The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Other Stringed Instruments

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-13-2020, 10:45 PM
BoneDigger's Avatar
BoneDigger BoneDigger is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Tyler, TX
Posts: 5,755
Default Thoughts on beginner octave mandolins?

I am considering a Gold Tone 800+, Trinity College, or Eastman all are around $750-900, give it take. This would be mostly for Celtic music and maybe some folk. The Eastman is all solid but with the F holes sounds more bluegrassy to me. The TC and Gold Tone seem more like what I need. The TC is all solid, but the sound clips I have heard seem better on the GT. I also realize the GT is longer and will be a stretch.

Thoughts on any of these or similarly priced mandos?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-16-2020, 11:56 AM
BoneDigger's Avatar
BoneDigger BoneDigger is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Tyler, TX
Posts: 5,755
Default

Nobody has a thought on these?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-16-2020, 01:17 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,283
Default

Not sure there's such a thing as a "beginner" OM. Pretty much something people get into after they've been playing mando for a while in my experience.
__________________
Kalamazoo Sport Model
Martin 0-28VS
Martin 0-18KH
Danelectro Dano Pro reissue
National "Clipper" lap steel
Maui Music CM concert ukulele
Hollokoi Lajos citera
Tom Yocky dulcimer
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-16-2020, 01:46 PM
catt catt is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 79
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
Nobody has a thought on these?
They're all entry-level, and if set-up properly will be fine for starting out. If you get into playing mndlns more you'll very likely want a step-up instrument.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-17-2020, 09:05 AM
jparis51 jparis51 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 95
Default

I'm very happy with my Eastman MDO305. I tried the Gold Tone OM-800+ but much preferred the "chop" of the Eastman (and you're right it's from the F holes). That said, some might find the Gold Tone more suitable for Celtic. I wanted to like the Gold Tone enough to keep it for an alternate sound, but a few things kept me from bonding with it:

I felt like the the thick gloss finish deadened the sound, the tuners were uncomfortably close together, and it's fitted with a custom gauge string set (albeit available from several retailers). The Eastman wants D'Addario EJ80s, which are more widely available.

Also note that the Gold Tone comes with an undersaddle pickup. If you want amplification (as I did) most anyone who sells the Eastman will fit it with the K&K Mandolin Twin for you. This is the route I took and it sounds great, although like any K&K it needs a good preamp and EQ. Make sure your dealer does a setup as well.

Good Luck, it's a wonderful instrument. Listen to what Sierra Hull can do with her Weber OM -- I hope I can afford one of those some day (not that I'll ever begin to approach her abilities).

Last edited by jparis51; 08-17-2020 at 09:16 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-17-2020, 01:13 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 10,393
Default

An old Flatiron 3MC should be right up your alley - unfortunately they don't come up for sale very often, and with good reason IME...
__________________
"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."
- Mark Twain
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-17-2020, 04:22 PM
catt catt is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 79
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
An old Flatiron 3MC should be right up your alley - unfortunately they don't come up for sale very often, and with good reason IME...
Yes. And fwiw - ditto with mandolas, bouzouki et al..

*A rare offering on a used FI https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/159038#159038

Last edited by catt; 08-22-2020 at 11:31 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-24-2020, 05:32 PM
neilca neilca is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 79
Default

For a true beginners OM I have a Hora. You can find them on ebay. The tuners are terrible but overall the instrument plays well. You can go here for more info

https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...40-Hora-Octave

BTW price is under $300.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-11-2020, 06:20 AM
varmonter varmonter is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: The heart of Saturday night..
Posts: 2,975
Default

Just an aside. I bought a mid 50s Gibson tg-50.
Which is an archtop f hole tenor guitar.
My initial idea was to change the tailpiece and
Bridge out...drill 4 new holes in the headstock
And turn it into an om . But after playing with it
I decided to leave it alone and am playing it
At gigs now. Its tuned gdae. And I put a pickup
In it. JJB. It sounds great and is a real fine playing instrument. These can be had for around
A grand and are a real well made instrument.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-11-2020, 08:40 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Staten Island, NY
Posts: 10,393
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by varmonter View Post
Just an aside. I bought a mid 50s Gibson TG-50...It sounds great and is a real fine playing instrument...
Here's one for sale:



https://www.archtop.com/ac_48_TG50.html
__________________
"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."
- Mark Twain
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-16-2020, 07:21 PM
pjmacd's Avatar
pjmacd pjmacd is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 727
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
I am considering a Gold Tone 800+, Trinity College, or Eastman all are around $750-900, give it take. This would be mostly for Celtic music and maybe some folk. The Eastman is all solid but with the F holes sounds more bluegrassy to me. The TC and Gold Tone seem more like what I need. The TC is all solid, but the sound clips I have heard seem better on the GT. I also realize the GT is longer and will be a stretch.

Thoughts on any of these or similarly priced mandos?
One maker to look into (although I don't know if he's still active) is Stan Pope of Big Leaf Mandolins in Canada. I've played a Trinity College, and it sounded thin and feeble to me. I haven't tried similar models from Gold Tone or Eastman, although I've been impressed by Eastman guitars and unimpressed with a Gold Tone baritone guitar.

Several years ago, I bought a used Big Leaf octave mando from a musician who needed it for a studio project, then decided to sell it. It was well made but the finish was a little sloppy. Still, it had a good sound, much better than the entry-level octave mandos I had tried. I'm hoping to move soon to a smaller home and need to thin my herd. If you are interested, please send me a PM. I can send pics and/or sound clips.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Other Stringed Instruments

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=