I have been wanting to get back to mandolin playing for a while but could not afford a decent one. I thought that if I waited until I could, then I would never get one but i have experienced budget mandolins before and have been disappointed. I liked the look of this one and the other review was very favourable so I thought I would chance it. I was delighted with it as soon as i took it out of the box. It is a lovely looking instrument and seems well made. I like the satin finish on it too. I also noticed that the lable inside says that it is made for Stentor who make very good student violins so that should give any would be purchasers confidence. Once I got it tuned up and started to play I was in no doubt that I had made the right decision. It has a deeper body than normal and a slightly bowled back which give it plenty of volume. The tone is quite bright without being strident but I am going to try light gauge strings on just to bring out the base more, but that is just a personal choice. All in all I would highly recommend it, especially for anyone on a budget.
Have just started mandolin playing, ( I am determined to play Santa Lucia as soon as possible!!Ozark 2001 Mandolin). This Ozark is worth every penny ( But you can get it cheaper at Eagle Music ) The finish is excellent and I prefer a satin finish on musical instruments. It looks brilliant and plays well because it is set up properly, though I wonder if some lighter strings would be better. Mostly the strings are 10's on Mandolins but I have put some 8's on another mandolin that I have restored and it plays much better. My 100 year old Neopolitan refurbished mandolin seems to resonate better but for a beginner the 2001 is perfect. It is recommended by a teaching organisation in Lanarkshire which is why I bought it. I would recommend it to anyone starting on the Mandolin. You can think about more expensive ones later if you stick at it. The Lanarkshire people say stay clear of the Blue Moon Mandolins.
I should know, as I am a beginner. 4 years ago I made a New Years Resolution to learn to play mandolin, so I bought one of these. A bit daft in my 50s and with no musical experience. 4 years on, I am now having lessons, and really enjoying it. This mandolin is doing well. Nice clear notes, holds tuning well, and I haven't managed to break it.