Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    39

    Default mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Hi picking fellows,
    I know that there are many folks there just like me always seeking for the best amplified tone. Over the years I dug deep into the rabbit hole, starting with Shadow and Fishman pickups, discovered PUTW, paired their great sounding pickup with a Crown mini mic blended through Pendulum SPS-1 or K&K Trinity preamp, switched to a K&K pickup /DPA 4061 mic through a Grace Felix preamp.
    I use the Dazzo pickup in guitars and mandola and love it ! So I tried it on mandolin recently.
    But before permanent installing it in my Collings MF5 mandolin I made a short comparison which I want to share with you. Comments welcome
    Best,
    Bob
    You can find it here: https://youtu.be/zwyRwXb90dw
    Collings MF 5
    Brentrup M 23 V (for sale on reverb.com)
    Gibson F 2 (1917)
    L. Smart H 5 Mandola
    Gibson K 4 Mandocello (1921)
    Sobell 10-string Bouzouki
    Sanden 8-string Bouzouki

    guitars, banjo, dobro, weissenborn

  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to mando-bob For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    2,408

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Great job for the comparisons. For sure the mic is best and the Dazzo sounded much better than the K&K with no eq. But I hope my K&K sounds better than that after EQ--cutting the highs and lows. I think eq is a necessary part of the K&K for sure.

    But the Dazzo sounds better out the box and I'll be looking that one up. No idea what it is yet but THANKS !
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

  4. The following members say thank you to Astro for this post:


  5. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,074

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    I agree with Astro that the Dazzo sounds better, I wonder about your settings. Did you set the K&K the same on the preamp? Were both mounted in the same place?

    My K&K thru a FireEye really sounds like my mandolin. It doesn't have the midrange electric sound your does at all. I used double tape on the inside, but it is all glued in even tho double taped.

    Looks like the Dazzo is mounted to a piece of wood??? that would give it more mass. I have an X braced mandolin that mounting inside was impossible. The only place it sounded good was on the X brace. I used a very thick 3M double sided tape on top of the brace, on the top of the mandolin. The tape is very thick and gives a different sound, a little less power, and I have to give my pre more highs, but it doesn't get electric sounding like your did. Still sounds very acoustic.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  6. The following members say thank you to pops1 for this post:


  7. #4

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Dazzos have pickup elements on the sides, hence the thickness. I have no fewer than six Dazzo equipped guitars. Rather than just a one size fits all aproach, they are voiced to your particular guitar. Very little EQ needed.

    I haven't put pickups in my mandolins yet, but will have one glued to my new build's top befoe it's glued together. That is when I'll break down an buy a Tonedexter.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  8. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    But I hope my K&K sounds better than that after EQ--cutting the highs and lows. I think eq is a necessary part of the K&K for sure.
    Hey, thanks for listening and contributing. The K&K indeed sounds great after tweaking some high mids and treble. I was really happy with during the past years. Just thought I give the Dazzo a try. Problem is, you have to install with epoxy inside the mandolin.
    Collings MF 5
    Brentrup M 23 V (for sale on reverb.com)
    Gibson F 2 (1917)
    L. Smart H 5 Mandola
    Gibson K 4 Mandocello (1921)
    Sobell 10-string Bouzouki
    Sanden 8-string Bouzouki

    guitars, banjo, dobro, weissenborn

  9. The following members say thank you to mando-bob for this post:

    Astro 

  10. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,074

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    I rarely do any EQ to my K&K. It will depend on the amp/system you are playing thru. I have a Carvin Stage Mate and all instruments need the bass rolled off, but most systems I have played thru it needs no EQ.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  11. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I agree with Astro that the Dazzo sounds better, I wonder about your settings. Did you set the K&K the same on the preamp? Were both mounted in the same place?

    My K&K thru a FireEye really sounds like my mandolin. It doesn't have the midrange electric sound your does at all. I used double tape on the inside, but it is all glued in even tho double taped.

    Looks like the Dazzo is mounted to a piece of wood??? that would give it more mass. I have an X braced mandolin that mounting inside was impossible. The only place it sounded good was on the X brace. I used a very thick 3M double sided tape on top of the brace, on the top of the mandolin. The tape is very thick and gives a different sound, a little less power, and I have to give my pre more highs, but it doesn't get electric sounding like your did. Still sounds very acoustic.
    Hey, thanks for chiming in with some serious aspects:
    Both pickups are mounted in the same place: K&K inside with a double layer of adhesive like recommended by the manufacturer, Dazzo on the outside with beeswax (no layer of wood).
    The Redeye sounds great with the K&K in the mandolin - I finally like it better on that application than the Grace Felix I used in the comparison.
    Reason I used the Grace Felix was: I could use both channels with separate outputs send to two channels of my DAW. On the Grace Felix I used exactly the same settings for both pickups: same impedance, same HPF, same EQ (actually no EQ) and same volume (both pickups gave the same level).
    Pickups always benefit from listening via a decent speaker, sending and recording directly via DAW sounds way more electric and harsh.
    So it would have been more realistic to mic my QSC K8.2 speaker to reproduce a more authentic sonic picture of how the pickups sound like. But that would require two separate rooms with identical speaker and mic settings ...
    Collings MF 5
    Brentrup M 23 V (for sale on reverb.com)
    Gibson F 2 (1917)
    L. Smart H 5 Mandola
    Gibson K 4 Mandocello (1921)
    Sobell 10-string Bouzouki
    Sanden 8-string Bouzouki

    guitars, banjo, dobro, weissenborn

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mando-bob For This Useful Post:


  13. #8

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Teddy Randazzo has worked extensively with SunnAudio, another small local company to optimize Dazzo pickups with the Sunnaudio pre amp circuit. I have not used my RedEye since buying the Stage 1 DI from SunnAudio. Audibly better sound.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  14. The following members say thank you to Br1ck for this post:


  15. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Yes, I heard nothing but great reviews about their preamps. I'm already on their waiting list for a customized version of their two-channel floor pedal pre. Hoping to have it in autumn.

  16. #10

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    I've read this and other pertinent threads. Thanks for all the information. My mandolin is getting a new top and I needed to decide on an internal pickup before the new top is attached. I just purchased a K&K twin spot which is being shipped to the luthier.
    1989/2019 Ike Bacon/Barry Kratzer F5
    1945 Levin 330
    192? Bruno (Oscar Schmidt) banjo-mandolin
    early Eastwood Mandostang
    2005 Tacoma CB-10 acoustic bass guitar
    Fender Tweed Deluxe clone

  17. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg P. Stone View Post
    I've read this and other pertinent threads. Thanks for all the information. My mandolin is getting a new top and I needed to decide on an internal pickup before the new top is attached. I just purchased a K&K twin spot which is being shipped to the luthier.
    Hi Greg,
    I tried the Dazzo mounted on the top using beeswax. Placement was right behind the bridge. The sound was awesome, and me and my bandmates could not believe that there was no mic involved. Best amplified mandolin sound I had so far. I still wait until installing the Dazzo on the inside, same placement, but could not find a spot between busy gigging to give it to a luthier. Because installing it to a F 5 - style mandolin is tricky.
    But I gave my mandola (rarely used on stage, so there was time enough for installing) to the luthier, and he installed it right there: Incredible sound, as close as it gets to a mic'd mandola.
    So the next step is to Dazzo up my mandolin.
    Why I write all this: If I would be you, I had no doubt install the Dazzo in a new mandolin before the new top is attached.
    Best,
    Bob
    Collings MF 5
    Brentrup M 23 V (for sale on reverb.com)
    Gibson F 2 (1917)
    L. Smart H 5 Mandola
    Gibson K 4 Mandocello (1921)
    Sobell 10-string Bouzouki
    Sanden 8-string Bouzouki

    guitars, banjo, dobro, weissenborn

  18. #12

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Yes, that is my plan. I am fortunate to live just a few exits down the freeway so Teddy has installed all my pickups. I'll be taking my build to him before the box is all glued up. Placement will be an educated guess, but who better to do the guessing.

    SunnAudio is designing a new pre amp using feedback from Studio 1 owners and it will have a boost switch as requested. I got to know these folks through Teddy Randazzo, and they custom built me a blender box for an open mic I'm involved with. We needed two inputs we could balance so they wired their onboard blender circuit with phantom power and XLR output and put it all in a Hammond enclosure.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  19. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,074

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    I would be curious to hear if the K&K sounds like the Dazzo if mounted outside in the same place with beeswax. I think the thickness of the beeswax would mellow the sound like the 3M tape that I used. Are you using beeswax to mount the Dazzo inside, if not it may change the sound. I would try the Dazzo with tape and the K&K with the wax and see what happens before you decide. I would also not use only tape for a permanent mount. The double tape in your instructions from K&K came from me experimenting and discussing with Deiter at K&K years ago. I used double tape to mount mine, but I glued the tape to the pickup and to the top and in between the two layers of tape.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  20. #14

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    I assume the Dazzos were the red triangles at each end of the bridge, right?

    Microphone > Dazzos > K & K

    I like my Schertler DYN-M P48 well enough since it doesn't need a permanent inside install, and it sounds great with the phantom power from my Carvin amp.

  21. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Quote Originally Posted by James Vwaal View Post
    I assume the Dazzos were the red triangles at each end of the bridge, right?

    Microphone > Dazzos > K & K

    I like my Schertler DYN-M P48 well enough since it doesn't need a permanent inside install, and it sounds great with the phantom power from my Carvin amp.
    Yes, the Dazzos are the red triangles on the top of my mandolin.
    I tried the Schertler years ago and could not find a sound I liked. Looks like the problem is me or my signal chain, because many people love the Schertler and sound great with it.
    Collings MF 5
    Brentrup M 23 V (for sale on reverb.com)
    Gibson F 2 (1917)
    L. Smart H 5 Mandola
    Gibson K 4 Mandocello (1921)
    Sobell 10-string Bouzouki
    Sanden 8-string Bouzouki

    guitars, banjo, dobro, weissenborn

  22. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I would be curious to hear if the K&K sounds like the Dazzo if mounted outside in the same place with beeswax. I think the thickness of the beeswax would mellow the sound like the 3M tape that I used. Are you using beeswax to mount the Dazzo inside, if not it may change the sound. I would try the Dazzo with tape and the K&K with the wax and see what happens before you decide. I would also not use only tape for a permanent mount. The double tape in your instructions from K&K came from me experimenting and discussing with Deiter at K&K years ago. I used double tape to mount mine, but I glued the tape to the pickup and to the top and in between the two layers of tape.
    Hey, that is one clever solution with tape/glue.
    And you are right: the sound would be much different using beeswax on the K&K and tape on the Dazzo .
    Isn't it a rabbit hole ?��
    Collings MF 5
    Brentrup M 23 V (for sale on reverb.com)
    Gibson F 2 (1917)
    L. Smart H 5 Mandola
    Gibson K 4 Mandocello (1921)
    Sobell 10-string Bouzouki
    Sanden 8-string Bouzouki

    guitars, banjo, dobro, weissenborn

  23. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,074

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Quote Originally Posted by mando-bob View Post
    Isn't it a rabbit hole ?��
    And deep enough to swallow you whole.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  24. #18

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    And deep enough to swallow you whole.
    Which is why you should realize when what you've got is good enough. Easier said than done.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  25. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,074

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Which is why you should realize when what you've got is good enough. Easier said than done.
    Yup, I am perfectly content.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  26. #20

    Default Re: mandolin pickup comparison: K&K vs. Dazzo

    I just reread this thread and wanted to comment on the mounting of Dazzos. Epoxy is the only way to go. I've heard a dramatic improvement just while the epoxy is drying. Teddy has tried every possible mounting method. He can also easily pop them off if need be. Harder in a mandolin for sure. Would I take a set of K&Ks out and replace with Dazzos? No, I'd just get a Tonedexter.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •