I do play my RM1 as my main public mandolin (also with flatwound strings which gets rid of any metallic sound - Jazzmando strings and a Blue Chip TAD40 with a lowered action from what it came with from the factory). Rather than saying its loud, I would say it has a huge dynamic range. Yes, you can play banjo loud but you can also play soft and sweet. I love playing it on an Irish slow air as a duet with a flute playing friend, so that should be the proof. The bass end is rich and rings forever making it lovely for a mixture of melody and chords in a slow, elegant arrangement. It sounds nothing like the brashness of a mandolin banjo or the cheap imitators or even a metal bodied National. Having the dynamic range available is a great feature, so you can put in lots of rhythm and feeling and not just banging hard all the time. I play my oval hole favorites at home but almost always use the RM1 in public.