That didn’t take so long…

That didn’t take so long…

I don’t know about you, but when I get an idea in my head I tend to make it happen as quickly as possible. After my trip to the Homestead Pickin Parlour to check out some mandolins I got the mando-bug and just had to buy one. I didn’t want to make a huge investment just yet because I didn’t know how often I’d be playing it at shows, and since we got the guitar paid off my wife wasn’t too keen on the prospect of financing another instrument just yet.

So I jumped on the computer and started the tiring process of checking out online stores and review sites. I had a good idea of what kind of mandolin I wanted and what I wanted to pay. First I checked commercial retailers to get a baseline, then went to check CraigsList, EBay and Amazon to see if I could find a gem…no love there…and then to obscure online stores to price check. I called around to local music shops the next day and to my surprise they all either had crummy mandolins for $100 or super-nice ones for $2000: not much in between. Then I found it…

It was perfect for me. An all-solid wood mandolin with a hardshell case for under $400. The company, Morgan Monroe, is a reputable maker of mandolins and they designed this particular model for the intermediate player, someone like me who wants a good sounding instrument that plays in tune and will last, but doesn’t care if it can’t acheive tonal perfection.  This was an all mahogany instrument, which is a cheap, but nice sounding wood that gives instruments a good, balanced sound that is described as being “earthy” or “woody.” I know, it’s made of wood, so it should sound woody right? Well not exactly…Softer woods like rosewood and cedar don’t have that particular quality; they are more “silky”, “round” and “mellow.” Harder woods like spruce and maple are “bright”, “sharp” and “punchy.” This woody, earthy sound belongs almost exclusively to mahogony. Since my Breedlove is made of cedar and rosewood I thought that this mahogony sound would blend well, rounding out the top-end of the overall sound.

It’s pretty too…

So there’s my new mando. It sounds great. It plays in tune up and down the neck. It’s been a lot of fun to play around and incorporate it into originals and covers. I’m sure you’ll all get a chance to get acquainted at a gig sometime. It doesn’t have a name yet…ideas?