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  #16  
Old Yesterday, 06:09 AM
HHP HHP is online now
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Here's my "starter" mandolin. Bought it about 30 years ago at a small shop on Summer Ave in Memphis. Its the one instrument I have had the longest.

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  #17  
Old Yesterday, 06:10 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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All I'd say is ...look for an Eastman.

There are "F" models wichich have the scroll, which balances the mando well, and looks cool but does nothing for the sound.

"A" models are much the same but without the scroll. A good start.

Archtop mandos (the best option) have "F" holes or round holes.
Gibson denote the difference as model 4 (round ho;le) and 5 - f-holes. 4s give a warmer sound, 5s more incisive.

Eastman's numeration style is MD (presumably mandolin) and a three figure number. 1st model indicates wood and trim. they start at, I think 4 to 9.

2nd number indicates A model "0" or F style "1".

3rd number - 4 = round hole, and 5 = f hole.

All Eastmans are well made - even the base numbered Eastman mandos like :

This is a good place to start : https://www.elderly.com/instruments/...97&order=price

If in the UK / EU - don't mess about - go to the expert! - http://www.theacousticmusicco.co.uk/...andolins-.html
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  #18  
Old Yesterday, 07:08 AM
mang1974 mang1974 is offline
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I started with a cheap, laminated NY Pro (I think that's the name) from eBay and shortly thereafter lucked into a used Eastman MD515. Once it was set up it was fantastic and sounds great. I highly recommend looking at the Eastman models. I've also heard good things about the Kentucky KM-150.
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  #19  
Old Yesterday, 07:08 AM
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SprintBob SprintBob is offline
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Contact The Mandolin Store. I followed their advice on either the Eastman 305 or 505. I got the 505 (a Xmas present from my wife). Go with A shape body, for the price range you want to stay in, you'll get more for your money.

For lessons, I am using the Peghead Nation beginner course as taught by Sharon Gilchrist. I did change the strings on my 505 from D'Addario to Thomastik Infeld and while I lost some volume (the TI's are lighter), I think the tone is as good or better. The lighter strings are certainly easier for learning proper fretting technique on the smaller neck. I have been very pleased how the combination of the TI strings on the 505 have resulted in an instrument that seems to stay in tune as well as my best guitars. That was a pleasant surprise given all the chatter about how hard mandolins are to keep in tune.

I was like you, wanted to expand my boundaries. I started 10 weeks ago and I'm having a lot of fun with it.

Good Luck!
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  #20  
Old Yesterday, 12:06 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHP View Post
Here's my "starter" mandolin. Bought it about 30 years ago at a small shop on Summer Ave in Memphis. Its the one instrument I have had the longest.

There is some cool mojo in those old Harmony's! Thanks for sharing it!
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  #21  
Old Yesterday, 12:51 PM
dcopper dcopper is offline
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Plenty of info on mandolincafe.com
Lots of posts for beginners - I bought a Collings and have never regretted it.
Some inexpensive mandos are fine, some are just plain difficult to play. You may want to look for one with a wide nut. That helps with transitioning from guitar.
Good luck,

Davidc
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