The mandolin is a unique musical instrument that’s gaining popularity every day because of its extensive use in classical and folk music worldwide. At first, it can be a bit difficult to tune it, but once you learn the basics, you’ll find that it will produce unique tones and harmonics.
A mandolin will give your music a more natural feel and is always a great way of adding that old-time flavor to your song. However, with so many mandolin brands for beginners claiming to offer the best mandolin, you can easily get overwhelmed. So, what are good mandolin brands you can choose from a quality mandolin? One of the top-rated brands for entry-level mandolins is Kentucky or Saga Music, with brands like Rover, Trinity College, Flinthill, and famous Kentucky. Other mandolin brands include Loar for great entry-level and higher mandolins, Washburn for low to moderate budget instruments, morgan Monroe for a budget to high-end acoustics, Savannah for low budget acoustic mandolins, Ibanez for all budget range instruments, and Eastman for high-quality mandolins.
|Saga music||Makes ukuleles, banjos, fiddles, and mandolins.
For low to high budgets, different mandolin brands, including Trinity College, Rover, Flinthill, and Kentucky.
|Loar||Makes ukuleles, archtop guitars, and mandolins.
Affordable A and F style models with hand-carved spruce tops.
|Morgan Monroe||Makes guitars and mandolins and also mandolas and mandocellos with normal finishes and colors.|
|Ibanez||Makes great electric guitars and mandolins with a wide variety of styles and models.
Low to mid-level prices and innovative designs.
|Eastman||Makes handcrafted mandolins and guitars with solid maple and solid Adirondack spruce.|
|Gretsch||Makes mid-level electric guitars and drums, mandolins, and acoustic instruments.
High-quality but affordable mandolins.
Kentucky or Saga Music
A popular quality brand for entry-level mandolins like the Kentucky KM-150 is one of the best mandolin instruments. Saga Music also focuses on making other string and fretted instruments, including the ukulele, fiddles, and banjos. Their mandolin brands include Trinity College, Flinthill, Rover, and Kentucky. The Kentucky brand ranges from standard A style models to high-end F style models with a price range from $100 – $4000.
This is a company that makes antique-looking mandolins, archtop guitars, and ukuleles. It has models that range from $300 and up with an entry-level A style model, the LM-110 being around this price, or the LM-310 is an F-style model that is very affordable. These 2 models have maple necks and hand-carved spruce tops. The LM-600 has a $900 price range which is a more high-end model. The Loar mandolins all have a vintage image and vibe.
Morgan Monroe is a mandolin and guitar maker based in the US, but the mandolins are made in China and South Korea. The mandolins are in both F and A styles and also builds mandolas and mandocellos. Apart from the normal finishes, these mandolins also come in brighter colors. If you’re not on a budget, you can get the MDM-1 that costs around $750, but the MDM-300 is a more reasonably priced A-style option.
Ibanez is a Japanese guitar maker that makes mandolins and stunning electric guitars. The company was started in 1957 and is based in Nagoya, Japan, and has a wide variety of models and styles of guitars and other instruments that also includes very low-priced models. For example, the Ibanez M522S is a $300 entry-level F-style mandolin with a solid Sitka spruce top, while the expensive M700 F-style mandolin is on the opposite end of the spectrum. In addition, it has flamed maple sides and a solid engraved Sitka spruce.
If you’re working with a budget, an Eastman mandolin is a great option. They make handcrafted mandolins and guitars that are very popular with rock and bluegrass musicians. Their mandolins are mostly made of solid maple and solid Adirondack spruce with a decent selection of finishes. The MD304 is an A-style mandolin with an oval hole that costs about $500, while the MD315 is an F-style model with an $800 price tag.
Gretsch was founded in 1883 by a German immigrant and is well known for its mid-level guitars and drums, ukuleles, and also mandolins, and acoustic instruments. Their American design combined with the modern production techniques has helped them to produce high-quality but affordable mandolins.
As you learn more about mandolins and better understand the style you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find a mandolin that suits your needs. Many good mandolin makers provide budget and high-priced models depending on your budget. For example, saga music produces good mandolins from the A-style to the F-style models.
How much is a good quality mandolin?
A mandolin with a solid top will sound better than one made with laminate. A mandolin with a price range of $100 to $600 is a good choice.
Which style mandolin should I buy?
For a beginner, an A or F style mandolin will better suit your needs. An A-style mandolin is easier to build and is also less expensive than an F-style model.