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

  1. #26
    Still a mandolin fighter Mandophyte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    I'm being offered an Epiphone MM 50 with a Gibson marked trussrod cover. The serial number is 96090008.
    Can anyone tell me how old it is, where is was made and what I ought to pay for it.
    Many thanks.
    John

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  2. #27
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    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

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    John

    Social Groups: FFcP, A Song-a-Week
    ABC. Notation for the tabophobic: ABC intro, ABCexplorer, Making Music with ABC Plus by Guido Gonzato.
    FFcP: Just do it! (Any genre, (Honest!) just ignore the jazz references.)
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  3. #28
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    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Well . . .

    It's an Asian mandolin. The serial number decoder I found, if accurate, indicates it was made in 1996 by Samick in Korea.

    I've played quite a few Asian Epiphone mandolins from several periods.
    The best ones were mediocre student instruments.
    The worst ones were awful.
    More of them were bad rather than mediocre. Finding a good one is a gamble with rather long odds.

    You might be better off keeping your money in your pocket. I suspect that even in your part of the world that better Asian built mandolins by Eastman and Kentucky can be found for not too much money. I feel comfortable recommending either of those brands to my beginning students. I don't feel comfortable recommending Epiphone mandolins to anyone.

    For what it's worth, a reputable US dealer [Elderly Instruments] listed a similar mandolin for $385 US.

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    rcc56,
    Many thanks for your distilled wisdom.
    John

    Social Groups: FFcP, A Song-a-Week
    ABC. Notation for the tabophobic: ABC intro, ABCexplorer, Making Music with ABC Plus by Guido Gonzato.
    FFcP: Just do it! (Any genre, (Honest!) just ignore the jazz references.)
    Eastman 604, 2007 | Thomas Buchanan Octave Mandolin, 2010

  5. #30
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    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    There’s a shop in Stonehaven (depends how NE in Scotland you are?) which had a couple of Kentucky mandolins in stock the last time I was there. Any of these would likely be better than an Asian Epiphone.

  6. #31
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    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    Cheers Ray.
    John

    Social Groups: FFcP, A Song-a-Week
    ABC. Notation for the tabophobic: ABC intro, ABCexplorer, Making Music with ABC Plus by Guido Gonzato.
    FFcP: Just do it! (Any genre, (Honest!) just ignore the jazz references.)
    Eastman 604, 2007 | Thomas Buchanan Octave Mandolin, 2010

  7. #32

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

    New Epiphone mandos are flat out bad. Poor fit-and-finish, oversprayed, overpriced, clunky feel and sound. They have gotten worse than they used to be.

    It beats me why L&M (Canadian music store monopoly, but not entirely without merit as chains go) has been stocking them as a main line of mandos. Epiphone is a well-known name in the industry that seems to be still trading on the long-ago glories of Beatles and Gibson affiliations.

    An Eastman (first choice) or Kentucky, bought sight unseen, is almost certainly a better instrument than the Epi you know.

    Also avoid: The Loar, Michael Kelly, Stagg, Washburn, and (speaking of name recognition) Fender. The Loar might be OK but I wouldn’t bet on it unseen.

    Good luck with your first purchase and happy pickin!
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    Mandoline or Mandolin: Similar to the lute, but much less artistically valuable....for people who wish to play simple music without much trouble —The Oxford Companion to Music

  8. #33
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    Default Re: Planning to buy a Epiphone MM-50 - Any comments?

    The last new "The Loar" mandolin I saw was an A model, probably an LM-110. That was about 6 months ago. The build and tone quality on that one was somewhat better than what I had been seeing for the past several years, but . . . I don't know whether or not any of the improvement in quality that I noticed is consistent or not. Maybe yes, or maybe they just messed up and got one right.

    My general experience over the past several years with Asian built mandos is that Eastman and the current incarnation of Kentucky are not shipping any junk.
    Too many of the other brands are just plain awful.

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