Going to California has made me want to get a mandolin. what should I go buy? I dont want to spend over 300 on one. I want that californian / hawian sound
I dunno that a mando will give you a Hawaiian/Cali sound, I'd go more along the lines of a ukulele for that.

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mandolins are very cool. wierd to play at first cuz the neck is like an inch wide. lol. just go to a shop play some...see what you like.
I hear you need to get one with a truss rod in the neck (don't laugh at me and call me a noob for saying, well you can if you want i guess. But apparently alot of cheaper ones don't have them.)

I'm looking at buying an Epiphone Mandolin some time later this year when i have a job.
Get a Ukulele for a Hawain sorta sound.
Its good too cos you can buy decent ones for like 30 bucks.
Good fun to play around with.
Mandolins, on the other hand are an expensive toy.
Quote by cowboysneverdie
mandolin= italian for out of tune

Huh? You serious? Hahaha, if thats actually true then thats funny as

Meh, theyre cool instruments.
I love the feel and the sound of them. Very cool
hey dont get me wrong i love the way a mandolin sounds but they are always out of tune if the humidity isnt right or if gets hot and then cold trust me i go to alot of bluegrass festivals and those mando players are always tuning up its so funny and they know it too its a good humored joke amongst bluegrass players
Pretty much all cheap mandolins are made over seas and have poor tone and are not set up "out of the box". Such instruments will wear out quickly, developing serious structural problems over the course of only a few years. So whatever you do, buy a new mandolin if you go "cheap" (under 1000 dollars).

The alvarez mandolins are, from my experience, not so bad sounding and they come with a decent set up. The alvarez are not the cheapest though...

The mandolin is my main instrument. I started out with a "kentucky" brand a style with f-holes. I believe it was the model "km-150s". At the time, it cost about 150 dollars. I had to set it up but it worked just fine. Now I have a better mandolin but that kentucky worked just fine. I thought they sounded just as good, if not better than many of the 800 dollar and under instruments. I still have the kentucky mandolin, now it's my camping mandolin.

So to summerize, if going with student (ie, affordable) models buy new because they wear out fast. If you can afford one, buy a new alvarez, if not, buy a new kentucky km-150s and expect to have it set up. Good luck.
You should get a banjo.
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