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Thread: Morgan monroe

  1. #1
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    I'm looking into buying my first mandolin and have decided to go with an a-style w/f-holes to get the most for my money. #I would like something I am not going to grow out of for a long while if ever and have taken interest in Morgan Monroe mandos (model M-A1 in particular). #They claim this model to be 100% solid wood construction and it looks great at $399.

    Does anyone have info in regards to quality of construnction, tone, playabillity,etc...?

    I am able to spend $300-$450 on a mandolin. #Might someone suggest another maker of greater quality for the money I am looking to spend, or am I on the right track?

    thanks
    m dorst

  2. #2
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Personally, I would hold off and spend a little more and go Eastman from Steve Perry and Gianna Violins and go with the 505 which would be and A model with F holes.
    Tony Huber
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  3. #3
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    From what I've seen around these parts, you may be able to catch a nice used Mid-Missouri mandolin for that kind of money used at some point. These were made in USA from a now out of business company. From what I've read they appear to be great and they get really good reviews here.
    "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." -Longfellow

  4. #4
    Tony Bare
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    I know that we can only spend what we can spend. In the price range you are looking at you are stuck with Pac rim mandos. With them you have to play them. Most of them are going to be hard to play and sound like dung but you may find one that is better than the others. Make sure it has at least a solid top. Check out used. I found a morgan monroe MM3 "F" with a TKL case at a pawn shop for $250. If you look around you may do ok in your price range. PS I am going to pull the back off that MM3, regraduate the top and back and voice the tone bars,strip that thick plastic finish and put a thin laquer finish and see if I can make a real mando out of it.
    Tony Bare

  5. #5

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    For $100 you can buy a Saga kit and build your own. I would put my kit up against any mando in that price range.

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    Every now and then, someone asks about Morgan Monroe. In my early days, not knowing very much, I bought one. It played okay. After I got to looking at other mandolins and comparing, I realized it had a lot of fit and finish flaws, and was basically built like a piece of junk. I was ashamed of it. I wrote the company, and got nothing. So, my conclusion is they have no pride or concern for their product. I wouldn't have one if you gave it to me. That having been said, I picked up one in a local music store and have to admit it played rather nicely. It was a more expensive model than you are looking at. For all I know it could fall apart at any minute. Other than my .02, I basically agree with the other comments...particularly check out Gianna...very helpful, very knowledgeable, very honest. Does care about his customers.
    Pat Hull
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  7. #7
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    I own a Morgan Monroe MMS-2. F style...no finish flaws, plays great and a good investment on my part.

    How mant "finish Flaws" will there be on the "Saga kit" if you were to build it.

    Look it over good and if you like it buy it...If down the road you want something better (it's called MAS) trade it off or keep it for a beater...go for it
    Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

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  8. #8

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    The M-1A is all solid construction with a spruce top and mahogany back and sides.

    These are great sounding and playing mandolins for the price point.

    As far as the gentleman who said he bought the mandolin with finish flaws and that we (Morgan Monroe) did not want to do anything about it,,,, likely we did give the dealer a discount and it was up to who ever he bought it from to pass that discount along. This is the same way any other company would handle this sort of issue (finish flaws)From Eastman to Gibson, and it in no way reflects on the pride or concern that we have for our mandolins.

    I wonder why you did not take it back to the store that you bought it at. I would have.

    One final note for you, with the proper set up you will find that most mandolins can be made to play easily (provided the neck angle is correct) if it was me I would want to play the exact mandolin that I was going to buy (regardless of the brand name) and if at all possible get it from a local supplier, so that any customer service would be handled by someone I knew and could trust.

    I hope this helps

    Mike
    Mike

    www.morganmonroe.com
    www.shsint.net

    Morgan Monroe Woods and Tones

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    hmm...looks like I should find a reputable dealer close to home and try it out for myself.

    thanks to all for your replies
    m dorst

  10. #10
    String Plucker Soupy1957's Avatar
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    There are a LOT of Mando's in that price range to look at. The "Eye Candy" section in this Cafe has a few of them.

    You'll find that Eastman, Epiphone, Fender, Washburn, Kentucky and others all have models that sell for comprable prices.

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    Not a lot of differences between Epiphones, Washburns, and Fenders in my experience. You will absolutely have to pony up about $60 bucks for a set up so you'll be paying about $450 dollars for a mandolin that you'll probably be dying to get rid of in 2 years and you'd be lucky to sell for $225. I would save up a bit more and shop around.
    Steve

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    I was recently at the Southern Ohio Music Festival and a verndor there had the Morgon Monroe mandos. #I picked one up out of curiosity. #For the price, they seemed great. #I didn't see any major set-up problems. #Playability seemed good.

    So for $400 if the dealer would make sure the set-up is right and stand behind it, it sounds like a decent deal. #I know our Morgon Monroe guy (Mike) would help steer you if you did have trouble. #Nice to have one of the reps right here.
    Scott
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  13. #13
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    My Morgan Monroe is my main mandolin. It first it startes out pretty weak sounding and was pretty quiet. After a while I put a new bridge, new tuners, and a toneguard on it. Also I-don't do this if you want to keep your warantee-thinned the finish a little bit using micromesh (I would not recommend doing that unless you have a lot of time and patience)
    After it opened up it is the best sounding mandolin that I have ever heard that is under $1000. Actually, I like it better then the Gibson F-9s. But that is only personal preference.

    Micah
    Saving my 2 cents for a dollar.

  14. #14

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    I picked up a "blem" MM-6 off the classified here about a year ago. Got it with a hard case at a good price.

    Took a chance but after some TLC with a coulpe of up-grades it sounds as good as some Flatirons I have played & the Flatiron owners agreed!

    Don't buy what others tell you to buy just listen to the advice and then buy what your heart tells you. Its all a learning experience, don't buy any instrument with the idea that you will make money off of it when you sell buy it to make music unless your a dealer/collector.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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    I'm very happy with my MMS-2. Had it for several years now. It is heavier than my Flati A, but that is to be expected. I agree with the MM rep, you have to play one to know one. Good luck. Let us hear when you finally make a decision.

    --Brent

  16. #16
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Morgan Monroe seems to be the brand to slam around here for some reason.
    "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." -Longfellow

  17. #17
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    I owned a Bean Blossom BFM-300 for a little bit and thought it was a good mandolin for the price. I had some set-up done, but it was fun to play. It was "sharper" than I like, as I am more of an old-time player, so I passed it on to a Bluegrass player who would appreciate it more. That is the only reason I no longer own it and would not hesitate to recommend it to others.
    Gary Blanchard
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  18. #18
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    I have a MM MMS-3, it's a hell of a lot better than me. It'll take me years to out grow it.

  19. #19
    Registered User Frank Russell's Avatar
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    Several years ago, after playing only A models, I was looking for an affordable F model. I made the unfortunate decision to buy a Morgan Monroe from Folk of the Wood. Double trouble. This was back when FOTW did not have the horrible reputation it suffers from now, and as a matter of fact, I received a pretty good beat down here on the Cafe when I complained about the deal. Things have changed. One thing that remains the same: I would never buy a Morgan Monroe again. The one I bought was shipped to me with a big dent/crack in the side. The only good thing about this was that I was able to see how shoddy the sides were. They were thin as potato chips, and reminded me of the really cheap wood paneling popular in the 70s. Overall, it was a pretty mandolin, but the quality of the materials was covered by flash. I know sides are thin on most mandolins, but I could have poked a hole in this thing with a fingernail. After a long battle with FOTW, I got talked by them into trading up into a flattop Weber. I wouldn't take a free Morgan Monroe now. Fool me once. Hopefully, they've improved, and I know some folks love them. I'm not sold. Frank
    FJ Russell


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