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Old 11-24-2017, 11:46 AM
MaurysMusic MaurysMusic is offline
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Default $700 mandolin advice

Hi folks. I need to help someone give a mandolin as a gift. Her budget is $700. Can anyone here offer a recommendation? Thanks in advance. EDIT: she wants to purchase NEW, not used or vintage, thx.
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Last edited by MaurysMusic; 11-24-2017 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:50 AM
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Hi Maury! I bought one of these a couple years ago and Iím very impressed with it. Iíve had a couple folks prefer it over their Gibsonís, etc. solid wood and comes with a hard shell case.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/M108SW
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:50 AM
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I haven't shopped for a mandolin in a long while, but when I was shopping I was impressed with the Eastmans. I am certain a good one can be had within her budget. If I were on the search and $700 was my budget, the Eastmans would be the first I would look at.

I can only recommend what I have played. Of course there are some great vintage instruments that are also available. As a gift, I suppose she is looking to purchase a new one...?
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick's Goat Whiskey Picks View Post
Hi Maury! I bought one of these a couple years ago and Iím very impressed with it. Iíve had a couple folks prefer it over their Gibsonís, etc. solid wood and comes with a hard shell case.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/M108SW
That looks nice too!
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:56 AM
MaurysMusic MaurysMusic is offline
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Thank you, she wants to buy "new".
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickcity View Post
That looks nice too!
Itís the mandolin on this song I did with a buddy last year.

https://open.spotify.com/track/3fArb...Q66Dfhk_ahSu8Q
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:58 AM
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I would say the Kentucky KM150 all solid woods, up to a KM505 Master Model - both real nice mandos for well below her price point. Both A styles, F styles are more $ for same quality of the A styles above. They will need a set up like bridge fit / nut slot filing, could need fret leveling. You can do that right Maury?
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickcity View Post
I haven't shopped for a mandolin in a long while, but when I was shopping I was impressed with the Eastmans. I am certain a good one can be had within her budget. If I were on the search and $700 was my budget, the Eastmans would be the first I would look at.

I can only recommend what I have played. Of course there are some great vintage instruments that are also available. As a gift, I suppose she is looking to purchase a new one...?
+1 on Eastman. Eastman MD305. Not just good - it spanks the pants off of most stuff under 1K.
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:04 PM
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Eastman is a good mando also, but when I played them, I liked the deeper tone of the Kentucky better. Eastman's that i've played seemed to have a treble bordering on the tinny side. Bass strings were better on Kentucky. They are both well thought of over at the Mandolin Cafe forum, lots of threads topics on them.

Last edited by pickitPaul; 11-24-2017 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:40 PM
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I think you'll find that Eastman is hard to beat at any price, but at the $700 price point they have virtually no competition. BTW, I think this thread should be located in the "Other Stringed Instruments" section as opposed to the General section.
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:44 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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Standard advice over on the mando forums.

If buying used, get a Mid-Missouri/Big Muddy

If buying new, get the Kentucky.
(Eastman is a solid 2nd choice)
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:02 PM
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Should fit the bill nicely... Eastman MD505 Mandolin
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:29 PM
Greg Ballantyne Greg Ballantyne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickcity View Post
I haven't shopped for a mandolin in a long while, but when I was shopping I was impressed with the Eastmans. I am certain a good one can be had within her budget. If I were on the search and $700 was my budget, the Eastmans would be the first I would look at.

I can only recommend what I have played. Of course there are some great vintage instruments that are also available. As a gift, I suppose she is looking to purchase a new one...?
Here is an Eastman, in Meadowood Music shop (Pa): http://www.meadowoodmusic.com/_p/prd...style-mandolin
I haven't seen an Eastman, but I've heard a lot of good things about them.

Trinity College is around that price, with a hardshell case - again, I haven't had one, but I've got their Irish Bouzouki on order.....

There is an "other stringed instruments" forum on this website that might reach a few different mando aficionados....
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:55 PM
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Get an A style, F hole, from either Eastman or Kentucky. Just make sure the dealer does a complete set up. The Mandolin Store in AZ. carries these and sets them up. Elderly does as well. Might suggest Kentucky, some of the Eastman A's have some goofy cosmetics.

Depending on the exchange rate, you might consider a Canadian made Sawchyn. These actually sound good and play well. Very nicely made in the style of the Gibson Army-Navy or the Flatiron pancake models.

http://www.folkwaymusic.com/new-inst...mandolin-0517/

Last edited by HHP; 11-24-2017 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 11-24-2017, 02:44 PM
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Flow chart:

Do you play bluegrass?

No. Go to Big Muddy Mandolins and have Mike build an M2, M11, or M4, depending on your budget. Done. You have your "for life" mandolin.

Yes. Welcome to the rabbit hole. Start with either a Kentucky KM 150 or an Eastman 505, spend the rest of the budget on setup and prepare to spend the rest of your life upgrading.
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