Mandolin is a fantastic choice if you like the thought of learning to play a classic instrument as a mandolin player. Sadly, not all mandolins live up to their reputations. Don’t be deceived, even though it might not appear like much to a mandolin. Making a thoughtful decision about your new instrument can help you locate one that meets your needs as a beginner player.
We considered the mandolin’s size, the materials used, the thickness, and other construction details in our search for the best beginner mandolin. These affect the mandolin’s tone in addition to its durability. We also took into account the instrument’s form, which affects how you play and the type of music you may create. Finally, we discussed how playing differs between acoustic, electric, and acoustic electric styles.
Table of Contents
Donner A Style Mandolin Instrument Sunburst Mahogany DML-1
- Mahogany Body: Donner 8-string a style mandolin has mahogany body in glossy Sunburst finish. Mahogany...
- Rich Warm Sound: Mahogany body bring you richer and brighter sound. Suited for all styles of music....
- Solid Exquisite Craftsmanship: Chrome plated open gear tuners are easy to tune and keep mandolin playing...
It’s apparent that Donner had simplicity in mind when designing their A Style Mandolin. That isn’t to claim the product is easy to use — far from it. It’s because the firm opted to include all of the gear and accessories that you’ll need along with the mandolin itself. You don’t have to pay extra for chrome tuner keys, a PVC pickguard, or a case.
Donner is proud of the careful procedure that goes into making its mandolin. The company claims that all of the wood it uses is meticulously screened, that it uses special drying procedures, and that its items are sculpted by professional artisans. Of course, given the unit’s low price, this is hard to believe, but there’s no disputing that the hand-feel is excellent. The spacing between the frets and the strings is pleasant, and you get the impression that whoever assembled the mandolin knew what they were doing.
The A Style’s sound quality pales in comparison to premium mandolins; this is definitely an entry-level device. That isn’t to say that if you’re a newbie, you shouldn’t consider it. After all, you’re probably still deciding whether or not playing the mandolin is something you’d like to do in the long run.
The Donner A Style is a mandolin that is surprisingly approachable. The thin neck makes it easy to wrap your hand around (especially if you have small hands), and it’s also easier to play than a regular guitar in many respects. The frets are strong, and even if you overlook the sound quality, you won’t get the idea you’re strumming on a cheap guitar. In our opinion, the tactile feedback is excellent. This is the Best Mandolins for Beginners in 2023.
Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-model Mandolin – Sunburst
- Solid German spruce top gives you clean articulation and a crisp, bright tone
- Solid Alpine maple back and sides for extra punch
- Slim Alpine maple neck for comfortable, easy action
The Kentucky KM-150 is an excellent entry-level mandolin for those of you who have prior music experience but aren’t sure about mandolin just yet. While the overall design of this mandolin isn’t particularly interesting, the manufacturing quality that went into it is undeniably noticeable. The Kentucky KM-150 has a solid spruce top, solid maple sides, and a solid maple back, as well as an adjustable truss rod. While mandolins are recognized for having deeper tones, this instrument has a superb tone even in its higher register. This is a fantastic mandolin that was designed with tone and sound quality in mind, rather than constructing a mandolin with a slew of fancy attachments.
It is on the pricey side for a beginner instrument, and it would most likely serve as a step up from a lower-priced starter mandolin to something at the higher end of the scale. This mandolin has a solid maple back and sides and a solid spruce top. Kentucky has inserted an adjustable truss rod to prevent warping of the mandolin neck over time. As a result, this is a good acoustic mandolin that many people may use to learn to play. The tone of the Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-model Mandolin is outstanding in the upper registers. This is a wonderfully playable mandolin, and any player upgrading from an entry-level model will notice the difference.
However, the lower registers are a tad bland in comparison to other mandolins we’ve played, such as the KM-272. This is unsurprising given the price difference, but it is worth noting if you are looking for a professional grade experience on a budget. The best way to describe the general tone is traditional, which is OK when you’re just starting off. The Kentucky KM-150 is a wonderful mandolin to play and offers outstanding craftsmanship for a reasonable price. The overall finish is subtle and stylish, which is ideal if you want a classy look, but it does not stick out as much as some other mandolins in this price range.
Concerning the instrument’s shortcomings, the lower register may have a duller sound quality when compared to other models in the same price range. Some of the hardware on this guitar, such as the strap button/hook, is made of plastic and can easily fall off and become misplaced. This is the best beginner mandolins in 2023.
Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin
If you’re more familiar with guitars, Ibanez may be the first starter instrument brand name on our list that you remember. The Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin is an outstanding entry-level instrument because of its great build quality for the price point. Ibanez was quite concerned about an entry at this end of the mandoline market, and they have gone to great lengths to ensure that the construction is of high quality. However, the only serious complaint about the Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin is the string quality of the pickup system. Many beginning and intermediate players may complain the lack of string response and replace it soon after obtaining this mandolin.
Once you’ve properly set up the Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin and installed the new strings, you could be astonished at the level of tones you can generate with the rosewood fretboard. The sound is outstanding for the price, and the strong build makes this a wonderful investment for anyone starting to mandolin playing. Of course, if you get serious about playing, you won’t be playing the Ibanez M510DVS in 10 or even 5 years. However, you will learn how to play well, and the tone will be exact enough to produce good outcomes.
When you consider the low price, it’s difficult to find fault with the Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin. Ibanez should be applauded for producing a cheap, playable, and well-built mandolin. If you want to try your hand at mandolin playing before investing in a more expensive model, the Ibanez M510DVS is hard to beat.
Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin Sunburst
- Maple neck
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Adjustable compensated rosewood bridge
The RM-100A is the perfect mandolin for budget beginners, providing you with low-cost, high-quality craftsmanship. This Mandolin has a clear and distinct tone is ideal for bluegrass with an aggressive attack and good projection. This traditional themed model uses a regular rosewood bridge with body shape and a comfortable maple neck, making it easy for new and experienced musicians to play. The sunburst finish and soundhole give it a clean and traditional themed look, topped with nickel-plated frets and gold tuners. Experienced string players may find the action set less than usual, but most beginners will find it less tiring to play with the strength of their fingers. It should easily be on the list of best starter mandolins.
We have chosen a realistic mandolin for newcomers on a low budget. Some bluegrass mandolin cost a lot, but this model can be purchased for a fraction of that cost and has the functionality needed to start learning for any bluegrass players. The disease isn’t the most prestigious brand of all time, but it has done a great job with the RM-100A. This mandolin features a model with a rosewood bridge and a maple neck shape that is adjustable so you can get any action that satisfies you. The action is set low enough to get started, which is great for those who need to initially strengthen their finger power.
The Mandolin looks great and premium, vene though this is a starter model. It has a good mandolin “look” and F-holes, and gold tuners give it a look, and for newbies, it feels more than just a product. A glimpse into a few of the other customer reviews will give you a glimpse that most of the people who bought it seem very happy. It doesn’t meet the standards of professional mandolins, but gives great value for money and can be a perfect first step.
Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin Sunburst is the Best Mandolin for Beginners in 2023
Kentucky 4 String Mandolin, Right, Amberburst (KM-505)
- Solid, handcarved and graduated select spruce top and solid, handcarved select highly flamed maple back...
- Radiused ebony fingerboard with M. O. P. dot position markers and modern extension over the body.
- Bound rosewood peghead overlay with Kentucky script and "Mountain Rose" inlaid in pearl.
If you want to start with the instrument, the Kentucky KM-500 mandolin is the best mandolin for the money. This mandolin has a solid wood construction and gives a warm and resonant sound that is hard to compete with. The sound also has a lot of kinetic energy, which is ideal for cutting, strumming, or playing solo.
The Kentucky KM-500 is a style A mandolin and has a great wine look that will make you grin twice. The expansion of this mandolin is more than adequate. The device includes a luxurious open gear tuner that always adjusts the mandolin. Unfortunately, this Kentucky mandolin is one of the most expensive mandolins on this list. However, if you are looking for a the top mandolin that gives you features and play ability like almost no Mandolin on the market, this may be the best choice for you. Overall, this is another great choice that will not disappoint any new or intermediate player.
The Kentucky KM range offers wine design and sound quality at affordable prices, making primary claimants a great choice. This style uses a hardwood construction of a material – spruce on the soundboard and maple for the back, sides and neck, a tied rosewood fingerboard, and a regular rosewood bridge.
The duvet joint on the neck makes it comfortable and easy for musicians of all skill levels. Overall, it gives a warm, resonant sound with a fairly dynamic power and deluxe open gear tuner to keep your trend in focus.
Kentucky 4 String Mandolin is one of the Best Budget Mandolin for Beginners in 2023
Ibanez M510EOVS A Style Acoustic Electric Mandolin Open Pore Vintage Sunburst Fi
At the top of the list of best mandolins is the Ibanez M510 DVS mandolin. This is a style a mandolin that is a great choice for beginners due to the great mix of features and price. This mandolin is of very high quality, and it presents a great knowledge as well as quality parts and materials. The instrument also delivers a great sound and is quite loud, which makes it ideal for playing in front of an audience.
The mandolin has a mahogany neck, rose board fingerboard on the side and back, and has a great design and attractive appearance overall. Unfortunately, this mandolin needs a bit of adjustment out of the box, but once set up, it has a great sound and lots of fun. Overall, if you’re looking for the best mandolin for beginners, the Ibanez M510 DVS is probably what you’re looking for.
Ibanez may be a brand that we associate a lot with guitars nowadays, but they have a history of making mandolins, and the M510 is a great model for people who don’t want to spend a ton of money. A style is a teardrop-shaped mandolin that stands out for its incredibly rich tone. Many mandolins have high-frequency frequencies but are rich and strong with full lower edges, ideal for recording as well as practice.
It’s another mandolin that offers a rosewood neckline that gives the sound such clarity and a truly luxurious feel while playing. The “dark sunburst” design looks unique and great. It’s a topic of discussion among musicians, and it shows a light sunburst look for those who are different from other mandolins. A bright finish perfectly complements a guitar to suit even an amateur budget. It certainly gives us thumbs up.
Ibanez M510EOVS A Style Acoustic Electric Mandolin Open Pore Vintage Sunburst Fi is one of the Best Mandolins for Beginners in 2023
The Loar LM-310F-BRB Honey Creek F-Style Mandolin
- Hand-carved solid Spruce top
- Maple neck with thin "V" profile
- 1-1/8" nut width
The LM-310F F-Style mandolin is an excellent choice for beginning players. This is a bit cheaper than the LM-520 but still delivers impressive quality and incredible sound. This is one of the best mandolins for the money that you will probably find on the market today. The instrument is a perfect choice for beginner and intermediate mandolin players and is well built. This mandolin features a hand-carved solid spruce top with a maple neck, back, and sides. A brown satin finish gives this instrument an elegant look and makes it an instrument that you will want to show off on any occasion. All in all, this mandolin is worth checking out if you want a starter mandolin at a very attractive price.
Hola! Music A Style Mandolin Instrument with Adjustable Truss-Rod Model HM-3TS, Glossy Sunburst Finish
- 8-string traditional A style Mandolin in glossy Sunburst finish
- 8-string traditional A style Mandolin in glossy Sunburst finish
- Maple top, back, sides and neck. Adjustable compensated Rosewood bridge
With a glossy sunburst finish covering the top, back, sides and maple neck! The HM-3TS A-style mandolin includes a compatible compensating rosewood bridge, an adjustment rod and a simple pickguard in black ABS. White body binding and chrome open gear tuners provide contrast, while the chrome tailpiece is beautifully decorated with fine carvings. The neck maple and the fingerboard are walnuts. Strap pins are a useful addition to this traditional thimble mandolin.
Initially seekers of an economic mandolin will appreciate the mandolin at the Hola HM-3TS. A reputable manufacturer of decent, playable and low-cost materials, the company found new players with reasonable prices, good materials and useful features often not found in entry-level mandolins. While this device is unlikely to satisfy any expert, it will initially encourage them to practice at the next level. This is the best beginner mandolin in 2023.
Ammoon 8-String Electric A Style Mandolin Rosewood Fingerboard String Instrument with Cable Strings Cleaning Cloth
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This is an electric mandolin in an 8-string style. It has a stiff spruce and linden body with roseboard fingerboard. The handle is made of Okumen wood which makes it easy to play. This mandolin tuner is designed to provide easy tuning. You can get a wide range of high and low tones. Ammoon Mandolin can stand the test of time.
It also has Rosewood Bridge with 2 sound holes F, 1 volume and 1 tone control buttons. It produces great sound quality with warmth and high response frequency. The strings are made of steel which you can play as you see fit. They will give a clear and amazing resonance. The Sunburst Black finish makes it even more attractive and the great finish enhances its look.
Ammoon mandolin is supplied with a wire and a cleaning cloth. You can easily clean your mandolin and keep it in optimal condition. The cable length is 3 meters through which you can attach your mandolin to a speaker or an amplifier.
Factors to consider while buying the best mandolins for beginners
Mandolin is one of the most attractive instruments and delivers great sound in a small package. It has a very interesting history. Mandolin offers more versatility than you think. While it’s a major component of the Bluegrass genre, it can also be a great addition to many other types of music. If you’re ready to start learning Mandolin, now is the time to pick a top Mandolin for yourself. By choosing any one of the above instruments, you will have the best opportunity to learn in style while listening to the best possible.
Acoustic or Electric
There are electronic-acoustic mandolins on the market and these hybrids usually have the same basic configuration as the acoustic mandolin. What makes an acoustic-electric hybrid work like an electric mandolin is the so-called “piezoelectric” microphone located on top of the mandolin bridge. The microphone takes the vibrations produced by the mandolin string and converts the vibrations into electronic pulses, which are then transferred to an amplifier. There are flaws in playing the electric mandolin; You always have to plug your device into some kind of amplifier, especially if you want to play for an audience.
If you are interested in electric mandolin, you can take a look at a semi-empty electronic mandolin. The idea behind the half-hollow mandolins is the same idea behind the guitar with the half-hollow body; There is a central wooden block located inside the instrument, which reduces the amount of feedback produced by the instrument, but also reduces the overall sound quality and sound production of the instrument.
But all of this will not let you know that your situation will get worse with acoustic mandolin. If you want to get your hands on an acoustic mandolin and then decide that you are going to expand your equipment, there are still a few choices for you.
The easiest option to widen the acoustic mandolin is simply to replace the compensation bridge; Your new bridge will be on a bridge with piezoelectric sensors. Another option is to use a magnetic pickup that is commonly found on violins, cellos and other stringed instruments.
Mandolin has three main categories of body size. The physical shape of the bowl-back mandolins resembles a traditional thematic loot and is most popular in classical music. F-style mandolins have an outstanding body shape with two F-holes or a single oval hole. Gibson first produced in the early 1900s. They are a great choice for country and bluegrass style. In the final form, the A-style mandolin is the most well-known. It has a teardrop-shaped body profile and two F-shaped sound cavities making it the simplest form of mandolin making and making it less expensive. These are popular with musicians of all styles but especially with folk musicians.
The low price of Mandolins in style is because they are so good for beginners. These are the ultimate versatility and tend to be the most comfortable to play, especially for beginners. Style A mandolins may have a slightly arched back but not a sharp curve like the bowl model. Although they may have scrolls and sculptures, they tend to be simpler in appearance than F-style mandolins, which are more imaginative in design.
The toned wood used to make the mandolin body has a great effect on the final word. Any instrument used in the construction of a piece of wood can be more musical and resonant than the instrument made of other materials. Still, wood will also have subtle differences between tone and wood.
Most mandolins use spruce for the top because of its bright tonal color and the clarity of its accent. Back and sides where you will see the most significant variation. Maple is a very popular tonewood for the back and sides. Compared to other toned woods, it maintains a great balance between the warmth of mahogany and the luster of spruce.
Regarding neck, bridge, and fingerboard, the quality of construction will be more important than the material used for your overall sound. Mahogany, maple, and rosewood are all common ingredients for these pieces, although you can also see ingredients like ebony and spruce.
The best starting mandolins will have a definite effect on the overall sound of the material – each part of your instrument will vibrate and contribute to the sound profile – but you must pay more attention to the correct seat and neck alignment of the bridge, as these will have more effect on the playability of the instrument.
If you’re not sure how to tell if the alignment of your Mandolin is off, look for a tool repair shop, and a technician will show you what to look for. Having an instrument in perfect condition will make it easier to learn the right technique and prevent you from getting frustrated due to problems with tone and anxiety. And with one of these so-called best starting mandolins, you are more likely to find and keep this instrument in perfect condition for a long time.
The tones you can produce will vary depending on whether the mandolin is an F-style or an A-style model like the Hola! Music HM-3TS A-Style Mandolin. The mandolin’s building materials, however, have a bigger impact on the final tone. The majority of mandolins are built with various types of wood, and different parts of the instrument are stressed to different degrees. The different types of wood used in the mandolin’s components will determine whether a given mandolin is a lower- or higher-quality instrument.
The mandolin’s soundboard, or top, is the most crucial component in determining the tone of the instrument. An excellent mandolin like the Loar LM-310F-BRB The top of the Honey Creek F-Style Mandolin will be robust and light, producing a wonderful tone. For a variety of acoustic instruments, including pianos and guitars, spruce is always in high demand. Some inexpensive mandolins employ cedar or mahogany as a substitute, which results in a tone that is duller and lower and cannot be heard when playing with a band.
The laminate top used on the more affordable mandolins is made by pressing together several layers of wood. Although the top may initially appear to be made of spruce, the layers beneath may actually be made of cedar or mahogany. A laminate top can be sturdy and long-lasting, but because the grains of each layer vary, there are weak spots in each one, which will also influence the sound quality. However, since the emphasis is on learning to play and a laminate top is fairly inexpensive, this is generally not a problem for beginners. The body and soundboard of mandolins like the Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-model Mandolin are made of a variety of woods, most of which are maple.
Rosewood is a common soundboard material, while ebony is favoured by those looking for the best playing action. Regarding the quality of the instrument, the mandolin neck’s wood choice is crucial. The tuning and playability of a mandolin will be impacted by a neck that is susceptible to warping and bending. Because the neck must to be rigid, mahogany and maple are favored. A laminate neck is a wonderful option for the mandolin neck because the layer of different wood grains can assist the structure withstand warping. As a result, many mandolin necks are created by layering and gluing together two or more pieces of wood. The truss rod on many mandolin necks enables the musician to modify the neck for a better tone.
The bridge is the final component of the mandolin to take into account. Many guitarists might be shocked to learn that the bridge is movable. Ebony, a less popular option, or rosewood are typically used to make mandolin bridges. When the strings are changed, the bridge must be re-set in order to achieve the desired tone because it is trapped under the new strings. In order to protect the instrument, many mandolins have a tough coated finish, but this can significantly lower the sound quality.
It all comes down to price. No matter what features and qualities you are looking for in your standard mandolin, your money and your budget will ultimately count. However, you should know that the price is what you pay but the value is what you get. Therefore, you must make sure that the price you get after paying the price of mandolin with
In most cases, the most affordable mandolins will cost $50 or more. These types have the same functionality and the same models as the expensive ones. The only thing that stands out is the wood design, structure, additional functions and other interesting features. For those who are just starting out, cheap mandolin is the best choice.
The most expensive mandolins are priced starting at over $10,000. They have artistic qualities that make them every penny. These are usually used by pro-players who perform alone on stage or in a music group. This does not prevent you from using or buying this type of thing when you are a beginner or intermediate player.
Lastly, be sure to check it out first, regardless of what you like. Play it first and see the notes, tones, tuning and critiques of all the features. Before paying your hard earned money, you must make sure that the mandolin meets your needs, style, tastes and preferences. Ideally, it should make you feel better about yourself, listen better and then look more beautiful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the mandolin easy to learn to play?
It is not difficult to learn how to play the mandolin. Because it is lightweight and portable, you may practice it anywhere.
Is mandolin harder than guitar?
Mandolins are easier to learn than guitars since they have fewer strings. If you already know how to play the guitar, this instrument will be simple and enjoyable to learn.
What are the mandolin strings made of?
Mandolin strings are made of high-quality materials such as bronze, stainless steel, allouy, and other mixes, and they are doubled to extend their life, which has become a trademark of this musical instrument through time.