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Thread: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

  1. #1

    Default 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

    I'd like to purchase a 4-string, solid body electric mandolin to keep at my workplace office. I would like to be able to close my office door and work on fretboard study exercises without the person in the next office being able to hear me.

    I can't find many options to purchase online. Any ideas on brands or places to look. I'm looking for decent quality and would be willing to spend +/- $1,000. Thanks!

  2. #2
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

    Some times Ukes, with a magnetic pickup , so requiring steel strings , is a niche market search term to use..

    decades back I just had one built .. http://emando.com/images/builders/Biller_small.jpg
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  3. #3

    Default Re: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

    I just bought an 8-string Eastwood Mandocaster, at first look it is well made and seems good. I haven't plugged it in yet so can't speak to how it sounds, how the pick ups are, etc.

    Eastwood was just offering a 10% discount and free shipping so it came out to right around $450.
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    Registered User JonDoug's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

    Plenty of people with a lot more experience with 4-string solids than I have around here, but I've enjoyed my "Warren Ellis Mandostang" from Eastwood Guitars. They are $450 shipped, although they appeared to be out of them last I looked.

    You should know that these Indonesia-built instruments will require setup. That isn't news, but I was still a little surprised at how far off the mark it was. I had to take a couple of springs off the bridge to get intonation right, and bridge height, pickup height, and truss rod all needed major changes. Ten months in and plenty of play time, it works fine, but it still would benefit from a trip to a luthier to adjust the nut.

    Overlooking setup, the quality is reasonable and I'm very happy to have it: frets are done well, tuners stay in tune, pots and plug work great, I've never had hum, and the sound is pleasing to me (through my practice amp). The "sort-of-Fendery" vibe works, I think (I have the classic sunburst color). However, a fret marker on the 9th fret instead of the Mando-world standard 10th is fairly annoying!

    I hope you find the right instrument for you!

  6. #5

    Default Re: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

    I bought an Andrew Jerman for about 1/2 your budget early this year that is a 4 string electric. It was used, but I think his new ones come in around $1000.

    I am very happy with it. I don't have a lot of experience with electric mandolins, but I have played a few and I consider this a good instrument.

  7. #6
    Likes quaint instruments poul hansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

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    Default Re: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

    I'd start with emando.com first. If there isn't anything on his website that interests you then look through his builder database. I don't know if a five string interests you but I know he has two for sale, both of which I am completing a setup on, that are in your budget. I haven't any financial interest in them. The black emando branded one and the two point are the ones in my shop. I could also recommend Belvoir in the UK and John L. Smith in Florida. Both fantastic builders.

  9. #8
    Luthier&Pickup maker ret. Soundfarmer Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

    If you plan to practice in the office, maybe one of these ....... might even fit in a desk drawer (NFI)...... https://www.belvoirguitars.co.uk/travel-series

  10. #9

    Default Re: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

    Quote Originally Posted by Relio View Post
    I'd like to purchase a 4-string, solid body electric mandolin to keep at my workplace office. I would like to be able to close my office door and work on fretboard study exercises without the person in the next office being able to hear me.

    I can't find many options to purchase online. Any ideas on brands or places to look. I'm looking for decent quality and would be willing to spend +/- $1,000. Thanks!
    You can always string an 8 as a 4 if need be.

    I have a Fender 5-string that I use on the run. It's a semi-hollow so it's light but built as an electric so has just enough volume for working on chops.
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    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

    I bought one of these cheap no name eight strings and changed it to four.Took the covers off the pickups and it sounds good.Solid mahogany weighs 4lb 12oz
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  13. #11
    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

    If I were looking for a 4 string, this would be a very serious consideration.
    Just received a new 5 string from this builder, John Gonzalez del Solar in Richmond VA. (NFI)
    I am extremely pleased with the fit and finish as well as the robust amplified sound.

  14. #12
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

    I had an Epi four string. Great balance, and the fit and finish was smooth as anything I'd ever felt. It was certainly better the the Kentucky four string electric mando. FWIW I second emando.com as a good stop to shop. That Belmuse link from Pete was also enticing. Don't discount the idea of an electric mandola; same fingerings but different sounds and if/when you plug in, well you're in a different sonic space than the mando and the guitar.
    Axes: Jerman custom 5 string, Eastman MD-515 & El Rey
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Rivera Clubster Royale Recording Head & R212 cab; Laney Cub 10 & Cub 212 Cab

  15. #13
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4-String, Solid Body Electric Mandolin Options

    I bought one of the mandocasters that Fender reissued a few years ago. It’s entirely satisfactory and you can probably find a used one. They were built in Asia and pretty cheap.

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