Mandolins?

All instruments that aren't guitars (or bass guitars).
Post Reply
User avatar
HarlowTheFish
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 806
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:09 pm

Mandolins?

Post by HarlowTheFish » Sun Apr 18, 2021 6:20 pm

So I've been threatening to get my girl a mandolin for her birthday for a little while now, but I'm basically i-mando-literate, so I don't really know where to start shopping for one. I've gotten enough cheap gear that I know better than to shell out for the cheapest option, but I feel like it goes from $300ish with "okay for the price" reviews to $900 with "reliable for professional performance". I just want something she can noodle on and learn the ropes with, that won't play like trash, but isn't more than (ideally) $500 shipped to my door.

If I knew what to look for I'd be willing to buy used, but while I know guitars and basses well, I'm clueless on these tiny lute things.

User avatar
Sweetfinger
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 460
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:23 pm

Re: Mandolins?

Post by Sweetfinger » Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:57 pm

It's all in the setup. I've had the Rogue cheep-os playing nicely with a setup and a bit of work.

User avatar
jvin248
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 660
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:34 pm

Re: Mandolins?

Post by jvin248 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:02 am

.

+1 .. shop carefully for the guitar tech to do a downtown job on the setup.
Even if you pay the $100 for a fret level + setup you'll have a guitar that plays like a Custom Shop. Highest value guitar mod out there.

$170 Harley Benton Mandolin should work quite well. They have a less fancy teardrop shaped one for $80
ImageImage
https://www.thomannmusic.com/harley_ben ... 00e_vs.htm

.

User avatar
N0_Camping4U
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1721
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:59 pm
Location: Houston Texas

Re: Mandolins?

Post by N0_Camping4U » Sat Apr 24, 2021 12:34 pm

I picked up a Fender 8 string Mandolin years ago. I enjoy it a lot. I'm no mando expert.. It was like 300 bucks. I got it professionally set up and it's cool. Plays great, a fun little instrument to mess around with. These are a little rarer, they have 4 string variants and I see people killing it on Youtube.

This is the variant I got:
https://reverb.com/au/item/432468-fende ... r-sunburst

Doesn't Eastwood make some 'Mandocasters'?
"I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner, now I am the master."

User avatar
DesmondWafers
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1746
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Mandolins?

Post by DesmondWafers » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:38 am

There are a couple of eastman all-solid, carved mandolins in the range you're looking at. The md305 is at just about $500. They're very nice mandolins, more than enough for a beginner and you honestly wouldn't get much of an upgrade from there without going up around 1k. I would put these firmly in your category of "reliable for professional performance", especially with a nice setup.

User avatar
stevejamsecono
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 4596
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:55 am
Location: Astoria, NY
Contact:

Re: Mandolins?

Post by stevejamsecono » Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:26 pm

I've got a Goya that my Grandfather purchased in the early 60s. I haven't played it a lot, but it sounds really nice! I'd say the bigger appeal of it is that it's pristine and it has the original handwritten receipt and hangtags from when he bought it, so it's a nice time capsule :)
And you find out life isn't like that
It's so hard to understand
Why the world is your oyster but your future's a clam

Resident Yamaha Fanboy

COYS

User avatar
fendertweed
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:10 am

Re: Mandolins?

Post by fendertweed » Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:21 am

I found a used mint Fender FM52E several years ago that is a great value, I’ve used it to record. 8)

User avatar
Bradley-Jazz
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 812
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:00 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Mandolins?

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:47 pm

DesmondWafers wrote:
Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:38 am
There are a couple of eastman all-solid, carved mandolins in the range you're looking at. The md305 is at just about $500. They're very nice mandolins, more than enough for a beginner and you honestly wouldn't get much of an upgrade from there without going up around 1k. I would put these firmly in your category of "reliable for professional performance", especially with a nice setup.
I got an Eastman MD305 earlier this year. There is a little bit about it in this thread -
https://www.offsetguitars.com/forums/v ... 2&t=120205

I am enjoying. I’d had a really cheap mandolin in the past (a Vintage IIRC), and gave up on it. The Eastman is much nicer - louder, richer, different altogether. I still can’t play it very well, though!
All the cheeses....

User avatar
MattK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3734
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: Mandolins?

Post by MattK » Sun Jul 07, 2024 6:17 pm

Visiting my partner's family, her mom broke out "grandma's mandolin" for me to mess around with - giving it some light rehab and enjoying the learning curve.
Image
Image

User avatar
JSett
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 9318
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:33 pm
Location: Old Hampshire, Old England

Re: Mandolins?

Post by JSett » Mon Jul 08, 2024 8:45 am

I had this super-rarity last year:

Image

It was a great instrument but simply too small for my hands. I have no idea how bigger people play them with any dexterity. My hands are just NATO-standard man size but I could barely finger a chord cleanly.
Silly Rabbit, don't you know scooped mids are for kids?

User avatar
MattK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3734
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: Mandolins?

Post by MattK » Mon Jul 08, 2024 8:56 am

Likewise, it's fun but not an instrument for eyes-off chording without serious practice.
I bet I'm not the only one to google in sequence, "mandolin tuning", "mandolin chords", "losing my religion mandolin tab". I should play some Zep or something I guess.
Looking on the web I think maybe the Martin company built grandma's instrument for S. S. Stewart, which is pretty cool.
Last edited by MattK on Mon Jul 08, 2024 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
JSett
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 9318
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:33 pm
Location: Old Hampshire, Old England

Re: Mandolins?

Post by JSett » Mon Jul 08, 2024 8:56 am

MattK wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2024 8:56 am
I bet I'm not the only one to google in sequence, "mandolin tuning", "mandolin chords", "losing my religion mandolin tab".
This was my exact sequence :D :D
Silly Rabbit, don't you know scooped mids are for kids?

User avatar
MattK
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3734
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Hobart, Australia

Re: Mandolins?

Post by MattK » Mon Jul 08, 2024 8:57 am

*fist bump*

Post Reply