Eastman 315 vs 515

Fans of classical and traditional music have found the mandolins, great instruments for producing rich tones. Mandolins have more strings when compared to a guitar and are usually tuned in pairs, a feature that makes fingering with the left hand a lot easier.

Mandolins are not your everyday musical instrument, and this is because of the kind of music that they are played with. However, the instruments have a great design, are easy to use when trying to get creative, and help improve a person’s concentration and memory. The Eastman 315 and the 515 are great mandolins but with minor significant differences. 

One of them is louder, and they also have different finishes that make them aesthetically appealing. However, telling the difference between these two mandolins can be difficult. And we will, therefore, explore the reasons why they have different code numbers. The below excerpt seeks to evaluate the various features and functionalities of the Eastman 315 and 515 to help you make a conscious choice during purchase. 

What are the differences between the Eastman 315 and the Eastman 515? 

Model  Eastman 315 Eastman 515
Finish type  Matte Varnish (glossy) 
Top Material  Rosewood, Maple Spruce, Ebony  Maple, Spruce, Ebony 
Back material type  Maple, Rosewood, Ebony Maple, Spruce, Wood
Weight  4.81 pounds  6.45 pounds
Dimensions  30.7 x 13.8 x 6.1 inches 16 x 6 x 15 inches
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Eastman 315 vs. Eastman 515- How do they compare 

Frets- the MD515 has been determined to have better frets when compared to the MD 315, a feature that makes playing the MD515 way smoother. The MD315 has skinny thin frets and high; thus, fretting the instrument is a little more complicated. Frets usually shorten the length of the string when the player holds them down with their finger as they adjust the pitch of the string. They also make it easier for the player to achieve the relevant standard of intonation, given that they determine the position of the correct notes. 


Both the Eastman 315 and 515 have different finishes. The 315 has a matte finish that appeals to a specific category of players, while the 515 has a glossy finish that appeals to another category of players. Of the two types of mandolins, the one with the matte finish is slightly louder because it allows the wood to move out a little bit and be much freer.  

Regarding the finishes of both the 315 and the 515, the Eastman 315 has the better finish because it translates to the sounds produced, enabling louder sounds. After all, the top wood can move more freely when compared to Eastman’s 515 gloss finish. 

Top material

Both mandolins feature a perfect combo of maple, spruce, and ebony, but the MD 315 has also incorporated Rosewood in its manufacture. The addition of Rosewood on the MD 315 enables dense and heavy tones to be produced compared to only using maple, spruce, and ebony like in the MD 515. 

Owing to the inclusion of Rosewood in the manufacture of the MD 315, this mandolin will perform better by producing extremely warm and resonant tones compared to the MD 515. 

Tones (usability)

The 315 is more open and woody and can pretty much produce some good tones by itself. The 515, on the other hand, produces a sharp pierced sound, perfect when playing music outside, during a live concert, or in an open-air no mike kind of environment. 

In terms of usability, the MD 315 is quite limited. However, it does produce good tones and is perfect for indoor performance. The MD 515, on the other hand, is perfectly loud, creating some rather sharp tones. It, therefore, suffices for use in the outdoors and without a microphone. 

Eastman 315 vs. Eastman 515- A comparison overview 

Eastman 315 mandolin 

Eastman 315 vs. Eastman 515 comparison

The MD 315 mandolin neck is made of maple material, while the fingerboard is ebony. The body top has been derived from solid spruce, while the neck or headstock features a satin finish. It has also been made with the Eastman cast aluminum tailpiece, and upon purchase, it comes complete with a padded gig bag. Eastman mandolins usually come with a lifetime warranty, and this also applies to the 315. This mandolin also features a radius on the fret that makes playing the mandolin easy. Notable is that flat Fretboards without a radius make the hands cramp up and go numb a little bit. 


    • It comes with a lifetime warranty 
    • The radius on the fretboard obliterates numbness 
    • Features a durable build
  • Light in weight 

Eastman 515 mandolin 

Eastman 515 mandolin 

The MD 515 from Eastman is beautifully made, and the shiny finish enhances its overall aesthetics. The music instrument is made of a solid maple neck, the fingerboard is ebony, while the body back/sides are characteristic of maple. The binding material is the durable ivoroid, while the headstock features a gloss finish. Upon purchase, the Eastman 515 comes with a hardshell case for easy storage and transportation. The MD 515 is also known for producing superb single notes and a decent chop tone. This mandolin is Tripple bound at the top and features a single-piece cast tailpiece and a traditional bridge. 


  • Retails at a fair price 
  • Produces good tones 
  • The glossy finish enhances its aesthetics 
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty 


  • Has thin frets that are also high and which make fretting a little bit difficult 

Verdict: So, which one is better- Eastman 315 or Eastman 515? 

The Eastman 315 is better because of the matte finish that enables the production of louder tones. The flat top wood additionally moves freely when compared to the Eastman’s 515 gloss finish. 


Does the Eastman MD 315 come assembled? 

Yes, the Eastman 315 is usually shipped when already assembled. Thus, you can get it out of its package and begin playing. 

What are the dimensions of the Eastman MD 515? 

15 X 6 X 15 inches, this mandolin also weighs 6.45 pounds. 

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