The 6 Best Mandolins Under $300 in 2020 [Review]
Are you looking to bring a subtle touch of bold flavor to your favorite tunes? Well, the best instrument for the job is a mandolin.
These small, short-necked lutes usually have 8 strings and produce rich, deep sounds. However, selecting the best mandolin for your needs can be rather tricky.
In this comprehensive guide and review, I will walk you through the top 6 mandolins under $300 in 2020. Note that you do not need to spend a fortune to get high-quality mandolin to suit your needs.
With less than $300, you can get the right mandolin that suits your budget, skill level, and music style.
Tips for purchasing the best mandolins under $300
Style of mandolin
Note that mandolins come in different styles. It would help if you picked a style that best suits your music style. You get to choose between F-style, A-style, or bowl-back mandolins. Ensure that you choose a mandolin that will blend beautifully with your music style.
Ensure that you purchase a high-quality mandolin that is constructed from top-quality materials. Understand that high-end material will produce a better-quality sound that lasts for longer. Note that you need a solid back, top, and sides to get that deep and rich sound.
Understand that mandolins generally have 8 strings with 4 courses. However, the 2 adjacent strings must be tuned in unison for a richer sound. Proper tuning will ensure that you get a unique chiming sound when playing your instrument.
The 6 Best Mandolins under $300 in 2020 (Review):
1. Loar LM-110-BRB A-Style Mandolin
The Loar LM-110-BRB A-Style Mandolin features a hand-carved solid spruce top that produces excellent sounds. The high-quality finish of this mandolin makes it an ideal choice for both professionals and beginners.
This instrument is not only beautiful, but it is also quite functional. Understand that every material and feature used in the design gets the users maximum playability. Because it comes shop-adjusted, you can start playing your favorite tunes immediately after it arrives.
It is a great choice for beginners due to the ease of use and playability. You will not need to spend hours trying to figure out how this beautiful machine works. You can focus your time on learning how to become a professional player.
I particularly loved the vintage brown finish on this A-style mandolin. The maple back material and sturdy spruce top material gets you long-lasting services at an affordable price. The Loar LM-110-BRB A-Style Mandolin is certainly worth every penny you spend.
What I did not like about this model is that it does not come with a hard case. You must separately purchase a case that will cost you a few extra dollars. Note that having a hard case makes it easier to move around with your mandolin.
- Bronze string material
- Excellent sound
- Solid construction
- Affordable price
- No hard case included
2. Washburn Americana M1SD
The Washburn Americana M1SD is a sleek A-style mandolin that provides rich sounds and long-lasting services. You will quickly notice the bright gold hardware that gives you a sleek, modern design that is simply timeless.
Note that the wood construction is durable and high-quality thus getting you value for your money. Getting a sturdy construction mandolin ensures that your instrument can withstand a demanding playing schedule.
The Washburn Americana M1SD is an excellent choice for individuals looking for a traditional-looking mandolin. You will enjoy the low and mellow sounds of this beautiful piece of equipment. The oval sound hole ensures that you get beautiful sounds for longer.
The black gloss finish of the Washburn Americana M1SD is a huge plus. Not only does it ensure you get a sturdy instrument, but it also greatly boosts its beauty. When it comes to music, feeling confident is usually a key element. Now with the elegant Washburn Americana M1SD finish, you can step onto the stage like a professional.
- Black gloss finish
- Gold hardware
- Excellent sound
- Good quality construction
- No bag included
3. Savanna SF-100 F-Model
The Savanna SF-100 F-Model is a stylish and fancy mandolin that is certainly worth the price. Note that this instrument is ideal for both professionals and beginners. You get good quality sounds, on a device that looks good, at an affordable price.
Notice that this is an F-style mandolin, which is quite different from the A-style models. Note that the F-style mandolins have a rich and deep sound that is perfect for most music styles. However, as stated earlier, you need to choose a mandolin style that suits you.
The build of the Savanna SF-100 F-Model is rather impressive. You get a sturdy instrument that is beautifully designed with a maple back and sides, spruce top, and an ebony bridge. The extended Fingerboard with 24-frets is a nice addition that gets you an impressive performance.
Tuning this mandolin is rather simple and straightforward. You can quickly create amazing sounds without having expert knowledge in the field. Note that everything about this mandolin is put together seamlessly to always get you the desired sounds.
- Looks stylish
- Excellent built quality
- Durable design
- No case includes
4. Dean Bluegrass F-Style Mandolin
With a select spruce top, Rosewood fingerboard, and a maple body, the Dean Bluegrass F-Style Mandolin is an excellent choice. The vintage set neck gets you a classic look that stands out from the rest of the F-style mandolins within this price range.
The Gold and Perlodid hardware of the Dean Bluegrass F-Style Mandolin gives you a comfortable feel when playing this instrument. When using this mandolin, you get an excellent mid-range tone that sort of rings out for longer.
What I found most impressive with the Dean Bluegrass F-Style Mandolin is its high-end construction at an affordable price. Every small detail about this mandolin has been carefully crafted to ensure you get a smooth and elegant sound.
Also, note that this mandolin weighs around 1.5 kilograms which is quite lightweight. Moving around with this instrument is, therefore, quite easy. Having a lightweight instrument increases flexibility and convenience when you travel often.
As expected, the Dean Bluegrass F-Style Mandolin does not include a bag or case. You need to purchase these items separately. However, the Dean Bluegrass F-Style Mandolin is worth every coin considering its classic high-end construction and excellent sounds.
5. Ortega Guitars A-Style Series Mandolin
The Ortega Guitars A-Style Series Mandolin is an ideal choice for individuals who are learning mandolin. The mahogany top features F-holes that add warmness to the sounds you create. Understand that the sturdy construction of this mandolin gets you a bright and crisp sound.
The 50 mm body depth and 20 frets ensure that you get to experiment with different types of tunes. These features also help to boost the playability of this impressive instrument. Learning how to create amazing sounds is, therefore, made quite simple with the Ortega Guitars A-Style Series Mandolin.
What I like about this mandolin is its unique design. The vintage appearance and high-gloss finish give you a professional look at an affordable price. When you step onto the stage with this mandolin, no one will argue about its beauty.
Note that the Ortega Guitars A-Style Series Mandolin is quite affordable and easy to use. Finding a model that packs so many features and sturdy construction at this price is a huge bargain. You will certainly get value for your money when you purchase this model.
Finally, this mandolin is easy to tune when compared to similar models. You will quickly learn how to play the mandolin when you purchase the Ortega Guitars A-Style Series Mandolin.
- Sturdy mahogany construction
- A-style mandolin
- Ovangkol Bridge and fretboard
- Easy to tune
- A bit of a learning curve
6. OrientalMusicSanctuary Ensemble Mandolin
Although the OrientalMusicSanctuary Ensemble Mandolin is specially designed for ensemble musicians and performance, it is also an excellent choice for beginners. Note that this mandolin features excellent sounds compared to similar products.
You will experience balanced tones with solid mids and good high notes when using this instrument. Note that this mandolin is constructed with Ling-A Hardwood to get you long-lasting services and richer sounds.
If you are the type of player that wants to experience a whole new side to the mandolin instrument, the OrientalMusicSanctuary Ensemble Mandolin is an excellent choice. You will quickly fall in love with the deep, rich sounds of this stunning instrument.
The OrientalMusicSanctuary Ensemble Mandolin comes with an extensive warranty to get you the peace of mind you need. You can rest easy knowing that your instrument will provide guaranteed long-lasting services.
- Very balanced tones
- Comes well-adjusted
- Good quality construction
- Clear high notes
- Difficult to learn
Purchasing the best mandolins in 2020 for under $300 is not as easy as it may seem. You must browse through hundreds of options to find a model that best suits your needs. Luckily, our comprehensive review will help narrow down your options. Pick an instrument from our top 6 reviews that fits your music style and falls within your budget. Note that all the instruments in this review will provide long-lasting services and rich sounds.