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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:59 pm 
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I'm considering buying a low-end bouzouki or octave mandolin. Nothing fancy, basically just something to get me started and try out things. Low-end instruments are fine. I might also consider a trade for a flute from my workshop.

Let me know. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:34 pm 
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Well, what kind of budget were you considering? Unless you only want used instruments, you might like a nice Trinity College instrument. They are very affordable starter instruments that serve well into the advanced-intermediate stage.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:15 am 
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Tim2723 wrote:
Well, what kind of budget were you considering? Unless you only want used instruments, you might like a nice Trinity College instrument. They are very affordable starter instruments that serve well into the advanced-intermediate stage.


Darned nice ones too. I have one and the fit and finish is terrific.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:24 am 
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Also look at the Gold Tone line. They make octaves and bouzoukis now, too.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:29 am 
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http://www.goldtone.com/products/detail ... 0-Bouzouki

Gold Tone bouzouki. Actual retail is closer to $600.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:10 am 
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Go over to mandolincafe.com and check out the classifieds. People are always upgrading over there and putting their starter instruments up for sale

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:51 am 
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Great advice that!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:19 am 
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I have a trinity college, and I enjoy it a lot.

However, they just stopped selling it with the hard case included. That's over 100$ for a hard case, and you will definitely want a case for your instrument.

And, for not much more than the trinity college, you can get a luthier-built petersen, which is even nicer, and comes with a case. The extra cost is really worth it.

If I were in your shoes, I'd go for the petersen, hands down.

EDIT:I have heard the gold tone come from the same factory as the trinity college , so you are getting practically the same thing.. only I have heard, and this may not be true, that the gold tone has less strict quality control on some of the instruments they are putting out.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:00 am 
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Not sure about the mandolin line, but they have great quality control with their banjos, all of which get a final inspection and set-up in Florida.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:45 am 
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The thing that's changed with Gold Tone which has caused some confusion is that they no longer do assemblies at Titusville, just final inspection and set up. That only applied to banjos anyway. They brought the parts in separately and 'built' banjos. Still the same top-quality for the price though.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:25 pm 
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Ah, I stand corrected on the gold tone QA bit, then.

Still, after a case you can but up past 700USD for a asian made instrument. I play my trinity college very often. However, still for only 300$ more, you can have an instrument that somebody made themselves, and didn't come from a factory in asia. Beyond supporting an actual luthier, I think the quality of the instrument is really worth the extra money. Also, the petersens come up used sometimes for the same price as the trinity college is new! Then again, if you are going to get a TC, it might be better to wait until one comes up used for 350-400$!

Also, while the scale length of the Trinity College makes it very easy to play, it's important to note that at 20.5 inches the scale length is not really ideal for the G course. Though it does make hitting the high B easier.

So, the trinity college makes a very good starting instrument, but there are better quality ones out there for better value. Regardless, I do love my TC, and the original poster did say lower quality is fine (and the TC is not bad quality, by any means!)

What the original poster did not mention, is what they will be using it for. Melody, or backing? If you are playing melodies on the instrument, I'd go for an octave mandolin rather than a bouzouki. It's really hard to hit the high B on a 25inch scale bouzouki in a reel played at normal speed, and pull it off in a timely fashion without screwing up what you are playing, at least in my experience. Unless you are using a capo and playing the tune higher.

But if you want a bouzouki, and are not limiting yourself to only irish bouzoukis, there are some pretty decent quality greek bouzoukis for about the same price as the trinity college as well.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Gabriel, you mention a trade of a flute from your workshop... are you a luthier? If so, and you feel up to the task, I can personally recommend these octave mandolin kits:
http://donkawalek.com/pages/octave-kit.php

I have one of these that I got a luthier friend to build for me. It's a great instrument. The scale is just under 23" and works well tuned GDAD and played like a bouzouki.
I can post pics/audio of mine if interested.


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