Re: DPA Mandolin Mic Opinions
I cannot think of any technical reason why they would be "brittle" or "harsh". They have excellent SPL handling, and a very stable frequency response. The actual transducer quality in them is about as good as it gets. Of course, as with any microphone or pickup, installation and positioning is critical, as is the load you are running them into. If you get that right, in my experience, they sound very, very good indeed. I've used them on super-critical jobs, such as classical live broadcasts. Never a single complaint - also used them in a BG context, same results.
That said, I personally tend to prefer a non-instrument mounted mic, as I find it easier to control dynamics (and tone) with those, especially during breaks. This will depend on the style you play, and other band instruments, though.
In a REALLY loud situation, you can pretty much max-out any mic system of course, mounted or not. At that point a good pickup is probably your only option. For making them sound a lot better, the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI is well worth experimenting with. It really does work and offers a lot of tonal possibilities. Not cheap - but worth it if you need to use a transducer (non magnetic) pickup.
Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern
Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
Jim Triggs 23 F5, Northfield Big Mon #127
Silverangel custom 'A'
'39 D-18, 1950 D-28.