Although there are so many mandolins on the market, the Rogue RM-100A is especially popular nowadays. Why is that? Is it simply too affordable to ignore? Or is it because of the mandolin’s quality?
Here we’ll take a deep dive into this inexpensive instrument and what makes it so loved by beginners and even intermediate players.
The Rogue RM-100 is a very well-crafted instrument for its price, and this instrument is the first option for many musicians getting into the mandolin. This mandolin has great value, as the overall quality more than matches the price tag.
I’m a music composer and a mandolin enthusiast with several years of experience producing soundtracks and folk music. I really enjoy exploring different models of mandolins and learning a little more about this unique instrument.
Join me as I explore this unique model and what makes it a go-to instrument for students and beginners.
Rogue RM-100A Review: About the Rogue RM-100A
The Rogue RM-100 is a modern mandolin made in the traditional A-style with a minimal, classic look and feel. This model is the bestseller for the Rogue brand, and it rapidly became very popular with beginners and students.
But this model isn’t just a cheap mandolin, it’s also a very well-crafted instrument that will maintain its value throughout the years.
The Rogue RM-100A A-style is a great starting point for any mandolin player. It offers a comfortable action and a quite decent sound. If you’re looking to start learning to play the mandolin, the Rogue RM-100A is an outstanding choice.
The main body is made of laminated maple for the back and a mix of rosewood and maple for the top. This is a common formula for Rogue mandolins, as it offers a great sound without costing too much for rare and expensive tonewoods. It certainly works for this company, as the Rogue RM-100A can easily outgun any competitors in this price range.
The body is slim and quite comfortable. It feels good and plays well. The lightweight construction is also a plus, as it adds up to the overall comfort of this model. It’s quite easy to carry and transport.
The neck is also made of maple, which combines pretty well with the maple body, giving it a balanced sound and tone. The Rogue RM-100A has a lightweight build, which includes the neck.
The action is decent enough, although it may be a little high for a beginner. But you could always adjust the neck to get the strings a little closer to the fretboard.
The overall finish of this mandolin is very classic. This model comes in two colors, black and sunburst, both with a high-gloss finish.
The Rogue RM-100A has an adjustable rosewood bridge. It’s a pretty low-quality bridge, to be honest, although it worked well for me. But I’ve seen some people struggling with the wheels that adjust the height. In this case, you might need to sand it.
Here’s where there’s a significant flaw in this model. Most of the hardware is made of poor quality plastic. This isn’t a surprise at all, as most inexpensive mandolins normally have very cheap hardware. And don’t be alarmed, as most of it could be upgraded in the future.
Some models might have an internal pickup, which is of decent quality. This can really help if you’re playing with a bigger ensemble.
It certainly worked for me, as I was able to expand the lifetime of my Rogue with a few cheap upgrades along the way.
What I Like & What I Don’t Like?
Rogue RM-100A Review: My Experience with the Rogue RM-100A
I had this mandolin for several years while I was taking my first steps as a mandolin player. This is a simple but comfortable instrument, which is perfect for long learning sessions.
The factory setup is quite decent, and in my case I didn’t need to adjust anything to start playing, which is quite uncommon for budget-friendly mandolins.
One of the things I recommend changing is the strings. The default set of strings is low quality, so if you change them you’ll get a much clearer and brighter tone out of the instrument.
The biggest bonus for me was the lightweight build, which makes this mandolin very easy to carry and play.
I personally think this mandolin is great to go camping or on a trip with, as you won’t be too worried about the abuse it’ll get. At the end of the day, this is one of the lowest-priced mandolins on the market.
There’s another big flaw with this mandolin, the tuners. They’re poorly made and might not work properly. Some of them have a jumpy action, and I found it quite random regarding which of the tuners actually have this problem.
Investing in a new set of tuners might be a great solution if you’re having this problem. In my case, I had to tweak them a little to make them work, and it was only a temporary solution.
Rogue RM-100A Review: The Sound
The tone is bright and barky. The volume is surprisingly loud for an A-style mandolin. The overall tone is quite versatile and could be used for almost any musical style.
Although this model is a little clumsy on the high range, the overall tone and volume compensate for it. I found this mandolin easy to use in small acoustic bands, as it easily cuts through with its loudness.
I’d rate the sound of this mandolin a solid 6/10. The Rogue RM-100 is a decent sounding instrument, considering its low price tag.
Rogue RM-100A Warranty
The Rogue RM-100A offers a 2-year warranty for any construction or shipping defects. This may vary depending on the retailer.
Where to Buy the Rogue RM-100A?
This model is quite common nowadays and can be found almost on every website that sells acoustic instruments.
The Rogue RM-100 is a go-to model for students and beginners, so it makes sense to have a few in stock at all times.
I recommend staying on the lookout for any special offers or bundles. I’ve seen some bundles where this model is sold with a jumbo guitar for a crazy low price.
Amazon is one of the most important companies of our era. This is probably because of their competitive prices and an enormous selection of items. On this website, you can find many different brands of mandolins for a decent price.
I highly recommend looking up some customer reviews before buying anything, as there you’ll find honest opinions on almost every product.
You can find an almost limitless number of websites that sell decent instruments for low prices. Some websites offer exclusive deals with world-famous brands like Fender, Gibson, Eastman, Kentucky, and Rogue.
Here at Into Strings we highly recommend Sweetwater.com, FiddlerShop.com, and GuitarCenter.com, as they offer a great selection of instruments.
Your Local Store
In your local store there might be a limited selection of instruments and maybe even fewer mandolins. But you can always take your time and try out each instrument yourself. This and the useful advice from the sales staff will make your decision so much easier.
This is why I always recommend trying to find a model in a local store first, so you can get an idea of what it feels like to play it.
In this Rogue RM-100A review, I discussed why this mandolin is so popular with beginning musicians. This model is an easy choice, as it offers great value for a low price. I personally found this mandolin a useful companion for long rehearsal sessions and years of practice.
The Rogue RM-100A has the best value currently on the market, as it’s sold at a very low price and offers a decent quality build.
If you enjoyed this read or have some doubts about the Rogue RM-100A, feel free to comment or share this article on your favorite social media.
Thank you for reading, and as always, good luck with your sonic adventures!