What is your opinion of this product?
When you look at/listen to what's out there, good mandolins are expensive. REALLY expensive.
Despite all the negative reviews about "fit and finish," I actually appreciate the somewhat "raw" look of this mando. Be forewarned, however: if you like the thick poly finishes that Chinese-made instruments typically sport, you will be surprised, and perhaps unhappy with what appears to be a hand-rubbed, oil-type finish. For those of us with ears, though, this sort of finish really allows the instrument to "speak," and this one does.
The tone is nice - somewhere between an "F"-style's "chunK" with some "A"-style "ring" to it. Really open, musical tone.
Now, the pickup. WOW. Just wow. As real as it gets, plugged in. And LOTS of options to tweak it to your liking. I'm so surprised a magnetic pickup can do this, but Shadow is good at what they do. I am now a fan! My last mando (which I did not own very long because of THIS one) had what I THOUGHT was a great pickup, but the Shadow in this one blows my last one away, hands-down.
Overall, at this price-point, the MM-50E is a steal. Yeah, the tuners are horrid (Gotohs are on order, and should arrive any day), and I'll upgrade the tailpiece to an open-style, as the whole fighting-to-get-the-cover-plate-off game at string change time is not for me, and, a heavier, cast brass tailpiece will likely enhance sustain just a tad. So, I'll drop another $100 to make this mando near perfect for my purposes.
Oh, one thing: The setup, out of the box, is less than stellar. You may want to figure on taking it to a repair facility well-versed in tweaking mandolins, and drop a few bucks to have a new nut made, and an overall setup.
I recommend this mandolin highly.