#1
ok so I know this isnt ultimatemandolin.com, but I figured some people here would have good advice.

I've never bought a mandolin before and I just wanted to know about some things to look out for when buying one. The obvious one is making sure that its all solid wood. I've heard things about mandolins having major tuning and intonation problems. People say that a lot of them slip out of tune easily and that many come with crappy floating bridges.

My price range would peak at probably $300. I'm open to any sort of all solid tone wood and brand. I do not need electronics since anything in my price range will probably come with something not that great because most good pickup systems start at $300. I'll put electronics in afterwards.

any advice at all is welcome
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce
#2
I play mandolin and own two of them, but I don't know much about lower priced models. My first mandolin was an Alvarez that cost me about $270 which played well and sounded pretty good, so you might want to try out one of those.

Other than that, I think you might have some better luck finding your answers on the mandolincafe.com forums.

╠═══════╬═══════╣

ENDLESS FEEDBACK MANIPULATOR σƒ τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ

╠═══════╬═══════╣
#3
Quote by Bright Light
ok so I know this isnt ultimatemandolin.com, but I figured some people here would have good advice.

I've never bought a mandolin before and I just wanted to know about some things to look out for when buying one. The obvious one is making sure that its all solid wood. I've heard things about mandolins having major tuning and intonation problems. People say that a lot of them slip out of tune easily and that many come with crappy floating bridges.

My price range would peak at probably $300. I'm open to any sort of all solid tone wood and brand. I do not need electronics since anything in my price range will probably come with something not that great because most good pickup systems start at $300. I'll put electronics in afterwards.

any advice at all is welcome


I've just bought a Kentucky mando that was originally a right hand model. I've since switched it over to a lefty. I had to do a fair bit of research into mandolins in order to do the switch. One thing I learned is that those are not "crappy floating bridges" as you state. They are not fixed to the top for a very critical reason and that is intonation. It's much easier to fine tune the intonation on a mandolin than it is on an acoustic guitar because of this. And fine adjustments will be needed during the life of the instrument due to changes in weather, humidity, string changes and so on.
Another area to look at is string action from the fretboard. You want one with the absolute lowest action possible without any string buzz. I wasn't aware that mando strings would be under such considerable tension, but they are, believe me. If the action is high, your fingertips are going to hurt, a lot.
Expense wise, go for an A style first rather than the more ornate looking F style. They sound the same, but the A will cost much less.
Alvarez has a few to choose from, so does Michael Kelly and Kentucky. There are mandolins that can go for upwards of $25,000 US, just to put your $250 in perspective.
Post up some pictures once you get one.
Last edited by LeftyDave at Nov 6, 2009,
#4
haha sorry I didnt mean that floating bridges are crappy, I meant that I didnt want one with a poorly made (crappy) floating bridge. I understand that floating bridges are essentiall to mandos and I dont have any problems using one as long its well made and doesnt show any gap between the body and where it rests on the body. and I will deffinitely post pics, I already picked one out I think, its a Kentucky.

http://folk-instruments.musiciansfriend.com/product/Kentucky-KM150S-Standard-Amodel-AllSolid-Mandolin?sku=515364
-----------------------------------------------------------

Dr. Z Stangray
G&L ASAT Classic (Ron Kirn Custom T-Style coming soon! ronkirn.com)
Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
Taylor 314ce