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Old 03-06-2018, 02:14 AM
jaybones jaybones is offline
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Default Morgan Monroe any good?

Iím looking for a decent mandolin to learn on. Donít want an A type and Iíd rather get something that I wonít outgrow too soon. My search for an F mando in my price range has turned up many (Savanna, Johnson- actually tried one and it was pretty good) and this Morgan Monroe.

Can anyone tell me more about it?
~1994 Gibson-Epiphone PR7ERS solid TB&S maple
Yamaha FG 12 string, & classical guitar
1976 Fender Stratocaster natural hardtail
~1970 Epiphone Rivoli
Partsbass J copy
~1993 Sammick partscaster
Epiphone strat silverburst (project)
Fender Stratocaster "Blackie" clone
Squier Stratocaster, blacked out w/ blacktop pups
Betamann dark blue strat (project)
Betamann burgundy tele (project)
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:20 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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If you don't need an F-style there are plenty of good all-solid A-style mandos at/near your price point from Eastman, Kentucky, Loar, et al. - when push comes to shove it's all about tone anyway, and IME it really doesn't make that much difference until you get well into the upper brackets...
"They wouldn't bend, they wouldn't bow, they wouldn't burn"
- Johnny Cash
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Old 03-08-2018, 12:15 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Morgan Monroe is a decent import brand, in my limited experience. Some are pretty good, some are "meh" -- just like any less expensive instrument.

And I would second Steve's comment about A style versus F style. For the same dollars, you get more from an A style mandolin because the effort can go into better materials and better workmanship.
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:25 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Probably the most commonly asked question over on mandolincafe. The resounding advice over there is buy a used decent quality A style - Kentucky or The Loar are usually best/most consistent for the price. Eastman also is good quality, tone and playability. Morgan Monroe, Michael Kelly and similar Saga brands are lower tier. Rover, Rogue, Ibanez, Fender etc. are lower yet. You can learn on anything that is decently set up. If you stick with it you will outgrow your Morgan Monroe, Michael Kelly, Saga, Rover, Rogue, Ibanez, Fender etc. within a year.

Most of us will ignore this advice and learn it for ourselves. Good guitars in the sub-$500 range can be had. You have to spend twice that to get an equivalent quality carved top/back mandolin.

Here are some deals I'd look at if I were in your shoes. These are the current best offerings in the cafe classifieds for a good quality entry mando you won't quickly outgrow. I have no affiliation with of these ads or sellers:

Clssified #1

Classified #2

Classified #3

Classified #4

Classified #5

Classified #6

Classified #7

Classified #8

Classified #9

Classified #10

One more

Ok this one too

Last edited by Mandobart; 03-08-2018 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:36 PM
Roger M Roger M is offline
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Morgan Monroe gets some pretty good reviews. The mandolin you are probably referring to is definitely priced right. It is made of solid wood but keep in mind that the solid wood is basswood. Some people don't mind that and some do. The biggest complaint I've noticed is the open scroll. For your money, if you can do without the scroll, an a style will give you vastly more instrument for your money.
"I stay cool, and dig all jive,
That's the way I stay alive.
My motto,
as I live and learn,
Dig and be dug
In return."
Langston Hughes
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:44 AM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Oregon Coast
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Being in a similar situation looking for my first mandolin I looked at them all and watched all the YT reviews etc. For a first time instrument for me the setup was more important than the brand name. I knew I didn't want to spend thousands on a mandolin not even knowing how to play, and I know from owning many guitars as you advance your preference will change.
I ended up purchasing a new The Loar LM500VS and I am very satisfied with the instrument. Build is quite acceptable, setup is right on, and for the price point I think a good purchase. If I succeed at getting proficient at playing I will maybe someday invest in more instrument but I think even if I stay with this one it will be good enough for many years to come.
Good luck in your venture....
Love living on the Oregon Coast! & Picking Fiddle Tunes!
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Old 03-21-2018, 05:11 PM
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BoneDigger BoneDigger is offline
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I would recommend an A style mandolin. Two that stand out are the Eastman MD505 and the Kentucky KM150.

In my abode, there are lots of guitars, lots of banjos and mandolins too. There's even a bass guitar and dulcimer sitting there, so I can make music for you!
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