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Mandolin humbuckers?

Richard Bridge 14 Jun 07 - 04:17 AM
Sugwash 14 Jun 07 - 05:01 AM
GUEST,dan 14 Jun 07 - 06:32 AM
Mooh 14 Jun 07 - 06:39 AM
nickp 14 Jun 07 - 06:57 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Jun 07 - 07:54 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Jun 07 - 08:09 AM
erosconpollo 14 Jun 07 - 08:52 AM
GUEST 14 Jun 07 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Dan 14 Jun 07 - 11:38 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Jun 07 - 11:48 AM
Trevor Thomas 14 Jun 07 - 09:40 PM
Richard Bridge 24 Jun 07 - 11:12 AM
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Subject: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 04:17 AM

I have been invited to do some mandolin parts for a rock (R&B in the old British sense, you might cell them "pub rock") band. Sometimes they play to fairly large crowds, two to three thousand people.

We had a nice effective rehearsal Tuesday BUT

My mandolin has a contact pickup inside. Works well with a decent DI box in a low-volume setting and captures the wood of the mandolin quite nicely. At real rock volumes - feedback city! I'm using a small Fender (Sunn) amp as my stage monitor, taking speaker-level output to a DI box (designed to do exactly this) with a 30Db cut, and then an XLR cable to the mixer.

I have seen on ebay non-acoustic mandolins - sometimes called mandocasters - with single pole electric guitar type pickups. But I prefer the sound of humbuckers. I have found about one mention on the whole internet of a mandolin built with a humbucker.

Does anyone know where I can get (preferably cheaply) an electric mandolin with one or more humbuckers, or just the humbuckers that I could add to either my mandolin, or to one of the many electro-acoustic mandolins with "lipstick" or single pole pickups, or to a non-acoustic mandocaster or functional equivalent?

If it's a whole instrument, playability is not a major problem as I have a good techie readily available. Step forward Brian Rodgers (Walderslade, Chatham, Kent).


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Subject: RE: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: Sugwash
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 05:01 AM

Have you tried The Acoustic Music Company, they have a few solid body mandolins on their web site clicky . There's no details of what the pickups are though. They're based in Brighton.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: GUEST,dan
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 06:32 AM

You can use "bladed" humbuckers for citterns, bouzoukis and mandolins. try the Seymour Duncan Hot Rails. Or Dimarzio - try the Cruiser strat-sized humbucker or the X2N high-power humbucker (if you must...).

Alternatively, I highly recommend Catswhisker pickups for custom pickups. The man hand winds them himself with an electric motor and a steady hand. Get him to make you a special pickup.

Thirdly, I'm selling a 60's Fender Mandocaster. Like a miniature pre-CBS strat in mandolin form. Its not cheap though... Its going to Vintage and Rare guitars in Bath soon, but I'd rather sell it privately to be honest.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: Mooh
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 06:39 AM

Yes, get the instrument you like by playability and switch the single coil with a stacked humbucker. Other than rewiring one for the other, you won't need to modify the instrument.

Check the www.mandolincafe.net link to "eye candy" and click on pictures of electrics to get information about individual builders and their mandolins. Their are lots of them.

Don't like single coils? In a pinch you could use a noise gate and decent EQ.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: nickp
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 06:57 AM

I have an excellent one which came from mandolin maker extraordinaire Mike Vanden up in Scotland. I got it about 14 year ago but I assume he still sells them. It has a 'leg' on the side that screws to the side of the fretboard. There are twin windings/taps so you can have different sounds. I have a vague memory that they are custom made for him by EMG.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 07:54 AM

Thank you nickP - I'll try to trace that Mike Vanden (although he sounds expensive).

My favourite favourite humbucker on guitars is the Jackson C90, also used on some of the Charvel (upside down) guitars. It just roars!

The snag with real mandocasters is that they are 4 string


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Subject: RE: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 08:09 AM

There seem to be no contact details on teh cats whisker site! Help!


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Subject: RE: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: erosconpollo
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 08:52 AM

Another solid-body electric mandolin-like instrument -- in addition to the Mandocaster -- would be the Gibson/Epiphone Mandobird. I do know it is built in both four and eight string versions but I'm not sure about the pickups. I think the current Epi variant uses a stacked P90-type pup but I sort of recall seeing them with mini-humbuckers a la the Firebird guitar (which it mimics).


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Subject: RE: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 11:30 AM

Hi Richard,

I've got a Fishman 'replacement bridge' pickup in my acoustic mandolin, and even with a full on electric band I've not had any trouble with feedback, if that's any use to you.

However, if you like the humbucking sound, about 10 years ago I made an electric mandolin and put a humbucker in it. I had it custom made by a company which is now Wizard Pick Ups. They asked me what my string spacing was, so they could get the pole pieces right, made it up specially by hand and got it to me within a few days. It worked a treat; I wired it with switchable series/parallel. The parallel sounded cleaner and more mandolin like, but the series gave a higher output and a more electric, beefed up sound. I'd have no hesitation in recommending giving them a call - I think they'd sort you out with exactly what you want.


http://www.wizardpickups.co.uk/

Trev


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Subject: RE: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: GUEST,Dan
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 11:38 AM

"There seem to be no contact details on teh cats whisker site! Help!"

From the bottom of the ordering page - Contact : catswhisker.pickups@virgin.net


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Subject: RE: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 11:48 AM

Thank you Dan, I must have missed that....

Thank you Trev. Does that Fishman fit a flat-top or only an arch-top?

Current Mandobirds seem to be single pole only.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: Trevor Thomas
Date: 14 Jun 07 - 09:40 PM

You're welcome Richard.

The Fishman is for an arch top. You can always sand it down to fit a flat top though. I used a sanded down arch top bridge on my electric mandolin (the one with the humbucker).

It all depends whethere you're after a more 'electric' sound - the humbucker is a great thing for that. If you use one on a hollow bodied mandolin, though, you might well still get feedback problems, unfortunately.

I've tried vaious combinations over the years - could you let us know what you eventually settle on and how it works out?

Best of luck with it!

Trev


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Subject: RE: Mandolin humbuckers?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 11:12 AM

The custom pickups will not come small enough to get under my strings.

I think it's going to have to be a new mandolin, with a lipstick tube on it, but I will check out the piezo bridges too.


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