Eastman 515 mandolin review

Have you been searching for a great mandolin that you can play? If yes, you should consider the Eastman 515 model. This is an excellent mandolin that can make your music sound much better.

A mandolin is a unique musical instrument that somehow resembles a violin. This is a short-necked and small lute that contains eight strings. You can use a plectrum to pluck a mandolin. Though the market offers different mandolins, Eastman 515 grabs the attention of many musicians.

Eastman 515 mandolin review and breakdown

Since Eastman 515 was introduced, it reshaped the mandolin market. This music instrument offers excellent value to customers. It is a delight for both the ears and eyes since it sounds good and has a captivating look. Eastman 515 is a solid wood mandolin that is hand-carved.

It features a radiused ebony fingerboard, rugged cast tailpiece, and ebony bridge. This mandolin also has a solid spruce top as well as carved maple back. Its sides feature a maple neck. Many users who choose this musical instrument are impressed with the reliable precision tuners it comes with.

Eastman 515 has an f-style cutting power and overall warmth that some mandolins lack. The manufacturer of this mandolin designs it with a varnish finish to make it stand out. Its deep dark stain does a great job of exposing the grain. The finish used in this mandolin also protects the wood. It brings out the elegant look of the wood without affecting the volume or tonal quality of the mandolin.

What we liked

  • This mandolin comes with a soft case
  • Elegant body shape
  • It is comfortable to play
  • Impressive aesthetics
  • Excellent intonation and tuning

What we didn’t like

  • High price


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Eastman 515 mandolin specifications

Body style F style
Neck Material Maple
Finish Varnish
Scale length 13 ¾’’
Fingerboard Ebony
Weight 6.45 pounds
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Eastman 515 mandolin features


Eastman 515 is a well-made mandolin that you can play for a long time without it wearing out any time soon. The top part of a mandolin determines the quality of sound that it can produce. This specific model features a hand-carved solid spruce top, which leads to outstanding tone and volume. It also comes with a true carved maple back.

Since the manufacturer uses spruce to make this mandolin, it can provide the same articulate and bright response as other stringed instruments like a violin or guitar. However, this is a scarce and high-quality material that is only used in high-end mandolins. The neck of this mandolin is made from maple for maximum rigidity. It is also designed for the mandolin’s intonation and playability.


Since the fingerboard of this mandolin is made with ebony, it offers a very smooth surface and promotes fast-fingered fretting. This makes the mandolin easy to play. According to most musicians that have played Eastman 515, it feels fantastic.


Since Eastman 515 is an F-style mandolin, it is in high demand. Most root music, country, and bluegrass musicians prefer such F-style mandolins compared to A-style ones. In addition, this body style makes Eastman 515 an excellent mandolin for professionals.

The lower part of this musical instrument has body points that affect the tone and provide a good resting point on the player’s thigh. This makes the mandolin more convenient to use even during extended periods. The F-style body of this mandolin also features F-holes that lead to excellent projection and great resonant sound.


This mandolin also features precision tuners that hold the strings in position. You can use these to adjust the tension of its strings. Thanks to the inclusion of good-quality tuners, you will not struggle to hold the strings of this mandolin in tune during a performance.


Once you choose this mandolin, you should expect a casing for it. It comes with a hard shell bag that enables you to carry around the instrument with ease. The casing, therefore, enhances portability and makes it easy to store after use. It can also prevent its delicate parts from getting damaged easily during storage.


Eastman 515 is not only a good-looking mandolin but also a great-sounding one. This mandolin is snappy and bright. Rather than being too loud, it projects really well and can deliver excellent intonation. This mandolin also feels quite comfortable to play.

Who is it best suited for?

Eastman 515 mandolin is a great musical instrument that is ideal for professionals. However, if you are a musician looking for a reliable mandolin that you can use during gigging, you should consider this model.

Are there alternatives to Eastman 515 mandolin?

Yes. If you feel that this is not the right mandolin for you, you should consider some of its alternatives. They include Eastman MD314, Kentucky KM-1000, and Vangoa Mandolin.

Features of the alternatives

Name Eastman MD314 Kentucky KM-1000 Vangoa Mandolin
Body style F-Style F-style A-style
Top material Solid Spruce Adirondack Spruce Mahogany
Back and sides material Solid maple Highly flamed maple Mahogany
Finish type Varnish Lacquered Varnish
Weight 4.8 pounds 3.8 pounds 4.24 pounds
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Verdict: So, should you buy Eastman 515 mandolin?

Yes. This mandolin is worth investing in since it is not only good-looking but also delivers beautiful sound. This mandolin is a durable musical instrument that feels comfortable to use. Though it is not the cheapest mandolin available in the market, you can get a good warranty for purchasing it. It also comes with a good refund policy. You can test the mandolin for some time before deciding whether it is an ideal model for you.


How does a mandolin produce sound?

When you pluck a mandolin, the stringed instrument starts producing sound from the vibration of its strings.

What should I look for as I compare different mandolins?

Consider the materials used in their making since this can help you figure out their quality. For example, most musicians choose Eastman 515 since it is a highly rated mandolin that is well made.

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