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Thread: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

  1. #1
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    Default Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Thought I'd give a report since I haven't seen one up here yet.

    This was essentially an impulse purchase.

    I bought a 4 string mandobird a few years ago and sold it because the neck was too small for my ham hands. Couldn't play a chord to save my life. And it just sounded like an electric guitar to me.

    The MMT-1E is an 8 string and has a tone and volume knob (metal) and two single coil pickups. Three position switch seems solid. I like the lines of it (looks like a telecaster) It comes with strap knobs. It really seems well built - stout without being a heavy beast. It was/is in need of a set up, but the neck is straight and there is no buzz in the frets. I have started lowering the nut grooves. Plays really easy where I've lowered it. Intonation is fine.

    The sustain is stunning! It was a pleasant surprise. Plugged it in and there was no buzz or hum. Seems a little weak w/ the switch in the middle/both position, but pretty hot in the other positions. I'm not an electric guitar or mando expert, so if someone else wants to give more detes on how it plays, have at thee. I already like it way better than the mandobird -- this actually sounds like a mandolin. In general, I'm pleased.Click image for larger version. 

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    The street price for this seems to be between 260-290, though I made a "make offer" offer on ebay and got it for 235 (w/ free shipping). No case and no set up.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    I purchased the same model this past summer. It is my first electric anything so I am a real rookie, but I must agree with everything you have said about it. My price was 204 shipped so we are close in the value area. I am looking for a hard case, preferably a "universal" so it will fit my A acoustic as well. I hope you enjoy yous as much as I enjoy mine.

  4. #3
    Registered User Terry Allan Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    That looks pretty cool!

  5. #4

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Thanks for the report. I am very tempted to get one of these. It pops up with several different names in different markets - Eastwood, Clearwater, Revelation and Morgan Monroe.

    In the U.K. the Revelation-branded ones are cheapest, and Pete at Almuse assures me that the Revelation models are competitive in quality terms with those bearing different brands.

    When I am next in Britain I hope to pick up a Revelation, and perhaps order better pick-ups from Almuse, then set about customising it with the help of a local luthier over here in Thailand. I'm really looking forward to it. Lots of bang for the buck
    Last edited by Ron McMillan; Dec-23-2012 at 11:50am.

  6. #5
    Créateur des e-mandos Soundfarmer Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Yet another......the Musoo!
    Looks like the same arrangement as the MM (thin pickups and adjustable bridge).....not sure of the quality.
    Revelations and Eastwoods are of similar quality but the Clearwaters are of lower spec when it comes to finish. Not sure about the Harley-Bentons or Aldens.
    Annoyingly, I may have to create a new bridge pickup - the use of the old style pickups with the new bridges results in the need for a wider pole piece spacing so if anyone is considering an upgrade, it`s worth emailing me first.

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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Thank you everyone. This post is very interesting to me because I just bought one of these Morgan Monroes for myself for Christmas. I mean, my wide bought it for me.
    I agree that it is very well made in an 'economical' sort of way. I had to shim the neck substantially to get the action right, but the neck is very straight and the truss rod works well in mine. The shimming is not obvious either so. . .all is good. Th frets needed work too. I decided to switch it over to a thru-the-body kind of string attachment with the help of some ferrules from Stewmac. It is a very easy and straightforward upgrade. The thing is very playable now, but I am thinking about re-fretting with 80s.

    I'm new to electric anything, so I cannot be a real judge but I find the MMT-1E pickups and/or volume to be pretty weak on my Vox 30 watt amp. I can crank it, but it takes alot of gain to really sound like something. I saw that Soundfarmer Pete (thanks sir) is thinking of making pickups to fit, but my question is. . .Doesn't your Almuse MC8 pickup already fit? It looks to me like it would.
    Happy New Year All!!

  9. #7
    Créateur des e-mandos Soundfarmer Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Primarilywoodcharlie View Post
    Doesn't your Almuse MC8 pickup already fit? It looks to me like it would.
    Happy New Year All!!
    The MC8 neck pickup is fine but the older style bridge (and consequently pickup) had a spacing of 12mm.....these new adjustable ones are 12.7 so the poles don`t line up......
    Just to complicate things further, the new Eastwoods have the wider bridge but the pickups are shorter/fatter so modding the scratchplate for the new style pickup would be tricky although virtually any pickup can be fitted as all the "Mandocaster" clones share a common body rout - a big square hole!

  10. #8
    Market Man Barry Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Hey Pete, I tried to order one of your pickups through a large music chain in canada but they dont have your products listed. you should setup with long and mcquade hehe

  11. #9
    Créateur des e-mandos Soundfarmer Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Hi Barry,
    You could always check my website ;-)
    I don`t think theres enough demand in aftermarket mando pickups to interest the shops...besides, with their discount and the lousy exchange rate at the moment, I`d be virtually giving the things away.....Harumph!!!!

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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    After playing with this little thing for a bit I realized that it is alot more noisy than any of my other electric instruments (guitars). Very Noisy in fact!!

    I took the pickguard off the thing and found that the pickups are some real funky looking rail type thingys. Roughly made single coil rails, and sloppy. Mine even has a broken (but glued back together)magnet on its back side. I'm a bit disappointed with Morgan Monroe. This is not craftsmanship. . .but then what did I think I was getting??

    So now I ask: Is there a decent inexpensive 'rail' type pickup that would serve as a "do-all" for this odd string spacing? Something with a mellow(er) tone and not too hot? Spending hundreds more for this fancy piece of flakeboard seems to be going in the wrong direction, but there might be an inexpensive alternative out there.

    Y'all take care

  13. #11

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by blueron View Post
    Thanks for the report. I am very tempted to get one of these. It pops up with several different names in different markets - Eastwood, Clearwater, Revelation and Morgan Monroe.

    In the U.K. the Revelation-branded ones are cheapest, and Pete at Almuse assures me that the Revelation models are competitive in quality terms with those bearing different brands.
    I'd be really interested if anyone had compared these. I have a Harley Benton and i've seen in the UK the Clearwater for £189, Revelation £125 and Eastwood £299. With a bit of tweaking it seems that the Harley Benton at £80 is a bargain.

  14. #12

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    I had the same problem with one of my teles being noisy and found out that new pickguards sometimes create static which causes noise. If you sand the back of the pickguard that should eliminate the problem.

    I'm looking at MMT-1E

  15. #13

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    They are most likely all made in the same Chinese factory,with slight changes and different logos.

  16. #14

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Just spent the better part of 2 days tinkering with bridge, strings, pickup, wiring and insulation on one of these. The frets are a little thin and the tuners a little too fast at 14:1.

    As it comes out of the box, the bridge is a good 1/8 inch too wide, so either the low or high string edge strings will flop over the fingerboard. Seems like the only 4-string bridge they could find was one designed for a bass. Bought a replacement for around $50 so that problem is solved.

    The pickups seem to be based on cheap strat models, with the 6 traditional holes reamed out to accept a rough-looking bar magnet inserted along the length where the traditional round magnet poles would go, with another magnet glued onto the bottom of the coil housing. Like the poor man's lipstick pickup, they are shrill and noisy, easily picking up hiss and hum from speakers or anything electronic in the neighbourhood. I was going to pot the pickups, will now wait to have some sort of Plan B replacement handy in case things go wrong. In the meantime, I taped aluminum foil to the back of the pickguard and inside the body cavity with a solid connection to ground. This has eliminated about 75% of the noise and has really cut down on the shrillness while increasing the sustain in the lower frequencies, for whatever reason.

    I can live with this instrument as it is, but it is certainly more of a novelty item than my Ovation Celebrity or Godin A8. A used example of either of these would be a much better choice for a first electric.

    If you are kinda picky, you will easily spend more than the price of the original instrument on upgrading parts and adjustments.

  17. #15

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    http://www.moongazermusic.com/bridges.html has replacement bridge. Photos show new model installed at left and old one stacked on top of it to give an idea of change in string spacing.
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  18. #16
    Slightly mad Hazelnut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    From what I've seen and read about these, they do all indeed come from the same far-east factory. But there are some differences between the brands. Some have different hardwear and pups and the Clearwater version I was considering didn't have the string-through option some of the others have.

    In the end, I settled for a Revelation which has Grovers and Alan Entwistle custom pickups and string through - and only cost me £127 with free shipping (USD$199). So, it pays to shop around even these brands. Seems to me that each brand selects which optional extras to have on their e-mandos.

    EDIT: Uploaded the wrong image but found I couldn't delete it, so you have two of the same with pic twisted on its side! Oh well, it's nice enough to look at three times.
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    Last edited by Hazelnut; Aug-20-2013 at 2:30pm.
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  19. #17

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Hi Hazelnut,

    I really like the Revelation in red. Despite plans to get one earlier this year, I still haven't bought an electric and remain intrigued by the Revelation models in particular. That's a pretty good price. Can you tell me where you ordered it?

    ron

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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron McMillan View Post
    Hi Hazelnut,

    I really like the Revelation in red. Despite plans to get one earlier this year, I still haven't bought an electric and remain intrigued by the Revelation models in particular. That's a pretty good price. Can you tell me where you ordered it?

    ron
    Certainly.

    I found this one on Ebay UK. They also have it in sunburst but the red just caught my eye.

    Here's the clicky.
    The cake is a lie!

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  22. #19

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    There are BIG differences between brands, just like you would expect buying a "tele-cloner". Bought a Morgan Monroe a while back, decided I would go to humbucker pickups with a coil split since there was a lot of noise out of the box in my music room.

    Along came a spider.... made me an offer I couldn't refuse on the MM since I was planning on gutting it anyway to do experiements. Replaced it with another clone from eBay at about half the price.

    Well, guess what, the routing of the body cavity is very different, the pickguard won't accept the humbuckers that fit the MM fine, but there is less noise to begin with. Aside from the miniature frets & the sloppy way-too-wide bridge which are shared with the MM model, this one's a keeper. Putting away my tinkering lipstick for a while...

  23. #20
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by buchrob View Post
    There are BIG differences between brands, just like you would expect buying a "tele-cloner". Bought a Morgan Monroe a while back, decided I would go to humbucker pickups with a coil split since there was a lot of noise out of the box in my music room.

    Along came a spider.... made me an offer I couldn't refuse on the MM since I was planning on gutting it anyway to do experiements. Replaced it with another clone from eBay at about half the price.

    Well, guess what, the routing of the body cavity is very different, the pickguard won't accept the humbuckers that fit the MM fine, but there is less noise to begin with. Aside from the miniature frets & the sloppy way-too-wide bridge which are shared with the MM model, this one's a keeper. Putting away my tinkering lipstick for a while...
    Yes, there are many differences, even between these brands which seem to use the same basic model. I suppose with cheap e-mandos you're taking a bit of a chance but when you get a good one, you do feel a little bit smug.

    That's why I went with the Revelation as I'd heard mostly good things about it and it really has lived up to this reputation. It's a very well made instrument, no blemishes or flaws and, despite the single coils, amazingly noise-free. The only hum you hear is if you use a lot of crunch and gain and even then, it's minimal. I'm very impressed with these pickups which are advertised as "Alan Entwistle customs". Trying it through different amp modellers, I've found that on an acoustic amp clone it's not all that loud. I imagine you'd need a preamp if playing a gig, but on a different clean amp modeller, the volume is vastly improved (which I'm delighted about as I prefer to use a clean amp most of the time) and with a Marshall stack clone, you'd wake the next town.

    Another of the aforementioned differences (with mine at least) is the headstock which seems to have changed - for the better, I may add. I used stock photos in the above post because my camera's not that great but I'll show you actual pics of mine. The headstock has lost that ugly spike and the brand name is now small and on the top with a very nice little mother-of-pearl motif in the centre. Now, I know that doesn't make an iota of difference to how the instrument plays and sounds, but when you get a decent instrument like this, it's nice to have a little cherry on top with looks. Also, the colour is much more vivid on my mandocaster, and also translucent. You can't see much in this photo but it shows up some very nice wood grain (alder) with no knots or traces of any filler being used. Again, very nice to get on such an inexpensive instrument. It's also a solid mandolin, you don't feel like it's going to fall to bits on you.

    Best £127 I've spent in a long time. I'd recommend it to anyone.

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  24. #21

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    I've really been looking at these, I was a bit enamored with the Eastwood Surf Green Mandocaster, but then I discovered all of these same design mandos were coming from the same factory and you really can get them at a huge discount if you buy directly from China and pick up a Rolex too. I think I saw them for $160, they look identical, same specs and honestly, they can't really be considered knockoffs if they're all made in the same factory. I'm seriously considering laying down a big $160 just to see what I get.

  25. #22
    Registered User bob_mc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    I have one under the Monroe logo. Got it very cheap, had the frets dressed, and then upgraded PUPs and tuners using parts drawer finds.
    I prefer mine with only 4 strings; this was a revelation to me and it made it into a good utility instrument. I truly and deeply love the little mutt.

  26. #23
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    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Scratch plate plastic is in Stew Mac's stocklist, and has some adhesive paper to trace an outline to saw around .

    My Fender FM61 has a whole replacement parts collection ..
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  27. #24

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    I ended up buying one of these directly from China for $170. Out of the box it looked great, plugged it into my audio interface sounded great. Took it to my guitar/mandolin tech for a set up and will be be picking it up today. I called him yesterday to see how everything worked out and he assured me that I'd be very happy with it, he was very impressed with it. To be honest, I didn't know what I would end up with and I was ready to chalk up a $170 loss if I had to, I guess I lucked out.

  28. #25

    Default Re: Morgan Monroe MMT-1E Electric (First impressions)

    Quote Originally Posted by buchrob View Post
    http://www.moongazermusic.com/bridges.html has replacement bridge. Photos show new model installed at left and old one stacked on top of it to give an idea of change in string spacing.
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    Do you remember which bridge you purchased? I have the same mandolin and would like to upgrade the bridge. Was it the 8NPBS or MMUPB ? Thanks

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