Bales 4-strings. $1,000–1,100.
Terry Bales of Eldorado Springs, Missouri, has been building high-quality, affordable electric mandolins on and off for more than 30 years. Currently he is back from a long hiatus, and it's good to have him building again. These are small-shop, U.S.-made instruments built one at a time using quality materials; they'll arrive set up and ready to play. Perhaps Terry isn't as well known as some other builders, but his stuff is worthy of your attention.
  1. Double cutaway, natural maple top. $1,100.
    Double cutaway, mahogany body with flame maple top. Natural blond finish. Curly maple neck and bubinga fretboard with abalone inlays. Fully adjustable truss rod. Hand-rubbed nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Nut width is 1 1/8"; scale length is 14.5". Hot double-rail humbucker will take you all the way from country to jazz to blues. Nickel hardware includes through-body bridge, tone and volume controls, individual Grover tuners, and a roller-style string tree.
         Built in 2021, this mandolin is brand new; however, there is a small dent on the back, near the string ferrules, that happened during assembly. It would be listed for $1,200 but for the dent. Standard gig bag included, or upgrade to a custom gig bag or hardshell case. Add a strap, see more photos, call 425/772-0231, or for more information. $1,100 plus shipping.