The Ibanez M510 is a great mandolin for a crazy low price. You won’t find any better deal for this price, as most Ibanez mandolins are very well made and quite reliable. I personally own the M510, and it’s served me well during long rehearsals and practice sessions.
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I’m a music composer and musician with several years of experience creating folk, rock and soundtrack music. I use numerous instruments, but the mandolin has a special place in my heart, as this instrument adds a unique touch to any track or song.
Join me as we explore the Ibanez M510 and why this model is so popular among novice and beginner players.
About the Ibanez M510
The Ibanez brand is famous for their electric guitars, and their models have been used by famous artists all over the world, such as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Offspring, Korn, Meshuggah, Megadeth, Kiss, Alice Cooper and many others.
Although Ibanez specializes in electric instruments, their acoustic models are worth trying as well. Ibanez is well respected when it comes to acoustic guitars and mandolins, as they sell very decent instruments for a reasonable price.
The M510 is a low-tier bestseller for this company. This model is an excellent companion for many beginners and students. The Ibanez M510 has become a really popular mandolin in recent years, as the price-quality ratio is almost unbeatable.
It’s also important to mention that the vast majority of online reviews for this model are positive, with only a few unsatisfied customers here and there.
The Ibanez M510 is often called one of the best sounding mandolins in the low tier price range. This is mainly due to its unique mix of mahogany and spruce.
The body of the M510 is made of laminate spruce for the top and mahogany for the back and sides. This mix produces great sustain and warm tones. It’s a very robust body too, and the first time I played this model it really felt like a well built instrument.
But it has its flaws too, as some models are known to split around the f-holes after several years. This might be because of poor maintenance of the instrument, so I wouldn’t consider it a fabrication defect.
For the finish you can choose from dark violin sunburst and brown sunburst. Dark violin sunburst is a darker version of the classic sunburst you can find on most mandolins, and the brown sunburst is a brighter version of the same finish.
I personally like the dark violin sunburst much more, as it gives this mandolin an elegant and professional look.
Overall, this model is probably one of the most beautiful mandolins in this price range.
The Ibanez M510 comes with a mahogany neck. It’s a quite slim neck with fast action. It’s very comfortable and easy to use.
I personally found the neck quite balanced, not too thin nor too thick.
This mandolin has a rosewood fretboard, which is very common for a low range mandolin. It’s quite smooth and comfortable.
The Ibanez M510 has a very common low-grade adjustable bridge. Most Ibanez M510s I’ve seen come with a shifted bridge, so you might consider adjusting it or paying for a professional setup.
The tuners are good enough for the price. Some models might have loose screws in the the gears, which was my case with my M510. But it was easy to fix, as all I needed to do was tighten them up and wind the new strings several times at each post, instead of once.
This small upgrade really helped maintain the tuning of my M510 and keep it stable during long practice sessions.
You’ll find some different versions of the M510, such as the M510E. The letter E here stands for electric. This version comes with an integrated single coil pickup and a jack input. This modification might be useful if you’re looking for a mandolin that can be used in rehearsals with bands and live shows.
Picking up the sound of the acoustic mandolin with a normal microphone might be really tricky sometimes, which is why the Ibanez M510E is a great solution to that problem.
Pros & Cons
My Experience with the Ibanez M510
The Ibanez M510 is a very decent mandolin for its price. I’ve played several Ibanez models over the years, and this model really stands out for its beauty and sound.
I personally find this model very easy to play, as it has a very nice action. The sound is clean, which is a good thing for a low-tier mandolin. This will help you tune the instrument and learn how to get the most out of the tone.
Although this mandolin is quite robust, it has some problems.
Some players have noticed that the neck can curve after a few years of being playing. This is a significant flaw that can be found in some Ibanez models, so be wary of that.
This mandolin is also shipped directly from the manufacturer, which means it’ll require a good setup to work properly. This might be a big problem for people unfamiliar with the mandolin.
But you can always pay to have it professionally set up and ready to go.
Another thing you might consider is changing the strings, as most low-tier mandolins come with poor quality strings. I changed the strings of my M510 to Elixir Nanowebs and I got a much richer and sweeter sound out of it.
The Ibanez M510 sounds really great for the price it’s sold at. It has a very warm, clean and balanced tone with a great sustain. The mahogany back and sides really help with the sustain and overall sweetness of the sound.
For me personally the sound of the M510 is good enough. It’s not the best sounding mandolin in the world, but it’s not the worst either. I personally find it useful for rehearsals, as the M510 has a clear tone that will cut through the mix.
The Ibanez M510 is quite versatile too. It can be used for almost any musical style.
Ibanez M510 Warranty
Some retailers offer a two or three year warranty for this model. This might vary depending on the website, so be careful when buying one.
Where to Buy the Ibanez M510
The Ibanez M510 is a very popular model, which means you can find it in almost any shop or website. There are many different options, each one with its own prices and unique deals.
Let’s check them out.
Amazon is a titan of modern online retail and the biggest retailer in the world. Amazon started as a small online bookstore and rapidly grew in recent decades. This is probably due to the efficiency of the websites and their huge selection of products.
Nowadays, you can find almost any product on Amazon. This includes acoustic instruments such as the mandolin. And of course, there are several Ibanez models on this website.
I personally recommend checking out customer reviews, as here is where you’ll find real opinions from real people who will tell you all the flaws and features of each product.
Apart from Amazon there are several online retailers that try to compete with this titan. Some of them are more vertically oriented, which means that they are more niche based. For example, you can find many websites that sell only acoustic instruments, which is where you can find many mandolins.
Your Local Store
In your local store you might find a limited selection of instruments, and even more so for mandolins. But if you’re lucky enough, you can find a few models there. The best part of going in person is that you’ll be able to try out any instrument they have in stock.
Trying out the model in person is the best way to know if you really like it. I really recommend you try it out this way if you can.
The Ibanez M510 has a great price-value ratio. This is a very beautiful and good sounding instrument. The M510 is an easy choice for any beginner or even intermediate player. If you’re a guitarist and are looking to expand into the mandolin world, I can’t recommend this model enough. You won’t regret it for this price tag.
Overall, the Ibanez M510 is a very solid low-tier instrument and probably one of the top mandolins at this price range. It could easily compete with the popular Kentucky KM-150.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you have any doubts, feel free to leave a comment about the M510 or any other Ibanez mandolin. If you liked this article, please to share it on your favorite social media.
Stay safe, and as always, good luck with your sonic adventures!