2004 Mid-Missouri M-2 Flatback Mandolin

This Mid-Mo is an absolute screamer! It's loud as heck, punchy as heck, and tonally eats-it-up better than any other similar flatback I've played in quite a while. If only most F-style mandolins had the bite this thing does...! I had the mic waaaaay back when recording the soundclip. Sadly, it's owned by a customer.

I've worked on a few of these and, after they've been properly adjusted, I find them to be quite amazing instruments. Almost all were pretty funky, setup-wise, upon arrival, and this was no exception. The bridge was too low and the strings were almost riding on the frets. To make adjustments easier for the owner when the weather changes, I replaced the original non-adjustable ebony bridge with a flat-bottomed, adjustable rosewood one. The neck is dead straight after more than a decade of use and it's now playing ideally.

For those not in the know, Mid-Missouri changed names to Big Muddy around 2006 and is still in operation, building American-made mandos at quite affordable prices.

The M-2 features maple back and sides and this one has an ebony fretboard and headstock veneer. Its scale length is just about 14" and the neck is a thin, fast shape that's quite unlike your average carved-top mandolin and more like an old flatback from the 1920s -- though with the advantage of a 12th-fret joint.

The weak spot of most Mid-Mos are the cheaper hardware choices -- tuners and tailpieces. They're a must to keep cost down, but unfortunate. These seem to be holding pitch alright, though.

The now-flattened base to the bridge was something I had spare in my bins -- though I made the top for it.

The maple is easy on the eyes.

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