#1.Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-model Mandolin
When it comes to the best mandolin under 500, the Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-model Mandolin is our top pick. While 500 dollars or less is not a lot to work with, we think the Kentucky KM 150 strikes the right combination of craftsmanship, quality, and budget. It gives you a bright tone, and clean articulation and is really easy to play with no matter how good you are.
Best Mandolin Under 500
- #1.Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-model Mandolin
- #2.Seagull S8 Mandolin SG, Burnt Amber
- #3.Gold Tone GM-50 A-Style Mandolin
- #4.Luna Folk Series Trinity A-Style Mandolin
- #5.Barcelona Left-Handed Mandolin – Violinburst
#1.Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-model Mandolin
For those who are interested in the best mandolin under 500, the Kentucky KM-150 Standard A model is one of the better options out there in our opinion. Working with a budget of only 500 dollars or less sort of limits your options for the extreme top-shelf high-end mandolins. But that doesn’t mean the Kentucky KM-150 isn’t good.
We really like the solid German spruce top as well as the solid Alpine maple back and sides which gives you extra punch. The design of this mandolin also gives you a crisp bright tone and clean articulation. Additionally, the slim Alpine maple neck gives you pretty comfortable easy action that makes playing very enjoyable and easy for players of all skill levels.
#2.Seagull S8 Mandolin SG, Burnt Amber
Next up, we have the Seagull S8 Mandolin SG, which is the best mandolin under 500 if you want a special style mandolin that has a great feel and a superb sound. First and foremost, we really like the hand-finished neck and the rosewood fingerboard. Also, the vintage-style nickel-plated brass tailpiece and a tortoiseshell celluloid pickguard are a nice finishing touch.
Additionally, we really like how it plays and the action is pretty much spot-on without any buzzes. This allows you to easily play clear notes on the first fret. In general, all it really needs is a little tune and it definitely stays in tune for a long time. Furthermore, it has a pretty bright sound and is a pretty loud mandolin so keep that in mind.
#3.Gold Tone GM-50 A-Style Mandolin
Another really nice option when it comes to the best mandolin under 500 is the Gold Tone GM-50 A Style Mandolin. This mandolin is a replica of a famous vintage mandolin which is much more than 500. The standout feature here is tone and all we have to say here is what a tone! For an instrument under 500 bucks, the quality of the sound is absolutely amazing and has great tone value.
Additionally, we really like the fact that the maple back and sides help the volume remain consistent, which is quite important for a lot of people. Also, it has one of the best playabilities and the lowest action. Of course, the trade-off to all of this is that there is pretty low-quality hardware and just, in general, the quality is not the best. But the finish is pretty nice and we can overlook some of these issues.
#4.Luna Folk Series Trinity A-Style Mandolin
The Luna Folk Series Trinity A-Style Mandolin is a nice choice if you are shopping for a mandolin that is under 500 dollars. This mandolin is made of solid wood, not laminate wood. Many people really like the Luna Folk Series because it is made of solid wood all around, including the fretboard and floating bridge. Let’s just say we don’t think anyone will question the quality.
Additionally, you should definitely know that it is pretty loud and great sounding at the same time, which in our opinion is quite hard to achieve at a rather budget-level price point. Yea sure it is made in China, but if it was handcrafted in Germany or in the USA, for this kind of sound and quality, it would be at least double the price.
#5.Barcelona Left-Handed Mandolin – Violinburst
Lastly, we have the Barcelona Left-Handed Mandolin, which is a nice budget of under $500 mandolin for those who are left-handed, as the name implies. It is very reasonably priced and very suitable for beginners to learn. However, if you are more of a professional, we advise you to stay away from this instrument.
Don’t get us wrong, it is not complete garbage, but it just won’t sound nearly as nice as any of the other mandolins we mentioned above. This mandolin is made to be a better mandolin for practice and one that you can easily replace and not feel bad about if you somehow lost or broke it.