Shop Our Selection of Mandolins
The mandolin is a captivating stringed instrument that has found its place in various musical genres, prominently in bluegrass and Americana. One of the most iconic mandolin styles is the F-style mandolin, popularized by Gibson with models like the Gibson F-5. This distinctive design, featuring an ornate scroll on the upper bout, not only adds elegance but also influences the instrument's tone, making it a favorite among bluegrass enthusiasts.
For those seeking a more straightforward and affordable option, the A-style mandolin offers a classic look and resonant sound. Brands like Eastman and Kentucky KM have established themselves in providing quality A-style mandolins that cater to both beginners and experienced players. The Kentucky KM-150 exemplifies this, featuring a traditional design with a sunburst finish.
Mandolins come in various sizes and tunings, including the mandola and octave mandolin, expanding the sonic possibilities within the mandolin family. These instruments are tuned lower than a standard mandolin, adding depth and richness to the sound. Northfield Mandolins and The Loar LM series are known for their exceptional craftsmanship in producing quality mandolas and octave mandolins.
In the realm of bluegrass, the F-model mandolin is a staple. The Kentucky KM-500 and Collings MT exemplify this design, combining Adirondack spruce tops with flamed maple backs and sides for a bright and powerful tone. The inclusion of an F-style design and an adjustable ebony bridge allows players to fine-tune their instrument to their liking.
As the world of mandolins evolves, manufacturers like Gold Tone are introducing innovative instruments, including the electric mandolin. These models often feature a solid body and can be played through an amplifier, expanding the mandolin's sonic capabilities into new territories.
For the left-handed players, brands like Washburn provide left-handed mandolins such as the Washburn M3SWL F-style mandolin, ensuring accessibility for all musicians. The inclusion of left-handed options caters to players who prefer a reversed orientation for their playing comfort.
The oval hole mandolin, a style reminiscent of Italian mandolins, is characterized by a round soundhole rather than the traditional F-hole. This design, seen in instruments like the Martin A-Style Oval Hole, contributes to a warm and mellow tone, making it a preferred choice for folk and Americana musicians.
For those venturing into the world of mandolins, starter kits often come with essential accessories like tuners and a gig bag. The Kentucky KM-150 and Eastman MD305 are examples of beginner-friendly mandolins that provide both quality and value, ideal for those exploring the intricacies of this stringed instrument.
Mandolin enthusiasts seeking an alternative may explore the world of solid body mandolins, akin to the electric guitar. Fender and Gibson offer solid body mandolins that can be played through amplifiers, allowing for greater versatility in different musical settings.
The emergence of acoustic-electric mandolins is changing the game for performers who require amplification. Brands like Godin and Collings incorporate pickups and preamps into their mandolins, ensuring that the instrument's natural sound can be faithfully reproduced in live performances or studio recordings.
In addition to the traditional mandolin, the mandolin family has expanded to include instruments like the bouzouki, adding an element of Mediterranean and Celtic flavors to the mix. Brands like The Loar and Eastman offer quality bouzoukis with designs and tonewoods that complement the unique characteristics of this instrument.
Mandolins, deeply rooted in American and English folk traditions, continue to captivate musicians with their distinct timbre and versatility. Whether it's a classic F-style mandolin for bluegrass or an innovative electric mandolin for modern genres, the mandolin family remains a cherished part of the rich tapestry of stringed instruments.