Cheap Mandolins Galore


Well, after having such good luck with a cheapie eBay violin, it seemed only natural to try a cheapie eBay mandolin or two ...
  My wife says that one sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder is  collecting things you don't need.  But you don't understand ... I NEED five mandolins!!  I'll learn to play them eventually ... honest!

My latest adventure in cheap eBay musical instruments started when this fellow on a violin list asked for opinions on some inexpensive mandolins up for auction ...

After my experiment buying a cheap eBay violin turned out so well, it seemed only natural to try one of those cheap eBay mandolins, especially when I noticed that they were offered by the same seller from whom I'd purchased my violin.

Sadly, the "Snowking" mandolin from edmwholesalers didn't live up to my expectations, which had been set unrealistically high by the violin.  It looks like a toy, and was completely unplayable as received.  With much advice and work, I eventually got it playable, but it was not something I'd recommend for the faint-hearted.

I decided to continue the experiment by trying a slightly less inexpensive one that actually looked like a real mandolin.  Two sellers offered one variety.  One called it a "Bestler" and the other called it an "Infinity", but they agreed that it was the same.  Anyway, I bid on  and won this "Infinity" mandolin from infinityinstruments.  I then searched the 'Net for reviews of it (probably should have done it beforehand ...)  One was highly negative, but others were happy enough with theirs.  The replies essentially said, "Hey, what did you expect from such an inexpensive instrument?  At least it plays!"

Meanwhile, I'd started eyeing the classic-style Neapolitan bowlback mandolins.  I found a "Tater Bug" mandolin from msclb2 that looked to be in decent shape and hadn't been bid up out of sight, so I bid on it and won.

When searching for Bestler/Infinity reviews, I'd found a couple of positive reviews for the "Rover" brand.  So the next obvious thing was to bid on one, and next thing I knew, I had this "Rover RM-25" from safetywoman67 on the way.

Well, Clarinda (aka "safetywoman67") was quite friendly and helpful.  She mentioned that she'd received a nicer mandolin that had been slightly dinged up in transit, and she'd let it go for considerably less than the usual price.  So I purchased a Kentucky Artists KM-250S (normally retailing for about $250) for a mere $97.00.

So you see, it's all very logical and reasonable that I, a fellow who had never even touched a mandolin before, should suddenly end up with five of them in just over a month.  The rude comments my wife has been making about my "latest obsession" are really quite unwarranted, as I'm sure you can see by the above explanation ...