Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Does anyone else have the EASTMAN MD315

Does anyone here also have the EASTMAN MD315?

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I do

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Do you like the machines?

Sorry?

Do you like your tuning machines? Do you have any trouble keeping it in tune?

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I think John does. @jpuhalski, care to weigh in?

I have the 515 and have never had a problem, but I think it has upgraded tuners.

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Mine goes sharp when I don’t play…

I heard this is common. Frankly, I have heard that Mandolins are bad about staying in tune… so… as I never had another mandolin… I don’t know if this is just normal

Well, it’s my first too and it does go sharp a lot. Harder to keep in tune than my banjo! :grinning::grinning:

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I think this is just the nature of the instrument…

I think like this…

I think the tuners are holding because the instrument doesn’t go “flat” - as I expected.

The sharpness must be a natural result of the wood expansion…

Personally, I really like my 315!

No, I like mine a lot. It’s just a new beast for me. My tuners seem a little inconsistent, seem feel a little sloppy compared to others, but that is ok. My A string seem to go out of tune the most. But, I do like the tone and the playability.

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My thought is that the tuners have no impact to the instrument trending sharp while the instrument is at rest.

Don’t get me wrong… I am new to Mandolin too… Just 1 year + few months in…

What I am shocked with is that I enjoy it more than playing my Banjo… but admittedly, it is a better instrument than my Epiphone MB-100 Openback.

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The 315 is a lower end Eastman but one reason I recommend them is the construction is so top notch and comparable to mandos much more expensive. However, they have to cut the costs somewhere, and a couple places are the machines and the finish work. You are able to upgrade the machines when you’re ready.

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That is an interesting idea, @BanjoBen.

You might recall, I had the heartbreak of having my Mando (in its’ soft case) slip off my shoulder and smack a driveway. The result… the top scroll broke off. Good for me is that it was a perfectly chean break without noticable splintering - which means the repair should be straight-forward and that damage doesn’t seem to be a play-function concern.

So… My question is… Presuming $100 for that repair (just an estimate), what type/brand would be a “good update set” of machines and how much would it cost to have them installed?

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You should be able to install yourself, it’s just a few screws, but it’s ok if you want someone else to do it. The brand of tuners that would be an upgrade from these is a good question for @AdamAsh

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Hey Mark, @Mark_Rocka, I do yes, you remembered. I have an MD315 and I love it. I did a comparison of the mandolins models at Eastman’s website and found that the big difference between the 315 and higher end mando’s was the case, finish and cheap tuners. I already have a case and I like the finish so I upgraded the tuners to Grover’s for about $60 or so. I didn’t have a problem with it staying in tune but while tuning it wasn’t very smooth, I would turn it and it wouldn’t respond well. I noticed the difference right away now with the new ones.

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@WillCoop @Stixx3969
I upgraded the tuners on my 315 to Grover’s for about $60 or so. I got them from StewMac, these are the ones i got, Grover F-Style 309 Mandolin Tuning Machines, Worm under. A friend of mine installed them for me but I could have easily done it as well. all the post holes lined up but not all the mounting holes did, just needed to drill a couple holes for the mounting screws. I’m satisfied with the upgrade.

https://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Tuning_Machines/Mandolin_Tuning_Machines/Grover_F-Style_309_Mandolin_Tuning_Machines.html.

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Cool, thanks for the reply!

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So another fun fact about my MD315, besides upgrading the tuners as mentioned above. My friend, who is sort of an amateur luthier, installed pickups inside it. In his workshop was an old Yamaha guitar that was dismantled for parts. He pulled the pickups from it, drilled a hole where the endpin goes and installed the jack and mounted the transducers inside, so I can plug into the sound system when needed. I have no volume or tone control though, it’s all in the sound person’s hands. It’s now an acoustic/electric mandolin!

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