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Thread: best pickup for mando in rock band?

  1. #1
    Registered User JHouse's Avatar
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    Default best pickup for mando in rock band?

    Hi all,

    I have a feeling there's a thread somewhere dealing with this, but couldn't seem to find it via the search function -- any advice on the best pickup for a Breedlove F style crossover mandolin in a 4 piece band (bass/drums/acoustic/electric guitar) would be appreciated, or if someone could point me to a thread about the subject, that'd be great too.

    We've been experiementing at our house with a Shure '57 run through a Roland cube amp (using an xlr to 1/4 adaptor), and that configuration wouldn't be enough volume on stage, especially with a novice on mandolin. A different mic might be a bit better, but we're thinking a pickup will be the answer, much as we hate the idea of the installation.

    Thanks in advance for any info!

    J House

  2. #2

    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    I think the Mando Lace would get you as loud as you want to get without feedback.

    http://www.lacemusic.com/Mando_Lace.php
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    Registered User JHouse's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    thanks Don, I checked into that quite a bit -- sounds like it might be an option!

    Saw another thread here where Lace announced the pickup, another guy installed one on his Breedlove crossover. Said it wasn't entirely acoustic sounding, but it sounded good -- kind of it's own sound I guess.

    oh, checked out the Billyhawks, nice! How are you mic'ing yours live?

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    Registered User Freddyfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    I have used my loar 600, with k and k through a Schertler jam 200 and cut through that band type situation. On louder occasions, I have used my Eastwood mandocaster plugged into a decent amp and cranked it as loud as need be.
    Its not a backwards guitar.

  5. #5

    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    JHouse, thanks! I stick a Schertler on the outside and run through a Zoom A3. I still fight feedback. Had to fight feedback with a K&K too. That's why I think the Lace is what I need.
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    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    A magnetic pick will help cut down on feedback. The issue you may run into with adding a pickup, any pickup, to an acoustic mandolin is that good acoustic mandolins have really resonant bodies and may feed back on you at stage volumes. I have a Fender acoustic/electric mando which is really weak acoustically, but does reasonably well plugged in and cranked up with an alt-country band, better acoustic mandos with pickups feedback at the volumes we play at.
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    Drummer? sticks, not brushes, I Assume..
    "acoustic/electric guitar" one of each , at same time??

    Yes, ultimately, A solid body with a magnetic pickup is the thing for loud rooms..



    A lively discussion in it's own section..

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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    I'd suggest an Eastwood Mandocaster also. The magnetic pickups hardly feed back at all. With the right amp settings you can get pretty good acoustic tone if you need to, but this little mando can SCREAM. Plus, in a rock band, the mini Telecaster vibe is terrific. They show up in the classifieds from time to time at good prices. There's a Morgan Monroe version that looks very similar but less expensive.
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    Registered User JHouse's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    thanks all for your replies!

    Re our lineup:

    [QUOTE=mandroid;1542269]Drummer? sticks, not brushes, I Assume..
    "acoustic/electric guitar" one of each , at same time??

    Drummer with sticks, not a basher but hits solid. Stage volume is fairly moderate, for a rock band -- should have said cover band really, everything from oldies to country rock and classic rock, also writing originals and those are more in an Americana vein -- we really are about the vocals and harmonies. I'm the electric guitarist, I use an in ear so my volume is lower than most, for a guitarist ;-) I run through a Roland cube so my sound is focused and pretty directional.

    My husband will be playing mandolin (and acoustic guitar).( Hopefully, in the future, I'll get to play as well and we'll switch around)

    He (husband) was the bassist, but we just hired our old bassist back -- he has often run his bass thru his monitor, or a smaller bass rig, so at least the bass won't be very loud on stage.

    We can't buy another mandolin at this point (electric), and we already have the Breedlove, so we'll go the "adding the pickup route" -- I'm hopeful that with our stage volume we may have some success with that . . .

    Our acoustic repair (good tech), hasn't had experience with the Lace, he has suggested a FishmanM100 or L. R. Baggs.

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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    I use the duo head JBB piezo mounted on the surface. Its like the K&K only cheaper. I do not get issues with feedback. Our percussionist switches from mic'd cajon to full mic'd drum kit depending on venue. We are all acoustic but loud and often play noisy bars. There are lots of threads about it. Mandobart introduced me to it and knows a lot about them. I would recommend it. And they're cheap.
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    Just saying .. sound board attached piezo, vibration becomes a signal , and the top is now a Microphone diaphragm..

    have to mind where the monitors are, their levels , and so on.. to reduce mechanical feedback.

    Magnetic Type PU 'sees' the string vibrating in a Magnetic field..

    whole different way of turning the vibrating string into an electric signal..
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    Registered User Don Julin's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    I guess it depends on if you are strumming the mandolin so it functions like an acoustic guitar in a rock group, or if you want to play melodies. You can get away with a K&K if strumming is the goal. K&K with in-ear monitors will make it even easier, but most local or regional rock bands don't use IEM's. Playing melodies on the mandolin at rock volume is a challenge for sure. As some folks have mentioned, a solid body electric mandolin with magnetic pickups will get rid of the feedback issue, but doesn't really sound like a mandolin. The other issue that I wrestle with is the bright percussive quality of an acoustic mandolin with a drum set.A drum set is full of bright metal percussive things that are much louder than the mandolin. Remember how we have all read on the forums about how the mandolin chop is the snare drum of a bluegrass band? Well, what if your band already has a snare drum? So what I am trying to say here is that when you go "electric" you need to adapt your playing style as most of our mandolin playing techniques come from playing in acoustic ensembles. Another good choice that land clearly in the middle of electric and acoustic is the Godin A8. It actually sounds more like an acoustic mandolin through an amp or a PA than it does on it's own. I have enjoyed experimenting with acoustic, electric, and everything in-between and still maintain that the mandolin is the "prince" of all stringed instruments. Here is a little video montage of me playing some electric mandolin in a rock (reggae) band with drums, electric bass, electric guitar, and steel guitar.

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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    I have taken acoustic mandolins and floated a Kent Armstrong pickup (very thin 3/8") from the pickguard of a mandolin. It sounded quite acoustic to my surprise and was capable of a fair amount of volume. As with anything the amp used is a major consideration. I played the same mandolin thru a champ sized amp in an electric setting and got much distortion. A much larger amp would be needed to have a clean loud sound.
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    "Hello, I play mandolin in a rock band. Of course, I also have a day job in software engineering, and a gym membership. Did I mention I drive a Ferrari?"

    Oh ... my bad. I thought we were discussing the best pickup line.
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    I have to say my mandolin copes with a lot of volume in my band. K&K with EHX boost pedal.
    You're gonna maybe have to manage expectations in terms of a natural sounding pickup in your setting...
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    Registered User JHouse's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    this is great info all!

    Yes, totally agreed on expectations and the limitations of physics. And drums *sigh*.

    I think one idea that popped into my head this morning will really help -- even tho it's awfully expensive -- and that' s getting another in ear setup for husband that will be playing mando. We'll have the amp on stage (Roland cube has a ton of headroom, not as sweet as a tube amp but everything's a tradeoff) -- just to hear the mando somewhat, but he'll be able to get the mando in his in ear to hear with clarity & precision and not overplay.

    I'm using a Sennheiser wireless inear, pricey but works great for me -- that's why my elec. guitar volume is pretty low. So, the same unit for husband/mando guy should help a lot.

    Wise words about drums (snare chop vs mando chop) -- we have a lot to learn to hash all that out. Glad you brought that up Don!
    Lots to think about there.

    I ran sound for the band for awhile, and hearing the sound as a whole and not as a guitarist helps a lot -- I'm already thinking I need to get some low end out of my sound to help the acoustic and mando get through, and luckily our bassist coming into the band has never had a muddy sound, so a bit of relief there as well.

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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    Quote Originally Posted by JHouse View Post



    We can't buy another mandolin at this point (electric), and we already have the Breedlove, so we'll go the "adding the pickup route" -- I'm hopeful that with our stage volume we may have some success with that . . .

    Our acoustic repair (good tech), hasn't had experience with the Lace, he has suggested a FishmanM100 or L. R. Baggs.
    It's your budget, so this is only offered as a piece of info you might want to consider. The Fishman m100 is $159.95 at Musicians Friend (for example). For ~$340 you can get a Kentucky KM-300E, and for another ~$25 a Gold Tone GME-4 (those prices are from amazon). Both quite decent (I have the KM-300E) solidbody electrics. Just something to maybe research before committing.

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    Registered User JHouse's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    thanks Jessserules, definitely something to think about as well. . .buy a pickup with a mandolin attached ;-)

  20. #19
    Market Man Barry Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    Last January I played the Godin A8 through a Marshal Stack with zero feedback. hard to beet that thing for loud situations
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    its a very very long song Jim's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    I can get a lot of volume from a Piezo contact p/u http://www.ebay.com/itm/121253903974...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT mounted under the bridge run through a Behringer accoustic ADI 21, Into the xlr input of either the board or an accoustic amp.
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  22. #21
    fishing with my mando darrylicshon's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    If you buy a pickup a friend used to stuff foam in his holes it help some with feedback , but I suggest getting a solidbody mandolin you can get one around $200 if you look around and wait for a used deal there are lots of different ones out there.
    Ibanez 70's 524, 521, 3 511's,2 512's,513,1 514,3 80s 513's, 522
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  23. #22
    Registered User JHouse's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    the more we think about it, the more we might go for an electric mandolin of some sort.

    The band intends to go out as an acoustic version (no drums) during the week so the Breedlove will be great for that, with or without pickup, but probably solid body would be good for the weekends (full band)

    . I'll head over to the electric forum (I think there's one here?) -- and check that out too. Still thinking thru all the possibilities. . .

  24. #23
    Registered User JHouse's Avatar
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    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    Looking at the Eastwood mandocaster 8 string, any thoughts on how well built? might be a good starting point?

  25. #24

    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    Another guy here who went to a Godin A8 a nice mando plays great and never any feedback with my (loud) band. Plus it has a volume control on it and I never have to touch the amp while were playing it really couldn't be any simpler. I picked it up used for $450.
    Lou

  26. #25

    Default Re: best pickup for mando in rock band?

    Have you considered an Ovation? For me, nothing else has come close for an amplified mandolin than the ones made in the USA.

    https://youtu.be/f0CTJb_379c

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