Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Show us your mandolin

I’ll start off the thread that we had on the old site. What kind of mandolin do you play?
I have a Michael Kelly Dragonfly that is a great starter instrument. I’ve been looking at upgrading but haven’t found anything that I can’t live without yet. The local guitar store here in Lawrence, KS is “” and they have usually have about 20 mandolins in stock, new and used. I’ll probably buy something this year but I’ll keep the dragonfly.

here is my Eastman Mandolin took a chance on a non American made and I have to say for the money I was not sorry I did

All my friends like it and it has some bark to it and yet its as sweet as Grand Ma’s home made Ice Tea on a hot summer day

[attachment=0]My 815 Eastman Mandolin.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=0]My Eastman Mandolin (1)_NEW.jpg[/attachment]
front view of my lil baby

if your ever up in Vermont let me know more than happy to let someone who knows how to play it
give her a try be well and God bless

I’ve been looking at an Eastman MD805, haven’t had a chance to play it yet. They are asking $1000 for it so it is in my price range. If I wait a while I could probably afford to spend a little more and get a MD905. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

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I’ve been looking at an Eastman MD805, haven’t had a chance to play it yet. They are asking $1000 for it so it is in my price range. If I wait a while I could probably afford to spend a little more and get a MD905. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

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good day sir may I add you might want to give Steve a call and see if he has any new ones coming in
I only paid like 800+ for mine and it came all set up he is fair and good to deal with and I looked for over a year and no one could beat His price and now I dealt with Him he is a #1 kind of guy and would do so all over if ever I upgraded

also the 900 model is only a eye candy with gold rather than sliver tuners as he had both in stock when I bought mine and that was the only difference both have great looking wood best wishes on your next mandolin

Thanks for the info, Paul.
So, what music store is Steve with? He sounds like someone I’d like to know. Does he have website?

I am so sorry I thought I put it in there here ya go

he is in Friendsville, Tennessee you’ll enjoy talking to either Steve or His wife Gianna

once more best wishes on your mandolin


Ha! Steve (giannaviolins) is a member of my local motorcycle forum here in East Tennessee. Never knew he sold mandos and guitars. May have to ride out and see the shop. Small world. :slight_smile:

howdy everyone. I play a Michael Kelly Legacy Elegante, which is my first upgrade (once I decided mandolin was for me). I got a ‘b’ stock (it has a small cosmetic blemish on the back) which reduced the price by over 30%. Crazy. Plays like a dream, enough bark for most hootenannies, and decent intonation for live playing (I’d upgrade again if I was recording anything serious). Very happy with this instrument.

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to funny this marble isn’t as big as most think!!

He is a GREAT guy and his wife is sooooooooooo nice
bought my Mandolin from them last year and they were so fast getting it to me plus had the best Price anywhere!!!

so East Tennessee the wife and I were thinking about moving down there towards Tazewell, TN.

ever been there were told a lot like Vermont (where we live now) but not as cold any input would be great

thanks and blessings

Paul Taylor

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Hey Everyone,

Here is a picture of my J Bovier F5 Special. This is my first upgrade from a Rogue I was given as a gift. Still want to do a little luthier work on the Rogue to make it the “camp” model. The J Bovier plays like a dream since it was set up by Jeff Cowherd himself and it has a voice all its own. It really can be heard when played with a group.

Pick on,



Hey Paul,

I wish I could be of more help but I’m not that familiar with the Tazewell area. I moved to East TN. in '94 and I ain’t never leaving. I love it here!!


Hey Derrick, nice looking mandolin. I wish there was a JBovier dealer near me, I’d like to try one of those out.


I have a 10 year old Kentucky KM 675 Mandolin that I bought new from Janet Davis Music in Bentonville, AR. Upgraded to an ebony bridge and added a Tone Gard. The sound has really opened up.

I really like those Kentucky’s. I’ve played a couple at Mass Street Music here in Lawrence, ks and they had a great sound, played nice too.

Bulldog #21 built by Barry Kratzer in Savannah Georgia.

Nice mando! I haven’t had a chance to play one of those yet. What year was yours built, Bulldog?

Thanks Jim, mine was made in 2007. Barry started building Bulldogs in 2005 and I think he’s up to around 68 mandolins now, all numbered and pictured on his website. I really like mine. Plenty of volume and lots of punch with a deep woody chop. Maybe you’ll come across one somewhere down the road and try it out.

Hey Ben I see you got an Eastman Mandolin how you like it sounds good on the Lots Indian lesson

be well and keep “A” Picking and congrats once more on your schooling

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Great looking mandos! You know, those Eastmans are really coming along and I’m very impressed. I’m thinking about getting one to try out!

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