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Thread: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    FWIW, my own sunny summer "instrument in car" experience:

    If the instrument is well-wrapped in blankets or other insulation, maybe stuffed under duffel bags, AND away from direct sunlight, it will take an hour or two in a parked car to raise the in-case temperature by a just barely noticeable amount. Note that I do like insulated case covers which, for mandolin, translates to a padded/insulated 3-racket tennis bag. (Some such bags have zippers too short to let a hard mando case in). When available, even partial tree shade does help.

    Of course, I've never tried this in, say, Death Valley; probably never would!
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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    I got as far as:

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Leyda View Post
    My wife's Martin D15 got a foot through it while we were busking
    and kind of tuned out. If you've got a wife who is:

    1) OK with you busking,
    2) supportive of your busking,
    3) your partner in busking,

    you've got a keeper! Don't leave her in the car, in the sun.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  4. #28
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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    "....she'll warp and she won't be good for anyone....."

    (Hopefully most people get the reference. No offence meant towards your wife Chuck!)

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  6. #29

    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    I got as far as:



    and kind of tuned out. If you've got a wife who is:

    1) OK with you busking,
    2) supportive of your busking,
    3) your partner in busking,

    you've got a keeper! Don't leave her in the car, in the sun.
    Indeed!
    We've been married for over 31 years. We traveled the Renaissance Festival circuit, started a theatre company, played bluegrass throughout the 5 state region. We're lifers. She has a great voice which probably accounts for any success we've had.
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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by ajh View Post
    "....she'll warp and she won't be good for anyone....."

    (Hopefully most people get the reference. No offence meant towards your wife Chuck!)
    Ha ha ha! I get it, but it's worth remembering. I had choices, but I went with this version - because I was there!

    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  10. #31

    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Savannah SA-120 mandolins are best value anywhere. You used to be able to buy them for £120 and they seem to be an all solid mandolin, believe it or not. I've had numerous high end mandolins costing thousands so I can speak with experience and will say that if you get that particular model, it will be cheap and with a good set up, work great. I've had the odd one let me down but a good 15 of these that were great. I even put a set of Schallers on one, it was so good.

    The Pawn shop Cash Converters started selling what I believe is the same mandolin for about £80. Can;t remember the brand name but for a cheapo that works, that's the one I reckon.

  11. #32
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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Given the thefts from cars lately, perhaps having a tempting target for the unknown thief may not be the wisest idea.

    it could happen..........
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Since you are based in England, you aren't going to have to worry about the searing heat of Death Valley or somewhere, which tends to be the main theme of these threads.

    You can get quite lucky in local music shops with fairly inexpensive things. About maybe 25 years ago I bought an Encore mandolin (made in Korea maybe?) which I took on a few holiday trips. It now lives with one of my kids who plays it sometimes. and what I play when I visit him. I think it's quite good.

    Maybe take a look at Tonewood mandolins. Quite playable and sound not bad. Washburn maybe? Ozark? Certainly look in a Hobgoblin shop.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gm1lA0Zdfg

    In my experience (stuff you might see in the UK) Stagg and Savannah are not any good, but it doesn't mean you necessarily write off all that kind of thing. Definitely a case of try it out first, though.
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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Thanks again all. Looks like suggestions are:

    * Rogue A style, labelled Stagg 20 or 40 in UK. We have votes for and against these.
    * Savannah SA-120. Some Savannahs are solid wood, but they're no longer all cheap here in UK (some are £175), they're now scarce, and opinions here seem to vary.
    * Epiphone 30 and Recording King Dirty 30s - not at all the same mando, but similar price point laminated back/solid top recommends at £150-£200.
    * Tonewood/Ozark/Pilgrim/low end Loar/Aria/Epiphone/Ashbury - there's loads of affordable but fairly anonymous (£200-£300) instruments out there with not enough info to judge between them.
    * Black Friday Kentucky 140/150/250 sales, if I can find one in UK. I can (thanks Dagger!), so:

    I think it's going to be be a choice between a discounted new Kentucky, or taking a punt on something used and possibly less known on Ebay. Trouble is, so many Ebay sellers appear to be unrealistic about what you'd actually want to pay for a used anything. Never mind, that's just the way it is

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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    As to leaving an instrument in the car, my guitar teacher once told me to never leave my guitar anywhere I wouldn’t wNt to be.
    As for beater mandolins, I have an old Washburn purchased new in 1985. Over the years , replaced the nut, bridge and tail piece. It sounds pretty good. Get a beater, replace parts a step up by way of when they need replacing and in 35 or so years have a pretty decent instrument

  15. #36
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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    I have to wonder why a store would have it for so low; their prices generally run higher than private sellers to account for overhead.

    Also, bear in mind the OP is in the UK. Shipping costs ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  17. #38
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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    I was thinking they might be available in the UK?
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dagger Gordon View Post
    Since you are based in England, you aren't going to have to worry about the searing heat of Death Valley or somewhere, which tends to be the main theme of these threads.
    Going off topic here but Death Valley gets a bad rap. It is truly beautiful there in the winter. One of the best vacations I have taken, although no mandolins were involved

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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Well Maxr I think you have the answer to your question. !. It's beautiful in Death Valley with or without a mandolin. 2. Anyone who leaves a mandolin in a hot car should be flogged. 3. All mandolins should be cherished as loved ones. 4. The Rogue RM 100A is about the perfect answer to your quest.

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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveGinNJ View Post
    Going off topic here but Death Valley gets a bad rap. It is truly beautiful there in the winter. One of the best vacations I have taken, although no mandolins were involved
    I don't doubt it for a moment. I would like to go there.
    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hudmister View Post
    Well Maxr I think you have the answer to your question. !. It's beautiful in Death Valley with or without a mandolin. 2. Anyone who leaves a mandolin in a hot car should be flogged. 3. All mandolins should be cherished as loved ones. 4. The Rogue RM 100A is about the perfect answer to your quest.
    Yeah, that's it - so I find I just bought a heavily discounted Kentucky KM-250, which I probably won't leave in the car in beautiful Death Valley for fear of the mandolin police. What happened there?

  22. #43
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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    I think some of you are missing the point of that reference, can't see the forest for the trees, in other words. It wasn't anything specific, just a general warning about leaving the instrument in the car in an extreme heat situation, using Death Valley as an example.

    Quote Originally Posted by EdHanrahan View Post
    Of course, I've never tried this in, say, Death Valley; probably never would!
    But I'll go on; that's what I do, for the benefit of our British brother, who may not be as well-versed in American history, justifiably so. Death Valley was named thus due to its topography, which contributed to it being very hot, vast, and dry. During the westward expansion and settling of our country, many people died whilst attempting to traverse it unprepared, lacking a sufficient water supply and means of protecting themselves from the blistering sun.

    In our example, people have been advising against leaving instruments in a car, as it can become very hot indeed, due to the high percentage of transparent surfaces and low air circulation (when still). The term "Death Valley" was applied symbolically, not literally. Oh, and I doubt the Mandolin Police would have been active or even existent during the period of westward expansion - mandolins arrived on these shores later.

    Carry on!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Continuing to meander off topic, Death Valley holds the record for the highest recorded temperature on Earth, 134F

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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Sorry, my poor expression - what I meant was, how did I end up buying a Kentucky 250 when I set off with a Rogue in mind? Maybe it's in the family - my cousin's husband went out to buy a truck for lugging home renovation materials and came back with a red '67 Mustang convertible...and he's Vancouver Canadian, he should know better

  26. #46
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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Don't castigate yourself for getting a better instrument than planned. It's how it should be.

    I played a Rogue once, years ago, a year or two after they hit the market. I had joined in with others here mocking the existence of such a thing. But my in-person experience playing one, that one time, put me in my place. It wasn't like a vintage Gibson, but it wasn't half bad either, not even close. It played well, sounded fine - I think they're a very good entry-level or beater mandolin. I don't know about their longevity, whether their structure maintains integrity over the years, but I won't denigrate them on their own merits. But if one has the wherewithal, one might as well acquire a better instrument. I've seen lots of good reports on Kentuckys around here. I think you did well.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  28. #47

    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxr View Post
    Sorry, my poor expression - what I meant was, how did I end up buying a Kentucky 250 when I set off with a Rogue in mind? Maybe it's in the family - my cousin's husband went out to buy a truck for lugging home renovation materials and came back with a red '67 Mustang convertible...and he's Vancouver Canadian, he should know better
    Makes perfect sense: long boards fit in a convertible, antique car insurance is cheap, emissions tests don’t exist, and of course, some day it will be worth more than he paid. As a collector of British cars, I’ve never understood why they had the optimism to build so many convertibles… weather’s like Vancouver.

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    Default Re: Cheap beater mandolins that play, for leaving in the car etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    Makes perfect sense: long boards fit in a convertible, antique car insurance is cheap, emissions tests don’t exist, and of course, some day it will be worth more than he paid. As a collector of British cars, I’ve never understood why they had the optimism to build so many convertibles… weather’s like Vancouver.
    OT but...The essence of buying a convertible British sports car is that the weather doesn't stop a chap getting about You'll see Morgan owners (particularly) driving in summer rain wearing sheepskin coats and early 20thC style flying helmets with goggles, with only their half of the tonneau cover unzipped. One of my Canadian cousins restores classic UK sports cars and Land Rovers in Interior BC, Canada. He's had a wrecker truck deliver the abandoned hulk of a British sports car from California, then the owner sends a custom painted semi show truck 2-3 years later to collect the restoration. Me, I've got a Volvo C70 tin-top convertible, which makes more sense in UK as an all weather cruiser.

    In UK classic cars are (still?) exempt from Capital Gains tax. So, some high net work folks like fund managers bought old Ferraris and suchlike for very large sums, and I suspect that towed the market up. Those of us who were there remember how uneconomical, unreliable, uncomfortable and slow most classic UK sports cars (never mind the saloons/sedans) of the time were, compared with a current new saloon. They're great as a hobby, but as transport, you'd need to be an enthusiast. I do fancy a Mazda MX-5 though, that's more like what the classic British sports car should have been ?

    OT over - hey, there were also a lot of unplayable mandolins made then

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