strap, strings, harmonic dampeners, so it crept up to ~$700.

    The good thing about buying from Elderly is they do a full setup on the mandolins before they ship them. Whatever and where ever you buy, be sure your new mandolin gets a full professional setup before they send it to you.
    Kentucky KM-250 Mandolin

  4. #4
    Playing on the porch
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    A Hilltop in Central Texas
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Of the three mandolin makers you listed, and I have played all three, I preferred the Eastman. I completely agree that whichever mandolin you finally select, you do want a professional setup done on it.

    Welcome to the mandolin life. Have fun!
    ---
    2017 Eastman MD515 mandolin
    1928 Roth (Amati) violin
    1907 Foltz (Strad) violin
    20

  5. #5
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Beaverton, OR, USA
    Posts
    1,647
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Welcome to the best place around, phydaux!

    Regardless of which you choose in that group of three, you have set your sights well. See also my "signature", below, to get Rob Meldrum's book. It is like an owner's manual showing how a mandolin works.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

  6. #6
    small instrument, big fun
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Location
    Nashua NH
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Rereading your OP, the heart wants what the heart wants, but going F Style will add ~$200 over the cost of a similar A Style. That's one of the reasons I went with the A Style KM-250. Again the heart wants what the heart wants, I totally get that. I'm just sayin'.
    Kentucky KM-250 Mandolin

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


  8. #7

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Used options are always a way of saving a bit. I got an Eastman MD515 in great shape for $700 off The Gear Page, had been recently set-up (though I've tweaked it a bit), and I think it sounds pretty good. I'm new to this mando thing, too, but it seemed like I would be losing money if I didn't buy it ...

  9. #8
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Beaverton, OR, USA
    Posts
    1,647
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    oops! I meant to say welcome to the OP, W2DWL. But, heck, welcome to all!
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

  10. #9

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Under 1k, I'd go with an Eastman. MD-505 is an unbeatable mando for the money and comes with a hard case. For the first year or two, you really don't need anything other than a good instrument, an occasional string change (recommend EJ74 or equivalent), whatever picks you like (I'd probably start with something around 1mm, or "heavy"), and a decent tuner. Any other accessories are unnecessary when you're first learning and some of them are just plan unnecessary.

  11. #10
    Registered User TonyEarth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    297
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    For what it's worth, I got my Eastman MD-315 for under 700 and I'm really pleased with it. To my ears it punches above its weight (I like it better than at least one 515 I played, for example). I did play before buying though and I'd absolutely recommend doing that if you can. Prices and trends obviously exist for a reason, but at the individual level more money doesn't always mean a better sounding mandolin, especially when factoring in personal taste.
    Diego

    Eastman MD315
    Kentucky KM505
    JBovier ELS
    ---
    Ivan Dunov VL402 Violin

  12. #11
    Registered User Little JC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    I'm in the same boat as you. I'm starting with an Eastman MD-315. No complaints. Mine did come with a pro setup.

  13. #12
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Co. Mayo, Ireland
    Posts
    3,285

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    NFI on my part: Going all "ham sandwich" here, since it's not one of the brands the OP mentioned, and not an F style BUT this is a great price for a US made instrument:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/178129#178129
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    2018 Frank Tate tenor guitar
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel

  14. #13
    Registered User Eric F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2,366

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    It's your money, but I'd spend mine on that Breedlove.

  15. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Thank you, I will look into the Eastman 505.

  16. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Yes i will look into the 505

  17. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Thank you Mitch, I will look into the 505

  18. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    NFI on my part: Going all "ham sandwich" here, since it's not one of the brands the OP mentioned, and not an F style BUT this is a great price for a US made instrument:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/178129#178129
    Humm,, Breedlove, something to consider, thank you

  19. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Quote Originally Posted by Little JC View Post
    I'm in the same boat as you. I'm starting with an Eastman MD-315. No complaints. Mine did come with a pro setup.
    I was considering the 315, but I thought I post here and get other suggestions, thanks.

  20. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    Quote Originally Posted by GMorgan View Post
    Of the three mandolin makers you listed, and I have played all three, I preferred the Eastman. I completely agree that whichever mandolin you finally select, you do want a professional setup done on it.

    Welcome to the mandolin life. Have fun!
    Thank you, yes I agree on the professional setup.

  21. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Another Newbie Here

    To everyone with their fine suggestions, now to see what I can find, and hopefully play before buying, but if I have to get one with out playing first well then I hope for the best, thank you everyone.

Posting Permissions

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