Washburn Americana M1SD Mandolin review

The Washburn Americana M1SD Mandolin has been rated as the best traveling mandolin that offers a good low action with no fret noise. The Americana M1SD has also been established to hold tune exceptionally well. 

When it comes to buying mandolins most people prefer to settle with the vintage units, because of their workmanship, and the materials used among other features that enable them to produce the best sounds. However, there is a downside to making such a purchase as most of the second-hand mandolins require some kind of upgrade especially the springs. 

So instead of spending a lot of money upgrading an old mandolin how about you settle for a highly efficient Washburn Americana M1SD Mandolin, check below as we explore some of its features. 

Washburn Americana M1SD Mandolin Review and Breakdown

If you are looking to broaden your sonic pallet and improve your music by adding some distinct tones then mandolins are the way to go. The American M1SD from Washburn has been configured to produce different kinds of tones and projections that you would usually get from the high-end mandolins. This series of mandolin is available in three attractive colors and which are transparent blue, transparent red, and black. 

All three different colors have a glossy finish meant to enhance their overall aesthetics. And as if the glossy finish is not enough, the Washburn Americana M1SD mandolin features some gold hardware. The top is characteristic of the curved solid spruce while the back and the sides have been made with maple. The American M1SD does have an oval sound hole but you can get other variations with the f sound hole. 

The A-style mandolin comes equipped with the standard floating bridge, the fret board is derived from rosewood and the open gear tuners that are in good condition and work just fine. The Washburn Americana M1SD sounds really good and offers a good sustain and ring. 

What we liked

  • Has the best aesthetics 
  • The mandolin is durably build 
  • Comes in three uniquely different colors 
  • The American M1SD has a good sustain

What we didn’t like 

  • Highly-priced when compared to mandolins of the same standard

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Washburn Americana M1SD, Mandolin Specifications 

Model  Washburn Americana M1SD
Top Material  Spruce
Back Material  Maple
String Material  Alloy steel
No. of strings  8
Brand  Washburn
Color  Black
Hardware  Gold
Action  Check Price Here

Washburn Americana M1SD Mandolin Features 

Oval sound hole

The Oval holes in a mandolin enable more projection and a warmer tone. And when compared to the f-holes, the oval holes tend to be less traditional. 

A-Style Mandolin

The Americana is additionally an A-style mandolin featuring a plain tear drop boy with no points. F-style mandolins are much more expensive when compared to the A-style mandolins, the reason being that the scroll, headstock, and points take a lot more work to produce. 

Back maple material

Maple is a good material used in the making of the back and the sides of a mandolin. The material is dense and strong capable of producing the high definition tones, and with an excellent projection. 

Top spruce material

While most people would prefer a mandolin that is made of a top cedar material. Spruce happens to be the best offering a brighter and clear sound. But if you want a warm and more direct tone then you will have to settle with a mandolin made with cedar at the top. 


The Washburn Americana M1SD is black in color, it has incorporated white tuners combined with gold hardware, which make for a classy look. Also, the edges feature a white binding the contrasts with the black chamber body that additionally enhancing the aesthetics of the mandolin. 


The Washburn American weighs a mere 3.5 pounds and which means it is quite portable and you can use it for the longer sessions without feeling fatigued. 

Who is it best suited for?

The Washburn American M1SD is best suited for use by instrumentalists, who play different genres of music including classic, jazz, country, bluegrass, and ethnic. It is also a good instrument for individuals who love to play American folk music. Mandolins also finesse the tones of the European classical and traditional music, so instrumentalists who are into this kind of music can make good use of the Washburn Americana M1SD. 

Are there alternatives to the Washburn Americana M1SD? 

Yes, there are alternatives to the Washburn American M1SD such as the Donner A style mandolin instrument, the Kentucky KM-150 standard A and the Oscar Schmidt OM10E A-Style. The above alternatives to the Washburn Americana M1SD differ in the types of materials used in their manufacture, the brand, color, and the materials incorporated at the front and the back. Some might sound better than the Washburn American M1SD and that is why they remain the best alternatives. 

Model  Donner A Style Mandolin Instrument Kentucky KM-150 Standard A Oscar Schmidt OM10E A-Style
Back material  Mahogany Maple Mahogany
Top material  Mahogany Spruce Spruce
Operation mode  Acoustic N/A Acoustic-Electric
Number of strings  8 4 8
Brand  Donner Kentucky Oscar Schmidt
Color  Black Sunburst Sunburst
Item weight  3.89 pounds 5 pounds 4 pounds
Action  Check Price Here Check Price Here Check Price Here

Verdict: So should you buy the Washburn Americana M1SD Mandolin

Yes, you should buy the Washburn Americana M1SD mandolin because it has been durably built, it has some appealing outlook achieved from the black color combined with gold hardware. The mandolin produces high-definition tones and boasts of the best projection, while the top spruce material ensures that you get brighter and clear sounds. 


Is Washburn a good mandolin brand? 

Yes, Washburn is a good mandolin brand producing carefully built mandolin with precise attention on the back and front materials. They play very well producing excellent acoustic sounds. 

Where are the Washburn mandolins manufactured? 

Despite incorporating the name American, Washburn mandolins are manufactured in China and boast of good quality giving value for money. 

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