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Thread: Thoughts on getting a country sound with an electric mandolin

  1. #1
    Registered User Atlanta Mando Mike's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts on getting a country sound with an electric mandolin

    I have a 4-string Schwab electric mandolin with a single Bartolini pickup and I'm playing through a fender tube amp. The sound is more jazz than country and I want to use it in a country context. I'm wondering if I should change to a single coil pickup, or a different pickup in general. Any thoughts from the other emando players out there?

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    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on getting a country sound with an electric mandolin

    Hi Michael,

    Chet Atkins's tone was very clean, Jerry Reed often played a nylon string guitar (as does Willie Nelson). You can play country music with your set up.

    But I bet what you're looking for is a bit more Pete Anderson (Dwight Yoakum): twang and a bit of bite. Is that right?

    If so, I would suggest a bit of overdrive. Not lots, just set it so that when you hit a chord hard it distorts, but not until you hit it hard.
    Tweak the EQ on the amp to emphasise the treble a bit too.

    Head down to the local guitar shop with your Schwab, ask for a few pedals, plug in to something, and sit down. Explore things. You'll get there!
    Daniel

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Thoughts on getting a country sound with an electric mandolin

    Is the Bartolini a single coil or humbucker? What are your settings on the tube amp? It seems to me that you may already have the basics for a good country sound but may need to tweak them a bit. More information needed.

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

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    Registered User Jim Bevan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on getting a country sound with an electric mandolin

    A good compressor (like a Keeley) would help out a lot.

    Keeley also makes a powerful clean boost pedal – that would help with overdriving your amp's preamp tubes, and might sound more natural (and pleasing to your ears) than an overdrive/distortion pedal.

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    Créateur des e-mandos Soundfarmer Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on getting a country sound with an electric mandolin

    If the Bartolini is a humbucker, it may be a 4 wire pickup. If so, you could try it as a single coil. It looks like the wiring codes are the same as a Duncan so if you disconnect the red from white and replace the black with the red where they join the pot, you`ll have a single coil.....easy to swap back if it doesn`t sound as good!

  7. #6

    Default Re: Thoughts on getting a country sound with an electric mandolin

    I find that sound easy to get on the solid octave mandola. Tap the middle humbucker into a Fender Tweed model on the Line 6, and make sure I damp the strings. It's harder on the single humbucker mandolin but the technique is roughly the same, apart from a lack of a tap in my case. The hard bit for me is the country blues phrasing. For me it just works better on the mandola. I have been trying a bit of slapback delay recently but I'm finding playing the effect hard.

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    Registered User Travis Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on getting a country sound with an electric mandolin

    Hi AMM,

    I have a Schwab 5-string, and I know exactly what you’re describing. There are a lot of really good suggestions here, but—for me—a pre-amp pedal with a powerful tone stack or an EQ pedal is the ticket. With flexible tone shaping, smooth and mellow to bitey-gritty to twangy is all possible.
    Thanks,
    Travis

    2006 Weber Gallatin, 1984 Flatiron 2MW, Wendler #194, Schwab #177

  9. #8
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on getting a country sound with an electric mandolin

    My Pentasysyem P5 Pentaula has a Nashville country sound, dry.. talk me into selling it? wave big bills..

    It has a second channel with 5 RMC bridge pickups... a Strat rather than a Tele look..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Thoughts on getting a country sound with an electric mandolin

    Ricky Skaggs at 2:21 and 4:03 on the first video playing mandocaster.
    Ricky is influenced by guitarist Albert Lee. I'd check what Lee uses
    for pickups, effects and amps. That's the sound. For example:
    Flashback Delay pedal, reverb, Fender amps [but he also uses other electronics]
    Lee talks tech & plays on the 2nd video


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