Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

  1. #1
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,125

    Default Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    Did a gig with mine today - a beautiful Mando. I have posted about it before, but when things just work, they work. NFI.
    JBovier ELS; Epiphone MM-50 VN; Epiphone MM-40L; Gretsch New Yorker G9310; Washburn M1SDLB;

    Fender Nashville Deluxe Telecaster; Squier Modified Vintage Cabronita Telecaster; Gretsch 5420T; Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat: Washburn Banjo B9; Ibanez RB 5string; Ibanez RB 4 string bass

    Pedalboard for ELS: Morley Cry baby Miniwah - Tuner - EHX Soul Food Overdrive - EHX Memory Toy analog Delay
    Fender Blues Jr Tweed; Fender Greta;

  2. #2
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Kent, Washington
    Posts
    711

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    I dig the look of those! I've never played one but I'm sure it would suit my needs for a backup/(better than) beater.

    Do you know how the Epi compares to the Gretsch Oval F with the Fishman?
    Last edited by Zach Wilson; Oct-28-2018 at 11:41am. Reason: Spelling

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Conneaut Lake, PA
    Posts
    4,055

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    David- question for you. It’s made in China, right? When you look at all the on line sites, Guitar Center, Musician’s Friend, Sweetwater, etc. they ALL say “country of origin United States”. I don’t believe that for one second, but I thought I would check.

    It looks to me to have much in common with the Gretsch Park Avenue. Same factory perhaps? But no pickup. So at 699 too much money for what you get IMHO. Like the Gretsch, solid wood but not carved, pressed into shape. Cool looks but if I were in the market for an Asian made F style oval hole I would probably be looking at an Eastman 514. At least then you would be getting carved plates. The Mandolin Store has a nice looking used one for 749 right now, not too much more than the 699 Epiphone, and you would have to buy a case for the Epi. The Eastman includes it. That said, I would certainly test drive the Epi if I ever saw one in a store. All the online sources are listing it as “out of stock- preorder”. And I have never seen one actually on display in a store.
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

  4. The following members say thank you to multidon for this post:


  5. #4
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Kent, Washington
    Posts
    711

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    I think you're right about the Eastman 514, Don. Those do look pretty sweet! I'm wondering how a 514 ages? I played one at Dusty Strings and it sounded a tad thin... could be that I had just played an Oval Weber before though.

    I saw The Mandolin Store had one, good deal, those guys are top notch! Xmas bonus is right around the corner... and I got MAS.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread.

    I'd like to get that Epi in my hands too before buying.

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Zach Wilson For This Useful Post:


  7. #5
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,125

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    I got mine for half price - 600 AUstralian which is about 400 Us. I don’t doubt your opinion but I really like my epi. There’s not a great deal of mandos under 1000 here and Eastman’s for example seem to be just out of my price range. So I suppose I lucked out.
    JBovier ELS; Epiphone MM-50 VN; Epiphone MM-40L; Gretsch New Yorker G9310; Washburn M1SDLB;

    Fender Nashville Deluxe Telecaster; Squier Modified Vintage Cabronita Telecaster; Gretsch 5420T; Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat: Washburn Banjo B9; Ibanez RB 5string; Ibanez RB 4 string bass

    Pedalboard for ELS: Morley Cry baby Miniwah - Tuner - EHX Soul Food Overdrive - EHX Memory Toy analog Delay
    Fender Blues Jr Tweed; Fender Greta;

  8. The following members say thank you to David Lewis for this post:

    Seter 

  9. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Conneaut Lake, PA
    Posts
    4,055

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    You got a great price David. At that price I would consider it, if I played one and liked the tone. I just think there’s better choices for 700 dollars out there. But you are also correct that there are very few oval hole F style choices at an entry level price. You like it, and that’s the important thing. I wonder if there will ever be one pop up in a store for me to try?

    It IS made in China. Correct?
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

  10. #7
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,125

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    You got a great price David. At that price I would consider it, if I played one and liked the tone. I just think there’s better choices for 700 dollars out there. But you are also correct that there are very few oval hole F style choices at an entry level price. You like it, and that’s the important thing. I wonder if there will ever be one pop up in a store for me to try?

    It IS made in China. Correct?
    I think so... where it's made has never bothered me - good gear is good gear, rubbish gear is rubbish gear. It depends on the factory, of course.

    Entry level price, yes, but not an entry level mandolin...

    To the posters who asked about the Gretsch - it MIGHT be the same Mando, but they play a bit differently. The Fishman quietens it acoustically, and makes it a bit heavier. I haven't heard the Gretsch through an amp. If it sounded good, I might trade my Epi for it... but then I mightn't....

    My 'dream' Mando is a Coombe, or a Gibson...

    Thank you all for your thoughts: I do appreciate them.
    JBovier ELS; Epiphone MM-50 VN; Epiphone MM-40L; Gretsch New Yorker G9310; Washburn M1SDLB;

    Fender Nashville Deluxe Telecaster; Squier Modified Vintage Cabronita Telecaster; Gretsch 5420T; Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat: Washburn Banjo B9; Ibanez RB 5string; Ibanez RB 4 string bass

    Pedalboard for ELS: Morley Cry baby Miniwah - Tuner - EHX Soul Food Overdrive - EHX Memory Toy analog Delay
    Fender Blues Jr Tweed; Fender Greta;

  11. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Conneaut Lake, PA
    Posts
    4,055

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    David- I believe you missed my point. I don’t mind that it’s made in China, probably more mandolins made there now than anywhere else, what I do mind is the online retailers listing “Country of origin- United States” when that’s clearly untrue. Deceptive marketing always bothers me. It needs to be called out.

    Thank you for your insight about the effect of the built in pickup on the Gretsch. Makes sense. I would see that as a choice for someone who mostly plugs in.

    I hope one of those Epiphones shows up at a local store for me. You have me curious about it.
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

  12. #9
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,125

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    David- I believe you missed my point. I don’t mind that it’s made in China, probably more mandolins made there now than anywhere else, what I do mind is the online retailers listing “Country of origin- United States” when that’s clearly untrue. Deceptive marketing always bothers me. It needs to be called out.

    Thank you for your insight about the effect of the built in pickup on the Gretsch. Makes sense. I would see that as a choice for someone who mostly plugs in.

    I hope one of those Epiphones shows up at a local store for me. You have me curious about it.
    My most profound apologies. I do agree with you on that.
    JBovier ELS; Epiphone MM-50 VN; Epiphone MM-40L; Gretsch New Yorker G9310; Washburn M1SDLB;

    Fender Nashville Deluxe Telecaster; Squier Modified Vintage Cabronita Telecaster; Gretsch 5420T; Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat: Washburn Banjo B9; Ibanez RB 5string; Ibanez RB 4 string bass

    Pedalboard for ELS: Morley Cry baby Miniwah - Tuner - EHX Soul Food Overdrive - EHX Memory Toy analog Delay
    Fender Blues Jr Tweed; Fender Greta;

  13. #10
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Kent, Washington
    Posts
    711

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    A couple things I like about the Epi over the Gretcsh... I haven't played either, however.

    The peg head on the Gretcsh is awful. Epi +1

    The faux tortoise binding is sick! Epi +1

    Otherwise the Gretcsh has a pickup that I've never heard.

  14. The following members say thank you to Zach Wilson for this post:


  15. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Conneaut Lake, PA
    Posts
    4,055

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    I agree with Zach about the peg head. I much prefer the aesthetics of the Epiphone over the Gretsch. A snakehead, and kind of vintage looking too.
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

  16. The following members say thank you to multidon for this post:


  17. #12

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Wilson View Post
    I think you're right about the Eastman 514, Don. Those do look pretty sweet! I'm wondering how a 514 ages? I played one at Dusty Strings and it sounded a tad thin... could be that I had just played an Oval Weber before though.

    I saw The Mandolin Store had one, good deal, those guys are top notch! Xmas bonus is right around the corner... and I got MAS.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread.

    I'd like to get that Epi in my hands too before buying.
    Yes, after playing a Weber, an Eastman is going to sound thin. Primary reason I upgraded after four months. I kept playing Weber, Collings, and Northfield. Luck had me buying my Silverangel.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  18. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Conneaut Lake, PA
    Posts
    4,055

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    One thing I forgot to mention though. All Eastman oval holes, A and F style, have 12 fret necks with the fret board glued to the top, ala old Gibson style. These are going to sound and play differently than the modern “hybrid” oval holes with 14 fret long necks and elevated fret boards. Also, it makes a difference whether oval holes are x braced, which the modern ones often are, and tone bars, which I think the Eastman has. Lots of variability out there in oval hole designs.
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

  19. #14
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Kent, Washington
    Posts
    711

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    One thing I forgot to mention though. All Eastman oval holes, A and F style, have 12 fret necks with the fret board glued to the top, ala old Gibson style. These are going to sound and play differently than the modern “hybrid” oval holes with 14 fret long necks and elevated fret boards. Also, it makes a difference whether oval holes are x braced, which the modern ones often are, and tone bars, which I think the Eastman has. Lots of variability out there in oval hole designs.
    That's good to know! Thank you for your knowledge. The store I'm going to on Saturday has a 514. I'm gonna have to try it... but, this time, before the Webers and Collins

  20. #15

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    I bought an MM-40L about six months ago and I love it. It gives me some variety over my Eastman 504: the Epi has a mellow, intimate tone and the Eastman seeems a bit brighter and louder. I play Celtic tunes primarily so I tend toward the oval holes. The Epi also looks truly beautiful.

    This said, I paid under the $699 list price for ďlike newĒ on Reverb, and if I was going to spend $700 on an F2 style I would save up and get an Eastman 514. As it is, I love the Epi for the price I paid.

    What I donít understand, though, is why MF, Sweetwater, etc donít have them in stock. You can pre-order, but itís like itís a brand new model. How did I get one? Why arenít there more of these out there? I know ovals arenít the most popular, but these things are like some secret or something!

  21. #16

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    Zach,remember this when you play that Eastman. it's like a plain Jane Ford Falcon from 1969, its no were near as good as a Shelby Mustang with a 427 cid engine. both of them will get you were you want to go but with the Shelby you will need a change of under wear. both good but very different.

  22. #17
    A mandolin ripped my soul Andrea Laudicina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Milano, Italy
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    [...] Like the Gretsch, solid wood but not carved, pressed into shape. [...]
    Can anyone please point me to at least one reliable source where I could have way to update my knowledge about this particular niche? Is this "pressed top" configuration to be possibly found on archtop guitars as well?

    And what about the actual manufacturing procedure within diverse Asian mandolin makers?

    I've been reading sparse but increasingly consistent opinions about various quality levels of many PacRim firms that shell out mandolins by the pound. Well, since some time I had stumbled upon forum members reporting such feature, and their words seem to have been copied from the previous entry or read from a preset plot. Since nowhere else I ever heard of those so-called pressed plates, now I wonder if we're seeing yet another subtle hyergal word creeping up among the much despicable sales pitch and hype vocabulary in which nearly every manufacturer of musical instruments shamelessly wallows.

    As if we hadn't had enough of translating, for example, "spruce" into "laminated spruce" and "solid spruce" into "spruce"... Whereas until maybe only a few years ago all the average musician was to know did encompass the old laminated vs. solid knowledge.

    Such a not-too-subtle distinction between a pressed and a carved solid top apparently spread around fast but only recently... Fact is, every research attempt I performed came to naught. Forum subscribers are the only people who actually seem capable of telling who makes what, yet they remain vague and perhaps take for granted the notion that all Asian mandolins are made equal, the price tag being the main or the only watershed about sheer quality. Official sites won't say a word about this, of course, as far as the commercial hype goes.

    I might as well have had the chance of replying with the same exact words to any of many threads revolving around imports' quality where there's a reference to this "pressed top" notion. I chose this one just because I was doing some research about both new and old A & F stile Epiphone mandolins - that's that.

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by Andrea Laudicina; Nov-15-2019 at 10:54am.
    If music was an apple, I'd be the snake ~~~~~<ů

    1982 Ibanez 511 'snakehead' [A]
    2019 Epiphone EF30ASGH1 [A]
    1999 Epiphone MM-50 [F]
    1976 Ibanez pre-serial 524 [F]
    2011 Avanthage MA 009 [F]
    1988 Sinfonia C 481 [portuguese]
    2006 Privitera Neapolitan [classical]

  23. #18

    Default Re: Anyone else have the Epiphone MM-40 L?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea Laudicina View Post
    Can anyone please point me to at least one reliable source where I could have way to update my knowledge about this particular niche? Is this "pressed top" configuration to be possibly found on archtop guitars as well?

    And what about the actual manufacturing procedure within diverse Asian mandolin makers?

    I've been reading sparse but increasingly consistent opinions about various quality levels of many PacRim firms that shell out mandolins by the pound. Well, since some time I had stumbled upon forum members reporting such feature, and their words seem to have been copied from the previous entry or read from a preset plot. Since nowhere else I ever heard of those so-called pressed plates, now I wonder if we're seeing yet another subtle hyergal word creeping up among the much despicable sales pitch and hype vocabulary in which nearly every manufacturer of musical instruments shamelessly wallows.

    As if we hadn't had enough of translating, for example, "spruce" into "laminated spruce" and "solid spruce" into "spruce"... Whereas until maybe only a few years ago all the average musician was to know did encompass the old laminated vs. solid knowledge.

    Such a not-too-subtle distinction between a pressed and a carved solid top apparently spread around fast but only recently... Fact is, every research attempt I performed came to naught. Forum subscribers are the only people who actually seem capable of telling who makes what, yet they remain vague and perhaps take for granted the notion that all Asian mandolins are made equal, the price tag being the main or the only watershed about sheer quality. Official sites won't say a word about this, of course, as far as the commercial hype goes.

    I might as well have had the chance of replying with the same exact words to any of many threads revolving around imports' quality where there's a reference to this "pressed top" notion. I chose this one just because I was doing some research about both new and old A & F stile Epiphone mandolins - that's that.

    Thank you in advance.
    Generally lower priced mandolins will have a laminate top or a solid pressed top. They are much cheaper to make, and also usually do not sound as good.
    The words in the description you should look for, which generally match up, but are not always accurate are:

    "hand carved solid spruce" = solid top carved by a person, by hand
    "carved solid spruce" = solid top carved by a machine and/or person, not always clear
    "solid spruce" = solid top pressed, not carved
    "spruce" = laminate/plywood pressed top

    Same goes for back & sides descriptions.
    These descriptions are not always correct, but are the best that we have.
    Eastman mandolins, known for having hand carved tops, only say "solid spruce" in their materials. So it is not a hard and fast rule by any means.
    Best, Stevo

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •