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Thread: Epiphone MM-50 is a nice mandolin.

  1. #1

    Default Epiphone MM-50 is a nice mandolin.

    Generally the Epiphone MM-50 mandolin doesn't get very high marks in reviews in the forums. I wonder why? I bought one from Craig's List the other day and I'm impressed with the overall build quality and the sound. I have a Loar LM-400 and two Eastmans, MD-515 and MD-815 and the Epiphone MM-50 certainly hold its own with these three instruments. I think you get a lot for the buck with the Epiphone MM-50... fully bound, pickguard, real nice wood and nicely finished. For $300 with a hardshell case, extra set of J74 strings and a Long Hollow Leather Strap... I'm pleased with it. For someone starting out, you'd be hard to go wrong with one of these. I would recommend getting a used one when you find one.

  2. #2
    Registered User Tim Pike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone MM-50 is a nice mandolin.

    $300.00 for the mando, strap and case...dang! You did well! I played one several months ago and was quite impressed, almost to the point of buying it. I agree, find a used one. For the asking price of a new one, your money would be better spent elsewhere.
    Last edited by Tim Pike; Sep-09-2012 at 7:07pm. Reason: add more

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  4. #3
    Destroyer of Mandolins
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    Default Re: Epiphone MM-50 is a nice mandolin.

    Personally, I like Epiphones. The ones I give poor marks to are those $130 jobs with the guitar pickup and knobs sticking out the top, but my favorite acoustic is my BG-440.
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    Default Re: Epiphone MM-50 is a nice mandolin.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	164981I am picking up a used but mint condition MM-50 tomorrow night with hard case. 250.00

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    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone MM-50 is a nice mandolin.

    About 15 years ago I did a bunch of session work for a guy, and I got a brand new MM-50 for my efforts. The mandolin served me well for a couple of years, until I had to sell everything, in order to fund a Rigel. If I could find another one, real cheap, I would consider buying it.
    I recently finished a new homemade 4-song EP of original solo acoustic songs; (sorry, no mandolin content this time). If you are interested in a FREE copy, feel free to send me your address via Private Message, and I will be glad to send you one. Trust me, it will be worth the price!


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    Default Re: Epiphone MM-50 is a nice mandolin.

    It was my first mandolin - I borrowed it from a friend for a month or two before deciding I enjoyed mandolin enough to buy my own (a Kentucky KM-350). She still has the Epiphone and if I'm ever over at her place I sometimes pick it up and play it. It was a good starter instrument and they don't cost very much, but I can't really say much past that. Compared to a Loar (and even some Eastmans I've played) it sounds fine, but that has as much to do with me finding every The Loar to be low in volume and thin in tone and Eastmans to be all over the map in terms of sound and quality.

    I'm sure this is going to come out sounding the wrong way, but a question for the OP...why the large collection of similar sub-$1500 mandolins? A The Loar, an Epiphone, and two Eastmans that are more-or-less the same? Depending on how much you paid for those it strikes me that you could buy a used Collings, Sumi, or Northfield for the cost of all of them that would be better than any of those instruments, or pick up something really nice from a small shop builder like the Click F5 or Bulldog F-5 both in the Classifieds now. It took many years before I saved up enough to buy a used Brentrup (and was lucky enough to find a used Brentrup), but I'd take that one mando over owning a dozen of the best "entry-level" mandos out. If all you can afford is a The Laor or an Eastman then enjoy it and be happy with it...I'm galaxies away from being more than mostly a paycheck-to-paycheck guy myself and enjoyed that cheap Kentucky for years when it was all I could afford while saving up for a really high-end mandolin. But if you can afford two Eastmans, a The Loar, and an Epiphone, why not just spend the money on one higher-end mando that crushes all of those?

    Actually, to be honest, I would take a straight trade for a dozen Eastman 515s...then I'd sale the Eastmans and use the money to buy another Brentrup, or a Stiver, or something else that just made the notion of MAS seem silly.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Epiphone MM-50 is a nice mandolin.

    Hey Alex...

    Great questions and comments, but OP posted in 2012 and hasn't been on the forum since '15 so don't expect any answers. Perhaps he's out there making a living with all those low-end mandolins.

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  10. #8
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    Default Re: Epiphone MM-50 is a nice mandolin.

    Ha! Didn't even notice the date.

  11. #9

    Default Re: Epiphone MM-50 is a nice mandolin.

    Still, the Age of the post does not negate the relevant posts that follow, especially regarding multiple low cost mandolins vs. one really good one.

    You see this on guitar websites all the time, six or eight decent pac rim guitars owned and no Martin or Taylor.

    I view all the Kentucky and Eastmans I've played, and really lately I don't pick them up anymore, to be practically the same. Couldn't tell you a 515 from an 815 in a blind test. Now the Master Kentuckys are a cut above but play the basic Northfield next to it. Now that I could tell in a blind test.

    My MK sounds better to me than most Eastman and Kentucky mandolins, or at least close enough as to not warrant a change. Now I must say, I've never played a broken in Eastman or Kentucky, so I'll let that statement temper my opinion.
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    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone MM-50 is a nice mandolin.

    As the owner of many both American and Pac-Rim guitars, I can only speak for myself . . . but for me, my decision to own multiple Pac-Rim's is simply a matter of dollar-to-quality and use-frequency.

    Quite simply: I own multiple guitars for getting multiple tones, some of which I use more than others - so if, for example, I need a good 12-string sound for occasional use, it makes no sense to drop big money on a 'high-quality American guitar', when I can get a very good quality foreign guitar at 1/3 or 1/4 the price. Or, if I want to experiment with a 'C' tuning, I will buy another good quality Epiphone, etc., so that I don' have to keep making bridge and neck adjustments to my Gibson.

    As for mandolins, I am frankly just not a very good mandolin player, and likely never will be - so I have (although not now) many foreign instruments in my stash, looking for varying tones and stylings. As I will probably never be a true 'mandolinist', I can't see spending big money for an instrument I will never be worthy of . . . I will leave the really top-quality stuff for the top-quality players.
    Last edited by MikeZito; Feb-16-2018 at 10:20am.
    I recently finished a new homemade 4-song EP of original solo acoustic songs; (sorry, no mandolin content this time). If you are interested in a FREE copy, feel free to send me your address via Private Message, and I will be glad to send you one. Trust me, it will be worth the price!


    Mike Zito YouTube Channel:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO-...ow=grid&view=0

  13. #11
    Mando-afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Epiphone MM-50 is a nice mandolin.

    Congrats! I am a big Epiphone fan, with two Epiphone archtop guitars. Great fit and finish. Enjoy it!
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