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Thread: Very strange mandolin pickup

  1. #1
    Registered User Jailboogie300's Avatar
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    Default Very strange mandolin pickup

    This pickup of mandolin is very strange. Had never seen it before.
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    Also used on guitars
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  2. #2
    Registered User nmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very strange mandolin pickup

    I suspected it was a Volu-Tone... and then I saw the Volu-Tone amp in the second pic! Check out this monstrosity on a lap steel:

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    They were sold as part of steels & guitars, and also on their own (sort of like a proto-DeArmond). The major drawback of these pickups was that their electromagnets had to be charged from the amplifier before use, and as I recall there were major electrical safety problems with the setup. I guess permanent mangets were still expensive enough in those days to make this a viable product, though not that many have survived.
    www.OldFrets.com: the obscure side of vintage instruments.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Very strange mandolin pickup

    Great sleuthing, nmiller! I had guessed an early steel guitar pickup.... but came up empty on a maker or model. Glad you solved the mystery. I enjoy learning about early amplification gear.

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