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Thread: Magnetic Pickup Advice

  1. #1
    campertraveller
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    Default Magnetic Pickup Advice

    I have an F5 style copy mandolin. I want to fit a magnetic pickup .

    a) What magnetic pickups are there out there? Make? Single coil or Humbucker?
    b) What have you tried & liked?

    Your advice on magnetic pickups most welcome.

    Incidentally I play both double bass & guitar and when I use my amp I go through a 'Boss Graphic Equaliser GE-7'--certainly adds to the sound. I intend to do that with the mandolin.
    Last edited by campertraveller; Nov-20-2019 at 12:04pm. Reason: Added to post

  2. #2

    Default Re: Magnetic Pickup Advice

    Do you want it to sound like an acoustic or an electric mandolin? Big difference imo

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL
    Last edited by lenf12; Nov-20-2019 at 12:57pm.

  3. #3
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Magnetic Pickup Advice

    Is this an acoustic instrument currently?

    If it were me, I would go with single coil or humbuckers on a solid-body electric mandolin - as I would use that type of pickup for resistance to feedback and to use pedals that work best with that signal. In both cases, an acoustic mandolin would not be my ideal method to use these pickups. Good acoustic mandolins are also much more expensive than a simple electric and installing these pickups would likely be pretty intrusive on an acoustic instrument.

    JMO.
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  5. #4
    campertraveller
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    Default Re: Magnetic Pickup Advice

    Hi guys
    Thanks for your reply's. The instrument in question has a poor acoustic sound, not equal in sound production on all strings--hence graphic EQ. If the instrument in question had a good acoustic sound I would not want a magnetic pickup, more the mic type--like the Ehurlund--which produces a really good amplified acoustic sound on my acoustic guitar.
    Incidentally if you live in the UK and have a good magnetic mandolin pickup for sale do send me a PM with details.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Magnetic Pickup Advice

    Kent Armstrong makes a very thin jazz pickup that I have put on mandolins and it sounds quite acoustic. If you use bronze strings it will only pickup the cores of the wound strings, but it still sounds good.

    Marshall Hammett makes a very small pickup that you can also use. I believe he is a member here.

    Magnetic pickups sound different than a transducer. If your mandolin is nice sounding acoustically them you may want a transducer to get a more acoustic sound. Sometimes tho you just want to plug in, turn the volume up and rip the knob off.
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  8. #6
    man about town Markus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Magnetic Pickup Advice

    If you aren't compromising an acoustically good instrument, then I get where you're going.

    Never heard a Kent Armstrong pickup in person, but they always seemed like a pretty good solution to your desire. I'll shut up and listen to folks like pops who have done this themselves.

    Good luck with it, please post a sound clip whatever you end up doing.
    Collings MT2
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  9. #7
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    Default Re: Magnetic Pickup Advice

    Almuse make a mighty fine mandolin pick up.
    http://www.almuse.co.uk/mandolin_pickups.html#

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Magnetic Pickup Advice

    Since most pickups have pole pieces that are not the correct spacing for a mandolin. Look for a pickup with a blade instead of pole pieces. It will be more balanced. You can however take the screw on the pole piece pickups completely out for better balance.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Magnetic Pickup Advice

    I replaced a "lipstick" pickup on my McCormick solid-body f-style with a Fender-style (flattened triangle) Seymour-Duncan mandolin pickup. It has 4 poles. I think Seymour-Duncan sells only through dealers. The guys at Sweetwater Music worked with me and placed the order.
    David Hopkins

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  13. #10

    Default Re: Magnetic Pickup Advice

    I use and like Kent Armstrongs on a couple of my guitars.

    On my mandolin I used a Lace resonator pickup and 2 piezo's ala K&K. I get the best sound by blending them but can run either solo or both out separate channels.

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    I've also used the Lace humbucker resonator on my resonator. I built it into the cover-plate like an RM-1 hotplate. It also has a piezo under the bridge and is wired the same as the Paris Swing.

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  14. #11
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    Default Re: Magnetic Pickup Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Since most pickups have pole pieces that are not the correct spacing for a mandolin. Look for a pickup with a blade instead of pole pieces. It will be more balanced. You can however take the screw on the pole piece pickups completely out for better balance.
    The idea that the pole pieces need to sign up with the strings is a myth. The magnetic field is considerably bigger than the top of the pole piece.

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