Like a lot of guitar players, I THINK I want to play mandolin. I’ve owned about 4 mandolins over time, and I always end up selling them when reality sets in that, if I’m going to take the time to learn to play the mando, I should just use that time to be a better guitar player.
Of the four mandolins I’ve owned, this is the one I wish I had back. I was looking at mandos at Buffalo Brothers one day and the guy who runs their mando department started telling me about Eastmans. I picked one up and the sound was amazing, and the price was very reasonable for what it was. Eastman is an instrument company from China that builds mandolins, violins, archtop and flat top guitars, and maybe something else...I don’t know. But the quality of all of their instruments is astounding.
Most people have some pretty negative feelings about most things made in China these days, and rightly so. However, Eastman is sort of the cream of the crop of instrument builders in that country, and the workers take great pride in their craftsmanship (No lead in this mando!). But, because it’s China, the prices are much lighter on the pocket book than something like a Gibson or a Collings.