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epiphone Electric EFMB Mandobird IV

Sound Quality

Frankly, I'm pretty amazed at the sound, even thought here is only a single pickup, the tone control has a massive effect, more so than any of my guitars, and a wide range of sounds can be had. It sustains really well too, probably partly due to the through body stringing. The pickup seems to be half of a precision bass type pickup, and again somewhat surprisingly, it sounds better on the top end than the lower (figure that for a bass pickup!!) With a bit of distortion, and the tone rolled all the way back, it can get the Gary Moore "Parisienne Walkways" sound off to a tee. Even the sustain. Clean sounds are good too. If I was to criticise at all it would be a slight lack of bottom end, and you wouldn't get a death-metal sound out of it, but for vintage rock/blues or clean jazz sounds it's great. One strange thing is that I get a bit of hum from the amp when the volume knob on the mando is half-way up, but rolled-back, or full-on, it's quiet as a mouse. I can't explain why that is.


It seems to be build to last, I wouldn't have any doubts about the durability.

General Comments

I've played guitar on and off for 30 years, and mandolin for the last 3. This is somewhere between the two. It's not a mandolin, it feels more like a mini-guitar, but is tuned like a mandolin, so you don't fall into the trap of "playing the obvious" like you tend to with guitar.


I love it, so much that I'm thinking of making a hard-case for it to protect it further. Shame I can't find one anywhere, but I guess at the price and volume that Epiphone sell, they can't warrant a special hard case for it.

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