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epiphone Electric EFMB Mandobird IV

Sound Quality

I like alternative and experimental music in a broad sense, as well as any good rock and roll. I was also raised in a musical family with Irish roots, so I appreciate the mandolin for its more "celtic" applications! Like others, I did not expect more than a really cool novelty instrument, but in all applications, this little instrument is valuable, with an awesome sound for what it is. I expected nothing extraordinary from a solidbody mandolin with an electromagnetic pickup (!), but with a clean warm setting, it has a great natural tone thast fits traditional music. Perhaps more surprising was that it sounded great with amps and amp sims. It sounds very much like a guitar, but higher if played in that capacity. Warmed up a little with a Tube Screamer or treated with a little Boss analog delay, it has a great modern sound. As I hinted before, the tone pot adds a lot of character. This does not have a bright or "clicky" sound as one might expect--it's surprisingly warm. A second pickup would've been a treat.


This seems immediately more durable than any acoustic mandolin, so as mandolins go, I would say this seems as relable as one would want. I don't know how the absence of a truss rod will figure in, though the absence of a extra pickup and a switch probably lessens the chance of something going wrong electronically.

General Comments

I've been a guitar player primarily for the last 23 years or so. I was able to wrap my head around the mandolin recently because I played violin for a couple of years and they're tuned the same. I'm not jamming or in bands so much these days, but the next time I am, I will definitely be testing my bandmate's patience with this baby! In all seriousness, I think they'd be surprised how cool it is and even how useful it is in a rock setting. It really surprised and impressed me. I kind of wish it had an extra pickup. I wish I asked if it had a rtuss rod in the neck. If the answer is "no," then I wish it had a truss rod! There are some other awesome-looking electric solidbody mando's out there, so I'm intrigued, but truthfully, for the money, I'd probably just buy it over again if it was lost or stolen. An awesome find and a real treasure.

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