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Thread: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywhere?

  1. #1

    Question Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywhere?

    I'm really getting a little frustrated trying to make a purchase decision deaf and blind... not being able to see, feel or hear an instrument. I am an OTR truck driver and I travel all over the USA and I really would like to find a store/shop that has on hand several different makes and models, for example:

    the Loar LM-600VS, LM-400

    the Kentucky KM-805, KM-675, KM-630, KM-550

    the Eastman 514/614 Oval F, MD615, MD604

    the Michael Kelly Legacy Dragonfly 3, Dragonfly Electric and DF AVS Electric

    the Morgan Monroe MDM-1, MMS-7, MMS-8 and MMS-9FE

    There has to be a store that has several of these on hand and not just from one or two of the makers... someone has to realize there is a market for each of these for different reasons. The input I am getting is VERY valuable and I don't take that lightly but there have also been several times that I listened to several people about a guitar for example or whatever and reached a different conclusion for myself than the majority had. I think we've all been there.

    Can anyone suggest an instrument dealer that has a great selection of mandolins similar to what I have listed here, even if it's out of state... ANYWHERE!!! I may not even purchase there (and probably wont) but it will give me something more to go on in making my decision. Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    I'll go out on a limb and say nobody will have a large selection of the Michael Kelly or Morgan Monroes in stock, other than the distributor for the product. As for the rest you might find two or three of each at any of the larger retail outlets that sponsor the cafe. Making the statement that you probably won't purchase there probably isn't going to endear you to any of them.

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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I'll go out on a limb and say nobody will have a large selection of the Michael Kelly or Morgan Monroes in stock, other than the distributor for the product. As for the rest you might find two or three of each at any of the larger retail outlets that sponsor the cafe. Making the statement that you probably won't purchase there probably isn't going to endear you to any of them.
    I agree that the statement that he probably won't purchase there won't open many doors or suggestions from dealers!

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    The Mandolin Store, Surprise, AZ
    Elderly Instruments, Lansing, MI
    Mandolins & More, Walton, KY

    Folkmusician.com carries all the brands you mention, but I don't think they have a brick & mortar storefront.

    Seems to me there's one more dealer somewhere in the Deep South who deals almost exclusively in mandolins, but I can't recall the name.
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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    These brands compete against each other and like Mike said, there aren't many small stores that will carry a broad and deep representation of them. If you drop out the Morgan Monroe and MKs you may have a good selection of many of the remaining at the Mandolin Store or Elderly.

    I also agree with Mike about where you'll buy from... If you find any of those instruments particularly speaks to you buy it. There is individual variation in these wooded boxes.

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    I agree that the statement that he probably won't purchase there won't open many doors or suggestions from dealers!
    LOL... that kinda came across the wrong way... as long as I know they have a reputation for a quality setup and the price is right I surely would buy

  7. #7

    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Quote Originally Posted by JEStanek View Post
    I also agree with Mike about where you'll buy from... If you find any of those instruments particularly speaks to you buy it. There is individual variation in these wooded boxes.
    I agree.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Folkmusician.com carries all the brands you mention, but I don't think they have a brick & mortar storefront.
    Actually he does but doesn't advertise it This is from an email Robert sent me.

    "We have a shop in Reno, NV. You are welcome to stop by and see mandolins. Are showroom is basically empty (we do not get hardly any walk-in customers), but we do have around 100 mandolins here. The mandolins are on shelves and not setup, so we try to get some notice and prep a few for you to see."

    He may be the best place to compare them first hand that I have so far.

  9. #9
    Destroyer of Mandolins
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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Because of how musical instruments are distributed among the dealers (often requiring special relationships with the manufacturers such as franchises or distributorships), few if any dealers will carry an extensive line of competing products. The possible exception is a dealer in used instruments, but there again you're unlikely to get everything you're after.

    I don't know where you live, but here in the northeast there are very (VERY!) few shops that carry more than a mandolin or two at a time. Perhaps in the southern states you might have more luck, but in NJ you're lucky to have two instruments on the shelf to choose from.
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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    In North Carolina I know The Acoustic Corner in Black Mountain and Harry & Jeannie West in Statesville carry those models.

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    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    I don't believe Elderly carries MM or Michael Kelly, but I would eliminate them from my search anyway. I would focus on The Loar, Kentucky or Eastman. Just my own bias.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Quote Originally Posted by f5loar View Post
    In North Carolina I know The Acoustic Corner in Black Mountain and Harry & Jeannie West in Statesville carry those models.
    thanks!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ostrander View Post
    I don't believe Elderly carries MM or Michael Kelly, but I would eliminate them from my search anyway. I would focus on The Loar, Kentucky or Eastman. Just my own bias.
    Yeah I know and I probably will do that but I still would like to hold one.

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    Registered User mtk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Mr. Ostrander is right about Elderly. I have not seen a Morgan-monroe or Michael Kelly mandolin on thier website or in the store. However, they have a used Morgan- Monroe banjo right now. I would keep looking at thier used mandolins though, you never know when someone is gonna trade one in with them.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    So far it's looking like the best places to do a hands on comparison will be either FolkMusician.com in Reno, NV or Harry & Jeanie West in Statesville, NC (still waiting to verify their current sock).

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    Registered User Tom Sanderson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Checkout "The Mando Shop" in Tallahassee, FL ( mandoshop.com ). They sell Collings, Weber, J Bovier, Eastman, Breedlove, Michael Kelley, Morgan Monroe, and Kentucky. I recently bought a Collings Mt from them. Very nice to deal with and a great set up.

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    Infrequently Smelt Gregory Tidwell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    That must be a macro he has saved. I got the exact same email once.

  18. #18
    Registered User Lou Giordano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Might as well add this dealer and this mandolin to the mix.

    http://www.janetdavismusic.com/gibso..._mandolin.html
    Giving this another try.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Tall Toad Music in Petaluma Ca. presently has 92 mandolins listed in stock. Many used and vintage. Some new Morgan Monroes,Kentuckys and a bunch of Eastmans. Someone who's name we all know uses that store to sell off his overflow as he probably has the worst case of MAS of anyone alive. He probably wouldn't like it if I said who, so I won't.
    Mandolin Bros., who I'll be visiting in a few days, on Staten Island has listed on their website 60 mandolins and some Kentuckys and Loars in the mix of some of the finest mandolins anywhere. If there is no reason that you can think of that would get you to go to NYC, Mandolin Bros. is enough of a reason all by itself.

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    So, with few exceptions, the list of sponsors on the home page of the cafe that you might want to check out would be:

    The Mandolin Store
    Mandolin Bros.
    Janet Davis Music
    Elderly Instruments
    FolkMusic.Com
    The Music Emporium

    Almost all have been mentioned.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Giordano View Post
    Might as well add this dealer and this mandolin to the mix.

    http://www.janetdavismusic.com/gibso..._mandolin.html
    Added! Thanks!

  22. #22
    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Acoustic Music Works in Pittsburgh, PA. +/- 90 mandolins in stock at any given time.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Just FYI, as I mentioned in another post, I have decided to visit Robert at FolkMusician.com in Reno, NV sometime in January to figure out what will be the best mandolin for me . In my personal situation I think it's the best way to do it. When I do get there I will surely be buying new from him, getting him to set it up and possibly leaving with it but most likely paying for it and having it shipped when it's ready as he said they are pretty busy right now. Can't wait!

  24. #24

    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    I actually do stock most all of these when they are available from the distributors. This past two years has found it difficult to get enough mandolins to meet demand.

    With the exception of a couple of back-ordered models, I have every Michael Kelly, Morgan Monroe and The Loar in stock. The Kentucky and Eastman mandolins have been much harder to get a hold of (many models have 4 month waits) and a good portion of them come in pre-sold. I always have a selection of these that are waiting on setup/shipment to customers. I don't always have them available for sale though.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Who Has The Largest Selection Of Mandolins On Hand... Anywher

    Quote Originally Posted by Folkmusician.com View Post
    The Kentucky and Eastman mandolins have been much harder to get a hold of (many models have 4 month waits) and a good portion of them come in pre-sold. I always have a selection of these that are waiting on setup/shipment to customers. I don't always have them available for sale though.
    No problem, if I have to wait for the one I want that's OK. The important thing is that I am able to see most all of the models I have listed and will be able to make the best, first-hand, informed decision and get the ball rolling.

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