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Thread: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

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    Default Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    Iím trying to figure out the most minimal but effective setup to play live when having to switch between an acoustic electric guitar and mandolin. i donít know if I should get 2 separate amps or if thereís a way I can use the same amp but switch between 2 instruments without having to unplug anything, also any amp or pedal recommendations are welcome. Iíve been looking at the K&K twin internal pickup for the mandolin. Please help no idea where to start.

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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    I’ve used a tone bone PZ pre and liked it. You can’t EQ the instruments separately which can be a drag but if you know your instruments you can adjust quickly or leave it up to the front of house. Also used it with a banjo (not mine) and a mandolin and was able to EQ those the same.

    It’s a good preamp on its own for mando and a one box solution for two instruments which I really like. I decided to buy it after scouring the forums here. I’ve been satisfied so far but only used it for a few shows so far. YMMV

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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    I'd suggest the Roland CUBE Street. It's very versitile 2 channel with EQ and other controls for both channels, can use either channel for either mic or instrument. And, it operates on either 6 AA batteries or on AC power.

    I own 3 of these that I use for our band when we need sound but when we don't need our full PA system. 6 channels is sufficient for our 3 voices, 3 instruments, and then our bass has its own Roland CUBE Bass amp which is also ether battery or AC powered. Very compact, very convenient, powerful enough for a moderate audience and relatively inexpensive. (NFI)

    The trick with small amps is to get them raised up off the ground or floor, above the audience's feet and legs.
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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    How about an sm57 microphone instead of pickups? Easy to swap between instruments. My band uses them for live performances when we have to amplify.
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    Registered User ferrousgeek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    Ditto on the one mic suggestion. If playing solo I'd recommend a small or large diaphragm condenser. That said, lately I've been using a ribbon mic. In a band sitch, I'd go with a dynamic. I've become a big fan of the Blue Encore 100i. Don't worry about high end studio mics for live use. There is an endless choice of sub $200 mics that will sound so much better than a pickup.

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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    Minimal …. one mic with stand and cable. Large diaphragm condenser mics need a power source. Some amps are manufactured to handle that. Check the specs. I use small diaphragm condenser mics that operate on phantom power or a battery. Specifically model AKG C 1000 s which I find a good choice tonally. For durability a Shure SM 57 or 58 is the industry standard workhorse for a reason. Tough as nails and good sound quality...… Mic rules ….. have two and an extra cord. Mic clips are always breaking have a spare. If you go with a stand alone power source for a large diaphragm mic test it before gigging. A good amp choice would be a Fishman or Roland. Both companies make good products. Then there are the situations where a mic just won't work. < Sigh Then you get into transducers and magnetic pickups..... another whole ball of string. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    I get a wonderful sound from the K&K and FireEye preamp. I can play much lighter with plenty of power using a pickup than with a mic.
    Much less fatiguing. The sound I am getting sounds very much like my mandolin, very close to a mic and much less physical when performing. Most won't believe the sound can be as good, but I need little to no EQ on the PA and a very slight lowering of the treble control on the pre, it's all it has, no other controls needed. The volume boost takes care of moving closer to the mic for leads, but I rarely have to use it, I can pick light for backing and slightly harder for leads. Still less than how hard I have to play into a mic and don't have to worry about where I stand. Took me years of experimenting with pickups and putting them in and out to get this sound, but it was well worth it.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    Something like a RedEye Twin would do that, or any two channel acoustic amp.
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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    Something like a RedEye Twin would do that, or any two channel acoustic amp.
    Yes, RedEye Twin can be a great solution: You feed your amp/ personal monitor using the FX send of the Redeye and connect the XLR out of the RedEye with the PA/mixer.
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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    It's not inexpensive, but check out the Felix preamp/blender by Grace Design.

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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    I love my Felix, it is a super pedal in many ways. Great sound, useful EQ settings, and has a mute, boost and good effects loop.

    Chanel 1 has an XLR input and can even run phantom power. A standard 1/4” jack can go into either channel. Independent EQs for each channel make this pedal arguably better then the tonebone.

    That said, it only does it’s job if you’re using a PA. Sans PA I would get a fishman acoustic amp with 2 inputs.
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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    Yes, if money does not matter, the Grace Felix is wonderful. I love mine.

    A simple but effectfull solution and nicely priced is the BOSS LS-2 pedal. You can sum up to three instruments to one output , adjust gain for two of them.
    But if necessary you have to EQ your signals before sending it to the BOSS. Works fine with K&K in mandolin and guitar - I used it for a while and still keep it as a spare.
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    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    I have K&K pickups installed in both my Northfield F5S and my Martin D 28. I have been using the Red Eye Twin into an AI Focus amp, and it works ok, but not being able to EQ the two separately has been annoying. I play most often in a room where a mic is just not practical.

    I recently picked up a Fishman Loudbox 100 (not a new one - the previous model) and will be trying that out. It has two channels with individual EQ and inputs that can handle the instruments directly. If that works, I'll be able to sell the Red Eye twin and almost pay for the amp. Preliminary fiddling has shown great tone, so I'm very optimistic.

    Feature-wise, the only things the amp is lacking is the ability to hook up one tuner pedal to serve both channels, and a mute button for each channel, rather than just one. But I can live with those limitations.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    2 suggestions.

    #1. Shure sm81 if you want to go the mic route. Very true mic and very good side rejection(feedback).

    Personally I hate being tied to be in front of a mic. soooo ...

    #2. K&K Pickup -> Korg pitchblack(tuner) -> Fishman platinum -> PA
    You could potentially get a ABY switch in front of the tuner to switch instruments, but only 1 EQ


    There are several dual instrument DI/EQ boxes out there, unfortunately my other instrument is a Dobro with no pickup so I can't really recommend one.
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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    i went with the g 10 s for mando and violin, its nice not to have cords! ut I

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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    not enough info in the OP to say. Is the OP playing in loud juke joints with the crowd right up on top of the band'l' or smaller gigs with a 'listening audience'? Is the OP playing in an acoustic band that is trying their best to stay true to the acoustic nature of that beast? Is the OP doubling mandolin with acoustic guitar or electric? Is there a PA at all? Does the band own the PA? Does the band owned PA have decent preamps built in? Are there even enough channels on the PA to accommodate two additional inputs? Is the rest of the band playing acoustic or electric instruments and are they running direct or are they miked up? Are the electric instruments plugging into unmiked amps and just using the amps for sound support with the PA just providing support for the vocals?
    Without a little more info all the responses are along the lines of 'this is what I like' rather than what will work best for the OP in his/her unique situation.

    All that said, the simplest solution provided stage volume isn't a problem and the OP is doubling on acoustic guitar would be a single mike into the PA. Something about the way the question was asked makes me think the band is only using the PA for vox; if so, a two channel amp like the Fishman Artist would be simplest. Two seperate channels each with separate eq and effects, one for mandolin and one for acoustic guitar. If the OP is doubling on electric guitar then all bets are off but I think we're on pretty firm ground assuming an acoustic guitar.

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    FWIW I was Surprised at the low weight of Carvin's Powered Mixers,
    they eliminated the Transformer based power supply.

    3 amps, R/L & monitor in them ..
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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    My Carvin AG 300 acoustic amp with 12" speaker weighs 25 pounds. All hail class D Power amps
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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    I use a Morley A-B-C pedal. The one issue is it will make an audible POP if you don't mute when switching channels. I use my tuner pedal to mute when I switch instruments.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    I use a Morley A-B-C pedal. The one issue is it will make an audible POP if you don't mute when switching channels. I use my tuner pedal to mute when I switch instruments.
    The Morely ABC solved my problem, I now play my mando, lap steel & harmonica using one amp. I don't get the POP you mention mine is very quiet ? It's a passive pedal and doesn't need power & doesn't seem to affect the tone at all I love the thing.
    Lou

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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    I use a Morley A-B-C pedal. The one issue is it will make an audible POP if you don't mute when switching channels. I use my tuner pedal to mute when I switch instruments.
    Are you using phantom power, that will make a pop as you make and break the circuit.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    I suspect all jacks are TR (seller showing 3 electric guitars) , not TRS ,
    so not a useful thing for Phantom power ...

    So you need a power supply for each instrument needing that power up the cable..

    Piezos and dynamic mics are OK on TR , though impedance varies widely ..


    impedance marching transformers (XLR In) have a TR plug. so you can use a SM58 plugged into a guitar amp ...
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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    I suspect all jacks are TR (seller showing 3 electric guitars) , not TRS ,
    so not a useful thing for Phantom power.
    I don't believe Mandobart shows what instruments he has, but I don't think they are 3 electric guitars, and he may be using a preamp with phantom power which is why I was asking.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best live gig setup for mandolin/guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Are you using phantom power, that will make a pop as you make and break the circuit.
    I usually have piezo equipped mando, guitar and fiddle. My signal chain is instrument using 1/4" TR cable > A-B-C pedal > RedEye input. The RedEye loop includes my tuner pedal. The XLR RedEye output goes to my Carvin AG300 and gets phantom power from the same. Are you saying the phantom power for the RedEye is back-feeding through the 1/4" TR input cable?

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