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Old 05-10-2018, 09:24 PM
LadysSolo LadysSolo is online now
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If you are already a musician, you will not be satisfied with an entry-level mandolin for very long (I would guess 6 months or less.) If you DO buy a used entry-level, you will lose very little, and can resell when you have a better idea of what you want in a mid - to high level mandolin. If you already know what you want, just go there in the first place (mid-level being in the $1000 to $3000 price range.) I enjoy my Pava, Weber, and Collings mandolins (all mid-level.) I started with a used the Loar, I still have it and loan it to people who think they might be interested in playing mandolin. It was a good starter, but not enough for long-term. Enjoy the journey, and come to the Café sometimes!
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:55 AM
Jim_G Jim_G is offline
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Location: Central Massachusetts
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I started with The Loar VS220, upgraded to a Collings MT2 after 6 months. Both have K&K pickups installed. When I'm playing acoustic it's no contest, the Collings is clearly superior. When I plug in the differences really drop away. I've taken to bringing the The Loar to live gigs lately. I think I even prefer the tone of the cheaper instrument in those environments.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:06 AM
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Ed-in-Ohio Ed-in-Ohio is offline
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Originally Posted by BoneDigger View Post
Check out the Kentucky KM272. I have much more expensive mandolins and I'm blown away by the awesome tone the 272 can achieve.
+1! Totally agree, word for word.

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Old 05-15-2018, 04:36 PM
PHJim PHJim is offline
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Since you have indicated that you are a beginner, I'd suggest you begin with an entry level mandolin like a Gretsch. These are affordable and, if set up properly, they sound pretty good. They won't sound great next to a pre-war Loar or a mandolin from a private luthier, but I wouldn't advise anyone to lay out that kind of cash for something you're not positive about. I realise that for some folks money is no object and if you fall into that category, go for it. I am happy when a student shows up with a Gretsch or a Kentucky A-style mandolin to learn on.
Near the start of this thread, someone named Bart advised you to get an A-style. Wise advice if you have a price range. A $1000 A-style will always be a better quality mandolin than a $1000 F-style. (Substitute any price in the previous sentence and it will almost always be true.)
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Old 05-15-2018, 05:03 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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I'll come back to the statements people have previously made. I agree that if you have climbed the guitar quality ladder and have learned for yourself that your Martin D 18, or Taylor 300 series, or Gibson j 45 is worth spending your hard earned cash for, you are unlikely to like anything less than your guitars' quality level.

I bought an Eastman 505 used, and three months later sold it for that. What I did in three months was realize I really liked mandolin and I played a bunch of better ones. I don't think my time with the Eastman was wasted, but I do think what was I thinking every time I go into a shop and play Eastmans and Kentucky mandolins, then pick up a Collings, Northfield or Weber.

And yes, I'm staring at my Michael Kelly right now, sitting in arm's reach, forever out of it's case and ready to grab and play. It does have it's charms, but it's not nearly the mandolin my Silverangel is. It cost me $200 on blowout and hours and hours of setup time to make it play ok. And the reality, if you camp out, go to the beach, have two year old grand kids, you need a beater.

So my advise is buy an Eastman or a Kentucky KM 150, play it until you realize you really like it, then keep it and quickly buy a nice A style used for $1400. Or a Collings for $8000. Whatever your bank account will allow.
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