The mandolin reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!
89 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: World of Strings, Cupertino, CA
Year Purchased: 2010
Price Paid: 400 ($US)
This is the F-style solid wood model by Rover. I bought it based on reviews online. It had a very "woody" sound, not a lot of brightness compared to my friend's Kentucky mandolin. It also wasn't quite as loud as I thought it was when playing it in the store.
It's a good bluegrass starter instrument.
Sound Rating: 7
It was not set up at all when I bought it. I put on new strings and knew I'd have to get it done right. I took it to Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, CA and they made it much, much better. It was easy to change strings.
Setup Rating: 5
It's a very nice looking F-style mandolin. I had the darker finish, not the lighter sunburst finish. The tuners were cheap but functional.
Appearance Rating: 6
If I were to make any other changes to the instrument I would replace the tuners. You get what you pay for in these types of inexpensive Asian instruments. You could upgrade the bridge, tailpiece and tuners and have an instrument that would last you many years. Or you could buy a different instrument for the same price.
Reliability Rating: 6
No issues with the company - never tried to deal with them.
Customer Service: not rated
The tuners were the weakest part. The bridge is cheap but works exactly as you expect, keeping the strings up off the body of the mandolin. The tailpiece does what it's supposed to do. The frets were level and accurate.
Components Rating: 7
It's a decent instrument for the price. Don't expect more than it is and you'll be happy. I keep it in my office for when the mood strikes.
It made me want to buy a better instrument.
Overall Rating: 7
'With Christy in mind' 6 days
'Out of the Dust — revised' 11 days
'Statement and question' 12 days
'Happy Labor Day' 13 days