Price paid: $ 50
Purchased from: Musiciansfriend.com
Sound — 5
The strings that come on the mandolin are not worth much as they tend to snap under pressure fairly quickly (or so I've experienced). It stays in tune for the most part as long as you don't go past the 3rd or 4th fret. The sound holes are quite plain and you can see the low quality wood peaking out from under the finish.
Overall Impression — 6
I play alternative, folk, bluegrass, etc. This has been great for learning the mandolin. I've played other mandolins that have stayed in tune much better. If you are a beginner this is a great starting point. It all comes down to the age old phrase "you get what you pay for".
Reliability & Durability — 5
Could you use it live? I have. Not the brightest decision. Live and loud is okay but trying to record with this thing and keep it in tune for long periods is a fairly difficult job. I have had a few strings snap in my face using this thing.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
There have been many poor reviews due to the instrument not surviving shipping. People seem to get upset that extreme shipping conditions can cause snaps and cracks... Any how, The bridge can be re-adjusted to improve the quality of sound. The tuner pegs might need to be adjusted to improve the ease of tuning. Over all, you get what you pay for.
Features — 7
This type A mandolin from Rogue is a great starter mando for anyone looking to learn. The quality is low but more than enough to start any bluegrass adventure. That is of course, if it hasn't arrived broken, cracked, warped. It has a 12 fret rosewood finger board attached to a maple neck. It comes in black or sunburst.