I had struggled to find a mandolin which produced a balanced plugged-in sound across the strings; the A pair were always too loud. I had tried the Epiphone MM50E which has the Shadow adjustable pickup, but this also could not tame the wild A strings. I had read on www.mandolincafe.com - a highly recommended site - that a8 owners were extremely happy, and already being a Godin Multiac SA nylon owner, I decided to take the plunge. It's not cheap, but it is an excellent instrument. It is beautiful to look at - the Cognac Burst is well worth the extra fifty quid - and the sound, playability and intonation are all spot-on. It truly sounds like an acoustic mando when used directly into a PA.
My band members are knocked out by the plugged-in sound. I couldn't ask for a better instrument for the uses I put it to.
My band is currently in the studio recording an album, and what I wasn't prepared for was when the studio engineer suggested we mike the mando up; on playback the sound quality was frankly astonishing, sounding like a top quality acoustic. Despite the construction being a chambered solid body and being a little quieter than a normal acoustic mando, it still delivers incredible tone. The studio engineer was very impressed.
Thank you so much for assisting me to own this amazing instrument, and for your continued excellent service!