Mudcat Café message #2115239 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #103590   Message #2115239
Posted By: Songster Bob
31-Jul-07 - 12:08 AM
Thread Name: Thinking of buying a mandolin
Subject: RE: Thinking of buying a mandolin
Good one to look for is a Mid-Missouri Mandolin Co. one. The company, alas, went out of business, but their instruments show up on eBay regularly. $300-400, depending on materials. They are "A" models with totally flat tops, not carved, sort of like the Flatiron models (another defunct company -- Gibson liked those enough they bought the company and doubled the price). They're loud and clean, with good action and lots of frets available (most A models have restricted access above about fret 7). All solid woods (probably why they went belly-up) and a good bargain in my opinion.

Other good makes you can find include Epiphone and some of the ones mentioned above. The best thing is to play as many as you can (find friends with mandos and ask them for advice). Buying used is a good way to avoid paying too much. Don't go looking for collectors' items, though, 'cause some of those older ones can be in pretty rough shape, if they're old enough.