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Thread: Ibanez 510

  1. #1

    Question Ibanez 510

    First off I'm more of a Banjo player than about anything else, can't say as I'm a real banjo player, but I certainly can make banjo like sounds and it makes mem happy. With that being said the mandolin has attracted me for quite some time now.

    I know the Ibanez 510 is a beginners mandolin, going for ~$150 new. While in a pawn shop the other day I noticed that they had a 510 oin the floor. It is in good almost like new condition except for a missing pick guard. It will walk out the door with it for ~$75.00. Would the 510 be worth purchasing for a knock around starter or would it be a waste of time and money?

    MJM

  2. #2

    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    I would doubt very much that this would be anything but trouble. Unless you are adept at set-up. Of course I haven't seen the instrument but usually any instrument that sells for that cheap will be difficult to impossible to play with any enjoyment. IMO, beginners should start on something decent because junky instruments are discouraging. Bring someone that can play mandolin with you to check it out if you can It might be alright but I think it will be a waste of time and money.
    Richard Hutchings

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    Yeah I figured as much. I don't buy cheap banjo's either, but I have no real idea about mandolins which generally go for considerably less money.

    MJM

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    I had an Ibanez 513 (late 70's, early 80's vintage) that was quite nice and sounded very good. Do a search for Ibanez mandolins here in the forum. Somebody fairly recently posted a web site with information on the various models they make. If the top is solid spruce (I think it is), and you can afford another $50 to $75 invested in a setup, you could end up with a decent starter mandolin.

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    I did a search, most information is for the more expensive models, that's no surprise. There's actually very little information on the actual 510, even on the Ibanez websites. For instance the serial number website comes right out and says that they won't be talking about the 510 at all.

    It probably would be better to save up some real money for a decent starter model...... This one just jumped up in front of me, I hate going serious shopping with no clue as to what I'm looking at or what to look for. It struck me that this small investment would get me started so when I'm serious about purchasing would know at least a little bit, like being able to strum a few cords at least.....

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    T'was probably I Len. Its here - http://ibanezmandolin.com/ - but its dedicated to the earlier models and doesn't cover the 510 as hedgehog appears to have found. The site has no connection with Ibanez and, in fact, is run by a chap around 20 miles down the road from me in the UK.
    Ray

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    I would recommend the Fullerton Gloucester in the classifieds. I had one and they are good. You might want to upgrade to a bone nut and ebony bridge at some point but they come acceptable and the tuners aren't bad. One thing to be concerned with with cheap instruments is cheap frets. I might also look into an Alvarez A1, I have seen and heard a few that look and sound good. A step up from the Gloucester would be a nice example of a Kentucky KM-675 which can be good at a under $500 price point.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    I'm early in this hunt. The Ibanez name attracted me. I've got hollow body and semi-hollow body guitars, they are quite impressive so the mandolin caught my eye. The ibanez 510 is out of the picture now. There's a project mandolin on Ebay I'm bidding on. It looks like someone sat on it. The top has some cracks and the nckneeds to be reset, but all in all it all seems doable. That is if I can get it for the right price. This sort of project is a lot of fun for me. If Bill Monroe's mandolin was fixable this one should be easy.

  9. #9
    Registered User 5thBeliever's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    I'm a total beginner, so I'm probably not qualified to judge it, but I have an Ibanez 510 and have been learning to play without too much of a problem. The tailpiece occasionally causes string buzz (at least on mine) but that aside it seems to be a decent instrument. Not that I don't want to upgrade, maybe to a Big Muddy...
    "All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians"- Thelonious Monk

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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    I was at my local, independent, brick-and-mortar music store last night to drop off an instrument to have a pick-up installed in it, and I noticed they had one of these hanging on the wall.

    I got it down to see how bad it was...

    First off, it was almost perfectly in tune (even though the assistant manager of the store assured me it had been sitting there un-played for weeks).

    Secondly, after it tuned it up, I was frankly shocked by two developments:

    1. Though clearly tonally deficient in many ways, this thing did not sound bad! It was clearly "mandolin sounding", and it did not have any of that horrible excessive tinniness that so many low-end, laminated wood mandolins have. It did have a somewhat muted voice (like many less expensive instruments do), but that actually made it really fun for honky-tonk numbers and 12 Bar Blues stuff. (I was drawing an appreciative crowd in the store as I played...I was shocked!).

    2. This mandolin had, without question, the best set-up of an off the rack, low-end instrument I have ever encountered! Though the strings were very light gauge and the volume marginal, the action was remarkably low, and the fretboard very fast and quite! Intonation was spot on, and the tuners held throughout my playing session (30+ minutes).

    If the fretboard hadn't been flat, I would have purchased this baby for sure. For $149 this thing is a steal.

    Maybe the one I played was an exceptional example, but I was very impressed! NFI
    c.1965 Harmony Monterey H410 Mandolin
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Goist View Post
    I was at my local, independent, brick-and-mortar music store last night to drop off an instrument to have a pick-up installed in it, and I noticed they had one of these hanging on the wall.

    I got it down to see how bad it was...

    First off, it was almost perfectly in tune (even though the assistant manager of the store assured me it had been sitting there un-played for weeks).

    Secondly, after it tuned it up, I was frankly shocked by two developments:

    1. Though clearly tonally deficient in many ways, this thing did not sound bad! It was clearly "mandolin sounding", and it did not have any of that horrible excessive tinniness that so many low-end, laminated wood mandolins have. It did have a somewhat muted voice (like many less expensive instruments do), but that actually made it really fun for honky-tonk numbers and 12 Bar Blues stuff. (I was drawing an appreciative crowd in the store as I played...I was shocked!).

    2. This mandolin had, without question, the best set-up of an off the rack, low-end instrument I have ever encountered! Though the strings were very light gauge and the volume marginal, the action was remarkably low, and the fretboard very fast and quite! Intonation was spot on, and the tuners held throughout my playing session (30+ minutes).

    If the fretboard hadn't been flat, I would have purchased this baby for sure. For $149 this thing is a steal.

    Maybe the one I played was an exceptional example, but I was very impressed! NFI
    I tried these at a local shop and it too was setup pretty well. A good value for the money. Maybe Ibanez will comeout with a mando in the next level up.

  12. #12
    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Goist View Post
    I was at my local, independent, brick-and-mortar music store last night to drop off an instrument to have a pick-up installed in it, and I noticed they had one of these hanging on the wall.

    I got it down to see how bad it was...

    First off, it was almost perfectly in tune (even though the assistant manager of the store assured me it had been sitting there un-played for weeks).

    Secondly, after it tuned it up, I was frankly shocked by two developments:

    1. Though clearly tonally deficient in many ways, this thing did not sound bad! It was clearly "mandolin sounding", and it did not have any of that horrible excessive tinniness that so many low-end, laminated wood mandolins have. It did have a somewhat muted voice (like many less expensive instruments do), but that actually made it really fun for honky-tonk numbers and 12 Bar Blues stuff. (I was drawing an appreciative crowd in the store as I played...I was shocked!).

    2. This mandolin had, without question, the best set-up of an off the rack, low-end instrument I have ever encountered! Though the strings were very light gauge and the volume marginal, the action was remarkably low, and the fretboard very fast and quite! Intonation was spot on, and the tuners held throughout my playing session (30+ minutes).

    If the fretboard hadn't been flat, I would have purchased this baby for sure. For $149 this thing is a steal.

    Maybe the one I played was an exceptional example, but I was very impressed! NFI
    I played another one of these at my local Guitar Center this past weekend. Pretty much the exact same experience: Very serviceable tone (especially for the price), and remarkably good playability off the wall.
    c.1965 Harmony Monterey H410 Mandolin
    "What a long, strange trip it's been..." - Robert Hunter
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  13. #13
    Registered User Dave_KC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    I have the Ibanez 510 mandolin, bought it off eBay, as I've just started on the Mandolin. I knew Ibanez from having a couple of their guitars, which I enjoy playing, so I figured I should be OK. It seems to play and sound good, especially for a starter instrument.

    I'll try sometime to get to a store that sells a broader line of instruments and check out other, better quality, mandolins. But for now, it's a start.

  14. #14
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    My local music shop focuses on lessons and school band instruments, so their selection of guitars and mandolins is limited to inexpensive beginner stuff. They usually have a matte finished 510. I almost bought one as my first mandolin. Now that I have a year of experience and my ear is more tuned to mandos, I think it'd be a great starter.

    The ones I've played have not been setup at all, and still have the packing material between the bridge and top. If you're not afraid to put a heavier set of strings (EJ74 or 75) on, fit the bridge to the top, adjust the action and probably tweak the nut slots a little, it'd be worth it at $150. For $75, definitely get it.
    "There ain't too many folks, who can play too many notes... on the mandolin"

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    Registered User Sakamichi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bowsman View Post
    My local music shop focuses on lessons and school band instruments, so their selection of guitars and mandolins is limited to inexpensive beginner stuff. They usually have a matte finished 510. I almost bought one as my first mandolin. Now that I have a year of experience and my ear is more tuned to mandos, I think it'd be a great starter.

    The ones I've played have not been setup at all, and still have the packing material between the bridge and top. If you're not afraid to put a heavier set of strings (EJ74 or 75) on, fit the bridge to the top, adjust the action and probably tweak the nut slots a little, it'd be worth it at $150. For $75, definitely get it.
    I fit the bridge to my wife's 510 and changed the stock strings to Elixir Nanowebs (not sure of the exact gauge) and those two changes alone made a huge difference in the instrument's tone and sustain. I plan to fit my bridge next time I change strings—mine are flat-wound and leave my 510 sounding dull.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakamichi View Post
    I fit the bridge to my wife's 510 and changed the stock strings to Elixir Nanowebs (not sure of the exact gauge) and those two changes alone made a huge difference in the instrument's tone and sustain. I plan to fit my bridge next time I change strings—mine are flat-wound and leave my 510 sounding dull.
    Do you guys have the gloss or matte finished models? Of the very small sampling I tried, the matte versions sounded better. I'm glad to hear my ears aren't wrong in thinking that a little work would do wonders for that model.
    "There ain't too many folks, who can play too many notes... on the mandolin"

  17. #17
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    This mandolin is getting all 5-star reviews on the Musicians Friend website . . . probably worth checking out.

  18. #18
    Registered User Sakamichi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bowsman View Post
    Do you guys have the gloss or matte finished models? Of the very small sampling I tried, the matte versions sounded better. I'm glad to hear my ears aren't wrong in thinking that a little work would do wonders for that model.
    I have the matte or "open pore" version and my wife has the dark violin sunburst gloss finish. My ears are not attuned to detect the subtleties in sound, but I will say that hers looks nicer in terms of finish. Not that mine is ugly, but her's looks like a step up.

  19. #19
    fishing with my mando darrylicshon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    Last year I found a 522 for $100 so I couldn't pass it up, I have many ibanez guitars and a bunch of vintage Ibanez mandolins. To my surprise it has a really good sound , so I'm keeping it
    Ibanez 70's 524, 521, 3 511's,2 512's,513,1 514,3 80s 513's, 522
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    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    The more I look into these things, the more VERY GOOD reviews I read about them . . . I may have to go to Guitar Center later today and give one a test drive.

    Damn, MAS, strikes again!

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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    Darn you guys! MAS set in and I just bought a blem one of these for $99 on "the Bay". Supposedly set up too. We'll see. I'll report in on it when it shows up. I needed something to use when I travel around. No case, but I have some extras so no worries there.....
    Thanks

  22. #22
    Registered User Sakamichi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scott View Post
    Darn you guys! MAS set in and I just bought a blem one of these for $99 on "the Bay". Supposedly set up too. We'll see. I'll report in on it when it shows up. I needed something to use when I travel around. No case, but I have some extras so no worries there.....
    Kind of hard to go wrong for $99. and it beat knocking around your Silverangel or Morris. (I'm getting a Morris too and I plan to keep my Ibanez around just for that purpose.)

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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    I received the M510 today. No high frets, twisted neck or any structural problems of any kind. The minor blem is pretty darn hard to find and really kind of hard to call it a blem for something at this price point. The strings are not the best and will need to be replaced in the very near future. Intonation was way sharp across the strings which was an easy fix. I experimented with a bunch of picks and for now favor the Dunlop 1.14mm Ultex large triangle. Playability was good-no fret buzz and pretty low action. The seller claims to have set it up, so that could explain the decent playability. For the $$$, the sound is pretty decent, just a tad what I would call boxy. At this price, this would make a good entry level mando. Not on a par with a Kentucky km-150, but better than a Rogue or a Savanna I've played. Perfect as a leave in the car traveler, with no concern about humidity issues. The body is a bit on the thick side, but is a nice snug fit in my Boulder Alpine bag. So there's a quick and dirty review......
    Thanks

  24. #24

    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Scott View Post
    I received the M510 today. No high frets, twisted neck or any structural problems of any kind. The minor blem is pretty darn hard to find and really kind of hard to call it a blem for something at this price point. The strings are not the best and will need to be replaced in the very near future. Intonation was way sharp across the strings which was an easy fix. I experimented with a bunch of picks and for now favor the Dunlop 1.14mm Ultex large triangle. Playability was good-no fret buzz and pretty low action. The seller claims to have set it up, so that could explain the decent playability. For the $$$, the sound is pretty decent, just a tad what I would call boxy. At this price, this would make a good entry level mando. Not on a par with a Kentucky km-150, but better than a Rogue or a Savanna I've played. Perfect as a leave in the car traveler, with no concern about humidity issues. The body is a bit on the thick side, but is a nice snug fit in my Boulder Alpine bag. So there's a quick and dirty review......
    So, two years later, do you still have the Ibanez? Any updated review or thoughts you could share at this point? I seriously thinking about making this my first mandolin. Thanks.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Ibanez 510

    I have one I bought a few months ago and for a beginner model it is not too bad. It does have a solid spruce top and with time that will help with the sound. I did have to do a thorough set up and worked on everything from the nut, frets, and bridge to make it more playable but that has to be understood especially buying it from a big box web site. For the price it is worth it if you can do your own set up. If you can not I would recommend just buying a unit set up in a shop that you can test for yourself. Mandolin luthier work is expensive. I have to be honest, mandolins are much harder to work on than guitars and that is the reason for more time to get them set up properly. I am still fine tuning on mine but I enjoy that type of stuff. It is very playable but just trying to make it better. Buying a $500 unit was not something I was going to do. I want to make sure I will stick to it first since I am also a guitar player. Just love the sound of a good mandolin.

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