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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...Click To Read More About This Product

Available 12-05-2017

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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 23 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (8)

73%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (9)
  • Consistent (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Concerts (8)
  • Practicing (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (10), 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 23 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(16 of 20 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

realm07

By robert marcotte

from USA

Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

Bad investment...beware.
The biult in pickup was a good idea since I do a lot of recording
The construction of this instrument looked like it was built on a cobblers bench. Very poorly consrtucted. Very sad for Epiphone. Tried tuning it. Imposible! The 12th fret note was a whole step high. After fussing with it for a while and two replaced strings I put back in the box and set it back.

(16 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Instrument/ No documentation

By Unnamed User-Z3-fA

from Missouri

Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

I recently purchased the MM50e Professional and it required very little set up. The sound and tone are great and after a little experimentation I finally got the electric pickup working good. I would definitely recommend this instrument to any mediocre mandolin picker.The only real complaint is there was absolutely no documentation with the instrument. No owners manual, technical specs, nothing. Musicians Friend suggested I writed Epiphone. Epiphone has failed to respond. I have also written Shadow, the electronics manufacturer. We'll se if that works. If you already know how to set a mandolin up, it is a good value. Just don't expect any papers to help you.

(16 of 21 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Epiphone MM-50E mandolin

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric 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 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.

(15 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Good mandolin for accoustic/electric mix

By Curly-K9RYz

from South Jersey

See all my reviews

Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

This unit gives good performance in both accoustic and electric use. It's the best of both worlds that I have found at a reasonable price. Accoustic has good projection, and plugged in sounds great - like a mandolin. The placement of the electronics in the pickguard wtih a real humbicker pickup works well. Materials are great - but give it a good lookover when you recieve it - the assembly was a little lacking - so I had to retighten, tweak and adjust a bit. Lack of information was annoying, but I worked through it with Gibson staff. I'm very satisfied.

(11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

do not waste your time/money

By chunkylover77

from Nebraska

About Me Professional Musician

Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

Always in search of the ever elusive 'electric mandolin' that will sound like a mandolin and still cut through a full band. This was another step in the wrong direction. Loved the look of this mando, felt solid, good solid case, played okay acoustically, but nothing special. Plugged in, it was not usable for what we do. The string adjustment didnt really do anything, and tone was bad. I tried to get it to work, but ended up sending it back and getting the washburn.

(11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Great idea, tererible implementation

By Ross Cherednik

from USA

See all my reviews

Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

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.

(10 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Junk

By sludgeboy

from albuquerque

About Me Experienced

Pros

    Cons

    • Breaks Easy
    • Not Consistent
    • Poor Tone Quality

    Best Uses

    • Practicing

    Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

    This thing is a piece of junk.Needs to be set up right out of the box.The pick up is ok but then all you are doing is amplifiying a poor sounding and playing instrument.

    (8 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Sad ending to an exciting story

    By Ross Cherednik

    from USA

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

    The comments above say it all. An instrument that will not play in tune is an simply an unacceptable product. Stay far away if you want a competently built mandolin.
    The built-in pickup with its variable placement (for tune control) was a fabulous idea that sadly, was inplemented very badly. The fretwork of the instrument was done so badly that four consecutive frets all played the very same note. The store who sold it to me tried to fix this free, but was not able to do so, and consequently, it was returned. I would like to see someone implement this properly, as the pickup concept was a good very one. But this product reflects terribly on Epiphone, and though them, the parent company as well. I ultimately bought another manufacturer's competently built instrument.
    Not at all playable.
    Worthless.

    (7 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Had such high hopes

    By Ron McKay

    from Colorado

    Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

    I'm actually a fan of Epiphone. Have a 12 string of theirs as well as another f style mandolin that are both great. This one was a complete let down. I would highly recomend moving on to another mando before you spend your hard earned cash a piece of junk.
    Loved the idea of the adjustable pickup, just didn't quite work like it should.
    Out of the box noticed that it looked like it was a hobby made instrument. Tried to overlook the cosmetic issues and focus on the build in electronics. Replaced the poor quality strings and gave it a go. Had so many issues with intonation once I started up the neck; adjusted bridge placement for a little help, but frets were just not placed well at all. After with dealing with the poortone quality for a few months noticed that there was a crack on the back of the neck/body union on the back. Watched it for a while and noticed that it just got worse and worse as time passed. The entire neck was pulling away from the instrument. Sent it back.
    Save your money

    (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    hatchet

    By Doug Saslow

    from Florida

    Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

    Workmanship is a real problem, however, it does not affect the performance of the instrument. Sound is great both acustic and electric.
    It has everything I wanted and it sounds and works great out of the box.
    This instrument looks like it was assembled by a monkey working for bananas. Workmanship is terrible. The screws on the tuner plates stick out far enough for a fingernail to fit under them. There are runs on the front finish.There are gaps between the binding and top. It looks like the area of the F was finished with a cold chisel and 5 pound hammer. The low rating is for cosmetics.
    Better workmanship would have made this a 10.

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Nice Mandolin

    By Memphis Mick

    from Atlanta, GA

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    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.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Excellent instrument for the money

    By popmidi

    from Minneapolis

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    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.

      (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."

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        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

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Nice for the Price

          By Siren Guitars

          from Londonderry NH

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          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.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            I like it

            By USA

            from USA

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Good Tone
            • It Sounds Pretty Good For

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Concerts

              Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

              Yea I like it. Its a good buy for the tone, playability and look. I will note there is some truth in the negative reviews about this mandolin, a little rough around the edges, the finish work is less than perfect and the set-up out of the box is not quite right. I would just say that this product is a bit more "hand made" than some of us are use to. It does sound good though, at this price range I think its really good. I like the pickup, the controls are accurate. So if you can set it up, tighten the neck a just a little, pull back the bridge about 1/4 inch back to the right intonation, get some new strings on it, I like the earth wood mandolin 2067 strings on it so far. I think you will enjoy playing it.

               
              4.0

              Well worth the Money Spent

              By DEK

              from Thomaston,CT

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Tone

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Concerts
                • Practicing

                Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

                Great Sound Glad I purchased it. Easy adjustment for volume controls.
                Right out of the box first thing I noticed was the uneven finish on the top surface.Made me think It was a 2nd.

                 
                1.0

                I returned this product

                By The Marshall

                from Wisconsin

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • good concept

                Cons

                • Corroded strings
                • Poor fit and finish
                • Strings buzz
                • Tuning pegs don't turn

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Epiphone MM-50E Professional Electric Mandolin:

                  I really wanted this mandolin work. The idea of a good sounding mandolin with an advanced pickup system makes so much sense. Unfortunately the execution is very poor. Most of the issues could be solved with more money but why should I have to do that on a new instrument? The finish around the scroll was too bad to invest more money. The mandolin had an inspected sticker on it by the manufacturer and then by Epiphone USA. These folks need to be retrained. The mandolin has been returned.

                   
                  3.0

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

                  By Fiddling Bo

                  from MO

                  About Me Professional Musician

                  See all my reviews

                  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.

                   
                  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 ...

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