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Thread: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 900?

  1. #26
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGuineaPigLover View Post
    My problem with finding a good mandolin is that I don't like a lot of styles of music on the mandolin, no disrespect toward bluegrass, and I feel a lot of mandolins have that kind of (twangy?) sound meant for bluegrass whereas I'm looking for a less bright and more mellow tone. Mellow yet resonant.
    Brightness can be controlled with choices of string, pick, and technique.
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    [QUOTE=MrGuineaPigLover;1892782

    My problem with finding a good mandolin is that I don't like a lot of styles of music on the mandolin, no disrespect toward bluegrass, and I feel a lot of mandolins have that kind of (twangy?) sound meant for bluegrass whereas I'm looking for a less bright and more mellow tone. Mellow yet resonant. I looked up some demos of a Big Muddy, and it sounded great but a little too bright for my liking.[/QUOTE]

    I agree with the mandola suggestion as it sounds to me one may be more to your liking. I do find the clear resonate tones of a mandola to my liking even though I sometimes go long periods without playing it. I incorporate a lot of melody in my playing and predominately learn and play tunes on a mandolin. I find the downside to a mandola is that having first learned a tune on mandolin I must transpose keys to play on a dola. For me not as easy a process for melody as it is for rhythm chords.
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  3. #28
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    I follow Big Muddy on Facebook. Mike is training a new apprentice named Conner, and every once in a while they post some new instrument Conner has built of of wood that has been lying around. You might contact them and let them know your budget, and see if they could come up with a Mandola to fit it. I have found them very easy to work with.
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    For something out of the ordinary. Here’s a vintage framus baby black rose deluxe. I have one: very resonant and sweet, much deeper bodied than your average mando. This one is a good price- way less than I paid for mine. https://www.jimmysvintagemusic.com/i...luxe-mandolin/

  5. #30

    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Thanks for the suggestions guys. A mandola sounds cool. I think I'm starting to think I just don't like the sound of most mandolins. It's just that mandolin comes easy to me (notewise) because I played the violin.

    However, I'm looking into other instruments right now, like mountain dulcimers (love the sound of those, but they are hard to find). I will probably come back to the mandolin.

  6. #31
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    I respect your decision. I don't think mountain dulcimers are too hard to find. https://www.mcspaddendulcimers.com I built a McSpadden kit dulcimer about 30 years ago that I still have. I don't play it too much, but if I was going to get another I might consider one of their shop built instruments. I'm sure there's other builders around.

  7. #32

    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve 2E View Post
    I respect your decision. I don't think mountain dulcimers are too hard to find... but if I was going to get another I might consider one of their shop built instruments. I'm sure there's other builders around.
    Yeah, when I'm up in Virginia I'm sure there we'll be builders, but not down here in Texas for sure. I actually asked EverythingDulcimer forum and they said there are no current active builders here in Texas.

  8. #33
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGuineaPigLover View Post
    ... if I see one used, should I buy it, or is it better to get the customization that comes from ordering it from the source?
    ONLY if you know what you really want & need. And the answer to that is: Being new to mandolin, your ear, hand feel, and tastes in general will change over the next 6 months, year, 5 years...
    Many here have NEVER bought a mandolin new (I admit that my first, a cheapie @ $180, was new). Besides, you can never have too many mandolins!
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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGuineaPigLover View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions guys. A mandola sounds cool. I think I'm starting to think I just don't like the sound of most mandolins. It's just that mandolin comes easy to me (notewise) because I played the violin.

    However, I'm looking into other instruments right now, like mountain dulcimers (love the sound of those, but they are hard to find). I will probably come back to the mandolin.
    You may already be aware of this but just in case you're not - octave mandolins and tenor guitars can use GDAE tuning too. While the scale length will obviously be longer the notes will be the same and you can find octave mandolins and tenor guitars within your budget, especially if you check the classifieds here for second hand ones.
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    My go-to Irish session instrument now is a mandola, tuned D, A, E, B. This requires a custom set of strings, depending on the scale length of the instrument. So I play Irish tunes an octave below the mandolin, which adds a nice bottom end to a session.

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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Add my voice to those singing the praises of vintage Gibsons - the plain models, without bling, but still made with fine craftsmanship and now some well-aged wood. I've got two plain A (oval holes), both priced between $800-900, both fabulous instruments. Granted, these purchases go back a while, and prices have increased. But keep an eye out while you're considering other options, on eBay, Shop Goodwill, wherever. You never know when one might turn up. Yes, you're weighing buying a new instrument versus a used one, with possible problems. However, if they're manageable, such an instrument may well be worth the effort and extra expense, if any. Both of mine play smoothly, hold their tuning, have full, well-rounded sounds, and ring and ring when played. You won't be disappointed.
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  13. #37

    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    You may already be aware of this but just in case you're not - octave mandolins and tenor guitars can use GDAE tuning too. While the scale length will obviously be longer the notes will be the same and you can find octave mandolins and tenor guitars within your budget, especially if you check the classifieds here for second hand ones.
    I didn't know that, and that's helpful to know. I love the sound of octave mandolins. I might invest in this. Heres a question to show my ignorance: can bouzoukis also be tuned like that? Or are they a completely different instrument?

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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    I think that Irish bouzoukis have the same scale length as octave mandolins. Greek bouzoukis can have a scale length much longer. There is a Gold tone bouzouki in the classifieds with a scale length of over 26 inches. In your price range you will have limited choices but this Eastman in the classifieds could do the trick...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/198294#198294

    NFI

    Also this Trinity College...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/198923#198923

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    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Or how about an Octofone? There are two on ebay right now, one's even got the case!
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/23486772207...Bk9SR4CBgYy8YQ and https://www.ebay.com/itm/28503446613...3ABFBMgIGBjLxh
    I betcha either one needs some work, though.

    Or you could go with one of the new ones, made from the illustrious moon wood

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/18303372246....c100903.m5276

    But I'm not sure if the new ones are really mandolins, though.
    Last edited by Sue Rieter; Jan-23-2023 at 5:32pm.
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  16. #40

    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Hmm, I'm starting to like Bouzoukis, Octave Mandolins, Mandolas, etc. They address a lot of my problems with the mandolin while having the same playability, and I love the sound of them. I'll give those two a look.

    Also journeybear, I trust that the Gibsons are awesome, but a one in good shape is a little out of my budget. Good to hear so much praise about them though.

    About the Octofone, admittedly I've never heard of that instrument before. I'll give it a look.

  17. #41
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    https://www.google.com/search?query=...fe.com%2Fforum

    So many instruments, so little time
    Last edited by Sue Rieter; Jan-23-2023 at 7:00pm.
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Well, yeah, I said "keep an eye out," and not "sell the car and mortgage the house." Because you never know ... When I got my first one, it was after having to let, I dunno, 10-12 go to someone else, when the bidding got too high. The one I got had a sizeable blemish, pick wear where the pickguard had been removed, and a small crack, <2". I assume these non-threatening flaws kept bidders away; I got it for ~$850. The second was through the classifieds from a longtime member, who didn't seem too interested in making a killing. Both are players, not museum pieces, which suits me just fine. Granted, that first one was 15 years ago, and prices have gone up. But bargains still pop up. So, keep checking, because as a wise man once said, you never know.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    This Weber octave mandolin just showed up in the classifieds:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/199233#199233
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    This Eastman just hit the classifieds and is a steal at $650...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/199250#199250

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  22. #45

    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    This Eastman just hit the classifieds and is a steal at $650...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/199250#199250

    NFI
    So many good options... I'll get em all (kidding, I wish)

  23. #46
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGuineaPigLover View Post
    So many good options... I'll get em all (kidding, I wish)
    Kinda like Pokemon.
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  24. #47

    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    Kinda like Pokemon.
    Eh I'm more of a Legend of Zelda fan myself. Learned how to play some Pokemon tunes on my mando though.

  25. #48

    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Anyhow, I'll let you guys (or folks) know when I decide what instrument I'll be getting.

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  27. #49
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    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    As per mandola recommendations in your price range I would suggest you look for a Trinity College. Particularly those made in Korea exceed expectations for an instrument in that price range though all I have owned were very good to my hands and ears. I gave a Korean made one to my youngest son when I bought my Weber and he has no intentions of ever parting with it in spite of him owning more expensive custom made mandolas. Not sure what years they were made in Korea but I'm reasonably certain that someone on the Café would know.
    Keep in mind a China made is quite good as well.
    Just my humble opinion.
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  28. #50

    Default Re: Recommendations for a resonant, deep bodied mandolin under 90

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Bill View Post
    As per mandola recommendations in your price range I would suggest you look for a Trinity College. Particularly those made in Korea exceed expectations for an instrument in that price range though all I have owned were very good to my hands and ears. I gave a Korean made one to my youngest son when I bought my Weber and he has no intentions of ever parting with it in spite of him owning more expensive custom made mandolas. Not sure what years they were made in Korea but I'm reasonably certain that someone on the Café would know.
    Keep in mind a China made is quite good as well.
    Just my humble opinion.
    Trinity College Octave Mandolin is the one. I love the sound of it based on what I've heard from Youtube. I'm probably not going to get it now though, but wait to get to a place where I can try it out. (I don't mind the extra 30 dollars of buying it new, even if its a little over my budget)

    BTW, don't feel the need to reserve any of these options for me, if you were feeling that need. You can go ahead and snag em if you feel the need to.

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