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Thread: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials?

  1. #1

    Default F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials?

    Hey everyone. I'm going to buy a mandolin this weekend. Looking in the 600-800 dollar price range. I was wondering what some good recommendations are. I know the place I'm going carries a lot of Kentucky, Eastman and Ibanez models.

    Also, I was curious what some good online tutorials are as I'm starting completely from scratch.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    New, for F-style mandolins, you're limited to the entry models from Ibanez and "The Loar"(autocorrect changed that to "The Liar" ), and I'm not sure it would change much in the used market. Either way, you must really buy from a good shop that understands mandolins and sets them up properly, because an inexpensive mandolin with a bad setup is no bargain.

    Others may chime in but most folks here will tell you that you'll get more mandolin for the money in an A-style. In your price range, that will include some models from Eastman and Kentucky, which are generally made more traditionally and might hold their value better than other brands. My 2Ę, anyway.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    Thanks for the feedback..I'll look more into A styles.

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    Some thoughts:

    If you are starting completely from scratch, perhaps you can borrow or rent a mandolin for a month and see if you fall in love. It will give you an appreciation for what you may like and dislike in a mandolin, and a heads up on what you are in for.

    If there is no love - you have risked next to nothing, you have saved a bunch of money.

    If love is in the offing - you have justification for a larger budget, and maybe can specify more exactly what you want to buy from your recent experience.

    Keep in mind the rule of thumb that a mandolin costs about twice as much as a guitar of comparable quality. Not always of course, but it is a good way to calibrate your expectations. So if you have a sense of what you get expect from a $300 to $400 guitar, that is what your budget allows in mandolins.
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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    A mandolin which sells new for $1000 would go for around $700 used and in many cases these mandolins may only have tiny scratches etc and sometimes none. You may find your $600- $800 would buy you a higher quality mandolin if you are happy to buy used.

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    Charley

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    Registered User Caberguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    If you're set on an F-style, the Eastman MD315 is not a bad choice at all... that one at Morgan Music should have the advantage of having been well set up. I have one and it plays well and sounds just fine for the price.

    There are a couple of Kentucky models you can get at that price...

    As for online lessons... this should get you going and then some: https://www.mandolessons.com/
    '91 Flatiron Signature A5 / Silverangel Econo A / Eastman MD-315

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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    I honestly think the MD315 is the best F-Style mandolin in its price range as far as playability and tone. We did a video comparison on the MD305 vs Kentucky 150, we need to do one on F-Styles, but you might get some information out of it:

    We're also having a huge sale on both MD305 and MD315 mandolins on our small business Saturday, that will put the 315 well below the $1000 price. We can't advertise how much until we get close to the sale, but you can join our private FB group to get a heads up: https://www.facebook.com/groups/415647586773559

    Quote Originally Posted by jryp17 View Post
    Hey everyone. I'm going to buy a mandolin this weekend. Looking in the 600-800 dollar price range. I was wondering what some good recommendations are. I know the place I'm going carries a lot of Kentucky, Eastman and Ibanez models.

    Also, I was curious what some good online tutorials are as I'm starting completely from scratch.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    I haven’t owned one, but have played a couple of Eastman 315s, and I am with the others that it’s the best in that class that I’ve tried. The next step up, I really liked a Kentucky KM-1000 “Master Model,” but they are going to be about double your initial budget used.

    As far as online resources, I think it’s worth the meager cost to join either (or both) Banjo Ben Clark and Peghead Nation. Ben teaches his and Sharon Gilchrist teaches a Beginning course on PHN that is great, and both are logically laid out as programs. There’s tons of great content on YouTube, I really like Baron Collins-Hill, Wayne Benson and David Benedict; but I think it’s best if you know what you are looking for there; as opposed to BBC and PHN which are beginner aimed programs.

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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    Buy used and buy an A-model.

    Sharon Gilchrist's stuff on Peghead Nation is excellent. Check out David Benedict's stuff on YouTube and Patreon as well.

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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion; but Iím in the opposite camp from Alex. If you want an F, I would say to get the best F you can afford. Certainly, know that an A will give more bang for the buck in parts and fit and finish; but I think that as long as you know that, and you are willing to spend more for the style than the equivalent A would cost, there is nothing wrong with wanting to like the aesthetic and style of your instrument. I completely understand people wanting to make sure new players know the facts, but telling someone to get an A when they know they want an F and ask for recs is like telling someone to get a Ford Fiesta when someone asks for advice on buying a sports car, because they are more fuel efficient, cost less and still get you where you are going; or at least telling someone to get a white car for lower insurance when they ask about a red. I say you do what sparks joy in you.

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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    Thanks for the response. I ended up finding a new md-315 that I can get ona year long payment plan interest fee so that's what I went with. The show I had only had a few a-styles but they seemed to be low end and didn't feel it sound nearly as good to me. I'm really happy with what I'm getting and can't wait to start on my Mando journey. This community is already proving to be pretty invaluable for me.

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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    Quote Originally Posted by jryp17 View Post
    Thanks for the response. I ended up finding a new md-315 that I can get ona year long payment plan interest fee so that's what I went with. The show I had only had a few a-styles but they seemed to be low end and didn't feel it sound nearly as good to me. I'm really happy with what I'm getting and can't wait to start on my Mando journey. This community is already proving to be pretty invaluable for me.
    You made a good choice! Congrats on your new mandolin

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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    Quote Originally Posted by jryp17 View Post
    Thanks for the response. I ended up finding a new md-315 that I can get ona year long payment plan interest fee so that's what I went with. The show I had only had a few a-styles but they seemed to be low end and didn't feel it sound nearly as good to me. I'm really happy with what I'm getting and can't wait to start on my Mando journey. This community is already proving to be pretty invaluable for me.
    I think you're really going to be happy with it. Having a good sounding and easy playing mandolin makes a huge difference when learning.

  20. #16

    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    This one: https://www.morganmusic.com/p-2073-e...-mandolin.aspx

    If this was an MD 315, used, itís probably the one I bought, lol.

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    Registered User JiminRussia's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    You are in a little bit of a pinch here with your budget. $600 - $800 puts you at an inflection point, especially if you are looking at “F” style mandolins as opposed to “A” style. The general consensus is that “F” styles are better suited for bluegrass style music than “A” style mando, but that is up to your personal interpretations and preferences. As a general rule an “A” style will cost you less than an “F” style. The “pinch” that I refer to is that there is a significant jump in quality when you hit that $600 -$800 mark. You start getting into things like what kind of wood is it made of, how much bling is on it, is there a celebrity name associated with it? Those celebrity endorsements aren’t free. Some other things may be…. How fancy is the wood grain? Fiddleback Maple and bear claw Spruce are nice, but they can really run up the price of an instrument and they do little or nothing to improve the sound of the mandolin. Just be careful about your priorities in looking for a mando in that price range.
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    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminRussia View Post
    You are in a little bit of a pinch here with your budget. $600 - $800 puts you at an inflection point, especially if you are looking at “F” style mandolins as opposed to “A” style. The general consensus is that “F” styles are better suited for bluegrass style music than “A” style mando, but that is up to your personal interpretations and preferences. As a general rule an “A” style will cost you less than an “F” style. The “pinch” that I refer to is that there is a significant jump in quality when you hit that $600 -$800 mark. You start getting into things like what kind of wood is it made of, how much bling is on it, is there a celebrity name associated with it? Those celebrity endorsements aren’t free. Some other things may be…. How fancy is the wood grain? Fiddleback Maple and bear claw Spruce are nice, but they can really run up the price of an instrument and they do little or nothing to improve the sound of the mandolin. Just be careful about your priorities in looking for a mando in that price range.
    Thanks for the info. I ended up finding an md-315 a little out of my budget but the place had a year long interest free payment plan. I ordered that and should be able to pick it up later today or Monday.

  24. #19

    Default Re: F-style recommendation for 6-800 dollars and online tutorials

    The Acoustic Shoppe has Eastman 315s for $699 today.
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