May 30, 2016

Rogue RM100-A Electric Mandolin Mods

Rogue RM100-A Mandolin Review

Exactly two years after first buying this mandolin, I went about some modifications to the look and feel to give it some new attitude after two years hardly used.

The stock mandolin has a typical glossy poly finish.  Not bad per se, but a cheap look in my opinion, and for an instrument that cost just $50, I don't mind messing with the finish a bit to see how it turns out.

First I had to remove everything, detuning and then clipping the strings, leaving the bridge to just fall off.

Another shot of the glossy fingerprint-prone stock finish

A demo of this mandolin in between mods, with the glossy finish but 2 piezoelectric pickups added for an electric sound.

Taking off the tuners is simple, just a few screws to take out and the whole assembly pops off.

A Scotch Brite pad to the headstock - left a bit of gloss around the metal rings but it's a kinda cool look.  Not hard to take out but for a beater I like the character.

Scotch-Brite-d the body.  It turned out more scratchy looking than any other finish I've done this way and I'm not sure how I like the look up close - from a distance however, I think it has a nice muted/aged look to it, and the satin finish feels great.

Time to restring!  These D'Addario mandolin strings are excellent compared to the old stock strings, although replacing the strings cost 20% what the original instrument did!

Positioning the bridge and checking the intonation with only the outermost strings.  This is important to getting your frets as in-tune as possible, although less important than an electric guitar where you may consistently play much higher on the fretboard.

All restrung!  The new finish looks great from a distance, like a much more expensive mandolin.  From up close it looks like a teenager took a Scotch Brite pad to it.  I'm not entirely thrilled with how it turned out, but it does feel great now and I am happy with it.  If only I could put down my guitars long enough to learn to play it!

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