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Thread: NEMD! Eastwood Mandocaster content

  1. #1
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    Default NEMD! Eastwood Mandocaster content

    Hello everyone,

    Don't post on here much, but just got an Eastwood Mandocaster in the mail a couple weeks ago and thought I'd report in.

    Here's the mando and rig I'm using at the moment (often with headphones as courtesy to my apartment building):

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    Early impressions: contrary to what a lot of people online think, I don't think it sounds like a tiny guitar (maybe 4 string electrics do more so?) but it has the same lower midrange presence and high end sparkle as a mandolin (which my strat does not have). I mostly stick to the neck pickup-it rounds off the highs a little for single note lines, and the middle, two pickup position, produces a nice mid-scooped sound for strumming chords without getting in the way. The bridge pickup I only ever use for overdrive sound. It handles overdrive ok, but tubescreamer type ODs and other mid humped ODs seem to accentuate all the wrong frequencies. It sounds better with my relatively transparent TC Electronic MojoMojo than it does with my Boss SD-1. On the Zoom, I stick with a Two Rock amp model for OD that is less mid-rangey than the Marshall models.

    That being said, I don't think overdriven sounds are where it shines. It has a very nice clean tone (that is vaguely reminiscent of a telecaster). Some reviews on the internet complained about it being unbalanced across the strings-the g-strings are louder than the e-strings. This is definitely accurate, but even a modest amount of compression evens out the frequency response beautifully and gives you a nice, full sound. The two presets I wind up going back to over and over again are a) slight compression, a clean boost for leads, and some subtle reverb, and b) slight compression, followed by delay and a more pronounced reverb for those ambient sounds. The clean sounds are really where it shines, but I don't think it will ever replace your acoustic mandolin in a bluegrass context, that's just no what its for!

    tl;dr: with a little compression, produces a nice clean electric mandolin tone, not a substitute for your acoustic mandolin.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: NEMD! Eastwood Mandocaster content

    Quote Originally Posted by flymolo0 View Post
    Some reviews on the internet complained about it being unbalanced across the strings-the g-strings are louder than the e-strings. This is definitely accurate, but even a modest amount of compression evens out the frequency response beautifully and gives you a nice, full sound.
    I don't know what strings they ship with - but make sure you have .011's on the top (and not something thinner), and don't forget you can adjust the pickup height - it typically wants to be quite a bit closer to the e's than the g's.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: NEMD! Eastwood Mandocaster content

    Thats a really good point, and one I need to get around to. I bought it used off Reverb, so I honestly have no idea whats on there for strings. I haven't played with the pickup height yet either, but its a good suggestion!

    I would welcome suggestions on where to buy strings. I know emando.com sells a set, and there is a D'Addario set that can be used on acoustic or electric if I am not mistaken. Any other places to look?

  5. #4
    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
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    Default Re: NEMD! Eastwood Mandocaster content

    Most of the mass-produced emandos have that unbalanced pickup problem because many are not using mando-specific pickups. I slapped a Lawrence Smart pickup onto my Kentucky e350 and it made all the difference. I suspect the mandcaster has the same issue.

  6. #5

    Default Re: NEMD! Eastwood Mandocaster content

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    I bought the Morgan Monroe variant. They all seem to be made in the same factory in Asia. Adjusting the pickups on the treble side closer to the E strings helps to balance out the sound quite a bit but I'm not all that fond of the pickups to begin with. At some point, they will be replaced, most likely by DiMarzio twin rail humbuckers. The pots and selector switch could use an upgrade at the same time. If you haven't already, consider shielding the pickup cavity. It will definitely reduce the RF/EM hum that's endemic with these things. I buy Fender electric mando strings from JustStrings.com currently. There are not many choices for 8 string electric mandolin sets unless you want to make up your own sets. All in all, these are lots of fun if you want to get loud.

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

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