Mandolin

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by wescattle, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. wescattle

    wescattle Member

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    Im in search for a good entry level mandolin, i've been playing ukulele and guitar for a while so i would like a decent instrument. Something with all solid construction ect.

    Thanks
     
  2. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    What is your budget?

    A or F style?

    US made or Korean..or does it matter?
     
  3. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    Here's a thread on my Morris A-5 Custom I had built at the beginning of the year. IMHO the best deal out there right now....but it doesn't have the "Big Name" attached to it.......handbuilt in Oregon. Many of Howard's models are below $1,000.00 and all are banjo killers.

    My Morris thread.
     
  4. wescattle

    wescattle Member

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    F style....i like US made instruments, but all i really care about is quality

    What's the link to the morris mandos?
     
  5. jcground

    jcground Member

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    I have a Breedlove Quartz that sounds and plays great, solid wood (spruce and maple with an ebony board and headstock veneer), made in Oregon. Mine was about $800 with a nickel Allen tailpiece (Monteleone style) and a strap button added on the neck heel (both worthwhile upgrades to me - the Allen improved sustain and made string changes noticably easier, and I added the button because Breedloves don't have the scroll top f-style to tie the strap, and I don't like having the strap tied up by the nut.)

    http://www.breedloveguitars.com/instruments/mandolins/
     
  6. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    Howard Morris does not have a website.

    He does build an incredible F for less than $1,500.00..and you get to pick your woods, upgrades, etc.

    I don't know of any US makers that build an F for that price..but they may be out there. It surely won't be the usual suspects (Weber, Gibson, etc).

    Good luck! :AOK


    EDITED TO ADD: I just read the above post...and the Breedlove Quartz is a great mando....I had one of the very early ones (mid-1990's).
     
  7. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

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    For a beginner, I'd strongly recommend going with an A-style instrument. You get much more bang for your buck.

    Check out different mando forums, even experienced players will acknowledge there's little or no difference between A and F styles - purely cosmetic.

    You can pick up a great used U.S. made A-style from a number of makers for $1500 - Weber and Collings will come up a lot in recommendations.

    If you're ok with a non-U.S. mando, check out Eastman.
     
  8. alschnier

    alschnier Supporting Member

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    I'm a big fan of webers & old flatirons. there are some great quality us made mandos from montana out there. check out mandoweb. great classifieds there too.
     
  9. dB

    dB Member

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    try mandolin cafe website/classifieds.

    I would give up on the F style idea if your budget is tight. As stated earlier, it doesn't affect the sound, and you are paying a lot extra for a scroll. Breedlove and Weber are probably the best value in a mandolin that is readily available and "recognized" names. There are a ton a small lesser known luthiers that can make you a nice mando...you just need to sort through them all and check references. I have an A style made by Keith Newell from Oregon. I'd start with him if you are considering that one man shop type of instrument. Mandolin Cafe is definitely the place to start and ask questions.
     
  10. bazooka47

    bazooka47 Member

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    +1. I played an Eastman 814 (round hole F-Style similar to old Gibson F-4) for about three years until I bought my 'forever' mando (Collings MF Deluxe V). The Eastman sounded GREAT, and in some ways even held its own with the Collings. If you want to shop for Eastmans, this shop has a large selection:

    http://www.giannaviolins.com/

    I also highly recommend the Webers. I bought my son a Weber Bridger A style, and it is a VERY nice mando (more of a Celtic style). In fact, after he played it a couple years it began to show very slight signs of top sinkage. I contacted Weber about this, and they told me to send it to them right away. A couple months later the Bridger showed up, with a NEW top, playing and sounding better than ever- no charge. I was impressed.

    Here is another great site for mando-browsing with an amazing selection of instruments:

    www.folkofthewood.com

    FOTW even has video demos of most if not all of the mandos they stock so you can watch and hear them being put through the paces by a very good player.

    Enjoy. Mandos are magic.
     
  11. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

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    And for something completely different and really outstanding in its own way, try one of these. Tone is really surprising, American made, very well made and loud, really loud.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. drive-south

    drive-south Member

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    Another option for people on a fairly tight budget is the former Mid Missouri Mandolin Company. They now go by the name "Big Muddy" mandolins. These are made in USA, all solid wood. They are a flat-top A-style mando with simple design and great sound. Their mahogany models start around $500 and their other models (rosewood, maple, walnut) top out at well under $1k. Keep your' eyes on EBAY as they do come up regularly. They make a model called Mini-Mo which has a bolt-on neck. This is not the typical Mid Missouri so don't be shocked. I like the M2 which is curly maple back/sides, mahog neck and spruce top. You can order them with a wider fingerboard as well.

    I own 2 Mid Mos. One is an M11 mandolin which has all-mahogany construction (back,sides,top,neck) and ebony fb. The other is an octave mandolin with Rosewood back/sides and spruce top.

    drive-south
     
  13. wooldl

    wooldl Member

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    I have an F-style, Olympia mandolin. It is made for Tacoma. Fantastic instrument, projects great, looks great, plays great. Well, it plays great when the person playing knows what their doing. :)

    I think it was around $500 new, with a case.
     
  14. nik

    nik Member

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    A little off topic because its a very professional level instrument, I stopped by Jim Triggs shop last week and saw his latest creation, a Loyd Loar F style mandolin. It was stunning. Extremely beautiful. He really knows how to build them!
     
  15. drive-south

    drive-south Member

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    I was reading the interview with Vince Gill in "Fretboard Journal". He owns a real Loar F5 and says these are currently worth between $150k to $200k.

    I think I'll stick with my Mid Mo's for now.

    drive-south
     

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