Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 33

Thread: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

  1. #1

    Question Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    I do not know much about mandolins. I play guitar and this will be my first mandolin. I have been reading alot about the different manufacturers. I plan to spend about $500. The information I have seen seems to state that at this price range, some people like the Epiphone mm-50 and some feel that there are better brands for the money. Please give me some guidance. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User Chris Biorkman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Camarillo, CA
    Posts
    2,275

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Don't do it. There are better mandolins for the money. Talk to Dennis at the Mandolin Store. He'll get you a good one for the $.
    Heiden F-5 #110
    GMC Terrain VIN 2GTEC13Z871107423
    2007 Tempurpedic mattress
    $1.35 in assorted change

  3. The following members say thank you to Chris Biorkman for this post:


  4. #3
    Destroyer of Mandolins
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    5,017

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Hi and welcome!

    Yes, there are any number of those who have gotten lucky and found a good copy of that mandolin. Still others are happy for other reasons. But you can indeed do better for the money with far less risk of disappointment.
    Dedicated Ovation player
    Avid Bose user

  5. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    25,391

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Put the mouse down and step away from the computer....

    Not really. Most of us that play guitar assume that since that Epi is made by Gibson it's probably a great deal. Chances are that you can do a lot better. Don't get sucked in by the hype. If you're sold on an F style then take a look at the Eastman models. Used gets you near your budget, new is a little more. If you can live with an A style you'll get more bang for your buck. Check out the Kentucky KM-505.

  6. The following members say thank you to MikeEdgerton for this post:


  7. #5
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Co. Mayo, Ireland
    Posts
    3,399

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    You can do better than the Epi for that money - check out the Rover RM75, it's in your price range and well thought of by the folks here who own them. Here's a link for it at the Mandolin Store if you want to see specs and hear a soundclip:

    http://www.themandolinstore.com/scri...idproduct=8383

    Cheers,
    Jill
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    2018 Frank Tate tenor guitar
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel

  8. #6

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    The Rover RM-75 is on sale right now from the manufacture till Dec. 24th Do a search in Google and click on the Shopping link to find the lowest price.

    Looks like you can get it for $354 delivered.
    Per Mandolin Cafe Guidelines Please know I am a vendor of Mandolin products.

  9. #7

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    i stopped hankering after a MM-50 the minute my new LM Loar 600 arrived. i liked the idea of epiphone - sort of like a VW ... the "people's mandolin" ... steady, reliable, good solid instrument that will get you there but not necessarily in style.

    a little more money will get you a LOT more mandolin.

  10. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wales, UK.
    Posts
    826

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Hey Merrira,
    I have an Epiphone MM30, the A model not the F, but I imagine they will be similar instruments. the Epiphone is a lovely lokking mandolin, and I too twenty years ago was attracted to the Gibson name on the headstock. But the materials are not sufficient to produce a satisfying sound, in the pre-internet days I didn't know there was better out there for a similar price.
    I realise the Kentucky is above the price range you mention (unless you look for a 505) but I produced this video to demonstrate the relative qualities.
    Last edited by danb; Dec-23-2021 at 9:39am.

  11. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Whitinsville, Ma
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    I've tried some of the Epi A styles and thought them easy playing and OK for a first mando. IMO they do not have the volumn or quite the tone of a more expensive instrument but, they do cost less. If ur getting the mando for just a few songs then not a bad choice. On the other hand, if you plan to do more than just strum a few tunes then look at something with broader appeal ( resale value). A little more money opens up more choice.

  12. #10
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    2,874

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    The Epi is ok, but really not worth the money. For the same money the Rover RM75 is a good step up in quality. If you don't need an F style (the one with the fancy scroll on the body), you can get an excellent mandolin by going for a Kentucky KM-505. The people at the Mandolin Store as well as several others, such as Fiddlers Green Music Shop here in Austin, can lead you to the best choice for the money. Keep in mind that mandolins cost about twice the price of equivalent quality guitars.
    Jammin' south of the river
    '20 Gibson A-2
    Stromberg-Voisinet Tenor Guitar
    Penny Whistle
    My albums: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?u=7616

  13. #11
    Registered User John Kinn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    691

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    My first mandolin was an Epi MM-50. DONT buy one! Mine was a mandolin-shaped object you could have driven over by a truck. No chop, no response, very thin sound. Good advice from all the people here: Kentucky A, Eastman A, Rover. All these will be far better instruments than an Epi (unless they have upgraded them drastically during the years since I bought mine, which I doubt.) Remember that even beginners need fairly good, well set up and playable instruments. Good luck with your search and merry Xmas!
    John

  14. #12
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,848

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    The name meant more before Gibson bought out Epiphone.. and sent the name off to be re imported.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  15. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Central Missouri
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    I'll have to 2nd or 5th the Kentucky 505.

  16. #14
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    17,288

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    The name meant more before Gibson bought out Epiphone.. and sent the name off to be re imported.
    Amen. For a period after Gibson purchased the company in 1957, Epiphone was a "second line" for Gibson in Kalamazoo. For example, the Epiphone Texan guitar was a Gibson J-50 with different inlays and finish. You could save a few dollars buying what was an equivalent product. But the temptation to cash in on the heritage of Epiphone instruments, by sticking the nameplate on a line of lower-end imports, was too strong. Now a quality brand started nearly a century ago by Epi Stathopoulo, is just a label on some Asian-made mediocrity -- with the possible exception of the new Masterbilt instruments, which are getting decent reviews as good-quality imports. If Gibson comes out with a Masterbilt mandolin, it may be well worth consideration.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  17. #15

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Would paying $385US for a used Epiphone MM-50 that appears to be in excellent shape be worth jumping on?

  18. #16

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by senorsquishy View Post
    Would paying $385US for a used Epiphone MM-50 that appears to be in excellent shape be worth jumping on?
    The general consensus would be "no." Read the above replies to see why.
    Soliver arm rested and Tone-Garded Northfield Model M with D’Addario NB 11.5-41, picked with a Wegen Bluegrass 1.4

  19. #17
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Capitol of MI
    Posts
    2,791

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    +1 for Kentucky km505 for a few $$ more.
    Living’ in the Mitten

  20. #18

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by senorsquishy View Post
    Would paying $385US for a used Epiphone MM-50 that appears to be in excellent shape be worth jumping on?
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0137.jpg 
Views:	411 
Size:	1.44 MB 
ID:	148843

    The above pic is the MM-50 I owned. As you can see, the model can be quite the looker. I bought it used but I don't think it was ever played because it was near mint. I'm thinking I had to have hit the jackpot and gotten one of the good ones because to this day it had the best action of any mandolin I've touched. I was able to get the strings really low without buzzing or sacrificing any of the tone it was capable of and it as a dream to play.

    But it was the limits of that the tone that was the problem. It wasn't nearly as bad as one of the above examples ('No chop, no response, very thin sound') but it was still quite poor by comparison to the higher quality mandolins I've played since then.

    Here's the kicker: I paid $145 for it. At that price it's probably the best starter in the world. $385? No. Just...no.
    Last edited by Chris Daniels; Aug-12-2016 at 9:05am.
    Northfield F5S Amber #347 - 'Squeeze'
    Mann EM-5 Hollow Body - Gimme Moore
    Kentucky KM-270 - Not just for whisky
    Flatiron 1N Pancake - Not just for breakfast
    Epiphone Mandobird IV - Djangly
    Cozart 8-string e-mando - El Ch(e)apo
    Lanikai LB6-S Banjolele (tuned GDAE) - Plinky and the Brane

  21. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    I have an Epiphone MM 50 and it's a great starter mandolin. I have played other MM 50s and though they sounded terrible in comparison. I don't know if I just got lucky and got a good one or if they made better models in certain years or certain places (they have been made in different countries over the years - at least Japan and Korea that I know of).

    Look at the pics in the post above and look at the pics in this thread where I asked about mine:

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/sh...light=epiphone

    They definitely look different. Mine has inlays in the fretboard and no florida. The advice in this thread is good. You'd probably be better off going with an Eastman or Kentucky because those are much more consistent. But I know that at least the one I have is nearly as good as an Eastman or Kentucky (not the top of the line for either, I'm talking about the "lower end" versions of these).

  22. #20
    Market Man Barry Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,605

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    My first mandolin was an Epiphone... it lead me to this place/forum, so it has some merits LOL
    Kala tenor ukulele, Mandobird, Godin A8, Dobro Mandolin, Gold Tone mandola, Gold Tone OM, S'oarsey mandocello, Gold Tone Irish tenor banjo, Gold Tone M bass, Taylor 214 CE Koa, La Patrie Concert CW, Fender Strat powered by Roland, Yamaha TRBX174 bass, Epiphone ES-339 with GK1

  23. #21
    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Kerrville, Texas
    Posts
    1,945

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    My first mandolin was an mm 50 (Korean). It was decent but not great. I spent a lot of money with upgrades when I should just bought a better instrument. I have yet to play a Chinese made one that did not sound thin and tinny.

  24. #22
    Lost my boots in transit terzinator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    1,589

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Starter mandolins should be used ones, in my opinion. (I know, someone has to buy them new, but they're probably not reading this thread.)

    If you buy used, you can be fairly confident you'll get most of your money back when you sell it. Especially if you can find one locally, and don't have to pay shipping. (Or if the seller covers your shipping!) For a used instrument, if you tend to it well, it's like money in the bank. It might not earn interest, but banks don't pay much interest these days.

    So, buy the best you can afford now, and then save for when MAS strikes again. And it will strike again, I guarantee it.

    KM505 is a great call. I haven't played the new iteration of it, but I love (and own) the older one. A great value if you can find a used one. (Probably $400 or less. I see a couple in the classifieds now, as it happens.)

  25. #23
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO & Chesterfield, MO
    Posts
    2,562

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by senorsquishy View Post
    Would paying $385US for a used Epiphone MM-50 that appears to be in excellent shape be worth jumping on?
    I'll jump on an Epiphone MM-50 for half that if it will render it unfix-able. I weigh about 220 pounds. Do you think my jumping on it would break it beyond repair?

  26. #24

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_al View Post
    I'll jump on an Epiphone MM-50 for half that if it will render it unfix-able. I weigh about 220 pounds. Do you think my jumping on it would break it beyond repair?


    I found the MM-50's solid top to be rather thin, which helped it resonate somewhat but was likely the main source of the lacking tone. A good hop should do it.

    C.
    Northfield F5S Amber #347 - 'Squeeze'
    Mann EM-5 Hollow Body - Gimme Moore
    Kentucky KM-270 - Not just for whisky
    Flatiron 1N Pancake - Not just for breakfast
    Epiphone Mandobird IV - Djangly
    Cozart 8-string e-mando - El Ch(e)apo
    Lanikai LB6-S Banjolele (tuned GDAE) - Plinky and the Brane

  27. #25
    Registered User Sandhills Hunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    I'd go with Eastman, Kentucky or Loar. I have a MM50 that was given to me when I first started playing. I still have it and take it camping regularly. I have a F made by a builder in Arkansas that plays and sounds a lot better than the MM50.
    Epiphone MM 50
    Gathright #6

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

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