View Full Version : Mando pickup that doesn't involve instrument mods?

Kid Charlemagne
Mar-25-2004, 9:57am
I want to get my Old Wave C# electrified. I have a Schwab 5-string, and love what it can do, but want to be able to amplify the acoustic sound for possible use onstage in a loud venue where just mic'ing it doesn't work.

I've heard lots about McIntyre Feather pickups, but from what I can tell they require the endpin location ot be used for an output. I'd rather set it up with some sort of external 1/4" jack (I've seen something like that clipped onto a mandolin before, I think). Is the only option the Fishman, or is there some sort of internal pickup that can be rigged like this?

This would be my first foray into amplified acoustic instruments, so I don't have a lot of experience in the equipment or methods of doing this.

Somebody educate me!!!

Thanks, y'all...

John Flynn
Mar-25-2004, 10:57am
This will not be a complete answer, just what I know. There are a lot of options. At the high end, a lot of people like the Schetler Dyn-M, about $400, I think. I have never used one, but supposedly that is what Chris Thile uses and people on the site here rave about them.

I would caution you against the Fishman M-100/200. I had one for 10 years and never liked it, but thought that was as good as it gets. It was very uneven in volume and had very pronounced pizeo "thumps" and "quacks." When I got a Rigel with a built-in pizeo, it was a night and day difference, although no pickup is as good as a microphone.

Mar-25-2004, 11:29am
hey charles, I have called mcintyre before,,,, they will customize anything for you.... 1/4 plug at the end of a cord, no prob. they also have carpenter clamps like violin pickups use

Mar-25-2004, 11:33am
I like using the ol SM57 (mic) I used to use pickups, but I dont really like the tone they produce, even with a preamp, they are too noisy.... my opinion only.

Kid Charlemagne
Mar-25-2004, 11:40am
[Mcintyre] will customize anything for you.... 1/4 plug at the end of a cord, no prob. #they also have carpenter clamps like violin pickups use
Really? Now that might be something to look into. I had been considering the clamp like you see for violin hardware - I've seen that sort of rig before, but didn't know what sort of pickup it was attached to.

The Schetler Dyn-M is a bit out of my price range, I would say, although a less expensive model may fit the bill. I don't really want a Fishman, since I don't want to replace my bridge.

Part of my reason for adding a pickup is to be able to take advantage of some of the less insane guitar effects available (a bit of delay here and there, some reverb, etc.) for some new sounds I've been intending to add to my repertoire, so it seems like perhaps the feather might be the way to go.

I'll get in touch with McIntyre and find out what they can do. Thanks, guys! Excellent information (and quick) as always...

Mar-25-2004, 11:46am
they actuall "come" with the capenter jack, its one of their models. you can find their # on the net.

Mar-25-2004, 12:01pm
I have used a Woodpicker® on a Greek baglama (i.e. "octave-bouzouki") and, for the price (+/- $35) it's OK. It sticks (non-permanently) on the soundboard.

I have heard arguments against it from several folks whose opinion I respect: Namely, that it "has no bass response"; probably true, although it has not bothered me, considering that the instrument only goes as low as D, i.e. the mandolin's second-from-the-top course.

MY own, very real complaint is how feeble the wire connection is. My initial pickup went dead after a few weeks of use; I returned it to the manufacturer, who duly replaced it —very good service. Now, the replacement is having "hiccups", too; a nuisance...

But, for the price, it works. For when I upgrade, though, I am eager to hear what others think about higher-end solutions.

Mar-25-2004, 1:26pm
I would think that with a preamp, one transducer is the same as the next.... those thin wires vic mentioned, I have once owned the dean markely , it has that cheap wire, it lasted like half way thru ONE gig.