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Thread: Help to choose first mandolin

  1. #1

    Question Help to choose first mandolin

    Hey I'm planning to buy a mandolin and i thought its better to ask here, I know an a-style would be better but i want an F-style my budget is about 600$ but i can spend only 550$ cause I live in Greece and the other 50$ are shipping.

    I am between MORGAN MONROE MANDOLIN MVF-1 (which i prefer )
    and Rover RM 75 Mandolin and of course any other on that price .
    What would you suggest ? :D

  2. #2
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Austin, Texas

    Default Re: Help to choose first mandolin

    My opinion is to go with the Rover. It consistently gets good reviews here on the Cafe. While I have yet to play a Rover RM 75, I have never been impressed with the Morgan Monroe mandolins I have played.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Mandolin Ant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    North Carolina

    Default Re: Help to choose first mandolin

    I have a Morgan Monroe MM-100-SB/E. Got it for around $500. It's not bad for the money. It's got a bright sound and is very playable. Not that familiar with Rover, but I'd look at Washburn, Kentucky, Michael Kelly, etc. All of these have pretty good offerings in F-styles in your price range. If you have access to a music store where you could actually play some of these before you buy, I would definately suggest that. Most of these come somewhat set-up, but I would take it to a luthier when you get it and have it set-up properly. A good set-up makes all the difference. Good luck and enjoy. If you're like most Mandolin players I know, this will become a passion for you.
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  4. #4
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Help to choose first mandolin

    I'm partial to the Kentucky km505, which actually retails for less than $500 US. I've also heard good things about the km550, but I have not played one. I did own a km505, and I liked it a lot, but I upgraded to a km900, which is a fantastic instrument.
    Never say "bouzouki" to a TSA agent...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help to choose first mandolin

    thanks for the opinions . Here in Greece there is no store that sells mandolins but I'm planning to buy from themandolinhut and the mandolin will come set up.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help to choose first mandolin

    check out these people:

    mine is the nice, woody-sounding oval-hole but they have several models - here's what it sounds like:

    i had no problem receiving the mandolin - i found them to be a good company to deal with.

    buona fortuna!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help to choose first mandolin

    I recently visited the Mandoliln Store (no financial intrest) and played a Rover RM-75 that was set-up by Brian, who does their set-ups. I tried it after I sampled many many expensive F-style mandos from Gibson, Weber, and others. That Rover played just as silky smooth as the others because Brian had put the same effort into the set-up as he had for the others. The sound was not quite as big as some big ticket mandos, but I was instantly aware of why this model is so often given high marks for playability. I have played a few Morgan Monroes at my local music store as well. Some were pretty thin sounding, others weren't bad, But, If you really need an F-style in that price range I would recommend a well set-up Rover RM-75.


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