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Thread: Pickup modification for a mandocaster

  1. #1

    Default Pickup modification for a mandocaster

    I just got one the new mandocasters from 2013. It's really fun to play, but I'm a little disappointed with the sound of the e string. It's not nearly as hot as the other 3 strings. What kind of pickup does Fender put on these instruments?

    anyone have experience replacing pickups on the mandocaster/any other interesting modifications?

    Daniel

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pickup modification for a mandocaster

    http://www.almuse.co.uk/mandolin_pickups.html
    This gentleman has the solution. If you are not handy with a soldering iron, you might want to find a luthier to make the exchange.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pickup modification for a mandocaster

    +1 for Almuse
    Play it like you mean it.

  4. #4
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup modification for a mandocaster

    Another vote for Almuse. I started an earlier thread about my experience here: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...Almuse-Pickups

    Don’t be intimidated by the soldering, it’s 2 wires and not in a difficult location

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pickup modification for a mandocaster

    The Mandocasters are famous for a weak E string. I also fitted an Almuse pickup and it took me all of ten minutes. To quote One Chord Trick from an earlier post, it took more time to take the strings off and put them badk on again - it was certainly more fiddly. (Tip - if you have any worries, photograph the innards before you un-solder the existing pickup.)

  6. #6
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup modification for a mandocaster

    I've had email dealings with Pete at Almuse and I can recommend him as well, though I have yet to play a mando with one of his pickups in it. He is at the very least responsive and helpful.

    My 4 emandos all have different stock pickups.
    My Epiphone mandobird has the stock 4 pole pickup that sounds lovely, but is fairly low gain and would have a weak e string if I did not string the wee beastie as a mandola CGDA
    My Fender FM988 (8 string) also has the stock pickup. No complaints about the e strings, but then there's a pair.
    Jeff Cowherd at JBovier designed a pair of pickups for his now discontinued solid body electrics that have grown on me in the last year. They have a wide footprint and fairly high output so the e string is not lost in the mix. The scale length is a bit longer at something past 14", and that helps too. My EMC-5 is a favourite for recording emando parts.
    My Arrow G5 (hollow body electric) has a Kent Armstrong 8 pole (4 pair) pickup. The poles are adjustable. The pickup is so strong that the A string poles are screwed down literally into the body of the pickup, with e e string poles raised up about 1mm. The Arrow has a slightly longer scale length than the JBovier. This is becoming my main gigging mando.

    I love them all, but I don't think any of them would be a quick solution for you (and the first two wouldn't be good solutions if you wanted to keep to GDAE tuning)

    It's a long way to go to say that I think Pete may be your guy.

    Daniel

    PS: really disappointed for Jeff Cowherd because he did really good work with his electric mandolins. Fender pretty much killed his business in that direction despite the fact that they put out an inferior product.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Pickup modification for a mandocaster

    Is Jeff not building electrics any longer?

  8. #8
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup modification for a mandocaster

    Quote Originally Posted by thistle3585 View Post
    Is Jeff not building electrics any longer?
    They don't appear on his website anymore. I emailed him late last week to let him know how much I am enjoying my EMC-5, but I haven't heard back form him. (Not that I asked for a reply, mind you.)

    Daniel

  9. #9
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup modification for a mandocaster

    A .050" C string and the other 3 moved over, takes care of the weak E signal by eliminating that string ..
    writing about music
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  10. #10
    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: Pickup modification for a mandocaster

    Can you raise the treble side of the pickup a bit? and lower the bass side? A lot of electrics have the pickups mounted so you can do this. Of course, both the A and E will increase in volume a bit, not just the E. Some pickups have adjustable screws in the pole pieces,so you can adjust each string separately, the Fender probably doesn't though.
    -Dave
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    Way too many other instruments

  11. #11
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup modification for a mandocaster

    The Almuse (and maybe other) pickups allow you to adjust the height for each string individually. Not sure about the OP's model but on mine the A string was way louder than the E so adjusting the treble side was counter-productive.

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