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Thank you. Pick – Many players simply use guitar picks to play their mandolins, but you can also buy picks made specifically for mandolin strings. Not only is the sound quality excellent, but the careful craftsmanship and the antique touched satin finish makes this mandolin aesthetically beautiful. Because the mandolin’s strings withstand 60-100 more pounds of pressure than a guitar, it is essential that the headstock, neck, tuning pegs and tailpiece are of top quality to ensure that your mandolin will hold up to regular use and will stay in tune for you. The company aims to create instruments that are beautiful, traditional, and sound great. But the treble is not really harsh like on some inexpensive mandolins. If you would like to receive a ready-to-play mandolin, try calling around to local music stores to see if they include set-up with their purchases, many do. Strings are made using a diversity of materials, each suited to bring out different tonal qualities. While the 400, 600, and 700 are indeed nitro top coated, my guess is that the base coats are poly. Many times, especially when ordered from larger companies, mandolins will arrive with the bridge and strings unattached. As with the MD305, the MD505 offers a mandolin with an appearance and sound of a high price-point instrument at a fraction of the price. The Eastman MD305 is our top pick because it possesses the same top-notch quality found in much more expensive models, but is still available at an affordable price.. It’s the best bang for your buck if you are looking for a quality beginner to immediate mandolin. They seem to vary more in sound. I think I would keep my money in my pocket and watch the Mandolin Cafe ads and bide my time. Was a good instrument to get serious with, and was passed along to another beginner. If you notice a guide that needs a little more care, or has errors, please email us at hello@hearthemusicplay.com or fill out the contact form and we’ll fix it! There are particular characteristics and features that are almost always present in the top rated mandolins. You can expect to pay anywhere from $450-500 for this instrument and it is fairly easy to find at most music stores and guitar … If aesthetic beauty is important to you and can afford a slightly higher price point at around $700, the Michael Kelly Legacy Dragonfly may be the mandolin for you. Retrieved December 8, 2016, from, Mandolin Buying Guide. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device. Not the prettiest wood but then I have $700 with all of the improvements in it. Eastman handcrafted mandolins pay tribute to traditional build methods and body styles while delivering a balanced and refined tone. And Mike is correct...the finish around the scroll was sloppy. Eastwood Mandocaster Electric Mandolin. The Loar LM400, pricing in at anywhere from $520.00-600.00, is a handcrafted A-model mandolin with a crisp warm tone and excellent projection. My first "playable" mandolin was a The Loar 520. The hunt is the fun for me and the finding a real gem of an instrument. My take is you'd be well-served starting out with any of the three. 29 frets... seven extra frets likely to never be used! Best Beginner Mandolins. At around $250-375, this instrument is an excellent choice for someone looking for a beginner to intermediate mandolin that has quality sound and a beautiful finish. Top Pick: Eastman MD305 A-Style Mandolin I actually have a 315 that I got cheap and put larger frets (like those on a Martin guitar), Grover tuning machines and an Allen tailpiece. This style is used most often with bluegrass and other kinds of upbeat music where a mandolin that can produce more sound is needed. Here is a list of accessories to consider: Mandolin Straps – These are essential if you ever plan to play standing up. (2015). An F-hole mandolin will produce a louder, brighter and punchier sound. Preparing a mandolin to play requires much more time and expertise than with a guitar. No products found. The Eastman MD305 is our top pick because it possesses the same top-notch quality found in much more expensive models, but is still available at an affordable price. 8. Our handcrafted mandolins pay tribute to traditional build methods and body styles while delivering a balanced and refined tone. Try out different types and brands to find a set that works well with your mandolin. They sound great for very little money. The new one don't compare though. The Crossover is designed to make the adjustment a little easier with a string spacing that is similar to a guitar. F-style mandolins tend to be more popular than the A-styles, and as stated earlier, are usually more expensive because of the delicate body scroll and other embellished features. (n.d.). Because mandolin strings are often strung closer together than on an average guitar, switching to a mandolin can be a bit of an adjustment. The body consists of the top, sides and back. It sounds and plays great, very resonant, great neck. Mike, what can you say about the LL-700 compared to the 600? An A-style mandolin has a tear or oval shape to the body. I base this on my experience with finish repairs on all these mandolins. If you would like to attempt to prepare your mandolin yourself, here is a helpful video to teach you how: When figuring out your price point for your mandolin, don’t forget to think about the accessories you’ll need to care for your mandolin and enrich your playing. This is a good choice for someone who wants to keep costs down on their first mandolin, but would still like a real functional instrument that will carry them through the beginning stages of learning to play. If you want to buy quality … The Eastman MD305 is an A-style mandolin with F-holes made of hand carved solid wood (maple back and sides and a spruce top). Another crucial aspect of mandolin anatomy is the body. (n.d.). Mandolin Capos – A capo clamps on the fretboard to allow you to increase the pitch of the mandolin and play songs in keys higher than the original key. For my entry, I thought a Kentucky A style was the best value. Whether you’re new to folk music and want to start learning on a mandolin or more likely, you’ve played guitar for several years and would like to pick up something new, the amount of mandolin options available can seem overwhelming at first. Be warned. Not as much bass as a really good mandolin. I have been a multi-instrumentalist for years, and I currently play guitar, bass guitar, piano, and... Learning to play bass guitar has never been easier. The radiused fingerboard is designed to match the curvature of your hand making it easier for a beginner to play and has a stunning vine inlay made of genuine pearl and abalone spiraling up the neck of the instrument. Unlike most mandolins in this price range, each MD305 is individually handcrafted using traditional materials and “Old World” craftsmanship. For more information on string selection, look here. Maybe, in two years of mandolin playing, I've used the 14th fret on the E string half a dozen times. There is a huge assortment of choices in color and material to suit your preferences. Most of these reviewers said that after they upgraded to better strings, such as D’Addario J73/74 lite, the tone improved. Even though I now have a nice Gibson A Jr. most of the time at home I reach for The Loar. 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