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Thread: Clark 2-point Mandolins

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    Default Clark 2-point Mandolins

    After talking with a couple mandolin builders I decided too go with Austin Clark who makes Clark Mandolins in Bosie, Idaho. The three builders that I had narrowed my selection down to were Clark, Ellis and Heiden.

    I was looking for a mandolin that had a warm sound and great playability. The reason why I went with a Clark Mandolin was because Austin Clark actually plays Jazz himself on one of his mandolins and for that reason I knew he would make me what I was looking for in a Jazz mandolin. I originally started out looking for an A5 mandolin but after talking with Austin on the phone he recommend going with his 2-point with an Engelmann top, Red Maple back and sides, nut width 1 3/16 because I play guitar and I'm use to a 1 3/4 nut width. Now the waiting period begins!! I want to thank the three mandolin builders that I narrowed my selection down too all build great mandolins and took time out of their busy day and spent time talking with me on the phone!

    I was wondering how many of you on the Mandolin Cafe Forum play a 2-point mandolin? When having a custom mandolin build would you recommend having a pickup put in the mandolin? If you recommend putting a pickup in, what pickup would you recommend?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by MT2 View Post

    I was wondering how many of you on the Mandolin Cafe Forum play a 2-point mandolin? When having a custom mandolin build would you recommend having a pickup put in the mandolin? If you recommend putting a pickup in, what pickup would you recommend?
    First question before the can of worms opens is do you want and acoustic sound or an electric sound?
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  4. #3
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    I've got a nice 2 point that I love. It's got a K&K pickup that was installed before the back was glued on. Quarter inch jack at the endpin hole. Works great.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    First question before the can of worms opens is do you want and acoustic sound or an electric sound?
    I like the acoustic sound best and I would be playing it that way 90% of the time...... BUT it would be nice to use an amp sometimes when you need it. Or would I be much better off using a mic when needed?

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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    Phil,

    Thanks for letting me know about your K&K pickup in your mandolin! By adding the pickup to your mandolin did it effect the acoustic sound in your mandolin?

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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    If the acoustic sound is desired, I'd tend to go the mic direction instead, mainly because the mandolin would not suffer any vibration degradation due to something installed on any of its vibrating surfaces. Plus, another nice thing about the mic is you can use it for other things too.

    If you wanted an electric sound, there are probably plenty of good reasons to have it installed in/on the mandolin.

    Just my 2 cents...

    Edit: Btw, congrats on the Austin Clark mandolin. Austin did some work on my F-9, he does great work and one day I may also look that same direction. You may want to ask him what he thinks about pickup installation on your mandolin.
    -- Don

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    Oval hole or f-hole?
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    Registered User Denman John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    Austin in a great guy and I'm sure he'll build you an awesome mandolin. I'd ask him about the pickup and go from there.

    Congrats you lucky dog!
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    If the acoustic sound is desired, I'd tend to go the mic direction instead, mainly because the mandolin would not suffer any vibration degradation due to something installed on any of its vibrating surfaces. Plus, another nice thing about the mic is you can use it for other things too.

    If you wanted an electric sound, there are probably plenty of good reasons to have it installed in/on the mandolin.

    Just my 2 cents...

    Edit: Btw, congrats on the Austin Clark mandolin. Austin did some work on my F-9, he does great work and one day I may also look that same direction. You may want to ask him what he thinks about pickup installation on your mandolin.
    I agree with you I'm worried about missing up vibration in the mandolin due to installing a pickup and that's not worth it. I'm finally going to get a nice Clark mandolin made by Austin and I didn't want to mess it up by doing something stupid and my wife will tell you I'm very good at that........

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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Oval hole or f-hole?
    After talking with Austin I decided too go with an f-hole on my mandolin!

  12. #11
    Registered User mando.player's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    I picked up my Clark 2-point here on the Cafe. I sent it to Austin for a little warranty work and he installed a K&K at that time. He was awesome to work with on both accounts. The K&K sounds good once you tweak it with a little EQ.

    As for the 2-point...so nice. The sound is beautiful and it’s a joy to play.

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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    While I don't have a Clark, I do have a Brentrup and will tell you putting a K&K inside has made no change in the sound of the mandolin, but using a RedEye preamp gives me a great acoustic sound that sounds very much like my mandolin, only louder thru the PA with out problems associated with a mic. I can play softer, need almost no EQ and it sounds great. I have gotten compliments from other mandolin players with many more toys on my sound. I did do a unique installation tho and I think it made a difference. I used both glue and tape.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  14. #13

    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    MT2, you are going to love it! I sure can vouch for Austin Clark. I bought a guitar body octave mandolin from him back in 2013, right off his table at the very last Healdsburg Guitar Festival. It's been back to his shop only once for some finish touch-up. He did a spectacular job on that "touch up", BTW. I loved talking with him. He's just a great person. My octave, or the "G-Bomb" as I call it is so alive and rich. It really inspires. And it is quite a thing to behold with the eyes too!

    Best,
    Svea

  15. #14
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by MT2 View Post
    Phil,
    Thanks for letting me know about your K&K pickup in your mandolin! By adding the pickup to your mandolin did it effect the acoustic sound in your mandolin?
    Well, I can't give you a definitive answer because the pickup was installed before the mandolin was finished, so no one has heard it without the pickup. BUT, ... the mandolin sounds WONDERFUL and is the most responsive instrument that I own.

    K&K pickups are made of two small thin pieces of metal that are glued or taped to the inside of the top near the bridge. The likelihood of this small mass changing the vibration is approximately zero.
    But do what makes you happy.
    Phil

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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    Congrats on your order! I'm sure Austin Clark will make you a sweet mandolin! He was a great guy to meet and all of the mandolins that I got to play at his shop were fantastic! I'd have the pickup installed by Austin right off the bat.
    I like the JJB Prestige 220. It is less than half the price of the K&K and sounds just as good.
    http://www.jjb-electronics.com/prestige-220.html
    I have one installed in my Franzke A5 with a Tapastring jack with Ebony button.
    Jessie from JJB will sell you the prestige 220 without a jack for $20 and the Tapastring jack is $90 with a wood button
    http://www.bluestarmusic.com/Tapastr...le_p_1748.html
    Or $70 with a chrome button
    http://www.bluestarmusic.com/Tapastr...le_p_1747.html

    I prefer the wood button just because it looks more like a standard endpin button

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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    First I want to say it's really great to hear all the nice complements on Austin Clark's Mandolins/instruments. Like someone said it's a pleasure talking with him on the phone and discussing different things and getting his view points. I really appreciate all the comments on the different pickup systems. Next week I'm going to call Austin and get his recommendation on what I should do about having a pickup installed in the mandolin while it's being built.

    Darwin

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    I really like the two-point design for jazz and swing, it seems a nice balance between the simplicity of an A model and the complexity of an F-style. As for pick ups I've used McIntyre in a few of my builds

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    Registered User Drew Streip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    My K&K twin did not perceptibly change the sound of my Eastman, and that includes having the external carpenter jack clamped on. I also have an armrest, which does not change the sound.

    I think if either of those things had a noticeable effect, far fewer people would use them. I checked here before getting the pickup and the consensus was "no change, bad or good."

    Congrats on the new mando!

  20. #19
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    Did you ask Austin what pickup he would recommend? He has a good deal of experience with pickups IIRC.
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Did you ask Austin what pickup he would recommend? He has a good deal of experience with pickups IIRC.
    I asked Austin if I should have a pickup put into my Clark 2-Point Mandolin that he is making for me. He recommended putting in a K&K Mandolin Twin pickup. After hearing his recommendation I'm going to have him install a K&K Mandolin Twin pickup.

    I looked at the K&K Mandolin Twin website and "it's a dual-head retrofit mandolin transducer. It reproduces the original mandolin tone with very natural tone quality and it is highly feedback resistant."
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    Registered User fredfrank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clark 2-point Mandolins

    So, when you say two-point, are you referring to the design like Don Stiernberg’s Nugget, or Jethro Burns’ Old Gibson? Even Will Kimble has a unique offset two-point design which some might say is a more classical style.

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