I needed a mandola for a tour, where we were going to play a few irish songs. I looked around on the market, but couldn't really find anything to a reasonable price, so I took a chance, and ordered this. I was really positively surprised about the quality. The only thing that makes this instrument look a bit cheap, is the headstock, if that would have been done like the rest of the instrument, perhaps with a veneer on the headstock, you would think you're holding a 1000 EUR instrument. The tuners aren't the best on the market, but I didn't have any problems at all tuning all the strings, and the precision of the tuners is good enough, so no issues. Soundwise - it gives you that lovely mandola/bouzouki sound.
If you also want a mandolin, you could make it easy on yourself, and buy a capo for this instrument, as you automatically have a mandolin then. I've used it as both mandola, and mandolin with great success.
Impressive quality for the price, bang for your buck.
I use this bouzouki mostly for recordings so the total sound output is less important than for live applications. It does not have as much warmth and low end output as more expensive instruments, but as someones first bouzouki I would totally recommend it.
The tuning pins could be better quality, the bronze gears are very soft and will wear out fast (they looked worn from day one) For now they do the job though.
If the tuning pins were a bit more sturdy I would have ranked this instrument higher.
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