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Thread: Flirting with the 5-string mandolin (again)

  1. #26
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flirting with the 5-string mandolin (again)

    I'll try to find time to take a look at the six FM60Es currently sitting in the barn, as well as archive photos, and see if I can discern anything useful about when truss rods appeared.

    First two digits of the serial number are the production year, if I'm not mistaken. Most of them made between 1999 and 2001.

    The best-sounding FM60Es I've come across have something in common: they had replacement pickups.

    I agree with Kenny that the flatwounds make a difference.
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  3. #27
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    Default Re: Flirting with the 5-string mandolin (again)

    Thanks, Martin.

    In the meantime, I successfully scored a Mando-Strat reissue from eBay for a smidge under 300 -- not too shabs. Unfortunately, I won't have it before NYC gets hit with a blizzard tonight, but I'm stoked to check it out.

    So, I wound up with a 4-stringer after all. This'll help me determine whether or not a snazzy jazzy 5-string is in my future.
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  4. #28
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    Default Re: Flirting with the 5-string mandolin (again)

    That's a decent instrument to start off with, digitalshrub. It will give you a great idea if electric is the way you want to go or not without breaking the bank. I'm still messing around with the Fender fm60e and undecided if I want to upgrade it or let it go toward a custom piece from one of the small builders her on the cafe. Good luck to you. Ken

  5. #29
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flirting with the 5-string mandolin (again)

    Congrats on the score. FWIW, the stock bridge on those are underwhelming. Andrew Jerman, a builder and cafe member, used to have replacement bridges available for the mando strats at one time. It's worth asking him! NFI on my part, just a fan of Andrew and his work. That said, have fun building your rig!


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  6. #30
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    Default Re: Flirting with the 5-string mandolin (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Greenspoon View Post
    Congrats on the score. FWIW, the stock bridge on those are underwhelming. Andrew Jerman, a builder and cafe member, used to have replacement bridges available for the mando strats at one time. It's worth asking him! NFI on my part, just a fan of Andrew and his work. That said, have fun building your rig!
    Thanks, Dave! Indeed, in my scouring of old threads on here, I gathered that the bridges on these reissues (and the originals) leave quite a bit to be desired. In fact, I imagine I would have eventually picked y'all's brains about upgrading...so thanks for mentioning Mr. Jerman, I'll be sure to reach out to him!
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  8. #31
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    Default Re: Flirting with the 5-string mandolin (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny A View Post
    I'm still messing around with the Fender fm60e and undecided if I want to upgrade it or let it go toward a custom piece from one of the small builders her on the cafe. Good luck to you. Ken
    I'll be interested to hear how that shakes out for you, Ken. I've upgraded the pickups in almost every electric guitar I've owned (the notable exceptions being the aforementioned Gibson Marauder with those crazy Bill Lawrence pups, and my Baja Telecaster), and it felt like an improvement each time. Emando tone -- perhaps by virtue of there being fewer players and fewer examples in popular music -- seems to be a more elusive thing, with fewer "rules" or "norms", and therefore less consensus about how to improve pickup tone. At any rate, I'm looking forward to messing around with my Mando-Strat when it comes in, and further geeking out with you guys about the virtues of various 5-string builders (those J.L. Smith models are starting to tempt me...).
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  9. #32
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flirting with the 5-string mandolin (again)

    Penta Systems P5, Steve Ryder slimmed down the baseball bat like neck, to be more like his 5 strings,

    then replaced the 5 bridge pieces with RMC piezo divided pickups and a 2nd jack to hook up to guitar synths..

    I liked my CGDA 4 string.. found the Roland guitar synth has nothing above the highest note on an electric guitar,

    Which is not that far up on the E string on a Mandolin.. (i expect adding a piano synth will go higher )




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  10. #33
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    Default Re: Flirting with the 5-string mandolin (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    Penta Systems P5, Steve Ryder slimmed down the baseball bat like neck, to be more like his 5 strings,

    then replaced the 5 bridge pieces with RMC piezo divided pickups and a 2nd jack to hook up to guitar synths..

    That sounds pretty wild, mandroid. I like the look of some of those Ryders, esp because they don't resemble toy guitars. Doubt I'd have much use for MIDI application and such, but it is nice to see an emando maker who's forging new technological territory.

    My Mando-strat/caster is scheduled for delivery tomorrow, I'll be sure to report on our honeymoon.
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  11. #34
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Flirting with the 5-string mandolin (again)

    The dual source is 'useful' too.. Bridge & Magnetic, the builder put 29 frets in the neck

    so only room for 1 5 pole pickup

    piezo pieces in the bridge are another pickup.

    "Useful" in someones hands I mostly play my acoustic with other people in community Jam circles ..


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  12. #35
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    Default Re: Flirting with the 5-string mandolin (again)

    Hey all -- got my Mando-Strat in the mail last night. Proceeded to play it till I fell asleep with it on the couch, so I guess that's a good sign.

    I have a few predictable quibbles with it, but I think I may just start a new thread to increase potential feedback from y'all. Seems like most of the Mando-Strat/'caster threads are from a couple years ago, so maybe revisiting the subject won't be met with too many "but there are so many Mandocaster threads already!" responses.

    Thanks all!
    Gibson F9 2002
    Gibson A2 1922
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    Kentucky KM-380

  13. #36

    Default Re: Flirting with the 5-string mandolin (again)

    Love my Mandostrat reissue.
    Got the moongazermusic.com 4 saddle bridge.

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