Best Mandolins

The mandolin has always been a favorite instrument played folk and classical artists. It is a stringed instrument noted for its four sets of two strings. In addition to this, the mandolin comes in a number of styles which would suit your interest. The best mandolins can surely provide flare and beauty to your performance.

Because of the increasing interest towards mandolins, there is seen to be a surge in the number of brands popping at the market. Hence, it may be difficult for you to find the ideal one among the best mandolins. In this article, we are going to identify ten of the best mandolins in the market. In addition to this, we will list down the characteristics which each of the products possesses. This way, you will be able to narrow down your options.

What to Look for in Mandolins

Before you buy yourself a mandolin, it is important to first know the characteristics which each brand possesses. This way, you will be able to choose the perfect mandolins that would be able to suit your needs and preference. The following are just two of the many features that you should look for when picking the best mandolins.

The Mandolin’s Body Style

Mandolins comes in three different body shapes. Choosing the shape would be dependent on the genre of music that you would play. It could also depend on your budget and the physical appearance that you like. A-Style mandolins have a pear or tear-shaped body. They are less expensive and are easier to build. F-style mandolins are noted for their carved body. These mandolins would work well with folk, classical, and Celtic musicians. The bowl-backed mandolins have a dark tone, making it suitable for folk music and mandolin orchestras.
The Wood Used

The wood which was used in the mandolin should also be a criterion. The best mandolins are noted for having a soundboard – known to others as the top – which is made from solid spruce. Spruce is a lightweight yet strong wood material. For beginners who are on a tight budget, you may opt for wood with a laminated top. It should be noted that the tone wood used in the mandolin would affect the sound it produces.

The features which were mentioned above are just some of the key features that you should take into consideration when picking the best mandolins. It is worth noting that the end choice will still be dependent on your preference as the player.

All Mandolins

1. Rogue RM-100A Mandolin Sunburst

The first product on our list is the Rogue RM-100A Mandolin Sunburst. This instrument is a well-built, traditional A-model mandolin noted for being easy to play. It sports a gorgeous sunburst finish, making it attractive to use. It further projects bright tone with lots of bark.This mandolin features a clean workmanship throughout. It possesses an adjustable bridge made of rosewood and an easy-to-play neck made of maple. It also has a rosewood fingerboard, a 12th-fret neck joint, and a set of chrome tuning machines. Because of its features, this instrument is a great one for beginners.

Rogue RM-100A Mandolin Sunburst - Best Mandolins

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2. Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin

The next product on our list is the Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin. It is an A-style mandolin which is well-made using selected materials. Its back and sides are built using mahogany. Its top, on the other hand, is made of select spruce. It also features a pearl dot inlay. Its hardware is made of chrome.The sound that is mandolin produces could bring the bittersweet melodies of the past generations. Beginners and professionals alike could choose from three color designs: dark violin sunburst, vintage sunburst, and brown sunburst.

Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin - Best Mandolins

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3. Rogue RM-100A Mandolin Black

The Rogue RM-100A Mandolin Black is a well-built, traditional A-model mandolin. This mandolin is noted for being easy to play. It sports a gorgeous black finish, making it attractive to use. It further projects bright tone with lots of bark.This mandolin features a clean workmanship throughout. It possesses an adjustable bridge made of rosewood and an easy-to-play neck made of maple. It also has a rosewood fingerboard, a 12th-fret neck joint, and a set of chrome tuning machines. Because of its features, this instrument is a great one for beginners.

Rogue RM-100A Mandolin Black - Best Mandolins

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4. Kentucky KM-150 Standard Mandolin

The Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-Style Mandolin is also a good option for you. It has a solid German spruce top which gives you the clean articulation that you want. Such top also provides a crisp and bright tone. Its back and side are made of solid Alpine maple wood for that extra punch. Furthermore, its neck has been built with slim Alpine maple for a comfortable and easy action. The fingerboard has also been built with choice tonewood, ensuring a silky smooth playability. Its high-gloss sunburst finish creates traditional luster and beauty.

Kentucky KM-150 Standard Mandolin - Best Mandolins

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5. Hola! Music Mandolin, Model HM-3TS

The Hola! Music Mandolin, Model HM-3TS is an eight-string traditional A-style mandolin. Most parts of the mandolin are built using maple, including the back, top, sides, and neck. Its adjustable bridge, on the other hand, is made using compensated rosewood. It is worth noting that this mandolin includes an adjustable truss rod inside the neck wrench.This mandolin also consists of 20 silver nickel frets. It has chrome-plated open gears and a tailpiece. In addition to this, it also possesses a black ABS pickguard and a white ABS binding around the body, head, and the neck.

Hola! Music Mandolin, Model HM-3TS - Best Mandolins

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6. Rogue Learn-the-Mandolin Package

The Rogue Learn-the-Mandolin Package is a good product for those who are still starting to learn the mandolin. It features a Rogue RM-100 A mandolin, a well-built, traditional A-model mandolin noted for being easy to play. It sports a gorgeous sunburst finish, making it attractive to use. It further projects bright tone with lots of bark.Aside from the mandolin, the package also includes a mandolin method book, a mandolin chords plus book, and a fit-all mandolin gig bag for easy carry.

Rogue Learn-the-Mandolin Package - Best Mandolins

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7. Savannah SA-100-BK Mandolin

The Savannah SA-100-BK Mandolin is an affordable mandolin that does not only look great but also sound great. This A-model mandolin is noted for its good and clean workmanship. The neck of the mandolin is made up of hard maple. Its fretboard, on the other hand, is built using bound rosewood. This mandolin also features a 12th fret neck joint and an adjustable compensated bridge. Because of such features, this mandolin would work well with amateurs and professionals alike.

Savannah SA-100-BK Mandolin - Best Mandolins

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8. Donner Mandolin Instrument Sunburst DML-1

The Donner Mandolin Instrument Sunburst DML-1 is a traditional A-style mandolin which is suited for all genres of music. This eight-string instrument has a glossy sunburst finish, making it attractive to look at. Its mahogany body provides a rich and bright sound. It is built with a right-hand design. It also features a set of Chrome-plated open gear tuners and tailpiece and an adjustable truss rod inside the neck. Smooth and accurate, this mandolin could be the right choice for you.When you buy this mandolin, you would also receive a gig bag, a digital clip-on tuner, guitar picks, strings, and a polishing cloth.

Donner Mandolin Instrument Sunburst DML-1 - Best Mandolins

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9. Morgan Monroe RT-FM1 Rocky Top Mandolin

The Morgan Monroe RT-FM1 Rocky Top Mandolin is a classic F-style mandolin which players of all levels of ability would appreciate. Most parts of the mandolin
– including the top, sides, back, and neck
– are made up of basswood. Basswood is a great material which has been widely used for stellar instruments such as this one. In addition to those already stated, this mandolin also includes additional features. These include an adjustable truss rod, nickel silver frets, a black pickguard, and extended rosewood fingerboard, and dot inlay. It also has an adjustable rosewood bridge, chrome tuning keys, and an ornate chrome tailpiece.

Morgan Monroe RT-FM1 Rocky Top Mandolin - Best Mandolins

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10. Savannah SA-100 Mandolin

The last product on our list is the Savannah SA-100 Mandolin. It is an affordable mandolin that does not only look great but also sound great. This A-model mandolin is noted for its good and clean workmanship. The neck of the mandolin is made up of hard maple. Its fretboard, on the other hand, is built using bound rosewood. This mandolin also features a 12th fret neck joint and an adjustable compensated bridge. Because of such features, this mandolin would work well with amateurs and professionals alike.

Savannah SA-100 Mandolin - Best Mandolins

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Conclusion

The mandolins which were presented above have quite similar overall features. Hence, scrutiny could allow you to gauge their differences. These subtle differences could affect your performance. It is then important to be aware of the characteristics of each of the products. Being aware will greatly help you in determining the ideal instrument based on your preference. This involves careful scrutiny on each of the best mandolins.

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Bobby
Bobby plays both the violin and viola. He performs in several orchestras around the Pittsburgh area and is currently attending Carnegie Mellon University for his Master's.

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