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Mandolin recommendation

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Ash Telecaster, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's

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    Hi Everybody,

    I was thinking it would be nice to have a mandolin around. I probably wouldn't use it a lot but possibly on the occasional recording project plus I just like playing around with different instruments.

    Unfortunately my ignorance on mandolins is extreme. I have fairly large hands. I don't know if that matters, do they come in different sizes and scale lengths or is there a standard size?

    Plus, what do I have to spend to get something worth owning? Like I said it wont get used a lot but I want to it to be decent quality an play-ability. Plus it would be nice to have on board electronics but that is not a requirement.

    Part of this is finding out how money it takes to get there but if I had to put a cap on the cost I'll start with $500 for the point of discussion.

    Thank you!
     
  2. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Kentucky KM-140. You can get a new one for around $300- 350 US
     
  3. Cpb2020

    Cpb2020 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    More bang for buck going with an A-style than an F-style. The Kentucky KM-150 is solid and within your price range.
     
  4. Cpb2020

    Cpb2020 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Drf64 is on the money. I meant KM-140 and I couldn’t tell a difference between the 140 and 150.
     
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  5. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ibanez makes an A-style that runs about a buck and a half that's not bad at all.

    [​IMG]


    Any mando that costs less than about $600 will need a setup. They can be played without one, but why torture yourself? Dial in a mando and they're a pleasure to play.
     
  6. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The other thing I would recommend is guitar center's used list. They don't know how to properly price used mandolins and sometimes you can get a good one for cheap.
     
  7. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have this Rogue Mandolin I bought on a STOTD for $45 or so. Looks nice hanging on the wall. Quality on it was OK, playable with no significant flaws out of the box. Fret work was decent. Action was good although I adjusted the height downward a tiny amount. It did need a string change. Tuning stability is quite good. I hadn't played or tuned it in a while so I picked it up when I read this post and it was still in tune.

    I found that I didn't like playing mandolin due to the tiny size and that I mostly play guitar fingerstyle.
     
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  8. Dave Hicks

    Dave Hicks Friend of Leo's

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    "The Loar" and Eastman also are often-recommended for beginning mandos. About the same price to a little more than Kentucky. As Peegoo mentioned, a good setup is important.

    D.H.
     
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  9. harpdog

    harpdog Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Good advice re more value for price in A style, and a lot of what I read backs up Kentucky. I had to have F style and went with Eastman and it is excellent
     
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  10. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's

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    Wow, $45. I could buy ten of them! ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  11. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you for all the great recommendations. Now to do a little reading and pick one!
     
  12. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    Your price range in above what I was shopping with a couple years ago, but I'll tell ya that it's a great decision. I bought one to have a "travel guitar" and even the $200 Kentucky somethingorother was a great purchase and incredibly fun. Plus, they fit under the seat in front of you :D

    Good luck!
     
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  13. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Afflicted

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  14. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's

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    I wonder how much he wants for the dog?

    Seriously, looks pretty cool.
     
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  15. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    "before I knew it I had employees with coffee breath and BO, accounts, book keepers, IRS stuff...." I love that guy!
     
  16. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Afflicted

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    I was one of those smelly employees. Mike is a true Mensch.
     
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  17. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Afflicted

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    Missed this one, Big Muddy does have a wide neck option, as well as mandolas.

    "What is the “wide neck” model?
    The “standard width” of a mandolin is 1-1/8″ at the nut.

    Our wide neck model is 1-1/4″ at the nut. It was developed because of our car mechanic who is 6’4″ tall and has fingers like Polish sausages. He always wanted to play mandolin but found the necks too small for him to finger, so we made this Big Muddy mandolin’s neck wider.

    It is great for those coming over from guitar and for those who have larger fingers."
     
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  18. MickM

    MickM Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Visit the mandolincafe.com. Very cool laid back members who are free with sharing info.
     
  19. jedediahd

    jedediahd TDPRI Member

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    Second the mandolincafe.com
    Not to pull people from TDPI.
    When I was looking a few years ago, their threads helped a great deal on the details. Plus you get the extended knowledge base: like which is better round hole or f holes? Answer: "Larger spiders can't get in f holes."
    Classified section too. Shows a WIDE range of what's available.
    Just sayin',
    J.D.
     
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  20. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't know any pricing but Andy Mueller builds mandolins . He goes by Muleskinner and works at Froggy Bottom Guitars . I have sold him wood , Sycamore . I saw and heard that mandolin at the Harrisburg show a few years back . Ph : 802 431 7807.
     
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