The Acoustic Guitar Forum

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 06-23-2019, 01:58 PM
arwhite arwhite is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: New Braunfels, TX
Posts: 323
Default Mandolin suggestions

I've had at various times in the past a Collings MT, a Collings MF, and a Breedlove American OO. I have not had a mondolin in a few years now, but wanting to get back into one. I liked all of those above that I previously owned and am gravitating back toward those brands as I begin my search.

What other brands should I be looking at for an entry level around the same quality level as those? I'll be looking at buying used primarily. A or F style, oval or F hole. Prefer American made. Thanks!
__________________
A D18, some harmonicas, and very little talent...
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-23-2019, 02:24 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,961
Default

The Northfield Calhoun is nice.

https://www.northfieldinstruments.com/thecalhoun
__________________
Martin 0-28VS
Gibson Arlo Guthrie
Fender Robert Cray Strat
Buckeye Mandolin
Kamaka HF-1D
Tom Yocky dulcimer
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-23-2019, 03:35 PM
arwhite arwhite is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: New Braunfels, TX
Posts: 323
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankmcr View Post
The Northfield Calhoun is nice.

https://www.northfieldinstruments.com/thecalhoun
That is nice. Thanks for the suggestion and link.

I should have mentioned in the original post that flat or arched top is fine.
__________________
A D18, some harmonicas, and very little talent...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-23-2019, 08:12 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,544
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by arwhite View Post
What other brands should I be looking at for an entry level around the same quality level as those? I'll be looking at buying used primarily. A or F style, oval or F hole. Prefer American made. Thanks!
Collings and Northfield are not "entry level" instruments by any stretch - new they will set you back a few grand. Normally, when we talk about decent entry level mandolins we're talking The Loar, Kentucky or Eastman, or an affordable pancake Red line/Big Muddy. Another cool option is a teens or 20's Gibson A. Just like guitars, if you're ok with buying used you can get a good deal. I would Google "mandolin classifieds" to turn up the best source of used mandos anywhere.

Both these guys, Howard "Sonny" Morris and Tom "TJ" Jessen are great builders, one-man shops right here in the US. I own instruments built by each. You will not find a better deal than a used mando from either of these guys in a hand built in the US great sounding, great playing mandolin.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-24-2019, 12:43 AM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,961
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by arwhite View Post
I've had at various times in the past a Collings MT, a Collings MF, and a Breedlove American OO. I have not had a mondolin in a few years now, but wanting to get back into one. I liked all of those above that I previously owned and am gravitating back toward those brands as I begin my search.

What other brands should I be looking at for an entry level around the same quality level as those? I'll be looking at buying used primarily. A or F style, oval or F hole. Prefer American made. Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
Collings and Northfield are not "entry level" instruments by any stretch - new they will set you back a few grand. Normally, when we talk about decent entry level mandolins we're talking The Loar, Kentucky or Eastman, or an affordable pancake Red line/Big Muddy. Another cool option is a teens or 20's Gibson A. Just like guitars, if you're ok with buying used you can get a good deal. I would Google "mandolin classifieds" to turn up the best source of used mandos anywhere.

Both these guys, Howard "Sonny" Morris and Tom "TJ" Jessen are great builders, one-man shops right here in the US. I own instruments built by each. You will not find a better deal than a used mando from either of these guys in a hand built in the US great sounding, great playing mandolin.
The OP has previously owned a Collings MT (~$3200) and a Collings MF (~$5200).
In that context, a Northfield Calhoun, at ~$890 (and made right here in the USA) is a more than reasonable "entry level" instrument to suggest for the OP to get back into playing.
__________________
Martin 0-28VS
Gibson Arlo Guthrie
Fender Robert Cray Strat
Buckeye Mandolin
Kamaka HF-1D
Tom Yocky dulcimer

Last edited by frankmcr; 06-24-2019 at 12:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-24-2019, 02:54 AM
themissal's Avatar
themissal themissal is offline
SalFromChatham
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 5,356
Default

Well... a “lesser quality” American-made Mandolin is the Big Muddy. I had Mike make me a Big Muddy M11 and it’s special. Warm Celtic style tone. I like it. It is unique, and made by a unique crazy guy, Fellow Basset owner and fellow Yankee fan.

https://imgur.com/UznmprN

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-24-2019, 11:55 AM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,961
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by themissal View Post
Well... a “lesser quality” American-made Mandolin is the Big Muddy. I had Mike make me a Big Muddy M11 and it’s special. Warm Celtic style tone. I like it. It is unique, and made by a unique crazy guy, Fellow Basset owner and fellow Yankee fan.

https://imgur.com/UznmprN

As a White Sox fan I cannot endorse the instrument shown.

Big Muddys are fine mandolins though.
__________________
Martin 0-28VS
Gibson Arlo Guthrie
Fender Robert Cray Strat
Buckeye Mandolin
Kamaka HF-1D
Tom Yocky dulcimer
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-24-2019, 03:05 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: San Jose, Ca
Posts: 2,781
Default

Going by what you have owned before, I'd say more of the same, unless you don't want to spend the money. You can get a very nice used A style for around $1500. Weber Galatins, older Flatirons, Ratliff Country Boys, and Silverangel Econos are all fine. MTs go for closer to $2K.

The Northfield F5S is a favorite in the F style group, along with a Gallatin.
__________________
1980 Martin M 36
1970 Guild D 35
1965 Epiphone Texan
2014 Martin 00 15 12 fret custom
Pono OP 30 D parlor
Pono OP12-30
Pono MT uke
Goldtone Paul Beard squareneck resophonic
Fluke tenor ukulele
Boatload of home rolled telecasters

"Shut up and play your guitar" Frank Zappa
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-25-2019, 02:46 AM
LadysSolo LadysSolo is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 435
Default

I would add used Weber or Pava mandolins to the mix to consider. I consider Collings, Weber, and Pava to be about equivalent quality, and based on what you had before I don't think you would be satisfied with lesser quality.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-25-2019, 06:31 AM
Bunnyf Bunnyf is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 144
Default

You probably know this already, but f style mandos will not get you the most bang for your buck (tho they’re purdy). A nice used A style will get you a much nicer mando for the money. I went with an older Oregon made Breedlove ($500) in good but played condition. A flat top like a big muddy will be an even bigger savings, if you aren’t set on an arch top.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-25-2019, 01:10 PM
arwhite arwhite is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: New Braunfels, TX
Posts: 323
Default

Thanks for all the suggestions. There are some in there I likely would have never found or considered. Right now I'm liking the looks of the Weber Gallatin A with F holes. Starting my search for a used one of those. Thanks again!
__________________
A D18, some harmonicas, and very little talent...
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-26-2019, 11:51 AM
stevo58 stevo58 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 35
Default

Check out Ken Ratcliff’s Silverangel mandolins.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-26-2019, 12:04 PM
ceciltguitar ceciltguitar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 517
Default

The Emerald Amicus is an out of the box wild card alternative. It is NOT a mandolin. It is a 12 string instrument tuned like guitar with a capo at anywhere from the 7th to the 10th fret, and has a mandolin-like sound.

https://emeraldguitars.com/product/amicus-artisan/
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-26-2019, 12:46 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: San Jose, Ca
Posts: 2,781
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo58 View Post
Check out Ken Ratcliff’s Silverangel mandolins.
+1 on this. Better to me than most Webers I've played. You can get his Econo for $1500 new. Its on the warm and lush side of things. Equal but different to the much brighter Collings tone. I bought the regular fully bound version for $1400 a couple of years ago. Ken Ratcliff, the builder, has been sending out his mandolins for a trial with no money paid upfront at all. Kinda says something.
__________________
1980 Martin M 36
1970 Guild D 35
1965 Epiphone Texan
2014 Martin 00 15 12 fret custom
Pono OP 30 D parlor
Pono OP12-30
Pono MT uke
Goldtone Paul Beard squareneck resophonic
Fluke tenor ukulele
Boatload of home rolled telecasters

"Shut up and play your guitar" Frank Zappa
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-03-2019, 02:40 PM
Rumblefish Rumblefish is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Palm Springs CA
Posts: 350
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by arwhite View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions. There are some in there I likely would have never found or considered. Right now I'm liking the looks of the Weber Gallatin A with F holes. Starting my search for a used one of those. Thanks again!
I found a used Weber Gallatin A for a little over 1K. I was looking at higher end imports and I'm really glad I held out for what I consider entry level for a quality US product. It's a killer mando and I highly recommend it.
__________________
Gibson L-OO Vintage
Taylor K14ce Builders Edition
National Polychrome Tricone
Weber Gallatin A Mandolin

http://www.bandmix.com/jon-nilsen/
https://www.bandmix.com/limberlost/
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 02:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=