Some highly rated mandolins as of 2015 include the Oscar Schmidt OM10E Electric Mandolin, Dean Tennessee Electric Mandolin, Ibanez M510E-DVS Mandolin, Stagg M50E Acoustic-Electric Bluegrass Mandolin and Gretsch G930 New Yorker Deluxe Mandolin. Some of these models are electric mandolins while others are acoustic-electric.
The mandolin is a string instrument with a rounded base. Oscar Schmidt has been manufacturing them since the 1800s. This company's OM10E Electric Mandolin has a lifetime manufacturer's warranty. It has an electric sound when plugged into an amplifier, but still retains a solid acoustic sound when unplugged.
The Dean Tennessee model is another electric mandolin with a slightly higher price. It has a crisp tone and can be played before live audiences for bluegrass and country/rock shows. The Ibanez M510E-DVS Mandolin is renowned for its true acoustic sound. It features a mahogany finish with chrome tuners. The Gretsch G930 New Yorker Deluxe Mandolin is an acoustic-electric model with a range of sound adjustment for playing at home, in a studio or onstage. It features a spruce top, mahogany body and rosewood fingerboard.
The Kentucky Electric KM-300E is a highly rated model mainly targeted to beginners. This model only contains four strings as well as inlay markers on the fret board.