At wind ensemble rehearsal the other day I sat down and noticed a mandolin part had been placed on my stand along with the expected trombone parts. Only then did I remember a conversation I'd had a while back with the director. She was coy about her plans so I didn't know what instrument part I'd end up seeing (I kind of expected accordion to be honest).
My mandolin's neck had split off from the body about a year ago so I had given it away to a friend who is an avid tinkerer. Without an instrument to play the part, the only solution was to go shopping! I found a very nice Fender FM-52E at a local shop. It played nicely but the most impressive part was the electric pickup. Nice and clean with a very uncolored sound. Almost a warm tone to it.
I've played with it some and its coming back to me quickly. Definitely needs some adjustments to bring the action lower. Not sure why everyone sells mandolins with the action set 3/8ths of an inch off the fretboard. Too much work to play IMO.