Washburn M1S A-Style Mandolin Review

Would you like to explore a different type of instrument than you may be used to? If yes, you can start learning how to play the mandolin. Washburn M1S A-Style Mandolin can help.

Creating music is one of the things that I love doing every time that I am free. Though I had experience playing the violin, I did not know much about mandolins. I wanted to buy one but did not want to spend so much on my first mandolin. Though I came across some negative reviews regarding cheap mandolins, this did not deter me. I finally decided to buy Washburn M1S. Here is everything you should know regarding it before purchasing.

Washburn M1S A-Style Mandolin breakdown and review

Washburn has been creating different musical instruments since the 1800s. Since this company has adequate experience, it is known for creating quality mandolins. You can therefore choose a model from this company with confidence.

The Washburn M1S A-Style Mandolin is a well-built model that is made using maple and spruce. It will last for years and help you enjoy the bright sound due to its solid construction. Most beginners are also impressed with the warm tone that this mandolin produces. It can help you play different styles of music.

This model comes with eight strings and 20 frets. It also contains a rosewood fingerboard which enhances its performance. The acoustic mandolin also features a tobacco sunburst finish that makes it stand out among conventional models. Washburn M1S is a beginner-friendly mandolin since it comes in an A-style design.

It also contains a bridge that is held into position with the tensions of the strings. You may need to change the strings that this model comes with since they are not the best. Most customers are also drawn to this mandolin due to its price tag.

Though the model comes at an affordable price, it lacks some useful accessories available in high-end mandolins, such as a case and picks. If you plan on playing this mandolin at different locations, you can get a case separately for storage and ease of transportation.

What we liked

  • Great sound and is easy to play
  • It is cheap
  • The mandolin comes from a well-established brand
  • It produces a warm tone

What we didn’t like

  • This model lacks a case
  • It comes with poor quality strings



Washburn M1S A-Style Mandolin specifications

Type Acoustic
Design A-style
Fingerboard Rosewood
Materials Spruce, Maple
Finish Tobacco sunburst
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Washburn M1S A-Style Mandolin features


One of the reasons this manufacturer has remained relevant for such a long time is using quality materials in making mandolins. You can choose the Washburn M1S mandolin without thinking about replacing it soon since it is built to last. The top part of this musical instrument is made using spruce, while the sides are made using maple.

Maple is also a good material that gives this mandolin more volume, which is difficult to find in other woods. Besides that, this mandolin features an arched back. This model is also visually attractive since it comes in a tobacco sunburst finish. The neck of this mandolin is made from maple, while the fretboard is made using rosewood. It contains 20 frets and dots inlays.

Sound and tone

Washburn mandolins are famous for being great-sounding musical instruments, and this model is no exception. It is designed to deliver excellent projection and tone. The materials used in its construction positively affect the tone and sound of this mandolin.

According to most players, the Washburn M1S mandolin delivers a balanced and warm tone. The inclusion of an oval soundhole enhances the sound projection of this mandolin.


Washburn M1S is an A-style mandolin that is easy to play. You can learn how to play this model with a few practice sessions. Though cheap, this mandolin plays well. It is even equipped with F-holes.


When it comes to the hardware, this mandolin is based on chrome hardware which is known to be corrosion-resistant. This mandolin also comes with chrome diecast tuners which offer adequate tension on its strings and keep it in tune.


Unfortunately, not most players are impressed with this mandolin’s strings. You can, however, replace this immediately you get the mandolin and have them fixed by an expert. Changing the strings can further enhance the performance of the mandolin.

Who is it best suited for?

This is an acoustic mandolin that is designed for beginners. If you are a traditionalist, you should also choose this mandolin since it can help you play Celtic, bluegrass, or rock music using this mandolin since it adds a unique sound to such music genres. It is also suitable for customers on a budget. This is a versatile mandolin that is great for both rhythm and solo work.

Are there alternatives to Washburn M1S A-Style Mandolin?

Yes. If you feel that this is not the right mandolin for you, consider its alternatives. Some of them include Mulucky Mandolin, Janerock Mandolin, and Vangoa Mandolin.

Name Mulucky Mandolin Janerock Mandolin Vangoa Mandolin
Design A style A-style A-style
Type Acoustic Acoustic Acoustic
Material Basswood Basswood Basswood
Weight 4.3 pounds 4.09 pounds 3 pounds
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Verdict: So should you buy Washburn M1S A-Style Mandolin?

Yes. This is a simple mandolin that you should consider buying because it is made using high-quality materials and delivers excellent sound projection. Though it comes at a cheaper cost, it delivers tones that more expensive models produce. This is a valuable and user-friendly mandolin that can help you play different music styles.


Does M1S A-Style Mandolin have a warranty?

Yes. Once you purchase this model, you will get a long-term warranty. You can also take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee offered for this mandolin.

Do I have to assemble this mandolin after purchase?

No. This mandolin comes pre-assembled and tuned. You can therefore start playing it immediately after purchasing it.

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