This website, MandolinBrands.com, was created to help consumers understand the differences between brands of mandolin instruments so they can make the best choice for their personal needs.
Unfortunately, these companies are constantly competing with each other and some of their strategies can make things pretty confusing for someone that wants to buy.
Cost is obviously a major selling point for many people, so a lot of brands try to have the lowest priced instruments at any given level. This has resulted in production being moved overseas for all but the most high-end brands. Moving manufacturing overseas did result in lower prices for both the company and the consumer, but it did have a negative consequence, product quality went down.
Some companies don’t try to hide the fact that their products are cheaply made but others do and it is those deceitful brands that cause a lot of the confusion. One of the most important examples of this confusion with mandolins has to do with the woods used in the construction process.
In an effort to reduce prices, some brands basically use laminated plywood (any kind of heat pressed wood) instead of solid wood. Ultimately, any instrument that is using laminated plywood is not going to sound as good as a solid wood one. On top of that, solid wood simply lasts much longer and the plywood models are prone to breaking or simply having the top cave in.
The problem is not that some companies have moved production or use cheap materials. The problem is that some brands are vague on purpose about the materials used. Typically, when a mandolin doesn’t specify that it is solid wood, it is usually going to be laminated plywood of some kind. However, this isn’t very clear when they make a plywood out of a material that is normally used as a solid wood.
For example, solid wood spruce tops are common among quality instruments, but what happens when a company has a spruce composite wood and simply says it has a “spruce top”? In a situation like that, a least some people get tricked into buying that instrument thinking that they have been able to get a solid wood model for an affordable price, but they actually just bought a cheap plywood model.
This is why this website was created – to help clear up that confusion and to help musicians pick the best mandolin for them based on real facts and not marketing ploys.
There is a selection of mandolins or related accessory products that we recommend and advertise on this website. These products are available for purchase online through Amazon by clicking on any of our advertisements. Although we may receive a commission for a purchase that originates through one of these advertisement links, we do not have any other connection with those companies and would still recommend their products even without these ads.
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