Just weighing in on this one…
I have a MD315 that I got a few months ago and I really, REALLY like it! I cannot fathom “outgrowing” it. Plus, having heard the interesting dynamic of the ways that Mandolins “open” and break in over time… intrigues me. I am completely new to wood instruments. So… as this trait is true as shared by those who know… I look forward to many years of hearing my Mandolin “bloom” - not only as my musicianship on it grows - but also as the instrument continues to break-in, mature and “open”… as others have said.
I think I enjoy playing my Mandolin every bit as much as my ole banjer… but for entirely different reasons. I digress…
For me, the 315 is just so vintage and classic looking also. I like the Matte Nitrocellulose finish as it just looks so “woodsy” and traditional. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the looks of a shiny ones with the Lacquer Finish… but I feel kinda like mine is just so traditional in its appearance and draws people’s eyes to its “natural” look. It is a much more capable instrument than I am - as its’ player… and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I know that if it was in the hands of @Jake, @BanjoBen, let alone one of my Mando-idols… Marty Stuart… the thing would sing like a song bird.
It is also comforting in knowing that it is good enough for me - so I don’t always question that aspect. Truly, it is a relief to just focus on the playing and let the instrument just be mine without question or compromise. Plus, I feel an undeniable “closeness” to the instrument just by how it is played. You surround it when you play. @banjoben does a great way of conveying this idea on some of his Mandolin demonstration videos.
In the end, of course @Jake and @BanjoBen are the real experts in comparing… but having heard them both say many times… the MD315 is an instrument worthy of stage performances by any artist… is quite an endorsement. They have also said so many times… that they only sell instruments that are good, solid instruments that they themselves would play. Sure there are higher models with more expensive features which also have meaning and purpose for highly skilled players… but I feel that only when my playing would (if ever) reach a point of absolute consistency, then I could (Flawlessly - which may never happen) play the same songs on several models to really compare/contrast and hear the sound I prefer for myself… but until then…
I am proud, happy and thrilled each time I reach for my MD315 - proudly purchased at the BanjoBen General Store and expertly set up by Mr. @Jake. Even if I would - one day - think of another, I cannot fathom parting ways with mine… for the reasons I gave initially on its’ having been broken in through the years. Additionally, it was a very special BIRTHDAY present - which means its’ value to me is beyond measure.
I even enjoy the prospect of discovering our growth as we (me and my Mandolin) spend our years together on this musical adventure.
I know this long explanation may sound corny to some but I meant every word. I don’t see the MD315s on the site at the moment… but I did also write a 5-star review soon after receiving mine.
I hope this helps anyone who’s eyes may land on this response and who may take the time to read my thoughts into consideration.