- What Should You Look for When Buying a Best Rated Mandolin?
- Types of Mandolins – Body style
- Bowl Backed Mandolins
- A-style mandolins
- F-style mandolins
- Types of Mandolin Wood
- Which mandolin should I select?
- Will you only practice on your mandolin?
- How much should I pay for my mandolin?
- Comparison Table:
- Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-Model Mandolin
- Ibanez M522SBS F-Style Mandolin
- Kentucky KM-270 Artist Oval Hole A-Style Mandolin
- The Loar LM-520-VS Performer F-Style Mandolin
- Ibanez M510BS A-Style Mandolin
You’ve found the ideal article if you play the Best Rated Mandolins and are looking for a high-quality instrument worth every penny. Mandolins are uncommon musical instruments in today’s music environment, but they’re a terrific method to give your music a distinctive vibe.
What Should You Look for When Buying a Best Rated Mandolin?
Make sure you have a broad concept of what you’re looking for in your new mandolin and that you’ve compared mandolin brands, so you know what to anticipate before you go and buy a best rated mandolins.
Some of you may be looking for the best mandolin on the market, one that is hand-carved and echoes like a dream, while others may be looking for an economic beginner’s mandolin that will get you through the learning process. Whatever the situation may be for you, be sure you know what you want from a mandolin.
Types of Mandolins – Body style
More contemporary mandolins typically have one of three different body shapes:
- Backing a bowl
The mandolin body shapes you choose will depend on the style of music you wish to perform, your aesthetic preferences, and your budget.
Bowl Backed Mandolins
Among the three body forms, bowl-backed mandolins are the earliest constructions. The distinctively rounded back of bowl-backed mandolins makes them easy to identify, as does the instrument’s deep tone, frequently heard in mandolin orchestras, traditional folk music, and classical music.
However, many of today’s bowl-backed mandolins are not of high quality and lean more toward the affordable end. As a beginner musician, you should be cautious when searching for bowl-backed mandolins because it might be more challenging to discover good-quality mandolins that generate high-quality sounds.
A-style mandolins are often referred to as flat-backed mandolins because of their pear-shaped bodies, which set them apart from bowl-backed mandolins. The backs of A-style mandolins do, however, have a slight rounding.
The soundboard of these mandolins either has two “F” holes on either side or one “O” hole in the center. A-style mandolins are more straightforward to construct than F-style mandolins; hence they frequently cost less than F-style mandolins. Usually found in folk, classical, and Celtic music.
There aren’t many significant changes between mandolins in the A and F styles. The most crucial distinction between the two instruments is the body carving on F-style mandolins, which is frequently done with great care.
In addition to having points on the mandolin that protrude from the body to make the lower section of the body more comfortable to rest on your lap when you’re sitting down and playing the instrument, F-style mandolins often have two “F” holes instead of the single “O” hole. In today’s music, country and bluegrass players frequently use F-style mandolins.
Types of Mandolin Wood
While the tone of a mandolin can vary depending on how its body is shaped, the materials used to make the instrument have a much more significant influence on how it sounds.
Varying guitar portions are stressed to different degrees because of how the mandolin is shaped. This indicates that distinct sections of the guitar are produced by guitar manufacturers using a variety of woods.
Which mandolin should I select?
Although acoustic mandolins are typically less expensive than electric ones, you shouldn’t base your decision on price alone. Make sure the instrument you select fits your particular musical taste.
You can use the following questions to help you decide whether to buy an electric or an acoustic mandolin:
Will you only practice on your mandolin?
- Will you join a band or other group to play mandolin?
- Are you going to be a part of a mandolin orchestra?
- Will you be playing in a band where you might want your instrument to make one of the most prominent sounds during specific musical passages?
- Do you have the money to buy extras like amps, a gig bag, tuners, a mandolin pick, etc.?
Although you might not be fully prepared to respond to these questions, they will force you to consider your ideas regarding mandolin playing and performance.
How much should I pay for my mandolin?
Several options on the market are available that let you spend as little or as much as you wish, just like with most other stringed instruments. You can purchase a new mandolin for between $50 and $100 if you want to choose some of the least expensive alternatives available. The price point will rise if you spend more money on more fine wood, better materials, better artistry, and more aesthetically pleasing hardware.
Expensive mandolins can easily cost $5,000 or more. However, if you are starting with the mandolin, you shouldn’t feel compelled to buy expensive instruments.
Last update on 2023-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-Model Mandolin
Saga Music owns The Kentucky Mandolin Company, its main office in San Francisco, California. However, since 2001, their mandolins have been produced in China. Therefore, these instruments are not created in America. Don’t let it deter you, though.
Kentucky mandolins are renowned for being both inexpensive and high-quality. The KM-150 Standard A-Model Mandolin best exemplifies this reputation. It is entirely made of wood. The instrument is additionally hand-made and shop-adjusted. Therefore, the KM-150 can be ideal for you if you’re seeking a traditional device that’s also user-friendly for beginners.
- This A-style mandolin sets itself apart from the competition thanks to the premium woods utilized and the high-gloss finish. This instrument is stunning and incredibly playable because of its many features and materials.
- You receive the Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-Model Mandolin already set up by the shop. So, this mandolin is ready to play when you open the box.
- The Kentucky KM-150 is a fantastic mandolin for beginners due to its dependability and simplicity.
- There isn’t a protective case included with the Kentucky KM-150 mandolin. Therefore, you will need to buy the case separately. Be careful; legal fees can add up quickly.
- Setting up the KM-150’s floating bridge correctly might be challenging. If you’re worried about putting together the floating bridge, Kentucky advises taking the mandolin to a store.
Ibanez M522SBS F-Style Mandolin
Since 1908, Ibanez Guitars has been in business. However, the company was then a distributor of goods and a sheet music shop in Nagoya, Japan. However, the Japanese firm started selling Ibanez guitars in the US in the middle of the 1970s. Since then, one of the most well-known manufacturers of mandolins in America is Ibanez Instruments. However, it is not all.
The M522SBS F-Style from Ibanez The mandolin is a superb instrument that is simple to play. It is intended to be both professional and reasonably priced. This guitar is so inexpensive that it might even make our list of the most budget-friendly classical guitars. A mandolin is not a guitar. However, this comparison merely demonstrates to mandolin players how well-made and reasonably priced the M522SBS is.
- The Ibanez M522SBS F-Style Mandolin has a striking appearance thanks to its flamed maple back and sides. Moreover, this all-wood structure is of excellent quality and resilience. Even the most rigorous playing schedule won’t break it.
- The M522SBS mandolin has a great Bluegrass shape and sound thanks to the F-style body. So, pick up this mandolin to emulate Ricky Skaggs’ tone.
- Adjusting the bridge, you may change the string height on the M522SBS mandolin. As a result, you can select the level that best suits your playing style. Additionally, the M522SBS is simple to play because of its function.
- The M522SBS is an acoustic instrument, even if it appears electric. You must search elsewhere if you want an electric mandolin.
- You will be required to buy your case. In addition, the M522SBS must be tuned before use.
Kentucky KM-270 Artist Oval Hole A-Style Mandolin
The Kentucky KM-270 Artist Oval Hole A-Style Mandolin imitates the antique oval mandolins. The KM-270 is the perfect option if you’re seeking a mandolin with a traditional appearance. The KM-270 has a sizable circular sound hole. As a result, it produces a low and mellow sound. Also, . . .
Kentucky has re-created the design and construction of a collectible instrument with the KM-270. However, they do so in a reasonably priced package. This is fantastic since it makes playing the mandolin and other traditional instruments accessible to all musicians.
- The all-wood construction, made of maple and rosewood, is solid and valuable. The KM-270 also has a sunburst gloss finish, which gives it a timeless appearance.
- The fingerboard is made of East Indian rosewood, which makes playing the instrument simple. Additionally, it has an excellent smooth and soft sensation to the touch.
- A light mandolin, the Kentucky KM-270 barely weighs 2.75 pounds. However, folk music performers might benefit significantly from this—the mandolin’s narrow size results in a classic tone.
- After you acquire the Kentucky KM-270, it needs to be set up by a shop. You won’t be playing it straight out of the box.
- This item lacks a case, just like many other mandolins on our top ten list. Some folks might find that additional cost to be prohibitive.
The Loar LM-520-VS Performer F-Style Mandolin
The Loar produces guitars and mandolin replicas of well-known Golden Age instruments. The firm strives to make stunning, traditional, and musically excellent tools. In actuality, the Gibson LM-520-VS is a near replica of mandolins made by Gibson at the turn of the 20th century. When it comes to the LM-520-VS,
This mandolin is a minimalistic piece of gear. It is made entirely of solid wood and has simple decorations. Additionally, using a single layer of invalid binding highlights the classic style. Try The Loar’s LM-520-VS if the appearance of your mandolin is essential to you.
- The LM-520-VS mandolin by Loar has an adjustable ebony bridge that may be compensated. As a result, you can adjust the instrument to suit your performance requirements.
- The Loar only sells hand-carved, all-wood goods. A stunning and fashionable mandolin is produced by The Loar’s designers using the wood and finish they chose.
- Grover tuners, included with the LM-520-VS, ensure that your instrument stays in tune. Your mandolin will always be in music, regardless of how hard or frequently you play it.
- The LM-520-VS mandolin has essential decorations. As a result, it lacks a lot of contemporary additions. The ideal player should use this paired-down strategy. A different product should be considered if you want a mandolin with all the bells and whistles.
- The LM-520-VS is a reasonably priced device, although it is still more expensive than some of the other mandolins on this list. Before investing in it, some players might want to reconsider.
Ibanez M510BS A-Style Mandolin
The history of Ibanez Guitars is extensive and convoluted. The Cliff’s Notes version states that they arrived in the US for the first time in the 1970s. Ibanez has been manufacturing their instruments since the 1980s, which includes mandolins. I present to you the M510BS.
The M510BS A-style mandolin from Ibanez is a prime example of the brand’s commitment to excellence and accessibility. In reality, the M510BS is made to look and sound like their well-known mandolins from the 1970s and 1980s, but with modernized features. Therefore, all you have to do to see this small mandolin’s possibilities is look at the M510BS.
- The Ibanez M510BS preserves its shine and good looks thanks to its open pore finish.
- The mixture of woods in this all-wood mandolin also gives it a traditional A-style appearance. So if you want to play a traditional mandolin at a reasonable price, this is the item for you.
- The M510BS is the ideal instrument for beginners due to its straightforward design. So, no whistles and bells. But just superb craftsmanship.
- The Ibanez M510BS’s included strings are not of the same caliber as the instrument. Therefore, please buy your mandolin strings.
- Additionally, a professional setup of the Ibanez M510BS is required to sound its best. You will probably need a reputable local luthier shop, so perhaps you know of one.
The best rated mandolins should be considered by anyone looking for a distinctive instrument that can play in a wide range of ensembles. This guitar-like instrument has traveled far from Italy to the United States. And the mandolin’s popularity has increased since the turn of the twenty-first century. Therefore, the mandolin is a good choice for experienced musicians wishing to diversify and beginning musicians looking for their first instrument.
It cannot be easy to find a fantastic new instrument every time. Fortunately, our evaluation includes a buyer’s guide and ranking of the top mandolins. So long as you heed our recommendations, you’ll be prepared to explore new musical territory immediately