8/20/2014

c.2010 Crafter M70E Acoustic-Electric Mandolin




This instrument is a near-mint trade-in but after a light fret level/dress, new strings (a set of 34w-10 lights) and a setup it plays quite fast (spot-on 1/16" action at the 12th fret) and has a good plugged-in sound. It's not going to break any tone records but being an undersaddle pickup I expect it to do very well in a band setting with electric instruments blaring around it. It'd be obvious that it's a mandolin in the mix rather than a mini electric guitar. The factory setup when I received it in was pretty harsh at the nut and the saddle needed slight lowering. Typical of Asian import stuff! This one happens to have been made in Korea.

The build (like a mini x-braced guitar but with Ovation-style back and laminate top) is curious but does give it a folky, Celtic-y sort of tone. It's definitely not loud unplugged but it's enough to jam with a buddy or two and if you're playing on your own the extra warmth of the pin-bridge style loading of the strings is nice to have for singing


The top is flamed maple laminate with a red finish. It looks like the bright sun took out some of the detail... it's not washed-out in person and has a 3D effect with the grain.



Rosewood slab board with mahogany neck...


The bridge loads with ball-end strings but I cheated here by adding spare string-balls from my trash bin to a set of regular loop-end strings.



The composite back means you can really take this just about anywhere without worrying too much about humidity, lots of heat, rain... or various other natural disasters.




The pickup is (thankfully) passive. I can't stand batteries in instruments. Yick! It has passive tone/vol controls and the output is strong enough to drive my small amps decently. It's not like the really old-school undersaddle pups that need a ton of preamp to get them going.


Yep, case too!

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