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Mandolin question

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  • Mandolin question

    Hi all you HCAG types.  Been a while. 

    A mandolin is not exactly an acoustic guitar but I think this is the nearest forum I'm going to get for a mandolin question to be on topic.

    Stupid noob question probably but ....

    Does a mandolin HAVE to be considerably harder to play than an acoustic guitar?  I don't mean because of the narrow fingerboard - I can accept that - but the string tension on the mandolins I have (two of them) is really high and makes it really hard to play fluently. Is that because they're cheap and crappy (they're no-name things) or are all mandos like that?

    Cheers

     

    Keith

    http://www.surrealisticpenguin.com

  • #2

    Nope. My wife has a mandolin that plays like butter. Weber.

    Comment


    • Surrealistic
      Surrealistic commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks - I'd guessed it might be the case.  Sounds like I'm in the market for a new mandolin then


  • #3

    The same laws apply to mandolins that apply to acoustic guitars.

    I paid $35 for a setup on a $50 Rogue mandolin, and it was worth every penny.

    A good setup can make even a cheap mandolin "play like butter".

    Proud reject from the HCAG Civil Posters Society, Martin snob, vitriolic sociopath, and tantrumist

    Comment


    • Surrealistic
      Surrealistic commented
      Editing a comment

      FretFiend. wrote:

      The same laws apply to mandolins that apply to acoustic guitars.

      I paid $35 for a setup on a $50 Rogue mandolin, and it was worth every penny.

      A good setup can make even a cheap mandolin "play like butter".


      Interesting.  Presumably not every guitar tech is going to be adept at setting up a mandolin though - or are they?


    • Opa John
      Opa John commented
      Editing a comment

      I've got a cheap $150 Ibanez that I got at Sam Ash. It came out of the box with what I'd call a perfect setup. It's an "A" style all-laminated that plays and sounds as good as some more expensive mandolins I've had in the past.

      I think, with a proper setup and medium gauge strings, just about any mandolin can be made to sound and play pretty good.

      Ibanez In Case.JPG

      Attached Files

  • #4

    Take one (or both) to a good repairman and have them set up properly. Then they'll be as easy to play as your guitar.

    Comment


    • katopp
      katopp commented
      Editing a comment
      No, they won't.
      The high tension will still make a noticeable difference. If you want to have something that is as easky to play as a guitar, get an Octave Mando a Mandocello or an Irish Bouzouki.
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