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Thread: How do I get that clean jazz sound

  1. #1
    Registered User shortcircuit's Avatar
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    Default How do I get that clean jazz sound

    OK, I have this Gold Tone GM-110 (Rigel want to be) that I have dropped down to four string. It has a piezo pickup in it now. I have tried all the settings on my little Digiteck RP-50 and still have a twangy mandolin sound. I know it's a mandolin!!! I'm thinking that maybe a mag pickup might do the trick along with some flatwound strings. Can it be done to get a clean smooth jazz sound out of a mandolin? I know it can I heard it come out of a old solid body mando. My thought was I could get a cleaner sound with more color from the hollow body over the solid body. How many solid body guitars can be called jazz boxes?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Jim Bevan's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    Your twangy mandolin sound might be due to your pick, if you are using a pointed thin one instead of a rounded thick one...

  3. #3
    Registered User shortcircuit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    Been using Dunlop stubby 2.0 mm . Just didn't know if everyone was using a special effects box. And so, which one.

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    Ben Beran Dfyngravity's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    Truly you need a mag. p/u. But also you might need to work on dialing in your amp settings too. Backing some treble and even a bit of mid out and adding in a little bass.

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    Is there a "talent" knob? taboot's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    You're on the right path by choosing a hollow bodied instrument. You'll eventually want a magnetic pickup (jazz guitars like 335's tend to have humbuckers rather than single coils) but right now you can start playing with tone controls. Like Dfyngravity said, back down on your treble - in fact, you can back it down to zero on a lot of amps/instruments and most of "that sound" is right there. On the *very* rare occasions when I want to use a sound like this, I just dial my instrument's tone pot back nearly to zero. There, done. That's also a good illustration of why I don't like to use this sound too much - it feels too undefined to me. But taste is personal...

    I don't have any experience with your amp, so if its tone controls don't offer a lot of variation, you might consider some kind of EQ pedal. Are you using a preamp between the mando and amp? That might have the EQ you need. The other thing I might consider doing is tuning way down, maybe as far down as mandola voicing (CGDA) to lower the string tension, and thereby "plinky" or "twangy" attack.

    Good luck!

    Christian
    Christian McKee

    Member, The Big North Duo
    Musical Director, The Oregon Mandolin Orchestra

  6. #6
    Registered User shortcircuit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    The amp I'm using for this is my Fender Blues Delux tweed mid 90's model. I have tried the bass all the way up and the treble all the way down, reverb at mid about midway. Did not know if it's the peizo pickup that might be doing it and just installing a humbucker pickup and doing away with the peizo might solve the problem. Or maybe the right stomp box. I purchased this mando just to modify to do this.

  7. #7
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    I believe you will have a hard time getting a traditional Jazz sound with a piezo pickup.
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  8. #8
    Registered User shortcircuit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    Pete- I think your right. Now I need to find a pickup that is less the 3/4 high

  9. #9

    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    you need a humbucker mag pickup ,then does your amp have tubes? a friend of mine has had great success using suspended jazz humbucker mini. i think a kent armstrong suspended jazz humbucker would work
    Pickup dimensions 2-23/32" x 1-1/8" x 1/2" (69.06mm x 28.58mm x 12.70mm)
    Bracket spacing 2-1/4" (57.15mm)

    you should be able to bend the brackets enough to attach it to the neck
    the benedetto Dimensions are 3-1/8" x 1-1/2" x 3/4". This pickup includes a flat-bottom 4" x 1-15/16" x 3/8" mounting ring.
    both available from stew mac

  10. #10

    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    If you install a humbucker you should probably whack some of that fret board length off or pickup will be in the "bridge position". For a warm sound you want the magnetic pickup as close to the center of string vibration (12th fret) as possible.

  11. #11
    Registered User shortcircuit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    Yes the Fender blues delux is a tube amp. I also have solid state amps but like the old tube sound. Thanks I will look into those pickups. I have a birthday coming up soon so maybe my better half won't mind me buying myself a birthday present.

  12. #12
    Registered User shortcircuit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    I was thinking about cutting off some of the fretboard ext. to mount the pickup against the neck. Might even be able to mount it to the neck, but at that point it won't matter if the mando has a few holes in it.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    you may want to dabble in the five string electric territory as well ,very jazzy sound i find.i recommend something with a 14.5 in scale, though the fender fm60e can be found for an inexpensive amount from time to time if you keep your eyes peeled.i recommend putting the heavy c string(.48 or .50) and tuning cgda if you want to get a feel for what that c string will sound like

  14. #14
    Registered User shortcircuit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    I'm a guitar player for about forty years now. Just dabbeling my way with the mando. Have not found too much info on chords for five string mandos. I can make this one five if I need to.

  15. #15

    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    you would be amazed at how simple it is too expand the chords. i can go into further detail but if you do not have a 5 string then it would be all mental exercise .

  16. #16
    Registered User shortcircuit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    Do you know of any web sites for info on playing the five string?

  17. #17

    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    no i do not but maybe i will email ted at jazzmando.com and see if we can put together some pdf files as i found the five has helped in understanding the four and i am sure he is all ways looking for more content

    hey ted are you out there?

  18. #18
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    Ted Eschliman
    Tenor Guitar Enthusiast

    www.JazzMando.com
    Author, Getting Into Jazz Mandolin

  19. #19
    Registered User shortcircuit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    Ted, thanks. Hope they didn't put the pressure on you. I"ll look into this. thanks again Ted. And thank you Rico for dragging Ted into this.

  20. #20
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    I find the 4 string mandola, CGDA tuning, and a humbucking pickup , will be a suitable sound,
    Means pretty much a shopping opportunity ,
    but rare to be anything on the shelf, as such .. Breedlove has one made as such,
    I have a EM 150 like conversion where a Luthier fitted a stacked humbucking pickup
    into a Gibson A50 ..

    think of what funds you have to devote to acquiring another instrument ..

    some 4 string solid body instruments have worked when restrung, too ..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  21. #21
    Registered User shortcircuit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    I am going to install a humbucker on this mando and see what happens. Can't be too bad.
    This mando was purchased just to make a jazz/blues mando out of, so will not be purchasing another instrument for this project anytime soon. Thanks for everyones input and I will put most of it to good use. (I hope)

  22. #22

    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    Don Julin (well known Jazz Player) has put a sound clip of one of my electric solid body models on the jazzmando website: www.jazzmando.com if you're interested in what a solid body can produce? Click on Builders, and look for the review for (J.L. Smith), then click on the sound clip link. Just thought you might be interested?
    John
    www.jlsmithmandolins.com

  23. #23
    Registered User shortcircuit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    John- thanks will do that...

  24. #24
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    In the archives of this section is a few pictures of someone router-ing a shelf in the end of the fingerboard.
    and getting a kent armstrong mini floating type pickup and fitting that. eliminating a few of the highest frets in the process,
    But, you probably won't go above the 15th anyhow ..

    one setup, as I recall, rewired the two knobs to be a volume for each type of pickup, put a stereo jack in,
    and plugged a Y cable into that jack, and processed the 2 signals separately .. each in its own loop.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  25. #25
    Registered User Sergio Lara's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I get that clean jazz sound

    My favorite clean jazz tone is using flat wound strings on my old Fender mandocaster thru my Roland cube 60, cutting the treble on the mando and the amp and boosting the mids with some reverb and a short delay. I have been using that set up for years and I got my flat wound strings from Ted at jazzmando.com Thanks again, Ted!

    Serge

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