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Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin

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The Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin is a bluegrass showboat with a full-range single-coil pickup with volume and tone controls. You'll never...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Great sound played acoustically or amplified.

The Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin is a bluegrass showboat with a full-range single-coil pickup with volume and tone controls. You'll never be drowned out by those big dreadnought acoustics again. Mandolin features a spruce top; nato neck, back, and sides; and rosewood fingerboard and bridge. 4-in-line chrome tuners with white plastic tuning knobs. The Fender FM-52E Mandolin has great tone plugged or unplugged.

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    Review Snapshot

    by PowerReviews
    FenderFM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin
     
    3.5

    (based on 46 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (13)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (10)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (11)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (9)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Ways to make this mandolin play better...

    1. Put light gauge strings on it. This instrument has a laminated plywood top. If you insist on using medium strings on it, the top will eventually cave. This mandolin is not...Read complete review

    1. Put light gauge strings on it. This instrument has a laminated plywood top. If you insist on using medium strings on it, the top will eventually cave. This mandolin is not really designed to be played unplugged so heavier strings aren't really necessary. Just turn up the amp.2. Lower the bridge. The best way to do this is to just take the thumb wheels off and let the saddle rest against the wood. The mandolin will be easier to fret and the top will resonate better.3. Raise the pickup. Turn the little screws on either end of the pickup.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    STRINGING NIGHTMARE

    Great little mandolin for the price however Fender had made a catostrophic engineering oversight with respect to re-stringing. I can't believe no one has complained about the impossibility of restringing this thing. You have...Read complete review

    Great little mandolin for the price however Fender had made a catostrophic engineering oversight with respect to re-stringing. I can't believe no one has complained about the impossibility of restringing this thing. You have to feed the string through the metal bass and hook the string around the pegs but since the metal cover doesn't open up its maddening trying to re-string this thing. I'm about to throw this thing across the room!! This problem could easily be addressed by creating a metal bass that allows you to open it up and hook the strings to the hooks instead of going insane trying to feed the strings through and trying to 'fish' them onto the hooks.

    Reviewed by 46 customers

    Displaying reviews 1-20

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    (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    bad design

    By glynn

    from cottonwood,Al.

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    I play a michael kelly mando,and I wanted to get another mando with a pickup.so I got the fender.no matter how I tried to tweak the bridge and intonation it was hopeless without a trust rod.even at the bridge's lowest setting the action was high and out of tune.fender should be ashamed to sell such junk,when they make the best electric guitars in the world.

    (6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    STRINGING NIGHTMARE

    By Starfire03

    from Philadelphia, PA

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    Great little mandolin for the price however Fender had made a catostrophic engineering oversight with respect to re-stringing. I can't believe no one has complained about the impossibility of restringing this thing. You have to feed the string through the metal bass and hook the string around the pegs but since the metal cover doesn't open up its maddening trying to re-string this thing. I'm about to throw this thing across the room!! This problem could easily be addressed by creating a metal bass that allows you to open it up and hook the strings to the hooks instead of going insane trying to feed the strings through and trying to 'fish' them onto the hooks.

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Ways to make this mandolin play better...

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    1. Put light gauge strings on it. This instrument has a laminated plywood top. If you insist on using medium strings on it, the top will eventually cave. This mandolin is not really designed to be played unplugged so heavier strings aren't really necessary. Just turn up the amp.2. Lower the bridge. The best way to do this is to just take the thumb wheels off and let the saddle rest against the wood. The mandolin will be easier to fret and the top will resonate better.3. Raise the pickup. Turn the little screws on either end of the pickup.

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Incredible Deal!!

    By MarshmanDW

    from Undisclosed

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    Wow! For the cost it's hard to get anything on this caliber. In response to some of the other reviews; of course you gotta get it set up right, it has a floating bridge. Its not a big deal. I had never strung one before and mine was simple and is set well. Sounds great acoustic and electric and the electronics work fine. This mando perfect for someone like me, who is on a budget but wants quality.

    (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    sounds and plays alright but, not built to last

    By Gwbrownie

    from Alberta

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    i have always liked any fender instrument, one of my friends had a really high end fender mandolin that was amazing, so i looked around and this one appealed to me not only because of the brand but because of the pickups and nice sunburst finish, so i bought it and thought it was great, until i later seen the flaws. this mandolin was definatly not built to last because the neck joint had a big old crack in it that was barely noticably but if the neck moved at all you could see inside the neck, and on the neck below the head stock there is a big old crack, i loved this instrument and the brand, but obviously fender isn't putting the quality in their asian made instruments compared to the mexi's and americans

    (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Worth every penny

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    This is a cheap mandolin... and worth every penny.I have had 6 eclec/acoustic mandos... 4 fenders all about the same tonal quality... average.You're not paying for much and you're not getting much... really there just aren't a lot of options out there for an electic/acoustic mandolin.

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Not built to last

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    I recieved this mandolin in a trade with a friend, and now I see why he wanted to get rid of it. The tuners can't keep the strings tight and the result is a mandolin that goes badly out of tune after 30 seconds or so of strumming. The neck is also badly bowed, and guess what. NO TRUSSROD! That means that there is NO WAY TO FIX IT. Fender should stick to guitars.

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Buyer Beware!

    By PropaneDaisy

    from Denver, Colorado

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    So the Fender FM-52E is my first mandolin so I thought I would start with a nice entry-level product. We do some Led Zeppelin, REM and Rod Stewart tunes that require mandolin. So the FM-52E looked like the perfect fit for price, being an acoustic-electric and being from Fender!Boy have I been disappointed. The tone control on my instrument seems to have little or no effect on the sound. And the volume control does not have a linear response - i.e. it is touchy with even small adjustments and really changes rapidly at the high end or the range.And if that isn't all, the assembly was terrible with the gap between the set of D strings and the set of A strings exhibiting a larger gap between them than between the other strings (in effect the D strings are out of alignment). But the big issue was the tuner for the low G string which was installed poorly. This has resulted in a tuner which is EXTREMEMLY difficult to turn. So difficult in fact that I recently snapped off the fingergrip and will now need to get the whole set of tuners replaced.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    good for the money

    By hofnaguy123

    from Carbondale, IL

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    My dad bought this mandolin for me on my birthday so I could learn to play it. the mandolin isn't real bad for the money. it played ok through my marshall, but occasionally it went out of tune in 5 minutes. And the bass strings seemed to scrunch together without me playing it. But i have to admit, it was a pretty good mandolin for the money.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    A VERY well priced mandolin.

    By STEVE-O-4WD8a

    from Baton Rouge, LA

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    This mandolin is priced extremely reasonably. You just don't find a mandolin as good quiality for this low price. I bought it a couple months ago. It was and still is my first mandolin and I won't need to upgrade for a while. My only complaints are with the pickup. It just doesn't sound that good amplified. (Maybe that's because I use a keyboard amp.)But other than that, this mandolin is just right for the price and for what a beginner needs.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    New to mandolin

    By Vo3tsek

    from Brisbane, Australia

    About Me Novice

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    Being an experienced guitarist I have found it easy to transition. In about half a hour I could play a few basic songs I know. I look forward to learning more about this awesome little instrument. When you do buy please make sure you look up the correct bridge position. There are a few good videos but the one I looked at was from fender themselves.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Good Starter

    By This Guy...

    from Missouri

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    I play around 6 gigs a week, and had done so with this thing for 5 years. It finally met its demise last night...the top caved. I have used and abused this product and feel I got my money's worth... so I'm off to spend the big bucks on something nice.First and foremost, if you are an active musician (especially you all in rock/alt country/country bands) this is a great product to START with... you can use it live right out of the gate. If you give up trying to learn mandolin, you not out too much money. BEWARE, it is terrible in the strictly acoustic setting. No matter how hard you thrash it, you WILL be drowned out...forget soloing.... In a live and loud setting -plugged in- you'll be ok. Be ready for a tempermental and ill set up instrument though. I had to have the frets dressed right out of the box... The pickup doesn't capture the 'E' string enough... the tone and volume knobs don't function in a liner fashion (super touchy at the top)... I have had to use a preamp so you aren't forced to max the channel on the board just to hear it, let alone mix it... in the past year it has developed a nasty buzz due to grounding issues... But hey, look at the price you're paying. Nothing at this price point isn't gonna come without shortcomings. Don't complain....its cheap. You get what you pay for. On a side note: The durability is impressive. I've been waiting/anticipating/hoping for it to break for over 2 years. It gets rudely tossed in and out of a trailer at least once a day, it has been dropped from high altitudes countless times, soaked by sweat, rain, and booze... the bridge finally collapsed during a gig 6 months ago, and I just wedged some nickels in it to hold it up (never fixed it).... finally, the top split near the pickup and caved in... I wedged a guitar pick and a few more coins under the foot of the bridge to regain enough string height to make it work through last weekend. It still plays! Laminate tops are very durable.A great buy for the money if you intend to use it plugged in and you're not willing to invest in a cadillac. I know this is a long review, but heed the words of someone that has had one and put it all the way through its life cycle... and spent the last year trying to destroy it in an honorable fashion.

    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    AWESOME!!!

    By WyldeGuy77

    from Bakersfield, CA

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    A pretty good mandolin, really good sound. I like the pickup they put on there.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    I love my Fender

    By muzikmannnn

    from Los Angeles

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    This is a great little instrument. I have no complaints about it at all. I use it more for blues, jazz, pop...all but traditional bluegrass. It sounds good through almost any amp, but bass and keyboard amps seem to sound the best. The single coil pickup cuts really well, no worry about feedback. I've seen a few local country players use one to gig with. This is not an expensive, future collectible. It is a good working class instrument that will sound like a million bucks in the hands of a competent player in the right situation. And sure... you will have to change strings, adjust the bridge and nut, and adjust the pickup height to suit your tastes. That's a no brainer. I plan on buying a Kentucky KM-300E 4 string, but I won't sell my Fender FM52E.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    decent cheap electric mando

    By casterblaster

    from Huntingtown, MD

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    Mine would'nt stay in tune for 3 notes when I got it. Also, the volume knob acted like a tone control (cap grounded out). The strings were shot from the factory.I replaced the cheap tuners with grover micro tuners and rewired/replaced the cap, added fresh strings and it works quite nice. Stays in tune very well now. I also added a strap button on the heel.Quality control in Korea needs some oversight.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Decent beginner's mando

    By Stumptowner

    from Somerville, MA

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    For the price range it's not a bad choice. Intonation up the neck is a little spotty, I lowered/adjusted the bridge and it got better. Fair volume, ok sustain. Not much of a chop to it though - definitely NOT a "bluegrass showboat" as the ad describes it. The pickup is pretty sketch - it doesn't really sound like a mandolin through an amp. If you're looking to get started and have fun playing in groups, this is a good choice. But you'll definitely want to upgrade down the road if you get really into mandolin playing.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Excellent

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    This is an amazing little mandolin for the price! Excellent.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Fender Fouls Up On Mandolin!

    By ChaseTheAce777

    from Houston, Texas

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    Where to begin. When I first recieved this mandolin it honestly looked as if it had been used for the past couple years or was a refurbished item that had been sitting in a warehouse since it was built. There were scratches and dings all over the instrument. The metal bridge plate or whatever it is at the bottom of the mandolin was so tarnished and kept falling off whenever I played it. The strings were so bad that I couldn't even get a sound on the first fret. After purchasing and installing the new strings I then realized that I drastically needed to fix the bridge and intonation of the mando. I had to raise the bridge so much and was still unable to get any action past the 5th frets. After rasing the bridge to en extent the mandoling began to bind near the f hold so I lowered the bridge back down. I highly don't suggest purchasing this mandolin at all!

     
    4.0

    I'm glad I got this

    By HangTime

    from Villa Park, IL

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Electric Works
    • Excellent First Mandolin
    • Nice Price

    Cons

    • Set Up Instruction Needed
    • Tuning Keys Not Optimal

    Best Uses

    • Practicing

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    The tuning keys get tight. I'm going to take this in to my music shop (Different Strummer) and have them check it out. Maybe I can swap out better tuning keys for a reasonable amount. That's my major complaint. I know the string change, when it happens , is going to be a learning experience. It does seem to drop out of tune a touch, but not even a half step. The G tuners are the tightest and where the sound moves the most with a little turn, which is tough to do. That being said, I like this instrument, it's my first mandolin, I've already used it out with my band, The Sons Of The New Amish. I'm practicing as much as possible, and wouldn't be doing without this reasonably priced first mandolin

     
    5.0

    Fender Mando's..Not the best

    By No One Important

    from Live Oak, FL

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Fender FM-52E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin:

    Fender acoustic instruments have never been top nitch and this one isn't any better. BUT it does have a good sound and the finish is very good on mine. When played as an acoustic it sounds like..well, a mandolin. When played on an amp is sounds way better. On distortion, it sounds pretty good, but make sure you put nickel strings on it because the pickup likes them better. One thing Fender can do is put in a dual blade pickup, one of those pickups that can fit a single route, but cancels noise. This is a learner's instrument. I'd recommend this to anyone who has an amp and wants to learn mandolin, but save your money so you can buy a better model before this one dies on you.

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