6 Best Mandolins | February 2017
We spent 19 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. It's no surprise that these instruments have stood the test of time, remaining as popular with many moderns musicians today as they were when first developed in 17th century Italy. We ranked the choices on our list based on quality of materials, design precision, and, of course, on their ability to deliver dulcet notes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best mandolin on Amazon.
The Morgan Monroe RTFM1 Rocky Top is designed to be played in the classic F-style, and is a fine choice for the instrumentalist of moderate experience. It has a fully-bound top neck and headstock, and the durable black pick guard is quite forgiving.
- etched chrome tailpiece
- backed by 10-year warranty
- comes with poor-quality tuning keys
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
The Z ZTDM Deluxe A Style has twenty nickel-silver bordered frets that require pleasantly little pressure to play each note. Some musicians find those notes to be too thin and often off pitch, however, with frequent retuning required.
- adjustable compensated bridge
- great low price point
- made from sub-par materials
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
The Washburn M3SWK is a gorgeous piece of craftsmanship thanks to its sunburst design and handsome high-shine hardware. It is, unfortunately, quite susceptible to scratches and chips that reduce its aesthetic appeal over time.
- volume control knobs on face
- comes wth strap and pitch pipe
- some units arrive without pick guard
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
This unique Pyle PBJ20 Mandolin-Banjo Hybrid produces the distinct twanging notes of a banjo, yet its string arrangement and tuning are that of a standard mandolin. It allows a musician to cross over from traditional chamber music to the lively strains of bluegrass.
- movable bridge stand
- white jade machine tuner pegs
- universal adjustable truss rod
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
The Rogue RM-100A A-Style is one of the most affordably-priced mandolins available that is nonetheless an admirable instrument. It features a variety of different woods, including a maple neck and a fingerboard and bridge made from rosewood.
- chrome tuning pegs
- high-gloss finish exterior
- great reviews from musicians
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
The Gretsch G9350 Park Avenue is a concert-ready instrument that produces rich, clear notes able to fill a room without additional amplification needed, though this acoustic-electric unit can be connected to an amp if desired.
- fishman m300 pickup
- excellent bass notes
- lovely weight and balance
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|