Re: Styles of Mandolins
Stereo just isn't the term to use here.
Stereo is a concept that relies on two individual sources of sound.
The waveform emanating from your mandolin takes some distance to develop and is a result of the entire top moving, not just the apertures (ports that allow the body to pump). The complexity of the waveform changes depending on the shape of the ports amongst many other things.
If I were to set up a single passive 2way speaker you would accept that it is mono. If you were to put your ear up close to it you would hear that the tweeter emits high frequencies, and the woofer emits low frequencies. Stand back the waveform develops and you are listening to a single source.
When you put your ear close to an instrument you are effectively doing the same thing-getting right in amongst the complexity. Your ear hears more treble strings while near the treble F-hole because it is also closer to the treble bridge foot and the string itself. Same with the bass side.
Step back to where the waveform develops and you have a single source.
Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.