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Thread: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

  1. #1

    Default Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    Hi there! Does anyone know anything about the model - 1970'S EPIPHONE MM-70 MANDOLIN. In pretty good condition
    Is it worth to buy? Asking price is $ 1000

  2. #2
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    Those were student level mandolins. They are not the sort of instrument that I would apply the word "vintage" to, and have no significant collector's value.
    I would estimate that one in "pretty good condition" would be worth nowhere near what the seller is asking for.

  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    Like this one?

    Or this one?

    The price doesn't appear to be exceptional.

    There a slew of old threads on these mandolins here.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    Those were student level mandolins. They are not the sort of instrument that I would apply the word "vintage" to, and have no significant collector's value.
    I would estimate that one in "pretty good condition" would be worth nowhere near what the seller is asking for.
    Thanks for your help!

  6. #5

    Default Re: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    Yes, it's like in the pictures..thanks for the help! I'll think about it twice.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Like this one?

    Or this one?

    The price doesn't appear to be exceptional.

    There a slew of old threads on these mandolins here.

    Yes, it's like in the pictures..thanks for the help! I'll think about it twice.

  8. #7
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Like this one?

    Or this one?

    The price doesn't appear to be exceptional.

    There a slew of old threads on these mandolins here.
    Not to mention the resale value being nil and finding someone that would be interested in buying it should you decide to upgrade.
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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    Here are the MM-70 specs from UsedPrice:


    Body Size F-Style
    Top Wood Solid Spruce
    Back Maple - Fiddleback
    Sides Maple - Figured
    Neck Wood Maple - Figured
    Frets 29, Nickel, Silver
    # of Strings 8
    Headstock 4+4
    String Instrument Finish Antique Sunburst

    So at least a solid top, though not specified whether carved or heat pressed. Specs aren't clear whether back and sides are solid.

    Not sure I'd go $1K for one. There are carved, all-solid-wood instruments available new for less. I guess it's not too pretentious to term a 45-50-year-old Asian-made mandolin "vintage," but that's not the term I'd apply to it. "Used" and "pre-owned" strike me as more accurate.
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    I believe both the back and the top of the ones Mike posted photos of are solid, carved top and back. Machine carved or hand carved? No matter, even a nicely carved top may not be graduated properly. The only way to grade the value of this instrument to a player is for the play to have it in hand. Like Bill said, if you pay a grand for it you can probably forget about recouping anywhere near that should you decide to sell it.

    Invest your grand into a used mandolin that will actually hold its resale value - IMO that would be a better choice.
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  12. #10

    Default Re: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Here are the MM-70 specs from UsedPrice:


    Body Size F-Style
    Top Wood Solid Spruce
    Back Maple - Fiddleback
    Sides Maple - Figured
    Neck Wood Maple - Figured
    Frets 29, Nickel, Silver
    # of Strings 8
    Headstock 4+4
    String Instrument Finish Antique Sunburst

    So at least a solid top, though not specified whether carved or heat pressed. Specs aren't clear whether back and sides are solid.

    Not sure I'd go $1K for one. There are carved, all-solid-wood instruments available new for less. I guess it's not too pretentious to term a 45-50-year-old Asian-made mandolin "vintage," but that's not the term I'd apply to it. "Used" and "pre-owned" strike me as more accurate.
    Tthanks!!

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  14. #11
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    Gibson era Epiphones have always been student level instruments.

    So far as I know, Epiphone has not built a mandolin with a hand carved top or back since at 1970 at the very latest. It is more likely that the last carved Epiphone was built before Gibson acquired the company in 1957.

  15. #12

    Default Re: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    In the late 70s when I got started, every music store I entered had a few Japanese-made F5 copies very similar to this—all solid, carved tops, fairly fancy if not world-class inlay and trim, with a ton of different brand names for pretty much the same build. The going price for a new one was $200 Cdn here. A great deal and my first was one of those. Nowadays I see these, including Epi’s from that era, going for usually between $400-$700—I might be tempted for about 350 but I doubt it. I sold mine, a Univox to an acquaintance for $250 and a pair of concert tickets in the early 90s. Used to run into him at festivals and get a chance to visit with my old F. I’d sure be curious to play it now but its been over 20 years. These were decent instruments but the standards in the $500+ range have gotten higher since then.

    Generally I would agree with the idea that a $5-700 mando from the past decade is probably better than these serviceable but imperfect 70s examples. Especially if its an Eastman or Kentucky, the worthiest competitors in that range. Unfortunately though you can also buy a brand new Epiphone in that range, I would advise against it. The brand new Epiphones actually seem worse than the 70s models were—very unsatisfactory fit and finish, feel and sound are far as I’ve experienced. And for this they want $900 now. Nah.
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  17. #13
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Vintage 1970s epiphone mm-70

    Vintage = 50's & before.. when Epiphone was a separate company.
    .. In 1957 the company was acquired by Gibson.
    It soon became the Asian Import line, doing covers of Gibson's classics..




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