Eastman MD305

Eastman MD305

Sitka Spruce & Maple
1-1/8" Nut

Regular price $479 + Free Shipping Sale

Representative images. Appearance of actual item will vary slightly.

The MD305 is Eastman's most affordable A-style mandolin. It offers the same great quality as their higher end mandolins in a more budget-friendly package.

Minimal appointments and a satin finish help keep the price down without sacrificing what's important: craftsmanship, playability, and tone.

The MD305 is a great no-frills instrument for beginners seeking a quality starter mandolin, but it's also perfect for seasoned players who want a capable second mandolin for travel or jams.

In our opinion, you simply won't find a better mandolin for the money.

About the 300 Series

Eastman's 300 Series includes the MD315 (F-style) and the MD305 (A-style). These are the most affordable mandolins in Eastman's lineup thanks to their basic appointments and satin finish, but they still offer the same excellent craftsmanship and tone as Eastman's higher end mandolins.

All 300 Series mandolins have the following features:

  • Hand-carved, solid wood construction
  • Sitka spruce top with maple back and sides
  • Radiused ebony fingerboard
  • Ebony bridge
  • Satin finish
  • Heavy duty padded gig bag

Craftsmanship

Eastman's build quality and attention to detail are excellent, especially compared to similarly priced mandolins.

By using high quality materials and employing a level of hand craftsmanship not normally found on mandolins in this price range, Eastman consistently produces instruments that sound amazing and are a pleasure to play.

Tone

Eastman's 300 Series mandolins have a big, woody tone with lots of volume and projection. 

Many entry level mandolins are heavy and overbuilt with thick, plasticky finishes. This makes for a cheaper instrument but tends to result in a thin, tinny sound with little character or resonance.

In contrast, Eastman mandolins have a light, open build and minimal finish. These qualities, combined with the hand-carved woods and skilled craftsmanship, give Eastman instruments a warm, gutsy tone that you can feel as well as hear.

Playability

A radiused ebony fingerboard and careful fretwork make for a mandolin that has better playability than anything else we've seen at this price point.

The out-of-the-box setup is excellent, but we're always happy to adjust the mandolin to your preferences.

Value

While there are certainly less expensive mandolins on the market, it's tough to beat the MD315 and MD305 when it comes to overall value.

If you're looking for an instrument that will grow with you and won't need to be replaced as you get better, the 300 Series is for you.

F-Style or A-Style?

F-style mandolins are more popular with country and bluegrass players, while A-style mandolins are preferred for Celtic and classical music.

A-style mandolin are less expensive than equivilant F-style mandolins because they require significantly less labor to build.  

Tonally, we don't think there's a big difference between the two body styles. The points and scrollwork of an F-style mandolin are mostly solid wood and (in our opinion) have little to no effect on sound.

The Next Step Up

For players seeking the optimal balance between quality and affordability, it's hard to go wrong with the 300 Series.

If you're looking for something a little more dressed up then you should check out Eastman's 500 Series. These mandolins feature the same tonewoods and build quality as the 300 Series but with upgraded appointments, a full gloss finish, Schaller tuners, and a hardshell case. 

Body SizeF-Style
Top WoodSitka Spruce
Back & SidesMaple
FingerboardEbony
Nut Width1-1/8" (Standard)
String Spacing1-9/16"
StringsD'Addario Medium EJ74 (11 - 40)
CaseHeavy Gig Bag
Body A-Style
Top Carved Solid Sitka Spruce
Back/Sides Carved Solid Maple
Neck Material Maple
Fingerboard Ebony w/ Radius
Bridge Ebony
Nut Width 1-1/8"
Nut Material Bone
Scale Length 13-7/8"
String Spacing 1-9/16"
Body Dimensions 26-11/16" x 10" x 1-7/8"
Finish Satin Lacquer
Headstock Overlay Ebony
Binding Body
Binding Material Ivoroid
Logo Inlay Material Wood
Neck Inlay Style Dot
Neck Inlay Material Pearl
Tailpiece Stamped w/ Chrome Finish
Tuners Chrome
Strings Cleartone Phosphor Bronze Medium (10 - 40)
Case Heavy Gig Bag