i've been picking around the mandolin for a few years now. never owned one, but like the idea of adding instruments to my 'palette'. about a year ago i was at the 12th fret up here in t-dot and danged if i didn't see this larger mandolin on the wall. i picked it up and felt much more comfortable w/ the 22" scale than the regular mandolin. i have huge hands. well, i found out it was an 'octave' mandolin. every time i would go to the fret i would pick one up and play it for a bit. they are quite acceptable instruments that are made in korea but are made out of solid wood and have hand carved tops, altho' the back (as i understand it) is pressed and not hand carved. as a belated birthday present to myself i purchased one this past weekend. needless to say, i've been having a riot all weekend long. i actually think that the range of the octave mandolin suits my voice better (when playing unaccompanied) and suits my morphology better. does anyone ever notice that mandolin players are not 6'4" and 200 lbs.? any other 'closet' mandolin players here?