Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Mandolin lesson: Be An Educated Mandolin Buyer

Buying an instrument can be an intimidating process, especially when you don’t know the folks you’re buying from! In this series, Jake gives us an education on the basics to look and listen for so that you can have confidence while shopping! (Or, you can just buy from my General Store and not worry about it.)

Could you discuss how the different woods used can affect the sound? Also the benefits of buying an instrument made with solid wood and how to determine that? I’m in the market to upgrade my current mandolin and it seems like even instruments that cost only a few hundred dollars are advertised as “solid wood” and I’m skeptical about that. Thanks.


Hi Mark! Welcome to the forum!

It’s a huge subject! Mandolins & guitars can be similarly affected in tone by which woods are used in construction.

If the selling point is simply unidentified “solid wood” it probably means it’s not plastic. or plywood. It is a typical “selling point” of inexpensive instruments. (Yes, a “few hundred dollars” is relatively inexpensive for instruments).

Here is a link to a very basic discussion that might bring some start to understanding.

I’d suggest calling the guys at Ben’s store to talk over options they maybe could provide. At the least you can be confident you will get the truth and a fair shake, and they can help steer you in the right direction. They are very knowledgeable on the products they offer, as well as instruments in general…

Hope this helps, have a great day.



That’s coming up later this month, thanks!

1 Like