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MF MD HG Backstage Pass 1-13-16
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Fender FM-53S Acoustic Mandolin   (Open Box)
Ships Internationally
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Product# 510461
OVERVIEW

This little beauty features a solid spruce top, nato back and sides, and 4-ply ivory binding. It's gorgeous to behold and the sound quality is exceptional. 4-in-line gold tuners with white plastic tuning knobs.

Pretty to look at; fun to play!

FEATURES
  • Solid spruce top
  • Nato back and sides
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
FenderFM-53S Acoustic Mandolin
 
4.1

(based on 27 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

90%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (7)
  • Well built / quality (4)
  • Consistent (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Practicing (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (4), Novice (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

great mando at low price

I have been looking for one and found an used one which I bought for 80$ !!! I had to do some little fixing work (replace one broken tuning knob), re-polishing...Read complete review

I have been looking for one and found an used one which I bought for 80$ !!! I had to do some little fixing work (replace one broken tuning knob), re-polishing it. Now it looks clean and the sound is great, warm and loud compare to the brand new Savanah I have been playing with.One recommendation: ignore the bad rating from any buyer who complain about mandolin tuning. New mandolins must be setup before you can tune it. I had one in the closet for years that I can never tune until I learn how to setup mandolin (online) , then I start playing from that day.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

basic, no-frills with problems

This Fender FM-53S is a $$$ mandolin, and unfortunately in the world of mandolin luthery, I guess $$$ does not buy you much.Fit and Finish: The lacquer is unevenly applied...Read complete review

This Fender FM-53S is a $$$ mandolin, and unfortunately in the world of mandolin luthery, I guess $$$ does not buy you much.Fit and Finish: The lacquer is unevenly applied on my mando with spots where it is thick and other spots where it is thin. The sound holes were cut with little attention to detail as the hole edges do not appear to be sanded at all.Playability: As was previously mentioned, the frets need attention. Out of the box, both the 11th and 12th fret on the A-string gave me an "A." There was also lots and lots of fret noise on the D-string. The action needs to be set VERY high to eliminate the above problems. Additionally, after two trips to the luthier, the instrument is still out of tune with itself--(problem with luthier or instrument??).Sound: The sound (excepting fret noise and intonation problems) is louder and more warm than other mandos I have played in this price range.

Reviewed by 27 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Very Fun Instrument

By 

from Florida

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Comments about Fender FM-53S Acoustic Mandolin:

I got this on the SDOTD for 1/2 off but even at the regular price I think I would have been pretty happy. I mostly play 6 string electrics but I thought I'd start working on my mando chops. The instrument is actually quite nice and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality level at this price. The one thing I will say is I had to lower the bridge all the way to get the action right. Intonation is pretty spot on across the fretboard and this sucker is loud. Fun little instrument to start playing mandolin at a great price.

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4.0

Fun Fun Fun

By 

from Ohio

About Me Novice

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Good Tone

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Practicing

    Comments about Fender FM-53S Acoustic Mandolin:

    Just got this and can't put it down. I'm sure that I could pay more for something with a bit better sound but this is a blast to play and I couldn't be happier. f

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    5.0

    Perfect for checking the mandolin out

    By 

    from New Carlisle, OH

    About Me Novice

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Fender FM-53S Acoustic Mandolin:

    After years of guitar playing I decided to try out the mandolin. SDOTD price for this one was perfect so I took a chance. I love it! I've never played another mandolin, but it seems well made, plays easily and stays in tune. The E string seems to lack volume but as a beginner's instrument it more than fits the bill. I will keep playing the mandolin!

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    2.0

    No Thanks

    By 

    from New York

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Not Consistent

      Best Uses

        Comments about Fender FM-53S Acoustic Mandolin:

        Wanted to like it. i could never get it to stay in tune. Really bad tuners. I had no choice but to return it.

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        5.0

        Surprising quality at this price point

        By 

        from The O.C.

        About Me Experienced

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Decent finish
        • Good Tone
        • Strong

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Jamming, plinking & plucking
          • Practicing
          • Recording

          Comments about Fender FM-53S Acoustic Mandolin:

          Mandolin is not my primary instrument. It certainly is a sound that I've always enjoyed incorporated with other stringed instruments & that's why it was purchased. The mandolin was easy to set up. The tuners have held tune. The finish is good - no thin spots, no runs - it's a pretty little basic unit. Very enjoyable to play. If you're an experienced guitarist or even a violin or uke the mandolin is a breeze to pick up. My wife is having fun with it also, as it's an easy instrument to hold and for fingering if you have small hands. That being said, I have fat fingers (like BB) and I still do pretty well with the fretboard. Worth every penny!

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          4.0

          Great entry level starter or backup instrument for the price

          By 

          from Northern IN

          About Me Novice

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent
          • Good Tone
          • Stays in tune, easy to setup.
          • Strong

          Cons

          • Crazy weird protective wrap on the pick guard.

          Best Uses

          • Backup
          • Beginner
          • Practicing

          Comments about Fender FM-53S Acoustic Mandolin:

          I've wanted to add mandolin to some of the songs that our worship band plays but didn't want to drop a ton of cash on one just to see how it worked. This is a good instrument for the amount of money spent. You might want to swap out the medium strings for some decent light ones if you are just starting out as the mediums are a bit harder to learn on but they'll last longer and project better than the lights. This mandolin has surprisingly good tone and stays in tune. It's not fancy at all but it seems to be made of quality materials (According to Fender it's Solid Spruce Top and laminate back and sides) and was easy to setup. I would definitely recommend it as a great entry level instrument. As a comparison my brother had bought an inexpensive Washburn mandolin a couple years ago that was at the similar price point and we've had a heck of a time setting that one up and keeping it in tune and it doesn't have nearly as good of tone as this Fender. So for the $$ I spent this Fender is a great mandolin to learn on.

          The only gripe I could make was a super minor one but the crazy adhesive protective plastic wrap on the pick guard was nearly impossible to remove and had been applied before the pick guard was screwed down so I had to unscrew the pick guard simply to take the packaging off and then it left such a tenacious sticky residue on the pick guard that I had to use Goof Off liberally to get that off too. Not a big deal by any means in light of the rest of the qualities the instrument has but a bit of proper preparation on the Hunan Peninsula would've made that way easier to deal with.

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          5.0

          A bargain by Minstrel's standards!

          By 

          from Brockport, New York by the Erie Canal

          About Me Professional Musician

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent
          • Good Tone
          • Long Life

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Practicing

            Comments about Fender FM-53S Acoustic Mandolin:

            Mandolin wind crying through the leaves that pass knowledge to that fine business called Musician's Friend!

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            4.0

            Excellent for the price

            By 

            from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Cheap
            • Good quality
            • Good Tone

            Cons

            • Rough nut work

            Best Uses

            • Practicing
            • Rehearsal
            • Shows

            Comments about Fender FM-53S Acoustic Mandolin:

            This was an impulse buy when the instrument was on sale. I've never owned a mandolin before this, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but overall I'm quite satisfied. It's a fun little instrument and from a quality standpoint it is a whole lot of instrument for the money. Be aware that when you get this instrument, you have to mount its bridge yourself. While this is no problem for me - I'm an experienced luthier - there were no instructions for doing so and this would confound a lot of people.

            The strings that came with it are gauged properly and sound good, but they're one of the first things I'll change. When I do change the strings I'll be doing some work on the nut - tuning is a little unstable on the instrument because the strings tend to catch on rough parts of the nut. A little smoothing with a nut file is all that's needed, but understand that a mandolin is hard to tune properly in the first place - and when the nut it rough, it makes it that much harder to get right.

            Overall: Great starter mandolin. Easy to play out of the box (after attaching the bridge and tuning). Good, loud tone and a flawless finish.

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            4.0

            Nice mandolin has a great action & sound

            By 

            from Missoula, Mt

            About Me Novice

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Good Tone
            • Strong

            Cons

            • Didn't have any instructions for assembly

            Best Uses

            • Practicing

            Comments about Fender FM-53S Acoustic Mandolin:

            New mandolin player

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            5.0

            Good build! Fun to play!

            By 

            from Johnson City

            About Me Professional Musician

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent
            • Good Tone
            • Long Life
            • Strong

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Concerts
              • Practicing

              Comments about Fender FM-53S Acoustic Mandolin:

              great instrument to learn with.

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