Anyone here play Mandolin?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by milstanselnino, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. milstanselnino

    milstanselnino Formula Junior

    Jan 8, 2004
    Full Name:
    Jon P.
    I am looking to purchase a Mandolin to learn on, and wonder if anyone has any suggestions. I don't want a REALLY cheap instrument, I have looked at Johnson, the cheapest is awful the step up was OK, I am also considering Martin Backpacker, but am a bit put off by the lack of adjustable bridge. Washburn looks pretty good with the spruce top and hardwood sides, but I just don't know.

    Any opinions?
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  3. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
    Advising Moderator

    Jul 20, 2003
    Full Name:
    Dirty Harry
    You know, deals like this are few and far between - but I went a-yard-salin' a few years ago & walked into a very, very, very nice place filled with very, very, very nice, expensive things for (estate) sale. Everything was priced at actual collector value, ranging from $200-5,000... everything but one. Sitting on a $500.00 (and darn well worth it) chair was a Mandolin from early 1900's - "The Gibson" was inscribed on it's headstock, and though it was in near-mint condition, it was marked at $300.00.

    I didn't have to think at all. I found the son (in his 40's), and was prepared to pay right there, but he said "Oh, it got sold, they had to go to their ATM, though. But, tell me, I know about everything in this place except this Mandolin. Do you think I got the right price?" I told him "Yes, absolutely, you got the price you deserved."

    Sometimes you have to tell white lies. So, I stuck around for a bit, just in case potential buyers (aside from me) flaked out for some unknown reason, admiring splendor of eras past and sure enough, they'd come and gone with "The Gibson" Mandolin within 5 minutes. Somebody got the deal of a lifetime. Left there, went to the Vintage Room at Guitar Center, indeedly-do, my previous research had almost served me well, as 1/2 dozen "The Gibson" Mandolins, in lesser condition were fetching between $900-and, well, I just don't want to say. Day wasn't completely lost, but that's a whole 'nother story.


    Message board - with some buyer advice here and there. But they don't talk much.

    If you really want to dig deeper, go to this site - here's the "buying a first mandolin" FAQ page

    It's "buying tip" root is here - note there's 9 other "buying tip" FAQ pages - all good. And tons, tons, tons more good advice & tips on many aspects.

    You could easily spend weeks on this site. This will arm you with your most important weapon - knowledge. Reading's free, buying the wrong Mandolin ain't.
  4. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    I worked with a guy who played a mandolin for many years. I think that he had a Gibson. He played for a group called the Huron Valley Boys back in the mid sixties up in Michigan. They recorded a few gospel albums.

    Wax, don't feel bad. One day I went to an estate sale. Lots of old junk. But I had recognized the address in their newspaper ad. It was the same address where I had located a 1963 Corvette coupe several years earlier. I IMMEDIATELY called them and asked if the Corvette was for sale. They acted quite surprised that I even knew about the car. But unfortunately for me, they were not selling off everything. They were merely selling off some old junk from their farm located miles away. The Corvette was not for sale. So no cheap '63 split window coupe for me. Arghhhh....
  5. milstanselnino

    milstanselnino Formula Junior

    Jan 8, 2004
    Full Name:
    Jon P.
    Thanks for the links, it's axactly what I needed!

    Sorry about the Gibson. Pretty frustrating.

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