I won’t bother talking about how Luna is one of the best companies for folk instruments, especially ukes and mandolins. That is as trite of a statement as it comes. Instead of generalizing about the companies reputation let’s talk about a model that exemplifies Luna’s mission statement – Luna Folk Series Trinity A-Style Mandolin. This is an A-style mandolin will be a nice step up for a beginner and a steady continuation for an intermediate player.
Okay, let’s talk about the details. While the sound and feel are what we are looking for in an instrument we usually skip overlooking at the actual details. Instead, we go for very subjective reviews that just say “oh, it was really lightweight and easy to play” meanwhile not considering that this might be written by some dude that has double your strength and a lot more experience. In order to fully understand the actual potential of the instrument, you need to get into the nitty-gritty of the instrument.
In this case – build and hardware. What Luna offers with this A-style mandolin is a solid spruce top along with solid maple back and sides. This choice is pretty simple and well-tested. While a lot of cheaper models have laminated wood that saves you a couple of bucks in long term you should be getting solid wood. This adds to the overall tone, playability, and longevity of your instrument. For a beginner, I would actually be okay with laminated, but if you are looking for quality and can afford to spend a bit more, solid wood is the way to go.
Apart from that, this model features a C-shaped solid maple neck and stunning black walnut fingerboard with Moon Phase mother of pearl inlays that create a nice contrast in colors but also allow for nice playability. Design-wise, Luna went with Celtic trinity knot soundhole, tobacco burst finish, and faux tortoise binding. This is a perfect combination and homage to Celtic music.
This mandolin is equipped with a black walnut bridge. You will have to set up the bridge and adjust intonation. This is usually not an issue with someone who is a bit more experience but if this is the first mandolin you don’t have to worry either. The setup is pretty easy and does not take that long. In case you decide to take it to a shop for professional treatment I would suggest that the professional adjust the action too because it might be a bit high. The plastic nut is 1 1/8″ in width and the headstock that features Luna’s mother-of-pearl logo also house the open tuners. You might also want to change the Olympia strings to something else. All in all, the hardware on this mandolin is durable and easy to use even for complete novices.
Luna Mandolin Sound
The combination of a solid top with a solid back and sides boosts the volume of this mandolin while also creating a very sweet, punchy sound. This model is very versatile. It will be great for solo performances or if you are looking to add a more Celtic sound to your band. The tone is pretty unique and only gets more nuances with time so keep on playing and the payoff will be pretty big (not that it is not great from the get-go).
Luna Folk Series Trinity A-Style mandolin is one of those instruments that initially stands out because of its looks but sooner than later you realize it has a lot more to offer. Sweet, clear sound with a balanced tone that gets better with time is only a result of great craftsmanship and Luna’s dedication to using quality material for their instruments. While some people have an issue about mandolins that are not crafted in the U.S., the company has good quality check system and I have never had an issue with their models having any major issues.
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