Eastman MD305 A-Style Mandolin Review

If you need a beginner-friendly mandolin that sounds great, you should consider Eastman MD305.

The first time I bought a mandolin, I regretted the purchase. I bought the cheapest mandolin that I could find on the market, trying to save money. It was quite disappointing since the setup was hard, it did not stay in tune and sounded terrible. I nearly gave up on learning how to play this musical instrument until I heard a friend play another mandolin at their home. It sounded very different from mine, and I started making plans to buy another one. During my research, I came across Eastman MD305. This is what I learned about it before purchasing.

Eastman MD305 A-Style Mandolin breakdown and review

Eastman is a reputable brand that is known for creating quality musical instruments such as mandolins. You should, therefore, feel confident as you choose a mandolin from this manufacturer. Eastman MD305 is a popular choice for most players. This is a solidly constructed mandolin that plays well.

It is made using spruce and maple, which are high-quality materials that make it a durable mandolin. The satin lacquer finish makes it visually appealing and leads to a warm tone. Since this is an A-style mandolin, it gives room for learning how to play.

This mandolin also contains a radiused rosewood fingerboard that naturally fits your fingers. Eastman MD305 comes with a solid cast tailpiece that looks quite attractive. It also features an adjustable ebony bridge that is well polished and has functional tuners. Though it does not have the best strings, you can always replace them with a new set of strings.

You can play this mandolin straight out of the box since it comes fully set up. This makes it easy to use and can save you from a complicated setup procedure. Once you invest in this mandolin, you will get a gig bag for it. This makes it more portable, giving you the chance to carry it to gigs. Since the case that this mandolin comes with is padded, it also protects it from getting damaged when not in use.

Since the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty for this mandolin, you can buy it with confidence, knowing that you will not incur more in case of defects. This mandolin is also small and easy to carry around.

What we liked

  • It comes ready to play
  • Delivers a warm sound
  • It comes at an affordable cost
  • Includes a case
  • Excellent finish

What we didn’t like

  • The tuners are not smooth operating


Eastman MD305 A-Style Mandolin specifications

Materials Spruce and Maple
Fingerboard Radiused rosewood
Finish Satin lacquer
Design A-style
Bag Available
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Eastman MD305 A-Style Mandolin features


Choosing a well-constructed mandolin can help you enjoy playing it for a long time. You need to consider the materials that a model comes with since this also determines the kind of sound that it produces.

Eastman MD305 does not disappoint since it the made using spruce and maple. It also comes in a satin lacquer finish that gives it an attractive appearance. You will also notice the solid cast tailpiece that this mandolin comes with.


Like most affordable mandolins, this model is based on an A-style design. It, therefore, gives you the chance to learn how to play it. The mandolin also contains F-holes that lead to excellent projection.

The radiused fretboard of this mandolin allows your fingers to fit more naturally during playing. You don’t have to experience soreness on your fingertips even after playing it for long.

Sound and playability

This is a crucial factor that you should consider before investing in a mandolin. Eastman MD305 is an affordable mandolin that sounds great and plays well. Though it is a beginner-friendly musical instrument, you can play it professionally due to its excellent sound quality. It delivers a warm and resonant sound.


Though the tuners of this mandolin are functional, they don’t operate very smoothly compared to those found in higher-end mandolins. Though you may not experience problems with them, you can change them in the future. The good thing about this mandolin is that it comes tuned and stays in tune.


Eastman offers a lifetime warranty for this mandolin. You can use this in case you receive a defective product. The company can replace it with a new one without asking for more cash.

Who is it best suited for?

Eastman MD305 is suitable for a beginner looking for a reasonably priced mandolin. If you are a professional with lots of experience in mandolin playing, you should consider an F-style mandolin rather than choosing this model.

Are there alternatives to Eastman MD305 A-Style Mandolin?

Yes. If you feel that this is not the right mandolin for you, you should check out some of its alternatives. Some of them include Ibanez M510, Eastman MD505, and Breedlove Crossover mandolin. Comparing the features of its alternatives can help you settle for an ideal mandolin.

Features of alternative mandolins

Name Ibanez M510 Eastman MD505 Breedlove Crossover
Materials Spruce and Mahogany Spruce, Maple, A-style Spruce, Rosewood
Style A-style A-style A-style
Finish Satin Lacquered Semi-gloss
Weight 2.5 pounds 6.2 pounds 6.9 pounds
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Verdict: So should you buy Eastman MD305 A-Style Mandolin?

Yes. This is a great mandolin that you should consider buying. It not only sounds great but also plays well. The solid construction makes it a durable model. It also comes from a reputable company that offers a lifetime warranty for it. The quality and price point of Eastman MD305 make it worth your money.


Why is Eastman MD305 a popular model?

This is because it is of the same quality as more expensive models but comes at a reasonable price.

How can I take care of this mandolin?

Taking care of this mandolin well can extend its lifespan. You can start by cleaning it regularly using a microfiber cloth.

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