Fender Shoreline Gold

It's affectionately known as the "Mandocaster," but Fender's actual, unimaginative name for it was "Fender Electric Mandolin." These 4-string, single-course, solidbody electrics were produced from 1956 to 1976. Fender even sold a set of strings for it. Most of them have the sunburst finish pictured above, but some were made with custom colors such as the "Shoreline Gold" instrument above right, or the white number at right.
     These instruments have been criticized by some, who contend that the pickup placement results in an overly harsh tone. But several well-known players use the instrument. They are somewhat easier to find than a Gibson EM-200, but not quite as ubiquitous as the EM-150. Prices, depending on condition, range from $800 to $2000 or more.
     Fender recently introduced a line of foreign-made mandolins that includes some new electric models.