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Thread: MORGAN MONROE MMS-4FE F-style acoustic electric MANDOLIN

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    Default MORGAN MONROE MMS-4FE F-style acoustic electric MANDOLIN

    Does anyone have any information about this mandolin? I am between this and the Loar 600 for my first f-style mando. I am looking at getting the loar with the cumberland bridge and get it in black, but will definitly hook it up with electronics.. This new morgan mando has electronics built in it, but can't find any reveiws for it. It is a lot cheaper than the loar, but it doesnt come in black.

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    Default Re: MORGAN MONROE MMS-4FE F-style acoustic electric MANDOLIN

    Hi and welcome!

    My personal opinion (and it's worth what you've paid for it) is that the acoustic-electric mandolin is a highly specialized tool that makes for a poor first choice most of the time. If this isn't your first mandolin (but rather your first F-style), know that F mandolins are inherently more expensive to produce. This generally translates to a mediocre mandolin equipped with relatively pedestrian electronics in a saleable package. Much better to spend your resources on the best acoustic you can buy (including a good set up) then adding quality electronics afterward. I don't mean to discourage acoustic-electrics, indeed I make my living with them, but they are special tools for special purposes and most players will depend more on the acoustic attributes most of the time. Adding dedicated, internal electronics to an acoustic model mandolin takes up much of the room inside the sound chamber. The result is reduced acoustic performance which is traded for electronic superiority under certain circumstances.

    If you are after an acoustic-electric for its special role in music (convenience, loud amplified play without feedback, etc.) then I would recommend a different group of instruments including the Godin A-8 and Ovation MM-68.
    Last edited by Tim2723; Apr-13-2012 at 8:43am.
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    Robert Fear Folkmusician.com's Avatar
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    Default Re: MORGAN MONROE MMS-4FE F-style acoustic electric MANDOLIN

    I agree with Tim here and will add that in this case, the LM-600 is a far superior instrument to the MMS-4FE. The acoustic tone is not even remotely close between these two instruments. There is nothing wrong with the MMS-4fe and it is a good value considering the built in Fishman system. If acoustic tone is the priority, go with The Loar.
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    Default Re: MORGAN MONROE MMS-4FE F-style acoustic electric MANDOLIN

    Thanks for the reply guys. Robert, I have actually been checking out your site for quite sometime, in regards to the loar. So you may be getting some business from me eventually. I did have a question though. I seen someone place a piece of leather in the mandolin tailpiece to further mute the strings between the piece and the bridge. Is this common place? Is this something you would recommend in buying a mando? I have always wanted an f-style, however with the price I am so concerned with all the maintenance aspects of owning one. I don't know how to change strings, make truss rod or bridge adjustments. I don't want to buy an expensive instrument and not have it play right, or even brake it.

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    Master of mediocrity Barry Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: MORGAN MONROE MMS-4FE F-style acoustic electric MANDOLIN

    well Mike M explained about putting a piece of leather at the back in the academy of bluegrass lessons. stops overtones behind the bridge. he said to also put a piece of foam or tape at the headstock behind the nut for the same reason... I do the bridge piece.

    I am not a long time mando owner but have had a few. both acoustic electric mandos I had (one came stock, one I added a fishmann m100 myself), sounded tinny plugged in and were thin acoustically. the loar 600 is what I consider my good mandolin. it has such a rich sound and the low end is so far superior to the other 2 mandolins I sold them both and bought an electric mandobird for when I play electric.

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    Kyle Dunn TheMandoShop's Avatar
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    Default Re: MORGAN MONROE MMS-4FE F-style acoustic electric MANDOLIN

    Quote Originally Posted by rocity View Post
    I don't know how to change strings, make truss rod or bridge adjustments. I don't want to buy an expensive instrument and not have it play right, or even brake it.
    If you buy from a reputable dealer that does a good setup, Robert is certainly one of those, you won't have to worry about adjustments, it will arrive playing right. In my opinion the pickup in the Morgan Monroe is not very good quality and I would recommend using the money to buy a better mandolin and adding a pickup later.
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    Registered User Jason Kessler's Avatar
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    Default Re: MORGAN MONROE MMS-4FE F-style acoustic electric MANDOLIN

    As a further side note, I think any electric or electrified mandolin is gonna sound tinny without a pre-amp. Just something to factor in...

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    Default Re: MORGAN MONROE MMS-4FE F-style acoustic electric MANDOLIN

    Can you explain what a pre-amp is?

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    Default Re: MORGAN MONROE MMS-4FE F-style acoustic electric MANDOLIN

    A pre-amplifier (preamp) is an electronic device designed to boost the output signal of a pickup to match it correctly with the input needs of the main amplifier. They often sport features like equalization and special filtering. 'Active' acoustic-electric mandolins (those with batteries in them) have these on-board. The Morgan Monroe uses a 'passive' pickup system intended to plug directly into the amplifier. While not absolutely necessary, a pre-amplifier can often improve the function of a passive pickup significantly.

    For the instrument in question it would be an add-on. A seperate box that you would plug the mandolin into, then into the amplifier or PA system. There are several popular models available, including this one:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/acces...tid=37-4213424
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    Default Re: MORGAN MONROE MMS-4FE F-style acoustic electric MANDOLIN

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim2723 View Post
    A pre-amplifier (preamp) is an electronic device designed to boost the output signal of a pickup to match it correctly with the input needs of the main amplifier. They often sport features like equalization and special filtering. 'Active' acoustic-electric mandolins (those with batteries in them) have these on-board. The Morgan Monroe uses a 'passive' pickup system intended to plug directly into the amplifier. While not absolutely necessary, a pre-amplifier can often improve the function of a passive pickup significantly.

    For the instrument in question it would be an add-on. A seperate box that you would plug the mandolin into, then into the amplifier or PA system. There are several popular models available, including this one:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/acces...tid=37-4213424
    Does anyone know what type of electronic system Marty Stuart has on board his Gibson copy? I can't imagine he has a pre-amp built in...it appears it is just plug-in and go with his...no apparent volume or tone controls...

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    Default Re: MORGAN MONROE MMS-4FE F-style acoustic electric MANDOLIN

    I don't know what specific system he uses, but putting a pickup or microphone inside an acoustic and running the cable out through the end-pin is a very common solution. In that case the controls are usually outboard in a preamp, although they may not be obvious.
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