A frankly ludicrous and frivolous purchase! Mrs F and I went to Canterbury for some shopping and I headed over to Hobgoblin Music, which is one of my favourite places to wonder about. It covers from all rock guitars to banjos, keyboards, violins, recorders, then into more and more esoteric instruments you've never even heard off let alone expect to see in essentially a high street music store.
The manager said twice "Please try anything you like". I bought some mandolin strings, my excuse for heading there in the first place. Then lured towards the more obscure stringed instrument section I spotted an octave mandolin, which I've wondered about as an addition to the collection. I picked up one in particular - walnut back and sides, spruce top, simple but reasonably well put together in what looks like a more hand then factory assembly hit and A chord and was like - "oh that sounds really nice".... A little picking later Mrs F said the fatal thing "Go on ... treat yourself". I did say "You shouldn't say that!" A few mins later we're striking a deal that involved essentially a free set of strings for it and I'm lugging it out the shop!
Here's me trying it out as soon as I got it home - I've not taken the price tag off!
Impressions - It has a really nice open clean sound. Being an octave down from a standard mandolin it probably better suits ears trained for decades on guitars. As I say it's a simple instrument but well put together and particularly the tuners are really nice and smooth and reliable, i.e. no slip.
Just need to improve my mandolin playing now... of course now I'm looking at my original mandolin a budget Stagg model and thinking - I should upgrade from that now! Never stops does it!