Upgrading my mandolin

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Upgrading my mandolin

Postby fergmaun » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:26 am

I have a Mandolin by Blue Moon Model number: BM-05 I would like to upgrade.

Image

Any one recommend reasonable price mandolin in Ireland or UK the A style with oval sound hole.

Around £100 to £500 price range

Wood used for
Neck
Fingerboard
Top
Bridge
Back
Sides

Nut/Saddle
Tailpiece
Geared tuner

Specifications
Nut width:
Width at 12th fret:
Scale length:
Max body depth:
Body width:
Number of Frets:
Overall body length:

Cheers

Fergus
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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby colirv » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:50 am

Might be a little outside your price range, but Oakwood make nice instruments.
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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby Dave Hanson » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:49 pm

Eastman do a very good oval hole at a reasonable price.
The hand made ones ie. Oakwood, Phil Davidson, Jimmy moon, Paul Shippey et al will cost much more but are worth it in the long run, American ones even more still.
I'd look for a second hand one, Trevor Moyle at TAMCO may have some in his shop in Brighton. He will give you good advice too.

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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby Ray(T) » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:03 pm

I'd second what Dave said. Cut an paste this - links never seem to work for me on this site - http://www.theacousticmusicco.co.uk/ind ... lins-.html

They start at just above your budget. My impression of the Eastman range is that the more you pay, the more bling you get so there's nothing wrong, sound wise, with the cheaper models.

What you also need to decide is whether you want a flat or a carved top. The one you have is flat and the Eastmans are carved. Its largely a matter of personal prefence but its generally accepted that carved tops sound/are better than flat tops. Its your choice - flat tops are cheaper but you should really try both.

Edit - why do links work when you don't try to make them into links :?: :?: :?:
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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby fergmaun » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:01 am

Was thinking about this Mandolin Gold Tone GM-50 A Style.
Image

Or a mandolin similar looking to my Freshwater Irish Bouzouki

Image

Cheers

Fergus
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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby Ray(T) » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:55 am

Can't comment, never played one. They look like a straight copy of a teens/twenties/thirties Gibson A. You might find a real one for between £1000 and £1200! Worth checking whether the top is carved or pressed.

I see they're available on line and therefore likely to come in a cardboard box without being set up. Eagle Music will supply one for £389.99 (why not £400.00 I don't know) They claim to set them up for you and I'd recommend you go to somewhere like them unless you want to pay extra for a set-up or can do it yourself.

Eagle music is a decent retailer. I've shopped there and I'm sure Dave has also. Incidentally, almost every instrument I've bought new has required some form of set-up. They usually come with the nut too high; presumably on the basis that it's easier to file some off than put some back.
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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby Dave Hanson » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Yes, Eagle is a fairly local shop for me, anyone you deal with there will be a musician, not just a shop assistant.

Good shop IMHO.

Pity ' The Music Room ' ceased trading.

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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby Ray(T) » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:14 am

The "Music Room" banner/link on the home page might be confusing for those that don't know.
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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby fergmaun » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:02 am

Found this link on the forum http://www.johnalveyturner.co.uk/page5.html mandolins for sale.

Image
I like the look of this one
Price £195 anyone know anything or about this mandolin or even recognise the maker.

Cheers

Fergus
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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby Ray(T) » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:31 am

First thought was Jimmy Moon but I doubt it - if the seller hasn't worked it out, you'll be lucky if you can.

It has something of a short neck, the wood used for the top is strange (colour change) and the inlay and binding look somewhat "agricultural". It's only £195 (I've paid more than that for a case!) so that demonstrates what the seller thinks of it.

I certainly wouldn't buy it without playing it first.

P.S. Don't consider buying the Gibson F5, even if you can afford it, that was the worst period for their mandolins!
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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby fergmaun » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:10 pm

What is the different between the Eastman MD304 mandolin and the PILGRIM VPMA60 REDWOOD SERIES A-STYLE MANDOLIN.

Both look very similar

ImageImage

Cheers

Fergus
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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby Dave Hanson » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:39 pm

The Pilgrim has an elevated fretboard, the Eastman has the better traditional oval hole type fretboard.

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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby JIMMY POWELLS » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:54 am

The Music Room in Cleckheaton will be opening again shortly. Spoke to them two days ago.
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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby Ray(T) » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:43 am

Interesting info about the Music Room, thanks.

As for the "Pilgrim" v "Eastman", For starters, Pilgrim doesn't have the same reputation as Eastman. You may well ask what the difference between any of the Pac-rim imports. Some are good, many are not. Eastman is a "maker" whereas many of the others are simply manufactured and badged to "simulate" something that is better than others. Whether this applies to Pilgrim, I can't say, but you need to be careful even with known names which may have sold out to mass production factories.

Ultimately, they're all based on the historic Gibson A, oval hole, models with subtle differences. As Dave says, the Eastman doesn't have the elevated fingerboard (although whether with or without is better is open to debate). Also note that the Eastman has a neck block (like the Gibsons) and the Pilgrim doesn't; which suggests a cheaper build.

I'm not even sure that the Pilgrim has a solid wood carved top. The Easman certainly will have and, if I were choosing, that's the one I'd go for.
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Re: Upgrading my mandolin

Postby JIMMY POWELLS » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:35 pm

I think the Pilgrim has a "pressed" top so not carved. I did speak to the Pilgrim designer about their "Gibson F4 style" and I suggested they have a 30mm nut etc etc.

He told me that Pilgrim have some exciting new models coming but not certain when.

I think their actual build quality is pretty good but it all boils down to woods and set up.
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