A lot of people just starting to play the mandolin will choose the Rogue brand because of it’s affordability. Rogue mandolins are manufactured by the SungBo Industrial Company in South Korea, which has been around since 1975. SungBo makes a wide variety of different kinds of products for numerous industries. However, the actual Rogue brand is owned, distributed and sold by Musician’s Friend in Medford, Oregon.
Some of these instruments are distributed to other companies and labeled under different brands, so Rogues will look similar and be identical on the inside to some other brands. A few of these relabeled brands include Marcus Martini, Venson and Carlo Robelli. Out of all of the budget and entry level mandolin brands, Rogue is considered to be decent. There are even some long-time musicians that prefer the high-end instruments from this company.
Ultimately, if you want to get started playing this type of instrument, this is a great starter brand. For the price, it is really difficult to find something better. Many people have reported craftsmanship that holds up to daily play for years. By the time it starts to wear out, you will likely be ready to progress to something more expensive.
The Rogue RM-100A A-Style flat back is their most popular mandolin and is recommended for beginner bluegrass players. It has a rosewood fret board with an adjustable rosewood bridge and nickel frets, a maple neck, and a smooth finished body with tuners made of chrome.
It gives a crisp and vibrant tone, which has surprised a lot of people because they didn’t expect such a nice sound from something so cheap. Some of the more experienced players may wish to replace the factory strings to get an even better sound, although even beginners should consider this after they play it a few times because the factory strings aren’t that great.
An A-Style mandolin is a lot cheaper than an F-Style, but the difference in these two types is simply the way they look. There is a common misconception that F-Style sounds better, but this is simply not true. More craftsmanship goes into F-Style, which is why they are more expensive – they definitely look more stylish but the differences end there. This basically means that you’ll still get as good of a sound from a more affordable A-Style like this Rogue.
If you’re interested in buying an RM-100A, there are three main options for you. The basic instrument comes in two different styles – sunburst and black. These are completely identical except for their appearance, so choose the look you like the best.
You can also get a starter package with either style that includes a gig bag and two mandolin training books. These books are exactly what a true beginner needs to learn how to play, so this kit gives you everything you need to get started. If you have never played a mandolin before and want to give it a try, this kit is highly recommended.