A while ago, a mandolin student, lent me her Mid-Missouri Model M1 Mandolin for fun. I just wanted to play it a bit and see what I thought. I had often picked one of these up at the Acoustic Corner in Black Mountain, NC. They were fun instruments for the price range.
Anyway, while the sound didn’t knock my socks off compared to some of the mandolins I’m used to playing, I thought it had a nice tone for the price, especially compared to other arch top pac rim mandolins I’d played for twice the price. (Although have you ever noticed how one mandolin sounds really great, until you compare it to another? Or even how you think yours really doesn’t sing like you would like, until you match it up against a different one, and your appreciation of the voice goes up?)
The intonation was good, and the action acceptable. The neck was a little to thin for me, but then again, I like wider fret boards.
Overall, this was a sweet little mandolin, and if I wanted a less expensive flat top, that I would happily take to sessions and play a show with, this would be the one. It was solid and functional and got the job done.
Now keep in mind, I often think that the person playing the mandolin is more important than the expense of the mandolin. I’ve heard a number of people play 5K mandos and sound like crap, and others play $300-$500 mandos and make it sing like a bird. Just saying this, so you know, if you are a skilled player with a good feel for music, but don’t have a lot of money, you could do well by one of these.
Mid-Missouri Model M-1 Mandolin (From FolkOfTheWood.Com)
Solid Honduran mahogany back and sides. Solid Engelmann spruce top. Honduras mahogany neck. Rosewood fretboard and bridge. Includes binding on the body.