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Thread: Best performing pickup for mandolin?

  1. #1
    Registered User red7flag's Avatar
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    Default Best performing pickup for mandolin?

    I have a friend that plays professionally, mostly at smaller venues, bars and such. He was telling me that he was having a pickup installed under the saddle. From my experiences here at MC, I thought most people recommended internal pickups like the K&K Mandolin Twin Internal (here is the link http://www.amazon.com/K-Mandolin-Twi...ruments&sr=1-5 I would really like the advice of the great folks here at the MC for I have no personal experience. Thank you in advance.
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    Default Re: Best performing pickup for mandolin?

    It has been my experience that saddle pickups, especially in guitars, can get louder, but don't take into account the sound of the instrument. They sound the same on any instrument. Under the top pickups may feedback quicker, but still plenty of volume, but sound more like the instrument they are in. K&K is what I have and I spent two years trying different pickups to find what I liked best.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best performing pickup for mandolin?

    Schertler Dyn external transducer . has an advantage over cheaper Piezo s

    Because it is a contact Dynamic Microphone and has an XLR plug, to Mic cables,

    so goes into sound boards and Acoustic amp like any Microphone using that Preamp in the channel circuit.

    Dynamic so It needs no Phantom Power input. No DI because it output is already that characteristic level.
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    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best performing pickup for mandolin?

    Under-saddle transducers have a reputation for being "quacky", some of this can be due to impedance mis-match (easily fixed), but as I understand it, it's also due to the "peaky" nature of the output which can overload whatever you're plugged into leading to nasty-sounding transients. That's less of an issue for a guitar, more so for a mandolin where the downforce on the saddle is high, and the transients very peaky to begin with. Soundboard transducers seem to suffer less from this, and interestingly, a passive volume pot across the pickup (and preferably not on full volume) can help too.

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    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best performing pickup for mandolin?

    My Gzouk has a dtar wavelength which is an 18v system (and it's a UST). Seems good so far in that one. However UST works in fixed bridge designs best and you have to have a battery pack somewhere unless it's like the misi system in ukes (rechargeable capacitor thingy). The only passive UST adjustable bridge I know is the fishman and it wasn't impressive.
    For F holes and adjustable bridge I use k&k. In the main for my oval hole instruments inc the tenor guitar I am very happy with the Headway UST which doesn't quack as far as I can hear - it's got specific EQ in the preamp which seems to cope well
    Others will have an opinion just my humble opinion.
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    Default Re: Best performing pickup for mandolin?

    I have had misi build his system for a fishman that I had. Worked ok, but didn't sound as good as the K&K and seperate pre amp.
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  7. #7
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best performing pickup for mandolin?

    yeah as I said, i didn't rate the fishman. Misi thing probably better suited to Uke
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

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    Default Re: Best performing pickup for mandolin?

    Unless you are stuck on an internal pick-up, and, admittedly, they do have their advantages, I am very pleased with the AT 35 condenser mic. And it takes about two minutes to switch it between different mandolins or a guitar. I never was all that excited with the sound I got from the Fishman or the K and K. The 3-band EQ on my Carvin AG200 gives me plenty of control.

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    Default Re: Best performing pickup for mandolin?

    The only real advantage of a pickup is that it is easier to achieve higher levels on stage before feedback.

    On seriously loud stages, with high monitor volume, they can be the only practical option.

    Few (in fact, I have never heard anyone) would claim they sound better than a microphone.

    If you are prepared to make a few changes to your approach to live sound, though, even on quite loud stages you can get very good levels indeed from microphones - especially clip on mics. Care must be taken with monitor levels (no monitors or IEM's are best of all), and with monitor position. You can also eek an important few extra dB before feedback by using a good anti-feedback system - even if only in the monitor chain. You might be surprised at how much difference inserting a little DBX GORACK in the monitor chain can make, for example.

    I use both DPA4099 and AT ATM350's, and I can get levels before feedback that are certainly as loud as I would ever likely need. If I was playing with electric guitars and drums at rock levels, though, I'd sacrifice sound quality and go with a K&K or an AKG C411.
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