Today we review the Ibanez M700AVS F-style mandolin, a quality instrument boasting solid wood construction to produce the best sound. The first thing you’ll notice about this instrument is its gorgeous cherry red sunburst body, perfect for playing the blues.
There are two different styles of mandolin you can find, both of which evolved from the early music era bowlback mandolins. Today’s mandolins are A- and F-style, both of which were designed by Gibson in the early 1900s when the instrument saw a great resurgence in popularity.
A-styles are rather pear-shaped and simpler in design; they work best for classical, folk and early music players. They are better for beginners as they come at cheaper price points, due to their simpler designs. F-styles are more intricate in design, with extra flares like scrolls and curves and are favoured by bluegrass players.
The difference in shape between these two styles contributes to the overall sound. The F-style has points and extra volume in the body that makes it sound slightly different from the A style, and is commonly used by seasoned bluegrass players. This is due to the extra handiwork involved in producing or shaping the F-style mandolin, which drives the cost up. Therefore, F-styles are not really recommended for beginner players.
The Ibanez mandolin we are reviewing one of those gorgeously hand-formed models we just mentioned. It has a solid spruce top with solid flamed maple back and sides. Solid woods are, as you would guess, carved from one solid block of wood and contribute to a beautiful, truer sound. The other option is laminate wood, where layers are pieced together to form the body of the instrument. This changes the sound slightly, as the sound has to puncture several layers of different kinds of woods (with different grains, etc.).
The Ibanez M700AVS also has a rosewood fretboard and rosewood pickguard. We love the curl at the top of the body, just by the fretboard, in lustrous red. For the overall value and quality, this is a good mandolin that you can trust.
The Ibanez folk line contains high quality instruments that combine classic craftsmanship and modern technology to create easy playing, authentic and great sounding instruments. The M7000AVS is an arch-top F-style mandolin with a solid spruce top and solid maple back and sides.
It is so finely crafted you will be able to produce incredible soloing and chopping. The F-style mandolin is favoured among bluegrass players. This particular mandolin offers a punchy presence with buoyant tone for single-string leads, another fun feature of bluegrass music.
The quality of the design goes so far as to delineate the body with white piping. This gives interesting dimension to the appearance of the instrument, setting it above many other models on the market. Its fiery red and orange tones will provide continuous inspiration and keep you energized while you play. The pickguard, made of rosewood, also uses this white delineation. The overall effect is a striking instrument that produces sound equal in wow factor.
You can always judge an instrument by its price. At a price point of roughly $500, you can rest assured this is a tried, tested and true mandolin. The cheaper ones, selling for around $100-200, are like toy instruments that don’t give much of a good sound. They can be useful for beginners to become acquainted with handling the instrument, and for basic beginner skills, like learning the scales and learning to compose. In fact, any mandolin selling for $350 and up will be a good quality instrument that will hold its tune, have excellent action for producing a crisp sound and true intonation. This mandolin is a great instrument for the intermediate player looking to further their skills.
The Ibanez M7000AVS mandolin is an acoustic mandolin that does not have any plug-in options for making it electric. However, the action will give a very good and loud sound. The acoustic nature of the mandolin is what makes it genuine and authentic. Play it loud and proud! The best sound comes from strumming or finger picking with fortitude and conviction, and you will feel the sound vibrating against your belly as you play.
A lot of the quality of the mandolin comes from its set-up, meaning how it is prepared. The bridge is not glued into place; it is held down by tension of the strings. The bridge has knobs that you can turn to change the height of the strings (raise or lower them closer to the neck). If you are familiar with mandolins, go ahead and adjust the bridge accordingly. If you are not familiar, we recommend taking it to a music shop where a trained technician can help set it up for you. This will affect the amount of effort it takes to press the strings down.
This mandolin sells for around $500.