Relative values


#1

Hey, everyone. I’ve seen on a couple of other mando forums that a mandolin will cost about double the price of an equal quality guitar. Is that true? It seems impossible, considering that an all solid entry mando (km150) is 380$ whereas a similar guitar (br140) is about 600$ so what’s the deal?


#2

I hadn’t heard that. If there is truth to it that I can see, it would be in the higher end instruments.


#3

Hi @K_G I don’t know if that’s true I have seen mandolin’s advertised here in the UK for as little as £50 and over £2000 the same is true for guitars depends on what your after.

I would say there’s more work goes into building a mandolin


#4

In Belgium I saw a series of high-end Gibson instruments : the guitar would cost 8000 € (about $10,000), the banjo 10000 € (about $12,000) and the mandolin 14000 € (about $16,000) !!!
So I would say “NOT BUSTED” to that myth.


#5

@Mike_R, that’s what I’d think, but I’ve seen it told to people looking for an entry level mando (at both mho and mancafe) @Archie, I know you can get them at all price points, the operative term was “equal value” I’d say a mando is probably harder to build, but guitar is materially more pricey. @Erwin1 high end Gibsons are expensive! Even in USA, and your right if you buy Gibson the mando is more pricey


#6

The economies of scale are better for the guitar than for the mandolin which is arguably not as easy to make. I would guess that there are far fewer mandomakers than guitarmakers and fewer high-end mandos produced leading to supply-driven higher prices. As for quality it would be hard to imagine that high-end mandos are not matched by greater numbers of similarly priced high-end guitars and there is so much variability in materials and artistry this could be an unresolvable debate…


#7

At which university did you get your PhD in economics? :joy: so your saying that they’re usually priced more or less equal quality for equal price?


#8

Also I’m not saying just high end instruments. I’ve seen it said in reference to instruments priced as low as 150$


#9

Leon Hunt said : “You get as much pleasure out of an instrument as the money you pay for it. So, if you buy a $150 guitar, you’ll get $150 pleasure out of it. If you pay $2000, you’ll get $2000 pleasure out of it…” To me, that rings sort of true…


#10

Yeah, conversely, some people buy a 150$ instrument and get 1500$ pleasure out of it while some pay 1500$ and don’t enjoy it at all. Positive attitude helps the value to yourself. (That sounds weird but you get the point) I have a ±250$ guitar that I’ve gotten 900$ worth out of at least, so I don’t remember where I was going with this :joy: :roll_eyes:


#11

Yep, I hear you, but you’re talking about something else : namely, what you DO with the instrument. Of course, I could buy me a 100,000 $ violin, and it would sound awful, and I would not get any pleasure out of it.
But what I am talking about is given an equal amount of musicianship you bring to the instrument, a cheaper instrument will almost always sound… well, cheaper… and a more expensive one… well, you get my drift… :slight_smile:


#12

A woman who spent £16m at Harrods in a decade has been identified as Zamira Hajiyeva - the first target for the UK’s new anti-corruption law. I wonder if she bought a banjo.:rofl:


#13

Yeah, I get your drift :laughing: I think regarding the original question, AvsF style makes a difference, because supposedly an Fstyle will cost approx. twice as much as an equivalent A. So it is very subjective. If both are true, you have to wonder, was it the F that is sposed to be double the guitar? In that case, the A would cost the same. If the A was double, then Fs are through the roof. Also if any of y’all have built them, are A style mandos harder to make than guitars? Or are they about the same, with F style being more difficult?


#14

Yeah, I don’t think I wrote that… The price of instruments is typically what the market will bear both for high-volume producers and for individual makers. Quality certainly affects the demand-supply curve. – low quality instruments should rarely get high prices and high-quality hand-built instruments rarely get a low price. F-style mando buyers are willing to pay for the Gibson reputation and Gibson is willing to charge $10,000 to 20,000 for the equity they have built up in that brand. Consider also Martin’s 5K ukulele selling for about $5,000 which has about $100 of pearl inlays that the $500 1K doesn’t have. The cost of mando materials is roughly the same for an A or F and represents a small portion of the cost of producing bespoke instruments. For inexpensive instruments, cost of materials is a significantly higher percentage of the price. I’ve built one mando of each type and definitely agree that the F-style takes more time and effort than an A-style. My F-style cost about $400 in materials and my guitars usually cost about $750 in materials and guitars are a bigger building job, literally and figuratively. I don’t sell my instruments, but if I did the price would be as much as I could get (not overlooking the cost of materials, etc.,) given that there would be a willing consumer on the other side of the transaction.


#15

Ok, sorry that’s what I understood from your other post. I get what you mean, that price is relative to supply and demand, and one instrument could get more expensive while the other got cheaper.

So, is an f-style easier to make than a guitar? Also can you post a few pics of each build Here? I’d love to see them and that will keep the thread on topic :slight_smile: