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New Epiphone Mandolin Boasts Unique Technology

By Mandolin Cafe
March 18, 2010 - 11:15 am

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The Epiphone MM-50E Professional Mandolin

The Epiphone MM-50E Professional Mandolin

Nashville, Tenn. — Epiphone has introduced the MM-50E Professional Mandolin, the first mandolin designed to adjust the output level of each individual string pair and preventing what the company says is the inherent mandolin problem of unbalanced string pair volume.

Designed in cooperation with Shadow Germany (makers of acoustic pickups for over 30 years), the MM-50E starts with the new "Quad" NanoMag pickup. The NanoMag is a low-impedance humbucking pickup equipped with samariun-cobalt magnets that captures true acoustic tone and a wide range of harmonics.

Under each string pair is a separate "coil" that only picks up the sound of that string pair with crosstalk separation of >85dB. Each of the 4 output levels is controlled by 4 trimpots discretely accessible from the top of the pickguard via a mini flathead screwdriver. Once set to desired levels, you would typically never need to adjust the levels again.

The Shadow system puts all the electronics inside the pickguard. This allows the mandolin to respond and sound just like an acoustic mando should. On the pickguard are master volume, treble and bass rotary controls as well as an easy-access battery compartment using a light-weight, long lasting 2032 watch-style lithium battery.

Top Material: Soild Sitka Spruce
Body Material: Flame Maple
Neck Material: Flame Maple
Neck Shape Options: "C" Profile
Neck Joint: Hand-fitted, Glued-In
Scale Length: 14"
Fingerboard Material: Rosewood with "Dot" inlays
Pickup: Quad NanoMag; Adustable position
Controls: Master Volume, Treble, Bass, Four individual string pair output levels; trimpots
Power: #2032 Lithium battery
Frets: 23
Bridge: Rosewood; Floating Adjustable
Nut Width: 1.06"
Hardware: Nickel
Machine Heads: Vintage In-Line Mandolin
Colors: Vintage Natural
Includes: Hard Case
Warranty: Epiphone Limited Lifetime


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Reader Comments

March 22, 2010 07:37 AM
I like Epiphone mandos, have had a couple of the a style, good quality, low price, great mando for travel. I have played the MM50 several times and always liked them, they are hard to find offline, have not found many store front music shops that carry epiphone. Anyway, back to the topic; I've never heard anyone complain about "unbalanced string volume" so, to me, it's like they're fixing something that isn't broken. The MM50E is a sharp mando, but there's a bunch of pickers out there that don't care for pick guards, and with the MM50E you're married to it.
Dan Hulse
March 25, 2010 12:06 PM
Not to argue, but uneven string volume is a common problem with magnetic pick ups. Case in point Epiphone Mandobird. Looks like someone from Epiphone has been reading the message boards, (howabout an upgraded stock bird p/u?). Not so much an issue with transducers in my experience. Pick up replacement is probably the most common electric guitar mod, this being one reason. Looks pretty, except for the pick guard. If it plays well acoustically so much the better, if not it's just fancy lipstick, (pun intended).
Roger Kunkel
March 25, 2010 06:10 PM
I wonder if they will market the electronics separately. Looks like it would install easily on most mandolins.
May 14, 2010 11:49 AM
Shadow is making these electronics. They are due in the USA about the end of May. Shadow SH 928 NMG-4mandolin pickup and Shadow SH 927 NMG-4mandolin pickup. I ordered the one for A mandolins from one of my suppliers and will put it on an Eastman that I have. It's worth a shot since my dealer price is about $158. John
December 16, 2010 12:15 PM
My comments are regarding the "Unique Technology" from Shadow (SH 927 NMG-4). If it sounds as good as they say it does I think it is a brilliant concept - seperate level controls for each string along with the magnetic pickup. However, I totally agree with the previous comment about the gargantaun pickguard. Which I think is a total turn off. Again, I agree with the previous comment that many mandolin players won't consider this as a viable option simply because of that. It makes it a non-starter of an idea for me and most of my playing is electronicaly. But - they could see the light and go with a pre-amp design that would hide inside the instrument - as Fishman did with the Ellipse Aura - OR even an outboard pre-amp option.
THAT, I think, would truly be amazing...

Tim G.
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