Best Oval Hole Mandolins: Top 3 Models To Stay True To The Roots!

Best Oval Hole Mandolins


Whereas still a distant second in recognition to their sibling, the F-hole mandolin, the oval hole mandolins are slowly making a comeback. Roughly 100 years in the past, oval holes had been the preferred mandolin. Oval hole mandolins had been even probably the most popular instruments of any variety!

Fast ahead and things change. Solely a fraction of mandolins supplied now is of the oval gap variety, making your decisions moderately easy in an absence of choices. This doesn’t imply that there are not many good choices on the market!

Naturally, the most effective oval hole mandolin can be constructed nicely and carved from all solid woods. You need it to sound unimaginable and virtually play itself. These usually are not impossible requirements however do take into account that it’s possible you’ll not get something like this for $100 or $200.

We just want to let you know that we’ll list these best oval hole mandolin reviews in no particular order. They’ll be randomized as we don’t wish to sort them from best to worst.

Listed below are our Top 3 Best Oval Hole Mandolins for 2023:

1. Savannah SA-110 Oval Hole Mandolin

Savannah is devoted to bringing basic acoustic instruments of the American folk tradition to players of all ranges. With excellent options and unbeatable values, Savannah instruments are a good way to discover standard acoustic instruments at an affordable value without sacrificing high quality.

With quite a lot of models to go well with each type and stage of player, Savannah instruments are the right match for a sunny afternoon jam, an open mic, or anyplace in between. The Savannah SA-110 Oval Hole Mandolin presents an excellent value on a wise-looking instrument. The oval hole on the soundboard provides it with a definite projection and tone. An awesome high quality extremely low-priced mandolin. Nice starter model!

It would not get less expensive than the Savannah, and truthfully, it is first-rate for the value. The standard definitely is not what you’d anticipate from an instrument that costs more, however that should not come as any shock. In the event you’re undecided whether or not you want to play mandolin long run and simply need to give it a try, the Savannah could be what you want.

Savannah SA-110 Oval Hole Mandolin

2. Trinity College TM-325 Standard Celtic Oval Hole Mandolin

Trinity College mandolins are designed for conventional Celtic music, although they’re utilized in a wide variety of different styles, too. The historically styled physique of the TM-325 Octave Mandolin is complimented by a sublime snakehead peghead with the brand new Celtic-inspired cross. Its wealthy, mellow tone and nice projection will shock you.

They’re the best instruments of their sort in today’s market. Workmanship and supplies are exquisite all through. Prime-quality, all-solid wooden development by highly-skilled, meticulous craftsmen utilizing select, solid, close-grained mahogany for necks and high-quality rosewood for fingerboards assures that each Trinity College Celtic Mandolin is of the very best attainable high quality.

The TM-325 Mandolin has a particular abalone inlay within the black-white-black overlay. Slim, fast neck with adjustable truss rod assures most playing ease. The X-braced soundboard produces a wealthy, mellow tone with nice projection. Beauty particulars embody M-O-P position dot inlays, Ivoroid binding, and a sturdy high-gloss finish.

Trinity College TM-325 Standard Celtic Oval Hole Mandolin - Best Oval Hole Mandolins

3. Gewa Pro Natura Oval Hole Mandolin

Instruments that meet the environmental necessities and make no compromises in terms of sound. All tonewoods are from European forestry, no tropical woods are used in any respect. Newly developed, environment-friendly finishes for higher sound quality.

On the entire, at the least on the surface, the mandolin is neatly processed. The considerably tougher work such because the bearings for the tuning pegs within the window head plate seem to be a bit rustic and between the zero collars and saddle was diligently reworked with filling compound. In any other case, the glue spots look strong; the very neat cover binding seems to be like actual wood, and the inlays on the back additionally make a great impression.

The sound is completely fine for an easy instrument after the mandatory corrections. It’s virtually unimaginable to get all of the strings in octave, however, if you happen to tilt the bridge a bit (not too much due to the spacing and course of the strings) you are able to do it. Nothing world-shaking, however helpful.

In comparison with guitars in this value range, we’re not dissatisfied with this mandolin, quite the opposite. We imagine that if you wish to try something new and yet old, that is the right way to go!

Gewa Pro Natura Mandolin

Few More Words on Oval Holes Mandolins

Oval hole mandolins have been traditionally not used with a strap, or hardly ever. On trendy occasions, most players do use a strap. This shall be tied across the headstock and then hooked up to the top pin. Many endpins are merely tapered wood dowels inserted into the bottom of the mandolin. These will not be meant to be glued in and might come out unexpectedly. Remember!

Oval hole mandolins are likely to have an extra mellow, woody sound. They’ve more sustain and are normally extra pleasing when performed solo. F-hole mandolins are typically louder with more projection. That is one of those cases where you possibly can’t have both, or not less than not 100% of each. As much as players lean towards F-hole mandolins, many who take the time to research ovals, truly desire them.

Many Oval holes may have a shorter neck joint than an F-hole mandolin. For many players, it’s of little concern. Most players will not be playing up into frets that can not be reached on an oval hole mandolin. The shorter neck can present a problem in some cases. If the neck brace space is just too far ahead in the case, the headstock will rest on it. There are many cases that do match ovals, simply remember that not “every” A style case will match.

Historically, Oval Hole mandolins have a 10-fret neck joint. This doesn’t translate right into a significantly shorter scale size, however, the neck and bridge are each shifted further back on the body. This strikes the bridge position further back and is among the principal differences in building between the 2 types of mandolin.

Oval Hole mandolins are usually braced differently than an F-hole. Oval holes usually have one small cross brace throughout the top, the place most F-hole mandolins may have what we call parallel tone bars. There are the wood bars working lengthwise on the underside of the top (truly at angles).


Well, we presented what we thought are the best 3 models of oval hole versions of mandolins. Also, we did a little bit of comparison to the F hole mandolin so now you have something a little bit more that can guide you in the right direction when purchasing.

The oval mandolins are played with older types of music and the vintage style requires vintage looking instrument. Many players prefer and will shop for such instruments for this sole reason. It is a great choice for every bluegrass band that wants to sound authentic.

If you tend to have a loud instrument, then this might not be for you, but what lacks in volume – compensates in warmth, so it is up to you to see what you value more.

In case you have any questions in regards to this topic, please let us know in the comment section below!


Charles Steinhoff

Charles Steinhoff

Charles is here and I am guitar and ukulele enthusiast. Been playing these instruments for over 10 years now and I decided to share some of my knowledge and expertise with the world in terms of these stringed instruments and it's accessories.

Strings Kings
Strings Kings