20 Best Mandolin Reviews 2017 – Best Mandolin Brands

Best Mandolin & Best Mandolin Brands

Best Mandolin & Best Mandolin Brands

Are you looking for a great mandolin? Mandolins are a good way to bring a touch of old flavor to your music. It is one of the oldest fretted instrument that is being used in the US.

Mandolin is a small, short-necked lute with 8 strings. This instrument produces sound through the vibrations of the strings. However, selecting the correct mandolin for your needs is a complex task. This is a guide to help you buy the right mandolin for your skill level and budget.

What are the Best Mandolins?

2) Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin Sunburst

  • Affordable
  • Highly Rated 
  • Popular Choice
  • Top Quality

1) Gretsch G9350 Park Avenue F-Mandolin A/E

  • Professional
  • F-mandolin
  • Highly Rated
  • Comfortable Playing
  • Quality Material

3) Kentucky KM-270 Artist Oval Hole A-Style Mandolin

  • Well-Built
  • Rosewood
  • Reputable
  • Great for All
  • Comfortable Playing

Let’s take a look at the tips for keeping in mind when buying a mandolin.

Tips For Buying The Correct Mandolin

When buying a mandolin, you have to consider many things. Take a look at some of the things you need to focus on.

Style of Mandolins

Mandolins are available in different styles, you must consider this factor when you are choosing a mandolin. The style of mandolin must match your music style. You can choose between A-style mandolins, F-style mandolins or bowl-back mandolins.

Construction of Mandolins

Another thing you must focus on is the construction of the mandolin. It is advised to always buy the mandolin that is made of quality materials. Good quality of the mandolin ensures a great sound that will last for longer periods. A great mandolin has a solid top, back, and sides.

Tuning

The next thing you need to pay attention to is the mandolin tuning. The mandolin commonly used has 8 strings with 4 courses. The 2 adjacent strings are tuned in unison. It provides the mandolin its unique chiming tone. The standard tuning is the same as of the violins, G-D-A-E.

20 Best Mandolin Reviews and the Best Mandolin Brands

There are numerous brands that offer a great mandolin at different prices. Here are some of the well-known mandolins available on the market.

1) Gretsch G9350 Park Avenue F-Mandolin A/E

One of the popular choice in mandolins is the Gretsch G9350 Park Avenue Mandolin. The body of the mandolin is crafted from Spruce and Maple. For the top, Spruce is used whereas for back and sides Maple is used.

It makes the mandolin robust and sturdy to tolerate the everyday usage. The finest materials ensure the instrument will last for longer duration. The response that is delivered by this mandolin is great with a lot of warm. The V profile Maple neck allows you to play the mandolin fast while giving a balanced tone and great sustain.

This acoustic-electric F-mandolin produces a fantastic sound that will take you to good old days. It provides a warm and bright tone. The tuners work outstandingly offering best spring tension and easy tuning. You won’t have any problem with the intonation, thanks to its compensated bridge.

The bridge uses clamshell that makes changing the strings easy. This means it gives you flexibility and easy playability. It provides excellent player experience as it can bring classic tunes back to life. This instrument is great as it will provide you the sound and feel you are after.

2) Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin Sunburst

Rogue RM-100 Mandolin is an A-style mandolin that has a Maple neck. It features a Rosewood fingerboard with the 12th fret neck joint. The Rosewood Bridge is compensated that is adjustable and offers better intonation.

It is all laminated wood that makes it a well-built and compact mandolin. This mandolin is made from finest materials making it durable and resilient. Investing in this mandolin is a long-term investment that can last for longer periods. The craftsmanship of the mandolin allows it to project bright sound.

The finishing touches of the mandolin include chrome plated tuners and nickel plated frets. They produce great resonance and is easy to spring the tension. The gauge of the string helps in producing a brighter and full volume sound.

The RM-100 Mandolin is lightweight as it weighs about 2.9 pounds. This means that you can play it comfortably for longer periods without any difficulty. You can buy a case for the Rouge Mandolin that is sold separately. You can keep your mandolin protected from water and dust. It will make carrying your mandolin around easy.

The Rogue RM-100 Mandolin is a great instrument for both experts and novice players.

3) Kentucky KM-270 Artist Oval Hole A-Style Mandolin

The Kentucky KM-270 Mandolin is a popular choice among the musicians. This mandolin has a solid carved Sitka Spruce top with carved Maple back and sides. It helps in producing an articulate, sharp and sweet tone. The Maple neck of the mandolin offers easy action that lets you play the mandolin without any difficulty.

The fretboard of the mandolin is made from Rosewood with Mother-of-pearl dot position markers. It delivers increased playability and smooth player experience. This Kentucky Mandolin looks elegant and its look is enhanced with the gloss sunburst gloss lacquer finish. The mandolin has 22 nickel plated silver frets with fine quality tuning gears.

Furthermore, the oval-shaped sound holes offer a unique sound. It makes the mandolin ideal for an extensive variety of music styles. The mandolin is compact and well-built that can last for longer time period.

The mandolin has a tradition and authentic design that makes it look vintage. The snakehead peghead with Rosewood overlay showing vintage design. This Kentucky KM-270 Oval Hole Mandolin features a 2-way truss rod.

This mandolin is a great choice for you to enjoy music on all events. Whether you are an expert or beginner, the Kentucky Mandolin is an ideal choice.

4) The Loar LM-520-VS Performer F-Style Mandolin

Next choice is The Loar LM-520-VS Performer Mandolin. It features a solid hand crafted Spruce top with hand crafted Maple sides and back. The neck of the mandolin is made from Maple with rounded V profile. This offers you a range of different tones.

The compensated bridge is produced using Ebony that is adjustable. This offers better intonation and response frequency. The fingerboard of the mandolin is from bound padauk. It has 29 frets with the adjustable truss rod. The finishing of the Vintage Sunburst makes it more appealing.

Moreover, the Grover tuning machines make sure it stays in tune no matter how hard you play. It produces high-end resonance with great projection. This Loar Mandolin provides a vintage look that is elegant.

The mandolin has a gloss finish with vintage sunburst. The materials used in the manufacturing of the Performer Mandolin is of top-quality. This is a long-term investment that you can easily last for many years.

The Loar Mandolin produces a sound that is crisp, rich with high-end tone. This mandolin is a great choice for those who don’t want to have whistles and bells.

5) Oscar Schmidt OM10E A-Style Spruce Top Acoustic-Electric Mandolin

Another good option for all musicians is the Oscar Schmidt OM10E Mandolin. This A-style acoustic electric mandolin has a Mahogany neck, sides, and back. The fingerboard and bridge are made from Rosewood.

The top of the mandolin is crafted from Spruce that has a high gloss finish. This makes it interesting and attractive. The dot inlays on the fret board allow you to play the mandolin without any difficulty.

The 3-ply pick guard enhances the tonal quality and protects the body of your mandolin from scratches. The Oscar Mandolin has a passive pickup system with tone and volume controls. This enables you to adjust the volume according to your preference.

The hardware of the mandolin is chrome plated making it corrosion resistant. It adds style giving the mandolin a vintage look. This mandolin will produce the tone similar to the high-end mandolins.

Moreover, the sound quality that this mandolin produce is sweet, warm and rich. The strings offer an articulate tone with higher response frequency. The strings are made from a robust material that can withstand the rough use. This mandolin is long-lasting with minimal maintenance.

6) Ammoon 8-String Electric A Style Mandolin

Next on the list is Ammoon Mandolin. This is an A-style electric mandolin that has 8 strings. It has solid Spruce and basswood body with Rosewood fretboard. The neck is made from Okumen wood that makes it easy to play.

The tuning machine of this mandolin is designed for providing easy tuning. You can get a wide range of high and low tones. The Ammoon Mandolin can withstand the test of time.

Furthermore, it features a Rosewood bridge with 2 F sound holes, 1 volume and 1 tone control knobs. It produces a great sound quality with warmth and great response frequency.

The strings are made from steel that you can play in whatever way you like. They will give a crisp and amazing resonance. The sunburnt and black finish makes it more appealing and exquisite workmanship enhance its look.

The Ammoon Mandolin comes with a cable and cleaning cloth. You can easily clean your mandolin and maintain it in the best condition. The length of the cable is 3 meters through which you can attach your mandolin to a speaker or an amp.

7) Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin

Another great choice in mandolins is the Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin. This mandolin is built on the teardrop with A-style. It has a Mahogany back and sides with Spruce wood used for the top. It makes the Ibanez Mandolin strong and sturdy.

The chrome hardware enhances the appearance of the mandolin making it more attractive. The tuners are great as they perfectly hold the strings and produce excellent sound. This mandolin is easy to tune that offers better tone. The neck of this mandolin is crafted from mahogany while the fingerboard and bridge are made from Rosewood.

The neck has pearl dot inlay that offers smooth player experience. It allows you to have better high and low tones. The compensated bridge provides an exceptional intonation that is bright. It comes with a truss rod that enables you to adjust the neck to improve the playability.

Moreover, this mandolin is manufactured from the laminated woods that offer rich and warm resonance. This increases the response frequency of the mandolin that helps in providing better tonal quality. It has an exceptional craftsmanship that offers an outstanding tonality.

The Ibanez Mandolin is an ideal choice for all levels of musicians.

8) Savannah SA-100-BK A-Model Mandolin

Next option is the Savannah SA-100 Mandolin. This mandolin features a hard Maple neck with bound Rosewood fingerboard. It has an adjustable compensated bridge that provides excellent intonation and great frequency response. This mandolin has a 12th fret neck joint that allows you to have smoother player experience.

The chrome tuning machines of the mandolin make tuning seamless. The chrome tuners add a vintage touch to the mandolin. The tuning has an advanced system that offers precise and accurate tuning.

Moreover, the fingerboard has dot inlays that allow you to have accurate fingering. This makes playing the mandolin easy and moving around smooth. This Savannah Mandolin offers a superior performance and ultimate player experience.

The mandolin has exceptional craftsmanship that makes it well-built and compact. The sound Savannah Mandolin produces is bright, warm and rich. The SA-100 can withstand the test of time, making it a great choice for investment.

The Savannah SA-100 Mandolin looks and sounds great. It is a perfect choice for all levels of musicians as it has great construction, excellent sound, and fitting.

9) Ibanez M522SBS F-Style Mandolin

Next on the list is the Ibanez M522SBS Mandolin. The body style of this mandolin is F-style that has a Mahogany neck. The back and sides are crafted from flamed Maple while the top is made from solid Spruce. This mandolin is well-built that makes it compact and great value for musicians. The body of the mandolin helps in delivering crisp and bold tone.

The tuners of the mandolin are gold die-cast with Pearloid knobs. They offer amazing tones and makes tuning very easy. The inlays of the Ibanez Mandolin is made from pearl blocks. The fingerboard and the bridge of this mandolin are made from Rosewood. The fretboard strings are standard mandolin strings that offer sweet sound.

Furthermore, the sound produced by this mandolin is full, deep and rich. The materials used for the production of the Ibanez Mandolin are of top-quality. This makes your mandolin be able to bear the daily wear and tear. The mandolin will last for many years. The Ibanez Mandolin provides high performance and great player experience.

10) Z ZTDM Deluxe A Style Mandolin

A great mandolin for beginners and advanced players is the Z ZTDM Deluxe Mandolin. This A-style mandolin has an easy to play neck with an adjustable bridge. It features 20 silver frets that are nickel plated. The gear tuners and tailpiece are chrome plated that adds a touch of class and style to the mandolin.

Moreover, the construction of the mandolin makes it of exceptional quality. The top, back, and sides are made from Maple. The bridge is compensated and adjustable that is made from Rosewood. The compensated bridge helps in producing warm and rich sound.

This mandolin is cambered wood mandolin with acoustic strings. It offers ultimate player experience along with smooth and high performance. The strings of the mandolin are durable that can bear the rough and tough use. In this way, you won’t have to worry about the strings breaking. The sound it produces is melodious and sweet that is enjoyable for everyone

The Deluxe Mandolin is light in weight that weighs about 2.2 pounds. This means that you can play this mandolin comfortably for a longer duration.

The Z ZTDM Deluxe Mandolin is a great choice for all skill level players to entertain themselves.

11) Morgan Monroe RT-M1E Mandolin

A great choice in mandolins is RT-M1E Mandolin by Morgan Monroe. The mandolin has all Basswood top, sides and back. The fingerboard and bridge are made of Rosewood that has a high gloss finish. This makes the mandolin beautiful.

The appearance of this mandolin is improved by the silver frets that are nickel plated. The frets offer excellent player experience. The neck is crafted from Rosewood as well that makes playing mandolin effortless. The mandolin is solidly manufactured that gives a warm and fantastic sound. The sound that this mandolin offers takes you back to the old times.

The metal chrome plated open geared machine tuners allow increased playability and easy tuning. The resonance that is produced by this mandolin is rich, deep and bright. The pick guard of this mandolin is of 3-ply that will protect it from getting scratched. It is a great way to enhance the look of your mandolin.

Moreover, the mandolin is lightweight, weighing about just 2.4 pounds. The dimensions of the instrument are 28 inches x 4 inches x 10.9 inches. The solid binding of 3-ply provides a clarity in tonal quality.

12) Morgan Monroe RT-FM1 Rocky Top F-Style Mandolin

One of the most used mandolins is the Morgan Monroe RT-FM1 Mandolin. This mandolin has a classic F-style that comes with an adjustable truss rod. It features a fully bound top neck and headstock. The fret board is made from Rosewood that can be extended.

The black pickguard and nickel silver frets allow you to have exceptional tonal quality. They make the Morgan Mandolin more appealing. The high gloss finish is a great way to protect the mandolin from scratches.

The top, sides, neck, and back are made from Basswood. This helps in offering a brighter and higher volume. The mandolin has ornate etched chrome tailpiece and chrome tuning keys.

This mandolin features open geared tuners that offer clear sound. It provides you an opportunity to tune without any effort. The dot inlay on the fingerboard offers ultimate player experience along with great precision for fingering.

Furthermore, the Morgan Monroe Mandolin is aesthetically designed to last for longer periods. The binding of the mandolin is single-ply that protects your mandolin from deteriorating.

Whether you want mandolin for a beginner or expert, this Mandolin is of great value for all level musicians.

13) Kentucky KM-140 Standard A-model Mandolin

Another great option is the Kentucky KM-140 Mandolin. The top of the mandolin is made from solid carved Sitka Spruce. This provides you clear, crisp and bright sound. The back and sides of the mandolin are crafted from Maple that is great producing a warm tone.

It has Maple neck that provides comfortable play and easy action. For fretboard, East Indian Rosewood is used that ensure a smooth player experience. It is useful for increasing the playability level of the mandolin.

Furthermore, the mandolin offers a vintage look that is enhanced by the high gloss sunburst lacquer finish. This makes the mandolin more beautiful. The fret board has 12th fret neck joint that offers a wider range of tones.

It features the classic M-O-P Kentucky script inlay and dot markers. This makes it easy to change pitch and produce varied tunes. The compensated adjustable bridge made from Rosewood offers brilliant intonation.

This mandolin comes with a superior gig bag that will keep you mandolin safe. You can transport your mandolin without worrying about destroying it. You can even keep it protected from all the elements.

This is Kentucky Mandolin is a great option for investing and learning more about music.

14) Gold Tone F-12 F-Style, 12-String Guitar Mandolin

Next choice in mandolins is the Gold Tone F-12 Mandolin. This mandolin has a slim neck with a scale length of 14-7/8 inches. It has a bridge mounted transducer pickup with gold tone 12-point set up. This mandolin offers a longer scale that will let you have flexibility.

You can have higher and lower tones with great clarity. The fret board is made from Rosewood and the top is of spruce. The back and sides are manufactured using the Maple wood while the bridge is made from Ebony.

The sound that this mandolin produces is warm, crisp and bright. The dot inlays provide you easy to play action. The headstock inlay is of gold tone and the finishing is of vintage stain. This adds a touch of style and class to the mandolin.

What makes this mandolin special is that it is ultra-light as it weighs about 1 pound. You can play it for a longer duration while outing your shoulders at ease. This mandolin comes with a foam case. This is useful in storing your mandolin safely from dust and water. You can easily move it to any place without damaging it.

15) Stagg M50E Acoustic-Electric Bluegrass Mandolin

Another option for great mandolins is the Stagg M50ZE Bluegrass Mandolin. This mandolin features a Nato sides, back and neck with Rosewood fretboard. It has an appealing look thanks to its red burst finish with high gloss. The pearl dot inlays enhance its look by adding a touch of sophistication.

This mandolin features an adjustable black Maple bridge that allows you to control the intonation. The headstock has 8 open geared nickel tuners that offer accurate and defined tuning. You can get great frequency response and articulate resonance.

The sound the Stagg Mandolin produces is crisp, sweet and deep. It offers a good playability and fantastic tone that everyone enjoys. It is a specialist bluegrass electro acoustic that will bring life to music. However, you can use it for an extensive variety of musical genres.

The Stagg Mandolin has 2 knobs, 1 for volume and 1 for tone. The single pick up coil precisely produces a warm and bright tone. The F-Hole design is excellent for outstanding sound projection. The tailpiece of this mandolin has an engraved design that gives it a vintage and authentic look.

The Stagg M50 E Acoustic Mandolin is a great choice for playing all occasions.

16) Savannah SA-100 A-Model Mandolin

Next on the list is Savannah SA-100 Mandolin. This mandolin features a hard Maple neck with bound Rosewood Fret board. It has 12th fret neck joints that allow you wide range of tones.

The Savannah Mandolin has an adjustable compensated bridge that is good for improving the intonation. The mandolin produces a warm, deep and bright resonance. The neck of the mandolin allows you to have exceptional player experience without fretting.

The Savannah Mandolin has chrome tuning machines. This is great for precise tuning and bright sound. The chrome hardware adds a touch of class to the mandolin. The hardware is resistant to rust, thanks to its chrome plating.

The mandolin is well-built due to its exquisite craftsmanship. It can last for long periods with just minimum care and maintenance.

Moreover, the sunburst and black finish makes the mandolin more beautiful. The 3-ply pick guard keeps the mandolin safe from scratches. It adds a unique and traditional look to the mandolin.

The Savannah SA-100 is an affordable choice that looks appealing and sounds exceptional. It will be great for playing at all kinds of events and good for all levels of players.

17) Washburn M1SDLB A-Style Mandolin

Another great mandolin is Washburn M1SDLB Mandolin. This features an A-style with a solid Spruce top with Maple sides and arched Maple back. It is useful in providing extreme beauty and high performance.

This mandolin has an oval sound hole that provides bright, deep and crisp sound. You can comfortably play the mandolin as it offers smooth player experience.

It has a classic acoustic design that gives an authentic and traditional sound and feels. The Washburn Mandolin has Florentine headstock. The white binding outlines the teardrop body with gold tuning machines. It is good for accurate tuning in a modern look with well-rounded tones.

The fingerboard and the bridge are made from Rosewood. It is great for delivering a warm sustain. The pickguard of the mandolin is white/black and chrome tuners. The chrome plated hardware includes 20 frets in pearl dots. This increases the playability and intonation of the mandolin.

The scale of the mandolin is 13-3/4 inches with the nut width of 1.13 inches. To make it more attractive the mandolin has a high gloss finish.

18) A-Style Mandolin By Guitar Works, Inc

Another great choice in mandolins is the Mandolin by Guitar Works, Inc. This mandolin has A-style with oval sound hole produces warm and deep resonance. It features an adjustable truss rod in the neck. This helps in keeping the neck straight.

The GWMA-2 Mandolin has long lasting strings with 20 frets on the bound fingerboard. The neck of the mandolin is crafted using the hard Maple. This makes the mandolin easy to play with full and brighter sound.

The dimensions of the instrument are 27 inches in length x 10 inches in width x 2 inches in depth. The hardware of the mandolin is chrome plated. The tailpiece and the gear tuning machine of the mandolin are chrome plated.

The tuning machines offer amazing intonation with effortless tuning. The hardwood bridge has 2 height adjustments wheels that enable you to adjust the height according to your preference.

The Guitar Works, Inc Mandolin comes with a hard Featherlite case. You can keep your mandolin safe and sound. You can carry your mandolin with ease to any place you like.

19) Ammoon A-Style Electric Mandolin

Another choice for musicians is the Ammoon Electric Mandolin. The body of this mandolin is made from solid basswood. The fingerboard of the mandolin is manufactured using Rosewood and the neck is made from Sapele wood. It feels very comfortable to play and easy to move up and down.

The mandolin features 2 F sound holes, 1 volume control tone and 1 tone knob. The resonance produced is warm, deep and crisp. The gear tuning machines makes tuning easy and increases the playability. The response frequency is also increased, thanks to it tuning machines.

The exquisite craftsmanship provides the highest quality of sound and tonal clarity. Strings of this mandolin are made from steel that will produce a clear tone. The nickel plated silver frets add a stylish look to the mandolin.

They are resistant to corrosion making it easy to care for the mandolin. This mandolin is great for various music genres. The Ammoon Mandolin size is 29.5 inches x 14.2 inches x 2 inches.

The Ammoon Electric Mandolin comes with a gig bag that makes it convenient for you to carry your mandolin. You can keep your mandolin safe from all elements.

20) IRIN A-Style Elegant Maple Wood Mandolin

Lastly, the IRIN Elegant Maple Wood Mandolin is a great choice. It features a bridge and fretsboard crafted from Rosewood. The resonance it produces is nice, sweet and bright. The body of the mandolin is manufactured from basswood.

This mandolin looks like a pear in appearance. The music produced is melodious that is enjoyed by everyone. It is great for bringing a classic touch to the modern music.

The tuner of the mandolin is made from metal that is nickel plated. This means it is easy to clean and is corrosion resistant. The tuning is easy that will provide you wide range of tones of high and low. The black and golden color mandolin look beautiful that has a traditional look. The dimensions of the instrument are 27.55 inches x 0.63 inches x 0.09 inches.

Moreover, the mandolin has an easy to play neck with an adjustable bridge. The adjustable gives you better intonation. This IRIN A-Style Mandolin offers smooth performance with exceptional player experience.

Choosing the Best Mandolin from the Best Mandolin Brands

Therefore, when you are looking for a mandolin, you must pay attention to what your requirements are. You must check is the mandolin has a great tone and cool aesthetics. You must make sure that the mandolin you selected works best for you.

2) Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin Sunburst

  • Affordable
  • Highly Rated 
  • Popular Choice
  • Top Quality

1) Gretsch G9350 Park Avenue F-Mandolin A/E

  • Professional
  • F-mandolin
  • Highly Rated
  • Comfortable Playing
  • Quality Material

3) Kentucky KM-270 Artist Oval Hole A-Style Mandolin

  • Well-Built
  • Rosewood
  • Reputable
  • Great for All
  • Comfortable Playing

There are many aspects you need to keep in mind, the tuning of the mandolin, the style, and its construction. Another thing that you must focus on is the strings. The materials used to make the strings, types of strings and the string gauges.

You must always keep your budget in mind as well. We hope, this article will help you find the right mandolin for your needs.

What things did you consider?

Which is the best mandolin according to you?

Let us know your views in the comments below.