Mudcat Café message #2112357 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #103590   Message #2112357
Posted By: Richard Bridge
27-Jul-07 - 02:37 AM
Thread Name: Thinking of buying a mandolin
Subject: RE: Thinking of buying a mandolin
As you are pricing in Euros, you are probably in Europe. Wherever you are, avoid Saga musical instruments like the plague - the "lifetime guarantee" is not worth the paper (a very small bit inside the instrument) it is written on.

There is a bloke putting some on ebay from time to time - I think East German - which look OK at your price range but I have not played one. He calls them "celtic mandolin".

Banjo mandolins are very piercing and shrill - but think about how well banjos generally stay in tune and apply that learning to an instrument with 8 strings on a very short scale where it is IMPORTANT that each course is truly in unison. You will spend more time tuning than playing.

For "under 200 Euros" I echo that your best bet is second hand and take a friend who does know mandolins to evaluate when you inspect. As well as sound you want no rattles up the neck and an action at the octave of about 1 millimetre. If you are going to join an amplified band or use an electronic tuner (unless the tuner is a clip-on), it is a definite advantage to get a pluggable, preferably with an undersaddle not "contact" pickup.

Or just get a cheap one off ebay to find out if the playing falls to hand for you, and bin it or re-ebay it or hang it on the wall as an ornament if you don't get on with it. Second-hand Crafters are seen on ebay in your price bracket, nearly, and since they are like Ovations a washing-up bowl with added bits, they are more resistant to abuse than all-wood instruments. They sound OK-ish (a bit nasal to my ears) and usually plug well.