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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.
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.
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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