A mid-level import mandolin company with great looking instruments is Morgan Monroe. This brand name imports their gear from China and South Korea, but they are known for having higher quality products than a lot of the cheap importers. Morgan Monroe Instruments was started in 1995 and is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This brand is best known for the style of it’s instruments, but a lot of players also love the sound too. Like with all import brands, it is highly recommended that you take your new MM to a luthier to have them properly set it up for you and potentially even replace the stock strings.
The MDAM-300 is a beautiful work of craftsmanship. With most import brands, you’ll find mandolins in the price range are almost exclusively F-Style, but this is an A-Style with a ton of class!
All of the hardware is gold-plated and everything is made from solid, rubbed oil wood. The instrument also comes with an MM hard case.
This is a great choice for more experienced players that want something that looks and sounds nice, but it can also be good for a complete beginner that doesn’t mind paying extra for an instrument that will give them a great tone and last for many years.
Acoustics are great when you’re playing alone or in a quiet setting, but there are a lot of times when you simply can’t hear them clearly.
If you want to try playing in public or in a band, an acoustic won’t cut it most of the time. In these situations, an electric mandolin is great to own because they can be plugged into an amplifier or even played unplugged when you don’t need the extra volume.
The MM-100FME is an F-Style acoustic / electric mandolin that features a spruce top with mahogany neck, sides and back and a rosewood fingerboard.
The RT-FM1 is a budget and entry-level F-Style mandolin.
This is certainly not the most fancy instrument, but it is intended to be an affordable way to get this style since they are normally quite expensive.
Since this is such a cheap instrument, there are sometimes quality control issues. If you purchase one, simply be sure to inspect it good and ensure it isn’t damaged (liked cracks in the wood).
However, there are a lot of people who have this and are perfectly pleased with it, especially for the price.
The RT-M1 is the A-Style version of their entry-level mando. Just like the previous one, this is recommended for complete beginners on a budget that want to try their hand at playing. After you get the hang of it and enjoy it for a year or two, you can always move up to something more expensive.
While the exact type of wood is not specified for the Rocky Top models, it is most likely pressed wood (basically plywood), since these models are so affordable. With that said, Morgan Monroe is a much more respected beginner brand than other extremely cheap brands like Rogue.