View Full Version : Mandobird deal...
Musician's Friend is running a special on Mandobirds - $159.99. Only one color at that price, Gold Flake. As of now they do have stock.
I ordered mine last night! Never owned an electric anything. I'm thinking this could be fun. If nothing else, I'll use it for quiet night time practice. Now to find an amp...
How are Mandobirds, action-wise? Is it possible/easy to get their action set low, or does it require a in-shop setup?
My mandobird was pretty much unplayable out of the box. The nut was so high it could have been used for a dobro!! I had a luthier friend of mine set it up with a new nut and a few bridge tweaks and I was delighted at the difference! It stays in tune nicely has really low action and decent sound.
If I can find an easy to retrofit, decent sounding pickup I might spring for that upgrade but even the stock pickup isn't that bad.
Anyway ... $159 sounds like a pretty good price ... throw your savings at a decent setup and you'll have some fun with it, I'm sure! :-)
Not to talk anyone out of this deal, that's an incredible price, and the gold metal flake is VERY cool.
We've sold over a dozen of the M'birds since they came out. #Two had to go back to the factory cause we could never make them right. (Bridge wasn't screwed into the right place...) Three came out of the box perfect (for a $200 ax, anyway...), and the rest did require a bit of tweaking.
Two things, be sure you hang onto your shipping box, and expect to pay someone for a set-up and possible shipping back *IF* it's defective. (M.F. won't check this for you before you get it.)
Build both these possiblities into your purchase, and it's still not a bad deal. Roll the dice right, and you may get one that doesn't need any attention.
And, like they say, "a bird in the hand..." http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
This is the 4-string version of the 'Bird, i reckon.
To back up Ted's point, I bought one and it required a lot of set-up, but is doing fine now. I went to a local music store where they set them up before putting them out and was told that they sent 2 of 4 back because they could not be set up properly
I'm expecting to have some setup done. One thing I learned from woodworking, no tool ever comes out of the box ready to use!
I went to a local music shop to look at amps, and told the owner what I had ordered. He frustrated with Gibson/Epiphone. He hasn't been able to get any product at all from them for months. One of his other rep's has been keeping track and told him that only seven dealers in all of California (outside of Guitar Center) have got any Gibson/Epi instruments in stock. If that's the case, it's not likely I'd find a 'bird in stock anywhere to try out. So, I'm taking my chances. I figure the worst that could happen is I ship it back.
I got mine at Buckdancer's Choice in Portland ME for like $134 a year or so ago. Need a lot of set up. The bridge saddles needed to be pulled back almost all the way plus the nut and bridge needed to be lower a lot. Still alot of fun for not too much much $$.
Don't expect it to be playable in tune out of the box.
I'll know soon - UPS says it's "out for delivery"!
The 'bird has landed!
Took a couple of quick pic's in the fading evening light. #This is the only one that geve a good idea of how glittery the finish is.
First impressions of the Mandobird:
You can see in the pic that the glitter is not really densely applied. Overall I think it looks fine, but hey, if you're gonna glitter you might as well REALLY glitter! No glaring faults in the finish, it looks fine given the price.
Out of the box, the intonation up the fretboard was a bit sharp, especially on the lower strings. No surprises there. The "Factory Inspection" card says the action was set at 1/64" at the first fret, 5/64" at the 12th, and that's right about where it was. I pulled the G string saddle all the way back (it could go further back if I cut the screw a little shorter, it's hitting the string and limiting the travel), but it was still a little sharp. Dropping the action on the bridge a smidgen helped some more. I've tweaked the other strings a bit too, and as far as I can tell it's close to playing in tune. I'll probably have a pro take a look at it one of these days, but I think it'll be a keeper.
I'm still ampless, so I can't comment on the tone. From noodling on it unamplified, I tell that I'm going to have fun with this little beast!
Thanks for showing us the bird! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
Hmm.. I think that one's more like Gold Fleck. Perhaps some distressing is in order..
I think that one's more like Gold Fleck.
Isn't he a Banjo player?...
Tuning the bird...
To get the intonation reasonably right I had to remove the spring on the G string and put a small stack of washers on the G screw behind the bridge structure. (It was either that or cut the screw). Intonation still wasn't quite right, but a lot closer. That bridge is just plain misplaced.
Yes, it looks like that G string is all screwed up. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
enjoy your new friend. I am going through withdrawals but I coudl only take one mando with me this trip and I am now wishing I had taken my bird with me. Pearl Jam just does not sound as good on a F-5 copy as it would have on the bird.