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brzozowski321

Rogue FM-80E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin



Sound Quality

When I got it, the bridge was flat down all the way. Two of the pairs of strings would hit multiple frets starting around 5. First thing, raise the bridge, correct the problem. OK now. FYI, bridge elevations worked great. Second, there is a limit on how far a pickup can ride from the strings, this thing came in with the pickup a solid 1/2 inch from the strings. First time I plugged it in, got a lot of hum and very little sound. Get out the screwdriver, start cranking the adjustment screws. Got it up about 3/16 of an inch. Better, but still not where I would like it. Lots of hum. Have to use the tone almost completely to bass. Acoustically, it is not bad, especially now that the bridge is up. Electronics not so good. Sustain is just OK, but hey, it's a mandolin, not a baritone guitar, and I do get sustain now on higher frets, (a little), but give it a break, you're looking at what - 3 inches of string at that point? Bright sound acoustically, still not satisfied with the pickup. Need to find a way to raise it higher. I think it will do fine for what I want, mostly old time music, praise and country classics.

Reliability/Durability

As long as the neck finish crack stays where it is, just a finish mistake crack, I think it will be OK. It didn't groan or gripe when retuning after the bridge rise. I would have to put a new pickup in for any kind of live playing, and I may yet although I'll never play live. I want it hot, hot, hot!! Finish seems tough, I like the looks. It looks like a mandolin should look, traditional. Strap buttons are fine. Tuners are no-name, plastic knobs, but seem OK, and have little play in them. They bring the strings up predictably and without a lot of jumping. If you overtune, they let the string down evenly. That's about all you can ask. Nut is OK, string grooves may be a little too deep. Overall, it seems worth the money after I get it setup and fix the minor finish flaws. I bought the 12 month warranty for $12.95, so if the neck does fail in a year, I'm good for a replacement. I think for a beginner, it will be reliable and durable enough to practice and play. Live? No.

General Comments

I've only been playing guitar seriously for a few months. Tried 3-4 times in my life, took some lessons years ago, finally committed to it. So I can play songs, and do scales, but I'm no professional. Nor do I want to be. I just love the sound of string instruments. I own everything from a few guitars, electric and acoustic, to guzheng (Chinese Harp) some other instruments from China, (Pipa, a kind of 4 string lute; Erhu, a 2 string fiddle with a snakeskin sound board; and a Yangqin, which is really a hammered dulcimer tuned to a different scale) Also own a Rouge slide guitar, (fun toy, no more, but REALLY sounds cool),and now the mandolin. I use Line 6 amps, and a Yamaha keyboard from 91' for rythmn sections.

I wish I had tried one of these before buying, but couldn't find one anywhere.

Stolen or lost, I would buy a more expensive acoustic or just pop for the $450 electric Epi down at my local Guitar Center.

 

I love the fact I now have a mandolin that will play, I can learn on.

I hate the fact that it is poor electrically, I could have locally pumped the money into a pretty nice Johnson acoustic.

I compared it to Johnson, Aria, Samick, then also ratings of others on the net. This looked like a nice comprimise for the money. It may still be when I finally get the setup and finish flaws done.

The hum level still bothers me.




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