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Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin  Natural 

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Many products claim to be revolutionary but, more often than not, that claim falls short of expectations. This isn't the case with the Epiphone MM-50...Read More

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OVERVIEW

Lets you adjust the output level of each string pair.

Many products claim to be revolutionary but, more often than not, that claim falls short of expectations. This isn't the case with the Epiphone MM-50E professional mandolin.

The construction fundamentals for the MM-50E's rich, natural acoustic sound are ensured with a solid spruce top and gorgeous flamed maple back and sides. A rosewood fingerboard is fitted with dot inlays.

The MM-50E professional is the first mandolin that allows you to adjust the output level of each individual string pair, solving the inherent mandolin problem of unbalanced string pair volume.

The Epiphone MM-50E mandolin starts with the "Quad" NanoMAG pickup. Designed in cooperation with Shadow Germany-who have been making acoustic pickups for over 30 years-the NanoMAG is a unique, low-impedance humbucking pickup equipped with Samarium cobalt magnets that capture true acoustic tone and a wide range of harmonics. Under each string pair is a separate coil that picks up only the sound of that string pair with crosstalk separation of >85dB. Each of the mandolin's 4 output levels is controlled by 4 trimpots, which are discretely accessible from the top of the pickguard via a mini flathead screwdriver. Once set to your desired levels, you would typically never need to adjust the levels again.

Rather than loading down the mandolin with electronics and adversely affecting its natural acoustic tone, the Shadow system puts all the electronics inside the pickguard. This allows the Epiphone mandolin to respond and sound just like an acoustic mando should. On the pickguard are master volume, treble, and bass rotary controls, as well as an easy-access battery compartment using a lightweight, long lasting 2032 watch-style lithium battery. Even the pickup is mounted on the pickguard.

For added versatility-and to allow you to position it in the optimum location for your picking style-the NanoMag can slide back toward the bridge for a brighter tone, or forward toward the neck for a warmer tone.

For a great vintage look as well as enhanced tonal characteristics, the Epiphone MM-50E Professional mandolin features a very thin, hand-rubbed polyoil finish. Not satin, this 50% sheen finish looks and feels great, while allowing the wood to vibrate more freely.

With a history of making mandolins going back over 100 years, Epiphone knows how to make a great sounding mandolin. mandolin features classic "F" style specifications including a carved, solid Spruce top with traditional flamed maple back, sides, and neck. Multi-binding on the body and headstock, a classic mother-of-pearl "Flower Pot" headstock inlay, nickel hardware, vintage machine heads with pearloid buttons, and a Rosewood fingerboard and bridge pay tribute to Lloyd Loar's original "F" style design.


FEATURES
  • Top material: solid sitka spruce
  • Body material: flamed maple
  • Neck: flamed maple
  • Neck shape: "C" profile
  • Neck joint: hand-fitted, glued-in
  • Scale length: 14"
  • Fingerboard: rosewood with dot inlays
  • Pickup: position adjustable Quad NanoMAG
  • Controls: master volume, treble, bass, four individual string pair output levels
  • Power: #2032 Lithium battery
  • Frets: 23
  • Bridge: floating, adjustable rosewood
  • Nut width: 1.06"
  • Hardware: vintage in-line nickel machine heads
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
EpiphoneMM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin
 
3.1

(based on 21 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (7)

77%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (8)
  • Consistent (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Concerts (7)
  • Practicing (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (8), Professional musician (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Epiphone MM-50E mandolin

This is a well-built F-style mandolin, and the natural finish gives it that rustic look that stands out on stage in a Bluegrass setting. I own six mandolins, and have played in a...Read complete review

This is a well-built F-style mandolin, and the natural finish gives it that rustic look that stands out on stage in a Bluegrass setting. I own six mandolins, and have played in a Bluegrass band for 26 years..."Hometown Bluegrass". I look for a mandolin that has a good balance between tone and a chunky percussive "chop" for keeping the back beat in the meter. This mandolin qualifies in both respects. I bought two Kentucky mandolins last year, the 855 and the 505. I love their sound and play them all the time. Lately, however, I have a touch of arthritis and needed something that still has good tone but is easier to play. The Epiphone MM-50E has a flat and wider fretboard, and I find this easier to pull off those faster licks. Presently I have no need for the electric pickup, but I do have hearing loss, and might eventually need to use it with a small amp at jams. For the price, this is a good value. I recommend it. It is well built, sounds good tonally, has a good chop, and is easy for your fingers to get around on. Well done Gibson.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great idea, tererible implementation

Even a professional luthier could not make this beast playable with two tries. I ultimately returned it, soon finding a far finer instrument in the same price range. There is no no excuse...Read complete review

Even a professional luthier could not make this beast playable with two tries. I ultimately returned it, soon finding a far finer instrument in the same price range. There is no no excuse for putting an instrument on the market that does not have a properly intonated fretboard. Yet the movable pickup, as mounted, is a wonderful idea that deserves to be implemented by a competent builder. This was an extremely disappointing experience, as it had such wonderful potential, yet was implemented so completely ineptly.
Loved the pickup arrangement with its versatile tonal possibilities, but the terrible intonation of the completely defective fretboard made it impossible to play,
Simply not competently made. When four consecutive frets (11-15) respond with exactly the same note, there are very serious problems.
An unplayable instrument cannot have value at any price.

Reviewed by 21 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

Good Mando with a few tweaks!

By Yoda

from Pa

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Consistent
  • Good Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Concerts
    • Practicing

    Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

    This Mandolin has receivced a lot of bad reviews. I purchased this as an open box from MF a couple of months ago. The price was really good and I thought i would give it a try. When I got it, it was apparent that it was not set up properly so I took it to a local shop and had it set up . After the set up the fellow who said it up said it was one of the best playing Mandos he has ever played or worked with. Its easy to play now and it sounds great with or with out an amp. The electronics are solid and very adjustable. Also the finish was rough so I took a piece of 000 steel wool to it and it cleaned up real nice. It has a smooth finish now and I love the way it plays . If your willing to do a few things mentioned here you will have a great Mando

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    4.0

    Nice for the Price

    By GregD

    from Londonderry NH

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Consistent
    • Good Tone

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Concerts
      • Practicing

      Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

      OK I read a lot of people trashing the finish on this mandolin and I can only say that the one I got ( open box ) is not perfect still it's not awful. I like the blonde low luster light finish. Yes it has obvious sanding issues in certain areas but overall it looks pretty cool. Out of the box it needed a little height adjustment on the bass side and it plays beautifully. The sound is a little tight but I'm sure it will open up as I continue to play it.
      Now for the pickup. This system by Shadow sounds great !!!!!! This pickup is natural and fully adjustable. I play in an acoustic duo and this mando is easily blended with my partners big sounding dred. I love this mandolin so to the critiques who expected more from a mandolin at this price point should just take a breadth and chill. I don't think you would be disappointed with this mandolin.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      3.0

      Open box item. It was risk, but instrument is working.

      By Bo Fiddly

      from MO

      About Me Professional Musician

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

      It is working now, but it takes blood, sweat and $$$ to make it pro.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      1.0

      don't waste your money

      By deebee

      from Miami Oklahoma

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

        • horrible workmanship
        • Won't Stay In Tune

        Best Uses

          Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

          This mandolin looks like it was built by a third grader..the binding is the worst I have seen ..the finish had smears of dark and light spots some places looked like the stain was poured on and never wiped off... we bought one and exchanged it hoping that maybe we just got a lemon but second one arrived and was even worse so back it went ...tuners are junk won't stay in tune...very disappointed in Epiphone I own four Epiphone guitars and love them but they dropped the ball on this one ...

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

           
          4.0

          Decent Mandolin for the Price

          By Andy

          from Superior, WI

          About Me Novice

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Good Tone

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Concerts

            Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

            It is fairly new mandolin to me but I have used it for practicing and one gig so far and it has worked pretty flawlessly. It sounds good. I am curious about the battery life since it uses the round batteries like tuner instead of a 9V but it made it through an entire gig so far.

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

             
            4.0

            Very nice for the money

            By Morfar (your mothers father)

            from Dorchester MA

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Good Tone

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Recording

              Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

              Nice sound

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Excellent instrument for the money

              Profile Image

              By popmidi

              from Minneapolis

              About Me Professional Musician

              Ask me a question

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Good Tone

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Concerts

                Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

                Despite all the negative reviews about "fit and finish," I actually appreciate the somewhat "raw" look of this mando. Be forewarned, however: if you like the thick poly finishes that Chinese-made instruments typically sport, you will be surprised, and perhaps unhappy with what appears to be a hand-rubbed, oil-type finish. For those of us with ears, though, this sort of finish really allows the instrument to "speak," and this one does.

                The tone is nice - somewhere between an "F"-style's "chunK" with some "A"-style "ring" to it. Really open, musical tone.

                Now, the pickup. WOW. Just wow. As real as it gets, plugged in. And LOTS of options to tweak it to your liking. I'm so surprised a magnetic pickup can do this, but Shadow is good at what they do. I am now a fan!

                Overall, at this price-point, the MM-50E is a steal. Yeah, the tuners are horrid (Gotohs are on order, and should arrive any day), and I'll upgrade the tailpiece to an open-style, as the whole fighting-to-get-the-cover-plate-off game at string change time is not for me, and, a heavier, cast brass tailpiece will likely enhance sustain just a tad. So, I'll drop another C-note to make this mando near perfect for my purposes.

                Oh, one thing: The setup, out of the box, is less than stellar. You may want to figure on taking it to a repair facility well-versed in tweaking mandolins, and drop a few simoleons to have a new nut made, and an overall setup.

                I recommend this mandolin highly.

                Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                 
                5.0

                Great mandolin !!

                By Country shredder

                from Spring, Texas

                About Me Professional Musician

                Ask me a question

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Strong

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

                    Strong mandolin. It has a good feel . The finish is cool , but it is a little rough as far as other mando's out there . However , I do feel it's a solid mandolin in the right hands.

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                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Good mandolin, bad information.

                    By jp

                    from ID

                    About Me Experienced

                    Pros

                    • Good Tone

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Concerts
                      • Practicing

                      Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

                      I have played guitar, mandolin and bass for over 55 years. I found the tone and playability of this instrument to be quite good. The fit and finish was poor and the tuning machines are just mediocre but all in all it's a pretty good instrument for the money. I bought a restock but ended up sending it back as it was stamped "2nd" on the headstock and nobody bothered to mention that. I have since ordered another and am looking forward to it. I would recommend the mando but not sure I'd recommend buying a "restock."

                      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

                      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Nice Mandolin

                      By Memphis Mick

                      from Atlanta, GA

                      About Me Experienced

                      Ask me a question

                      Pros

                      • Consistent
                      • Good Tone

                      Cons

                      • Needs Some Setup

                      Best Uses

                      • Backup
                      • Concerts
                      • Practicing

                      Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

                      After I got this, I wondered why it wouldn't play in tune in the higher positions. Then I noticed that the bridge was in the wrong place. This is probably why everyone is thinking the frets are wrong, etc.
                      The bridge needs to be moved, basically, to the position of the middle of the f-holes. This should make it play in tune with maybe a little more fudging. After that, pull the pickup's metal bridge holder out and slide it back into the bridge. I don't know why Epiphone would send them out like this, maybe to protect the metal pickup piece from bending during shipping?? They should tell you!
                      Mine was a return and that was probably why. I'm glad I figured it out.
                      So, I like the look of it, the pickup works as it should and it plays good. I couldn't find anything else in the same price range with a pickup installed. and not being in the soundboard is a plus, that can kill the acoustic volume on some.

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                      Displaying reviews 1-10

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