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Applause MAE148 Roundback Acoustic/Electric Mandolin
Overall Rating
Submitted: February 18th, 2008
by Adam -.kCSs
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Sound Quality
I bought this secondhand and I wasn't overly impressed with the sound at first. A bit dry and scratchy when played acoustically, which I rationalised because it was cheap and would do the job. With new strings, however, and played through a Fender Acoustasonic amp, it comes to life. I haven't heard the next level up Ovation mandolin, but I reckon this model would compare pretty well. The feedback-resistant design is effective, which is very handy for playing live.
Reliability/Durability
Decently made, seems fairly tough and durable. Some people complain about the tuning keys, which are not the best, but I find them stable enough. Not had any problems with it. Just to add my bemusement and displeasure about the battery compartment. Applause obviously thought: 'What's the stupidest, most complicated and inaccessible place we can put this thing?' Getting the battery out is a feat, putting it back in requires skill and patience. Ridiculous. You get a warming light on the EQ panel when the battery is low, but heaven forbid if I had to change battery mid-gig. This rating would be an 8 otherwise.
Price/Value
General Comments
I'm an ocasional mandolin hacker, a little folk and country in my band's set, and this is probably all the intstrument I will ever need. It's a waste to get something top-end to drag around bar and club venues, when most of the audience can't tell the difference anyway. Still, if I lost it, I would probably trade up and get something better. It sounds perfectly acceptable plugged in, but I would go for a model with a classier pure acoustic sound.
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