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Thread: Gold Tone mandocello

  1. #101
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    On Gold Tone's site. The spec list has both pick ups listed. Solid Spruce top, doesn't say "carved". So must be pressed.

  2. #102
    Registered User NotMelloCello's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    RIGHT. Now we know. Yesterday, did any of us know? It's bad form to hide wires when they interfere with the setup and playing of an instrument. Function BEFORE form is the rule.
    The difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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  4. #103
    Registered User Freddyfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    I was curious if you can get a separate signal from each pickup. I am doubting the way it's set up, that its not possible. Unless you cut the wires and run them to seperate knobs and maybe jacks. One of the reasons the Eastman turned me off was no pickup. Add a few hundred to have one installed in the bridge. Or spend more and get a Schertler type pickup on the body. That's why this one had high hopes, built in pickup.
    Its not a backwards guitar.

  5. #104
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Freddyfingers View Post
    I was curious if you can get a separate signal from each pickup. I am doubting the way it's set up, that its not possible. Unless you cut the wires and run them to seperate knobs and maybe jacks. One of the reasons the Eastman turned me off was no pickup. Add a few hundred to have one installed in the bridge. Or spend more and get a Schertler type pickup on the body. That's why this one had high hopes, built in pickup.
    With respect, I can't understand this thinking. If a mandocello sounds great acoustically, there are many ways to amplify it for any conceivable purpose. I have a great-sounding Weber OM. I amplify it with a clip-on DPA microphone. If I needed more gain before feedback, there are a half-dozen good pickup choices I could use that would do the job.

    Putting "it''s amplified at the factory" before great acoustic tone is putting the cart before the horse, in my opinion.

    And yes, there are situations where an acoustically "damped" body design with a humbucker is a good match for some styles of music. I'm familiar with that from the world of guitars. But is anyone really looking for that with a new, affordable-class mandocello on the market? How narrow a niche is that, compared to the people who would like a sub-$1,000 mandocello where acoustic response is the first priority?

    I hope those who bought the first runs of this Gold Tone are happy with their purchase, with or without further tweaks. But it looked weird to me from the start, with that humbucker and tone knob design.

  6. #105
    Registered User NotMelloCello's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    I was curious if you can get a separate signal from each pickup.
    Not yet, but it would be a good idea with the piezo pickup. Running it separately through a good buffer or preamp would eliminate the scratchy, trebly sound. You never know if it might be the strings.... but I won't change them until I get the damn thing to play right, and in tune.

    Also, foldedpath is correct - it should sound good from the factory before adding a pickup of any kind. This one really needs help, and I'm on a mission to make it great.
    The difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

  7. #106
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    Glad to see they got the 10th fret marker right.

    So what's the nut width? Throw it on the Classifieds if you decide not to keep it ...
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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  8. #107
    Site founder Scott Tichenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    I'll be at NAMM late this morning. I'll eventually get to Gold Tone and if I can locate Wayne I'll show him this thread in case he hasn't seen it. We had talked about possibly doing a giveaway this Spring and if I can make that happen I will, but no promises.

  9. #108
    Registered User Tom C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by NotMelloCello View Post
    Here it is:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I played it for about 10 minutes at the store. I am NOT crazy about it. I do NOT like the narrow neck. The strings are brand new, but they already sound dead. It's supposed to be a carved top, but the acoustic sound is very quiet, very thin. Perhaps the bracing is overdone? The electric sound.... better, but I reserve judgment until I work with it awhile. Right off the bat - the setup is poorly done. Nut height is not consistent from course to course. The frets buzz in 3 places - no surprise, I guess - as my first experiences with Gold Tone products was doing fret levels on dulciborns, banjos, and guitars from them. Finish - good, but some small scratches in the sunburst before topcoating with clear. The hardshell case - absolutely top notch! It's not made by Gold Tone, I bet.

    This is my quick thumbnail sketch. More later.

    With this opinion, why did it go home with you? The following comment alone would have made me not want it..."It's supposed to be a carved top, but the acoustic sound is very quiet, very thin"

  10. #109
    Registered User NotMelloCello's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    With this opinion, why did it go home with you?
    Because I waited over a frickin year for it...
    The difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

  11. #110
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    My expectations must not have been as high as NotMelloCello's. Have seen Gold Tone instruments and know they are over built and heavy like a lot of the lower priced instruments. And this one is HEAVY. (1940 D-15 @3.25 lbs. 1969 Gibson Hummingbird @4.82 lbs. Mine tops the scale @6.40 lbs.) But I was pleased with my first laminated top Fender A/E mandolin as a learning mandolin. So this fills the same usefulness for me. A learning tool. And since I've never heard or played one before, it's pretty cool.

    ( I didn't have to wait as long for mine. As post #58 says on 12/17/2016, I ordered mine. Took delivery as written on post #83 on 1/16/2017. Was in the right place at the right time.)

  12. #111
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    So you can't separate the piezo and bridge signals? At what point are they blended?

    Can you tell if it has a stereo jack, with one signal going to the tip and the other to the ring? Or are the signals blended in some other way?

    I have great acoustic tone in my Andersen cello, but it would be fun to have something with a good humbucker tone. If I got one of these I guess I'd want to put a proper bridge on it, use a soundboard pickup instead of a bridge piezo, run the humbucker and piezo signals to a stereo jack and be able to separate them.

    Or is a soundboard pickup a bad idea if you don't have a carved top? (Not that I would want to use the piezo that often.)
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy Wood Thormahlen Andersen Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  13. #112
    Registered User NotMelloCello's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    My guess is they could have built a flattop ala Santa Cruz, etc., for much less trouble and money than an archtop.

    Maybe they intended it to be electric from the get-go.

    I didn't discuss all the details with Wayne on the phone and in emails over the last 18 months or so. I just hoped it would be better.

    Maybe I am just a picky old grouch, but after 39 years of repairing and building guitars - I am the guy you come to in this town when you want slick, smooth, and righteous. So I set the bar pretty high.
    The difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

  14. #113
    Registered User NotMelloCello's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    So you can't separate the piezo and bridge signals? At what point are they blended?

    Can you tell if it has a stereo jack, with one signal going to the tip and the other to the ring? Or are the signals blended in some other way?

    I have great acoustic tone in my Andersen cello, but it would be fun to have something with a good humbucker tone. If I got one of these I guess I'd want to put a proper bridge on it, use a soundboard pickup instead of a bridge piezo, run the humbucker and piezo signals to a stereo jack and be able to separate them.

    Or is a soundboard pickup a bad idea if you don't have a carved top? (Not that I would want to use the piezo that often.)
    Both pickups come out one jack. Volume for each, it seems. I will probably end up separating them into 2 circuits before I'm done. Hard to tell what brand of piezo is in it, but it's probably something Chinese like Artec..... The humbucker is sounding better, but the C strings are still about half volume compared to the others. I moved some stuff around, and put more foam under it, and it's right up next to the strings for max sensitivity.
    The difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

  15. #114
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    When Jordan was setting mine up he broke the outside A string and replaced it. The new string is noticeably heavier. And when picking them separate you can tell the heavier one sounds better. Will ask him if I can get another one of the heavier strings and replace the original. Will look at the website and see the size strings they used. When needing replaced will probably go with a heavier set.

  16. #115
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by NotMelloCello View Post
    My guess is they could have built a flattop ala Santa Cruz, etc., for much less trouble and money than an archtop.

    Maybe they intended it to be electric from the get-go.
    That's what it looks like. I just can't understand why Gold Tone thinks there is an untapped market niche for a mandocello built like an electric archtop guitar. Are there enough singer/songwriters and alt rock bands out there who want to be fingering notes and chords on this kind of scale length? Maybe Gold Tone knows something we don't know. But I doubt it...

  17. #116
    Registered User NotMelloCello's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    I do think interest in mandocello will be growing in the near future. We've had so many people - young and old - introduced to playing via the current popularity of the ukulele, and they'll want to step up to something else that is NOT a guitar. A mandocello has such a beautiful sound, and is easier than guitar. It just seems to me to be the instrument of the future right now.
    The difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

  18. #117
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    Wow! Got some blisters on my left fingertips for the first time in years. Have a rattle/buzz from the C string I have to locate. Gonna put a leather shoe lace behind the bridge to see if that will help. Might have to get a mirror inside to see if a wire is close to something and causing it. And yes, the metal strip the ball ends of the strings go thru needs some minor work to get it to fit the tailpiece better. Will wait till doing a complete string change for that. Mine sounds fantastic if you play easy. Tends to rattle/distort if you try to hammer down on it.

  19. #118
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    Click image for larger version. 

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  20. #119
    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	153162 the fingerboard between the 1st and 2nd fret. Is clear across under the strings. So was done before strung up the first time. Fit n finish everywhere else is great. Love it really.

  21. #120
    Registered User NotMelloCello's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    That's EXACTLY what my tailpiece looks like Rodney - so it's obviously a mistake they've repeated.

    As to the mark on the fingerboard - that could happen any number of ways. Doesn't look great, but doesn't affect playing. If this was a Gibson, it would be marked a 2nd, and sold at reduced price.
    The difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

  22. #121
    Registered User NotMelloCello's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    Further update for today.... Since I cannot remove the bridge, I had to gently file down the tops of those 2 height adjustment screws inside the bridge. That allowed the top piece to sit firmly on the pickup. Truthfully, I hear very little difference of the piezo pickup when plugged in. Got the action at the nut down and correct. The string height at the last fret is down where it plays nice - I can finally do my hammer-ons and pull-offs without trouble.

    The acoustic sound is still pretty quiet - you cannot use this in a group situation with amplification. Period. Not enough volume, sorry. Also, I mentioned the control knobs are too tall - they are just in the way when you strum. I will eventually drill holes in the top and mount them out of my way. The C strings just don't sound right, especially below the 5th fret. I think I have my intonation problems worked out, but there is still much to be done in the future. None of it critical at this point, because I won't be gigging with it anytime soon.

    The pickups sound better, adding the piezo sound to the humbucker output adds a little crispness - but by itself, the piezo pickup is just nasty, harsh, and brittle. Still having problems with the narrowness of the neck, too. I keep missing notes and making mistakes.

    No complaint, but I should point out - for you folks that like to play standing up, this doesn't come with a strap button near the neck. There's a small one at the tailpiece. If you want one, buy and install it .

    Is there anyone out who would like some detail shots of the instrument? Sing out if you do.

    If anyone at the NAMM show is still reading, can you find out who made the humbucker and the piezo pickup? I can see it has those tiny little Asian pots. The jack is probably the same crummy Asian jack put in all Asian instruments, and it will fail soon. Switchcraft, baby!
    The difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

  23. #122
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    In case it helps anyone chasing buzzes etc I have found them to be quite common on the C courses on mandoloncellos I have used.
    The action and spacing on those needs to be very high by comparison with anything else I've seen. You need a real slope on the bridge to lift them high enough to be able to drive into the pair with any force and not have them slap each other and the fretboard. The distance they travel is very large by comparison with other string courses and they have a pretty large mass which takes a while to get settled in sympathy with it's partner. They start off out of sync due to the pick pulling them quite far before releasing them sequentially.

    This was a real bother to me initially, and until I make a new bridge with a wider spacing and steeper slope across the G & C courses, the best compromise I have found is to use the 0.0740" C from the D'Addario string set, i would actuall prefer to go for something even bigger to get more tension in there. The problem with the J78s is every A course pair I've tried has not been able to come up to tension witout snapping on a 26" scale so I have to buy 18s for that. Certainly the spacing being even across courses makes little sense to me on a mandoloncello.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

  24. #123

    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    Played the GT cello yesterday at Namm for just a bit. Just hit it acoustically.

    Neck felt decent, was very quiet though. IMO don't think it would work very well just acoustic. Rep said they're sold out of them ATM so there's def a niche for them.

  25. #124

    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    How did it sound besides quiet?

    I also saw you posted that Eastman had their mandocellos at namm. Did you try them out and how would you say they compare to this in terms of playability?

  26. #125

    Default Re: Gold Tone mandocello

    It sounded decent. I would've liked to have plugged it in as well but wasnt able to at the time. Personally though, it would have to sound great unplugged for me to get one. Just can't get past that it really just looks like an archtop gtr. To me that matters.

    The Eastmans both played well. Physically a bit tougher on the left hand I'd say then the GT cello. I prefer the oval hole to the f hole model but that's my .02

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