I am new to this forum and to some extent the playing of a mandolin. Let me explain, some years ago I purchased a, wait for it, Blue Moon instrument on a visit to Hobgoblin Birmingham. Bought this particular instrument as, within my price range, it had the punchiest tone and sound and had been carved out of solid timber. For some years it has been untouched, recently however I have been drawn to it again for a number of reasons the main one of which is that I now live in Mid Wales and have started a couple of music clubs. Cledlyn Music Club and Cothi Valley and District Music Club, both have pages on Facebook. In the main the people who attend, with the exception of a group called Brenig play like myself guitars. I thought it would be different if there was more variety so I dug out the Blue Moon and have been practicing on it for a week or two. I have had to make it a little easier to play by redressing the fret ends and lowering the action a little it is now easier to play than it was. One of the venues in which I attempt to play is large so I felt it would be advantageous to put a pick up on the instrument so that the sound could be reinforced. Sadly on looking at what is available I decided that too much butchery and cost would be involved. So started to look on the net for another suitable instrument I was attracted to an offering from Gretsch their New Yorker Supreme (£370.00). This is made of solid wood has Grover machine heads and a Fishman 300m pick up. It arrived today and to say I was disappointed would be an understatement, the sound was so dull it was like trying to play a bit of plank. The action was high even after I moved the bridge to its lowest position. My Blue Moon is an absolute dream compared to it. So my fellow forum members I am looking for your input as to what would be a suitable instrument, yes I know I would be better going to a shop with a lot of Mandolins for me to have a go on but my nearest option would be Hobgoblin Bristol a 270 mile round trip with the added cost of Severn road bridge tolls. Your input would be greatly appreciated.