Thread: Next Mandolin?
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:51 AM
Aaron Smith Aaron Smith is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 3,301

What is your budget? You can basically spend any amount of money you want on a mando.

Since you like a mellower/sweeter tone and it sounds like you don't need a bluegrass head-cutter, check out oval holes. Or since you like used, history, etc....

Check out Gibson A-50 mandolins from the 1930's to the 1950's. My main instrument is an A-50 from 1952... I'm constantly amazed by the tone. They can be had all day long for $1000-1500. The only downsides I can think of are the short scale (which I actually prefer), the lack of access to higher frets, and the fact that they can be a little shy on the bass.

Last year I got the inclination to upgrade it and spend $$$ on a fancy one. I took the A-50 with me to a well-known mandolin store so I could compare. Mine outplayed everything they had in stock, including a few that were north of $5k. I haven't felt the need to upgrade it since then.

1943 Gibson J-45
2005 Martin HD-28v
Voyage Air VAOM-4
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