Would you like to be in a musical band and are wondering which musical instrument you can play? If yes, you should consider playing the mandolin.
The mandolin comes in different forms, including acoustic, electric, and acoustic-electric. An acoustic-electric mandolin contains built-in internal pickups. This type offers subtle amplification and classic acoustic sound.
Finding the best acoustic-electric mandolin for the money can be challenging. This review will simplify things since it includes everything you should know regarding this mandolin type. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Best acoustic-electric mandolin for the money comparison table
|Best for||Call to action|
|Oscar Schmidt OM10E |
|Best value||Check price here|
|Ibanez M510E||The best budget-friendly option||Check price here|
|Stagg M50 E BLK||Best for different music genres||Check price here|
|Best beginner acoustic-electric mandolin||Check price here|
|Seagull S8||Best sounding acoustic-electric mandolin||Check price here|
Reviews of the Best acoustic-electric mandolin for the money
Oscar Schmidt OM10E-Best value
If you need an acoustic-electric mandolin that can give you value for your cash, you should focus on this model. This is a great mandolin that most experienced players choose. It is not only an elegant-looking mandolin but also a high-performing one.
- Style: A-style
- Materials: Mahogany and Spruce
- Finish: High gloss
- Hardware: Chrome
This is an A-style mandolin that is solidly constructed. It contains mahogany sides and a spruce top. Due to the use of mahogany in constructing this mandolin, you should expect it to deliver a deep tone.
Instead of using rosewood for the fretboard, this acoustic-electric model uses ovangkol. Though this type of wood has somehow similar tonal properties as rosewood, it is softer. The fretboard of this mandolin also features dot inlays. These make it easy for you to find your way around the musical instrument.
The manufacturer of Oscar Schmidt OM10E makes it with a high gloss finish that gives it an attractive look. The finish adds aesthetic value to this mandolin and protects the wood from getting damaged easily.
One of the crucial components included in this acoustic-electric mandolin is a 3 ply pickguard. It prevents the finish of this musical instrument from scratches and improves this mandolin’s tone.
You can easily adjust this mandolin since it features a passive pickup system that contains both the volume and tone controls. The pickup is a crucial device in an acoustic-electric mandolin that is responsible for converting the string’s vibrations into electric signals.
Since this model comes with steel strings, you don’t have to replace them since they are robust. Most customers are also impressed with its reasonable price and lightweight. The manufacturer even offers a lifetime warranty for this model.
- Stylish look
- It is a durable model
- Produces quality sound
- It is reasonably priced
- It takes some time to get it in tune
Ibanez M510E– The best budget-friendly option
Are you working with a tight budget and are in need of the best acoustic-electric mandolin? If yes, you should check out Ibanez M510E. This is a high-quality mandolin that delivers a decent tone and sound. You can either play it through the single-coil magnetic pickup or acoustically.
- Pickguard: Tortoise style
- Hardware: Chrome
- Fingerboard: Rosewood
- Materials: Spruce and Mahogany
You can use it in your first music performance. This model is designed to offer extra volume during such performances. One of the first things that most customers notice regarding it is its unique finish. It is designed to bring out the natural look of a mandolin.
It contains a spruce top and mahogany on the sides and back. These materials lead to an excellent acoustic tone. Sunburst is used in the finish of this mandolin. Most users find this model easy to play, thanks to the inclusion of a rosewood fretboard. This type of hardwood contains a smooth surface.
Ibanez M510E also comes with a maple neck that leads to maximum rigidity. Since this mandolin comes in an A-style body, it is gentle on the eyes. The best acoustic-electric mandolin for the money should come with extra features, and this model does not disappoint.
It includes a bridge that can keep the musical instrument well-toned. Unlike other models, Ibanez M510E includes a truss rod that makes it easy to modify the neck for increased playability. It also includes a tortoise-style pickguard and chrome hardware. Since it comes with low-quality strings, you should consider replacing them.
- Beautiful finish
- Delivers rich and bright amplified sound
- Effective tone and volume controls
- Quality construction
- Some beginners find assembling it challenging
Stagg M50 E BLK– Best for different music genres
Stagg has been producing quality beginner-friendly acoustic-electric mandolins for long. If you are looking for one from this reputable brand, you should check out Stagg M50 E BLK. This mandolin gives you a chance to learn how to play the musical instrument. It also comes at an affordable price to help you save some extra cash.
- Material: Nato wood
- Fingerboard: Rosewood
- Bridge: Adjustable maple
- Sound holes: F-shaped
Unlike models made using mahogany, Stagg M50 E BLK is made using Nato wood. This is a popular type of wood that is used in most budget-friendly mandolins. It has similar properties as mahogany, such as being strong and resistant to wear.
Due to the construction of this acoustic-electric mandolin, it is a durable model. It also looks visually appealing due to the use of a high gloss finish. This mandolin also features a rosewood fingerboard that softens the sound.
It contains a maple bridge that makes it easy to adjust and control intonation. One of the useful components that this model includes is the nickel tailpiece that gives it an appealing vintage look. Since this acoustic-electric mandolin has a well-designed tailpiece, it holds the strings properly, thus supporting the volume.
You will also notice the f-shaped sound holes that this acoustic mandolin comes with, which enhance its aesthetic value. Since this mandolin includes nickel tuners, it offers defined tunings. The acoustic-electric mandolin also features a single-coil pickup which is a form of a magnetic transducer that coverts the strings’ vibrations to an electric signal. This leads to a brighter warm tone. You can use this versatile acoustic-electric mandolin to play different music genres.
- It is ideal for beginners since it is easy to use
- The mandolin is durable
- Affordable price
- It sounds great
- Poor-quality strings
Vangoa – Best beginner acoustic-electric mandolin
Though some of the brands have been in the business of making mandolins for years, Vangoa is a newcomer. Despite this, it has quickly gained popularity through creating the best acoustic-electric mandolins such as this model. You can use the Vangoa Acoustic-electric mandolin to play different styles of music.
- Material: Mahogany
- Finish: Red Sunburst
- Bridge: Solid wood
This cheap acoustic-electric mandolin can help you create music and perform live. Since it is red-stained, it stands out among conventional models. The manufacturer gives it a glossy finish to make it more visually appealing. Apart from the looks, this mandolin is also made with high-quality materials.
It is made using mahogany which is known to be quite durable. The body of this model is curved to make the sound brighter. It also features a solid wood bridge that enables it to deliver a bright and warm sound. Since this acoustic-electric mandolin is chrome plated, it is not hard to adjust the string or keep it in tune.
Its fingerboard is not only smooth but also accurate. Due to the inclusion of a pickup system, this mandolin is ideal for a stage show. The manufacturer also includes a lot of useful elements making it more valuable to buy. For instance, it comes with extra strings, guitar picks, and a padded carry bag that can keep it safe while on the move.
Feel free to play this model when plugged in or acoustically. Unlike models that come with poor quality strings, Vangoa features strings made from stainless steel that don’t break easily even if you play it regularly.
Most users also reveal that it is easy to use. You can buy this acoustic-electric mandolin with confidence since it comes with a one-year warranty that covers major parts in case of defects.
- It comes with numerous accessories
- Low cost
- It comes ready to play
- Elegant look
- Some users are not impressed with the sound
Seagull S8– Best sounding acoustic-electric mandolin
Most experienced players choose this acoustic-electric mandolin due to its incredible sound. It can boost your performance on stage. The model is easy to play and offers a comfortable feel.
- Tone and volume controls
- Material: Spruce and maple
- Finish: Sunburst SG
The top part of this mandolin is made using solid Sitka spruce, which is high-quality material. The back part of this mandolin is made from maple. These materials not only promote durability but also boost its sound.
It also comes in a custom polished finish that gives it a unique look. The neck of this mandolin is hand-finished. Like most of the models that we have discussed, Seagull S8 also comes with tone and volume controls.
Seagull S8 acoustic-electric mandolin also features a rosewood fingerboard that has a smooth surface. It also includes a truss rod that makes it easy to adjust and boost the playability and intonation of this musical instrument.
This acoustic-electric mandolin includes open geared tuners that are lightweight and enhance the process of tuning. Its nickel-plated brass tailpiece also enhances its look.
- It is visually appealing
- The mandolin plays well
- It comes with a case
- You cannot attach a strap
How to find the best acoustic-electric mandolin for the money
Though an acoustic-electric mandolin has the same appearance as a regular acoustic mandolin, it differs in that it contains pickup. If you want a mandolin that you can use to perform on stage, you should consider choosing this type.
It eliminates the need to utilize a microphone while performing and gives you the freedom to move around. For you to find the best acoustic-electric mandolin, you should be keen on the following.
The materials used to make such a mandolin determine how long it can last as well as the quality of sound it can deliver. You should focus on acoustic-electric mandolins made from high-quality materials.
Some of the durable materials include rosewood, spruce, maple, and mahogany. A mandolin that includes chrome-plated hardware is also worth considering.
You should also consider the size before choosing an acoustic-electric mandolin. While some of the models are light, others are a bit heavyweight. Choose a model that will be easy to carry around to avoid fatigue, especially if you perform on stage frequently.
Getting a mandolin that comes with a carry bag can make it easy to carry around even if you don’t get the lightest model.
Sound and tone
If you choose to buy an acoustic-electric mandolin online, you should go through customer reviews to find out more about the tone and sound it delivers. Choose one that gives you control of the tone and volume.
As you shop around, you will come across acoustic-electric mandolins that come at different prices. You should go for a model that is within your budget and offers great value for your cash. Comparing the prices of the different models online can help you identify a good option.
You should also consider the accessories that an acoustic-electric mandolin comes with. Choosing one that has extras can give you a good playing experience and prevent you from spending more buying some useful items in the future. Some of the accessories that certain models come with include strings, straps, and tuners.
What kind of tuner should a good mandolin have?
The best acoustic-electric mandolin has a quality tuner that makes tuning a breeze.
What is the function of a pickguard in a mandolin?
This is a useful element that can protect the finish of a mandolin.
How does a good acoustic-electric mandolin sound?
A good one should produce a rich and warm sound that anyone can enjoy.
Picking the best acoustic-electric mandolin does not have to be challenging anymore. You only need to compare the models that we have discussed to find an ideal one. The best one can help you enjoy playing all kinds of music. All the best!