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Thread: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

  1. #51
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    My EDola has a very "woody" sound to it through a Blackstar amp and some eq.

    It's really unique. Not like a guitar at all.

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  3. #52
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    No one has brought up the Brazilian 'guitarra baiana' yet.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...uitarra+baiana

    Enjoy!
    Daniel

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  5. #53
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxCarJoe View Post
    My EDola has a very "woody" sound to it through a Blackstar amp and some eq.

    It's really unique. Not like a guitar at all.
    Hey Joe,

    I was just playing my short-scale Weber OM through my Schertler Guilia, using Schertler's stick-on pickup. This is not really the set-up I was thinking about in my earlier comments. There I was specifically commenting about dedicated electrics, mostly solid-bodies.

    But as I was getting ready to play out tonight, I was playing through my amp that I haven't used much lately, think how good it sounds. I was noticing much easier it is to pay attention to tone, expression and finer details, when I don't have to play hard for volume. I realized how much I like playing amplified. With this set-up it really does sound like the instrument itself, only louder. I like the idea other unique sound you are talking about though, and think I want to explore that, too.

    This current combination works for me, especially for the type of music I generally play in my duo. But there is a much louder venue we sometimes play, and there we are moving a little more toward the rock side. There, I think a solid body would be just the thing. As stated above, I am going to get one and give it a try. I love exploring different tonal possibilities, different voices. On with the adventure!
    Last edited by Bob Clark; Aug-21-2019 at 8:44am. Reason: Inexcusable run on sentence!
    Purr more, hiss less.

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    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vFfSxIrs4jU
    Short explanation by Sierra, her reason for an electric

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  9. #55

    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    I saw Sierra Hull play that Mandocaster at Grey Fox. I'd never seen an electric before and I couldn't figure out what the hell I was looking at. I had to get home and google until I found pictures.

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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Coming in a bit late: I guess an electric mandolin does superficially sound like a guitar. But, for me, I can get more interesting voices, and it always gets a comment. If you listen to tiny mooore, or Sam bush, you can hear the difference, at least to me.
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    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    I would love an electric mandolin if it could cop the acoustic sound well, itís a plus but it isnít why I would buy one. The way things play different sound different tuned on fifths and the whole electric idea works for my. I could in my pedals explore different sounds etc. Thatís why I have acoustic and electric guitars and synths for the different sounds.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  13. #58

    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    I would love an electric mandolin if it could cop the acoustic sound well, it’s a plus but it isn’t why I would buy one. The way things play different sound different tuned on fifths and the whole electric idea works for my. I could in my pedals explore different sounds etc. That’s why I have acoustic and electric guitars and synths for the different sounds.
    An Arrow mandolin would solve that problem. Five or 8 string.
    Play it like you mean it.

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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    The last thing I would want from an electric mandolin would be for it to sound like an acoustic mandolin. Electric guitars generally do not sound like acoustic guitars. To the extent that 'sounding like an electric guitar' typically means using a tone with sustain and overdrive/distortion, one could ask why Jam Hammer ever bothered with his keyboard rig, since it sounds so much like an electric guitar.

    Goal for me with electric was to get close to the feel of an acosutic, using overdrive to create some 'woof' when using a stronger hand, and cleaner tones during lower dynamic sections. Works great for me, and I don't think it comes across as guitar-like at all, since I'm playing chops and double-stops and mandolin type phrases.

    OTOH: When we play Sweet Child of Mine and it sounds just like Slash, and I'm totally OK with that.

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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by mandos&turtles View Post
    I donít get the point of electric mandolins. They donít sound like mandolins to me. If I didnít know someone was playing one Iíd just assume Iím hearing an electric guitar. Iíd like to hear others thoughts on the subject
    For the same reason Guitar-Banjos came to be....For Guitar players who didnt know how to play banjo.
    I dont know how to play guitar but I can sound like I do....Not really because playing an 4 string solid body emando, one's technique is more like elec guitar -bending...etc. - you wouldnt be playing fiddle tunes

  18. #61
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Clark View Post
    That settles it. Now I need one. Maybe an electric mandola, too. I think my one in-one out policy just bit the dust!
    Yup, I did it. Have an Ovation MM68 (US made) heading my way. Bought it from a Cafe ad (of course). Funny thing is, it was this thread that convinced me to finally get one. I'll report back on just how useful I find it, but for some of the places I play, Imthink it will be just the thing.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  19. #62
    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by mandos&turtles View Post
    I don’t get the point of electric mandolins. They don’t sound like mandolins to me.
    I came to this conclusion after some time and owning several electric mandolins. I do still own a Ryder four string Telecaster type electric mandolin. There are some unique sounds you can get out of an instrument tuned in fourths but one of the my favorite aspects of the mandolin is lost on an electric; that is the unique percussive attributes of the mandolin.

    An electric guitar is much more versatile. I have also capoed my electric guitar up high (7th and above ala Dave Rawlings) to get some open chimey mandolin-ish type flavors.

  20. #63
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    I actually started on an electric mandolin, an EM150 and then got one of Kevin Schwab's early 5 strings with dual humbuckers. Still kicking myself for not getting a 10 string version when he was still making them.

    I found myself wondering if or why I should invest in an acoustic mandolin. I did, of course, and wound up falling in love with '10s Gibsons and bowlbacks, naturally.

    Not the intended purpose, but I still play the Schwab through a trusty Fender Twin now and then when I'm doing home remodeling work and I want to peel / shred paint off of ceilings or walls.

    Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to work through the same tune on that array of instruments. With each one I discover some different nuance in the melody or in the fingering.

    Certainly a troll-y type of question from the OP, but I have enjoyed reading y'all's responses!

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  22. #64
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Clark View Post
    Yup, I did it. Have an Ovation MM68 (US made) heading my way. Bought it from a Cafe ad (of course). Funny thing is, it was this thread that convinced me to finally get one. I'll report back on just how useful I find it, but for some of the places I play, Imthink it will be just the thing.
    While I admittedly am still in that infatuation stage we tend to go through with new instruments, I have to say that I am really digging this Ovation. Had it plugged into an old tube amp last Tuesday in the guitar-mandolin duo I play in. Boy, did it sound good. It's able to open up new ways of expressing the music we play while still sounding very 'acoustic'. Also had it at a rehearsal of a larger group I play with just last night (not plugged in). It sure won't replace my Phoenix, but it does give me a great additional voice. I am going to be putting some play time on this one.

    So, in my small mandolin arsenal, this electric/acoustic fills an additional niche and gives me more options. From my perspective, having this 'electric' option will give me greater versatility. I am liking it!
    Purr more, hiss less.

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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Gig tonight, and as the only soloist for our hour-and-a half set, I'll be bringing the EM-200 as an alternate tone to break up the mandotony. Songs range from 'Grass to Grunge, and obviously will choose accordingly.

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  25. #66
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by mandos&turtles View Post
    I donít get the point of electric mandolins. They donít sound like mandolins to me. If I didnít know someone was playing one Iíd just assume Iím hearing an electric guitar. Iíd like to hear others thoughts on the subject
    That's fine-your choice that way.
    As a guitar player--I definitely hear the difference.

    And I like it because I am not playing "Traditional" or "Typical" mandolin styles.

    I just like the sound of the mandolin

    About 3 or 4 years ago I was in a talent show (for fun) with some others and we did a version of Gordon Lightfoot's Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
    We played it mostly straight--we had a vocalist, an electric guitar, acoustic guitar & I played electric mandolin.
    I played with a bit of a bluesy phrasing--and according to some of the listeners--it was epic.

    I could have done that with acoustic mandolin as well (& I am open to getting one in the future)
    But one comment we got was-"That sounded like a Mandolin, but it doesn't look like a mandolin"
    Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

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    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    I don't mean any disrespect to e-mandos, I just don't personally care for them. But I will say, I've never plugged in one of my electric guitars and tried to sound like an acoustic guitar. Because it won't.

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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankdolin View Post
    I don't mean any disrespect to e-mandos, I just don't personally care for them. But I will say, I've never plugged in one of my electric guitars and tried to sound like an acoustic guitar. Because it won't.
    I want to apologize for this nearsighted and ignorant opinion. It's not you it's me. I was wrong and out of line. Play whatever and whenever you want and ignore any naysayers like the "old" me!

  28. #69
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Hey Frank,

    No need to feel bad, this has been a great thread with a really productive exchange of ideas. In the past, I would have argued your same position right along with you. Other threads convinced me that although different from acoustic mandolins, electrics have a voice that some find enables them to express their musician ideas. This thread convinced me that I ought to try one, so I bought one and am having a great time with it.

    The only way this conversation could have been better would have been for all of us to be in the same place, mandolins and beverages in hand, conversing in person and illustrating our points with our instruments. Barring that, I think the Cafe in general, and threads like this in particular, are as good as it gets. Play on and post on! All is well��!
    Purr more, hiss less.

  29. #70
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    I have a couple electric mandolins from John Mann - one 8 string octave and one 5 string octave. I also have a few acoustic mandolins that are my primaries really. I totally agree with the OP - an electric mandolin does not sound like a mandolin. That said - it sounds exactly how it should and is the correct instrument (IMO) for many situations.

    The main reason I play electric mandolins is because there are gigs I need a sound you can only get from an electric instrument (i.e. good amp tone, pedals, etc) and mandolin tuning in 5ths is a lot easier for me to play than an electric guitar tuned in 4ths. I tell everyone - it's basically an electric guitar that makes sense to me. It helps me fit in more styles and doesn't require me to keep up on another instrument that I would otherwise rarely play.

    Usually I'm playing the electric for fun at a regular Open Jam we have in San Diego where an acoustic instrument wouldn't make sense. I've only played a few paying gigs with it. Next electric gig I have is in Sacramento on 11/8 at Harlow's with a band called South Fork (https://www.facebook.com/southforktunes/). They are very Black Crowes style and I'll be playing my 5 string Mann pretty much exclusively at that show as my acoustic, even mic'd, would not sound right.
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  31. #71
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    I still want an emando but have an experiment in mind to try with my audio interface and the ramp option. I can mic my oval-A and send it back out to my pedals and guitar amps. I am curious just what sort of tones I can tweak out of this set up. I just need some time!
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  32. #72

    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by mbruno View Post
    it's basically an electric guitar that makes sense to me.
    Exactly.

    I'm the MD of a show, I want to hear an electric guitar tone in a few places, there's no budget for an electric guitarist who'll only play half the time, and my chops on electric mando (a Mann SEM-5, in this case) are waayyy better than on electric guitar (which I don't even own).

    Necessity is the mother of invention Ė if electric mandos didn't exist, I'd have invented one out of necessity.

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  34. #73
    Registered User JH Murray's Avatar
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    For me Warren Ellis shows what an emando can do:

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  36. #74

    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    I watched a local bluegrass band play a good few times with a Lebeda F5 and every time I could never hear the mandolin properly. A few years before, I had actually put the mandolin player in touch with a friend who was selling the Lebeda which was a fine mandolin. Later on, as the band grew, he put a Fishman style pick up on the mandolin and it was brilliant. You could hear everything and so there lies the answer. Magnetic mandolin pick ups tend to put out a harsh sound and cheapen the while thing but then again the Ovation Mandolin in the right setting (such as an Eagles tribute band) could add colour to a piece of music and work.

    The ones I hate are the bar pick up with no pole pieces so the A strings are louder than everything else. Makes me cringe. Put some tape or whatever over the A string portion of the pick up at least to try and even it out.

    I suppose if you are playing to big audiences then a pick up just makes things so much easier but you have to take the time to get the right one for your instrument and band.

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    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: A likely contentious opinion on electric mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by JH Murray View Post
    For me Warren Ellis shows what an emando can do:
    W.Ellis killin' it with what looks like a Fender FM-984.

    Daniel

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