The classic Fender electric mandolin returns as the new Mando-Strat. This highly distinctive and charmingly diminutive instrument evokes the Fender electric four-string mandolins of the 1950s and ’60s, with an updated and improved design for modern players.
The distinctive shape and chiming tone of Fender’s late-’50s electric mandolin are back, with features including a solid alder body, 13.78” scale, “C”-shaped maple neck with 24-fret rosewood fingerboard, and specially designed pickup with volume and tone controls. Other features include a vintage-style bridge with chrome plate made on the actual machine used to produce the original parts half a century ago, three-ply tortoise shell pickguard, vintage-style tuners, and chrome hardware.
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I’ve owned mine for almost a year so I thought now would be a good time to share my thoughts. Construction wise it is very solidly built with none of the fragility that acoustic mandolins seem to have. It has a two piece solid alder body and the neck has a chunky soft v profile like a 50s Baja Tele. The finish is faultless. A beautiful 3 colour sunburst finish and a golden tint to the neck which gives it a sort of Baby 60s P Bass look ! The frets are very well finished with no sharp edges or buzzing. The setup was absolutely fine with a good action and intonation. Note - it comes with a hex key and although there doesn’t appear to be any means of adjusting the neck, I’ve seen photos of one of these dismantled that shows the hex bolt at the end of the neck so it’s a neck–off job to make any adjustments - not that mine needs any!
Sound wise it’s difficult to judge as I have nothing to compare it with, but the pickup is quite powerful and it gives that top-end sparkle you’d expect from a mandolin. By experimenting with delay, chorus and reverb settings you can get a very nice and very very usable sound, even with some distortion! Some have commented that with it only being a 4 string, it doesn't have a true mandolin sound or feel. That may be so, but I think this instrument should be considered in its own right. The 4 strings give it a unique character all of its own which I find very inspiring both when playing melodies and chording so definitely one for you songwriters out there!
Negative points? Very few – a gig bag would have been useful. Also find that some of the screws on the bridge can dig into your palm. Original ones had a bridge cover which would have been welcomed here. All in all I would seriously recommend this instrument. Really enjoy playing it. Definitely a keeper. Also suggest that you try the 4 string version before looking at the 8 string model. You will not be disappointed!
rzoni owns this item
|Model Name:||Mando-Strat®, Rosewood Fingerboard, Alder Body, 3-Color Sunburst|
|Series:||Folk Music Instruments|
|Neck Shape:||"C" Shape|
|Scale Length:||13.78" (350 mm)|
|Fingerboard Radius:||7.25" (184.1 mm)|
|Number of Frets:||24|
|Nut Width:||1.18" (30 mm)|
|Bridge Pickup:||Fender Designed|
|Controls:||Master Volume, Master Tone|
|Bridge:||2-Saddle Vintage-Style Adjustable with Threaded Steel Saddles|
|Tuning Machines:||Vintage-Style with Aged White Plastic Buttons|
|Strings:||Fender® Phosphor Bronze Mandolin Strings, (.011-.040 Gauges)|
|Unique Features:||White dot position inlays, three-ply tortoiseshell pickguard, knurled chrome flat-top control knobs, synthetic bone nut|
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