I still gave this instrument 4 stars because for the price, it is still a very good value. Our problem was that it arrived with the strings not just loose, but almost falling out. Regardless of how much the were tightened, they would not tighten properly or stay.
We took the mandolin to a local music shop, and discovered there was a bridge that was in the pocket of the carrying case and not installed; we had not seen it. They were kind enough to install it, but there were no holes or places where it belonged; the store had to attach it themselves (I am not sure how; but they did). They couldn't do any of that without removing the pick guard; while that looked nice it was in the way; when the bridge was installed (anywhere; it did not matter whether it was moved a bit higher or lower) then pick guard pushed up on the strings So they removed the pick guard. That was fine, but there is a hole in the side now where that was attached.
The instrument itself tunes nicely and sounds nice, particularly for the price. Having read many negative reviews for mandolins much more expensive, I am overall pleased with this one; I just wish the company had a bit better quality control!
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Very hard to make chords on first two frets. Have to press very hard. I am going to take it to a Guitar shop to see if they can adjust it somehow. Price will still be good if I can get it adjusted for $150 or so as it is a very nice looking instrument.