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Thread: K&K Mandolin Pickup (anyone have experience with this product?)

  1. #1

    Question K&K Mandolin Pickup (anyone have experience with this product?)

    Greetings, I am brand new to this website, Hope I'm posting in the right place. I have played fiddle for years but just got a mando for the first time and am looking into pickup options. A friend that I used to play in a band with had a K&K internal
    and I remember it sounding pretty good albeit very hot and sometimes a little tinny (nothing that a preamp couldn't deal with though). We both used LR Baggs para acoustic DI's as our preamps and got pretty good results. The only problems I ever remember him having was that one of the nodes or paddles came loose one time in a concert and he had to resort to a mic. It also looks tempting bc it looks like you can probably install it yourself with a couple of tools.

    Any experience, recommendations, warnings, anecdotes about this pickup would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Musically Omnivorous tablaninja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Durham, NC

    Default Re: K&K Mandolin Pickup (anyone have experience with this product

    I just installed the K&K Mandolin Twin in my Eastman. I decided to go with the Internal version but the sound quality is the same. The pickups come with very detailed installation instructions and even a bent nail and putty to help navigate the mics into place. I used two layers of the provided sticky tape (as recommended by K&K) and it's holding up fine so far. My luthier friend who installs these uses a thin layer of super glue instead and swears by that method.
    The installation of the Internal version isn't all that tricky. It costs a little less. You will most likely have to increase the hole size after you remove the endpin. I carefully twisted my endpin out without breaking it but sometimes it has too much glue from the faculty and will split. I used a step bit to drill the tailpiece hole to the right size and then a regular drill bit to for the end block. It was a little nerve wracking but having a pickup that's totally hidden is awesome!
    I use a very simple but incredible sounding preamp made in Austin. The Redeye.
    Also, check out this thread. I found it really helpful on my journey.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Columbus, GA

    Default Re: K&K Mandolin Pickup (anyone have experience with this product

    I have a K&K pickup (actually twin pickups) on my Breedlove Legacy FF. They're great. I added the K&K Pure Preamp because they claim it's made for the pickups. It appears that it is. They work together beautifully. I'm still getting used to the fact that the preamp is a clip-on. One minor design flaw in the preamp: the input plug is on the bottom rear of the box (away from the instrument) and the output is toward the front. It seems to me as if the instrument should plug in at the nearest plug but it doesn't happen that way. I still like the amp, though.

    The picture shows a screw-attached case. Mine is a clip-on.

    The illustration doesn't show the plugs but their location is noted on the label:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    fretboard roamer Paul Merlo's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Motown 'burbs, MI

    Default Re: K&K Mandolin Pickup (anyone have experience with this product

    There's a K&K Twin in my mandolin and I think I like it a lot. I use my old Fishman GII preamp, but have been seriously thinking about going to the K&K Pure Preamp lately. I think the GII might be more for a piezo pickup and is a little bulky clipped to my back pocket.

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  5. #5
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Durham, NC

    Default Re: K&K Mandolin Pickup (anyone have experience with this product

    The K&K is really good for what it is, but what it is ain't a pure acoustic sound. I have it in one of my mandolins for when the noise level goes up to the point where I need a mandosimlicron... that being said, it also works great for plugging into recording board for scratch tracks or demos.

  6. #6
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    South West UK

    Default Re: K&K Mandolin Pickup (anyone have experience with this product

    Well I really like the sound of mine. Just one gig and everyone complimented me on the sound compared to my celtic mandolin with the excellent headway active in it.
    We sent the K&K (twin) output thru the small Headway preamp, but I hadn't a back up battery (idiot me) and of course it died mid-gig and we had no spare phantom power channel without undoing the whole desk setup. So we sent the K&K straight in. Not really a problem. My bassist felt it was quite microphone like compared to the under saddle system. His double bass uses K&K but he didn't know mine were until after the gig. He's got a good ear I can tell you, too.

    However, compared to under the saddle, the K&K did generate annoying feedback. any tips on feedback elimination, whilst I'm here guys (other than "don't play amplified" or "use a dynamic" as I move about A LOT! Lol)?
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

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