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Thread: New Mandocaster by Clearwater

  1. #1
    Créateur des e-mandos Soundfarmer Pete's Avatar
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    Default New Mandocaster by Clearwater

    There`s a new kid on the block.......
    I sent an order for a Clearwater scratchplate kit to a customer....he mustn`t have looked at the picture before he ordered since he emailed to say it was nothing like the original but thoughtfully, sent a photo of his mando..... and very interesting too as it`s more of a Strat shape than a Tele.

    It looks like there may be plenty of potential for customising so I`ve ordered one (I`ll report on quality once it arrives).

    As with the Tele style, although up to now I`ve only found the Clearwater, it`s a fair bet that they`ll also appear with different brands on the headstock.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandocaster by Clearwater

    This style was available from US vendors with a Vorson brand.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have a Vorson and a Clearwater electric tenor uke strung as 4 string octave mandos.
    Decent fit and finish, but the pickups could certainly be more robust.

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  4. #3
    Créateur des e-mandos Soundfarmer Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Mandocaster by Clearwater

    OK....It`s arrived and generally, it`s pretty much useless.....I bought it for research figuring that once people started buying them, they`d be tempted to do a few modifications but after examining this heap of junk, I`ll be avoiding the things like the plague

    So....first impressions......For twice the price of a Harley Benton, it shares quite a few common features, the bridge is the old Mandobird style compensated bar type, the pickups are standard Strat sized units and the machine heads are the cheap and wobbly Chinese contraptions.

    I bought the black one and as we all know, black is good for showing faults. The body is 4 pieces and either the wood was poorly dried or the finish was baked so although buffed (a bit), there are distinct steps in the finish.

    As with just about every Mandocaster I`ve ever seen, the neck angle is wrong so the action is ridiculously high even with the bridge as low as it will go......and on the neck.....flat fingerboard, quite obviously twisted.

    Right.....well, it looks pretty horrific...let`s see what it`s like plugged in!

    Erm.......where to start?......... There`s a battery box in the back so it must have a pre-amp one would suppose but when I had a plonk, it was a fair bit weaker (on the same settings) as a mando I was testing a couple of days ago.
    There are 3 knobs, volume nearest the bridge, a middle one which didn`t actually seem to do anything and a tone one.....(since ripping the thing to bits, the middle is supposed to be treble and the the back one, bass).
    There`s a 3 position switch but there is very little tonal variation between the two pickups since they`re mounted so closely - probably as a result of having a 24 fret neck.

    So, soundwise, even with a preamp, thin, poor output and the usual weak E. I ripped the pickups apart to investigate and they weigh in at 5.3kOhms with ceramic bar magnets but here`s the fun bit....The bobbins were obviously cheap Strat type units with the area between the pole slug holes crudely ground away and a strip of steel shoved in to convert them to blades....but the steel strip is at least 4mm below the top surface ...... ho hum!
    I`ve tried Googling the pre-amp for info but no luck (ZS Guitars HMP series).....wondering if it`s something intended for piezos?

    What am I going to do with it? ...... Hmmmm.....put the bits in a corner and forget it for a day or two.......
    The headstock`s massive so there may be enough wood inside the machine holes to convert to a 4 string with a Suhr style head shape......Obviously, the neck wants sorting out so the twist needs planing out, the board needs a bit of radius before refretting.....Electrics need sorting.......Bridge......Machines.......

    Actually, I think that rather than put the bits in a corner, I might try to find space in a deep dark drawer

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