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Thread: Eastman El Rey?

  1. #26

    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    Quote Originally Posted by DocT View Post
    I was told the El Rey has a real Mandolin sound. What is best, an acoustic amp or an electric guitar amp?
    Not sure the El Rey has a "real" mandolin sound as it uses a modified guitar humbucker for a pickup and is limited to what it can put out.

    Regular guitar amps are EQ'd to enhance a guitar's mid-range and tend to lean towards a distorted tone. Without actually having played one, I would suggest an acoustic amp or a solid-state amp with a good mid-range control to get you close. Stay away from tubes as they distort - which is great for guitars but bad if you're looking for a clean acoustic mando tone.

    I think the El Rey with a single-coil pickup (or the ability to coil-split the Lollar) and piezo would get closest to traditional mandolin sounds but that requires modding the stock instrument.
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  2. #27
    Registered User C2WAVE2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    Quote Originally Posted by DocT View Post
    I was told the El Rey has a real Mandolin sound. What is best, an acoustic amp or an electric guitar amp?
    I just got one in the mail, today. It’s awesome! But I wouldn’t say it sounds like acoustic mandolin, no matter what kind of amp
    You plug it into.. due to the nature of the near solid body, and humbucker pick up.
    It does play like an acoustic, the feel of the neck, size and all.

    I’m playing mine through a Fender Twin Reverb, and it’s clean, clear with tons of sustain. Beautiful. I can’t be happier!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by C2WAVE2; Apr-02-2020 at 11:45am.
    Kentucky KM-270,Gibson F5-G, Eastman ER-M

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  4. #28
    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    Hi Doc,
    The El Rey has an electromagnetic pickup in it, so it is meant to be played through a 'guitar' amplifier, rather than directly through a PA or 'acoustic' amplifier. People hereabouts have had good experiences running emandos through bass amps as well.

    Enjoy!
    Daniel

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  6. #29

    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    Mine is sounding fine through my Trace Elliot Acoustic Cube. I'm not sure what people mean who say it doesn't sound like an acoustic. Do you mean unamplified acoustic?. For what it is I would say it gets pretty close to an amplified acoustic sound but can sound like an electric guitar if you want it to. The tone control is very nice - all the way down seems to give it an entirely different warm sound and the closest to acoustic. So nice to have something that behaves like a guitar with guitar effects. Loving mine.

  7. #30
    Registered User C2WAVE2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    Quote Originally Posted by Merula View Post
    Mine is sounding fine through my Trace Elliot Acoustic Cube. I'm not sure what people mean who say it doesn't sound like an acoustic. Do you mean unamplified acoustic?. For what it is I would say it gets pretty close to an amplified acoustic sound but can sound like an electric guitar if you want it to. The tone control is very nice - all the way down seems to give it an entirely different warm sound and the closest to acoustic. So nice to have something that behaves like a guitar with guitar effects. Loving mine.
    Hi Merula, I think the question is whether an acoustic amp is going to make the El Ray sounds more acoustic?
    Im not totally sure, as my only acoustic amp is broke, but as I recall, it didn't make any difference on my electric guitars sounding more like an acoustic guitar
    going through it.
    To me, the El Ray is the equivalent to a Gibson ES-335 semi hollow body, in the guitar world.. That guitar is never
    going to sound like an acoustic, no matter what amplifier..There just not enough top movement, and the magnetic pickups, dont capture it.
    You not getting the woody sound that many do with their true acoustic mandolins plugged in, using pizeo and microphone pickups.

    There was another comment, I heard, the fact that El Ray is an eight string
    electric as opposed to many 4 string electrics, out there, in that regard, it does get closer to a standard acoustic mandolin, then those..
    YMMV Chuck
    Kentucky KM-270,Gibson F5-G, Eastman ER-M

  8. #31
    Registered User C2WAVE2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    I just a posted a video of me and my El-Ray,
    I can't do it justice, but will keep trying!
    Chuck

    Kentucky KM-270,Gibson F5-G, Eastman ER-M

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  10. #32

    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    I'd say an acoustic amp isn't likely to make it sound more like an acoustic.

    Of course, I'd also suggest that real =/= acoustic. And "sounds like an acoustic mandolin" =/= "sounds like a f-hole carved top." I think to some extent, this is a semantics issue. My acoustic mandolin doesn't sound dry -- it's got a sweet voice and it has more sustain, so my El Rey's much closer to that than to a dry, woody instrument with a rapid decay. Even so, I wouldn't say the El Rey sounds just like an unplugged acoustic instrument. How could it?

    I do stand by what I've said to others about it, though -- that it has an authentic mandolin sound (authentic =/= acoustic). What do I mean by that? When I chord, I can get a nice chop. On the low end, I get that bit of chonk (mix matters in that respect). It's electric, which smooths and extends the the single notes, so there's less crispness than with my acoustic, but the courses still create a nice chime (especially obvious when I bring up the treble). These are elements that, to me, sound like an authentic electric mandolin rather than a tiny 4-string electric guitar. I wanted something that sounded like an electric mandolin instrument, so I'm happy, and I'd say in that sense, it's an authentic mandolin (but full disclosure, I don't think acoustic guitars are the only "authentic" guitars, either).

    YMMV, though -- if someone sees "woody" and "dry" as the defining sound qualities of a "real" mandolin, and s/he wants the El Rey to sound just like that (and sound unplugged, to boot), s/he will likely be disappointed. In that case, one would be better off selecting one of the many wonderful acoustic mandolins on the market that have those qualities. I wouldn't consider this instrument a replacement for my acoustic -- I sure do dig it, though!

  11. #33

    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    The Godin A8 might be more of what you are looking for if you want a more acoustic sound. I have both and would chose the El Rey over the Godin if I had to pick one.

  12. #34

    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    Quote Originally Posted by Merula View Post
    The Godin A8 might be more of what you are looking for if you want a more acoustic sound. I have both and would chose the El Rey over the Godin if I had to pick one.
    Godin has a different build and uses RMC piezo saddles and preamp, which are prolly the best of the best for piezo.

    El Rey is a rock machine to my eye. It's built more like an ES-335 than a mandolin. A 5-string with the Lollar would totally rock.
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  13. #35
    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    A 5-string [El Rey] with the Lollar would totally rock.
    Yes, and lengthen the scale to 15" and it would be, for me, pointless to try to resist buying one.


    Daniel

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  15. #36
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    Hi all
    I'm currently in the process of downsizing my gear - i have found that i only really play mandolin with the band, and we're LOUD. Otherwise I'm all tenor guitar *sigh*

    the F5 was great at cutting through our mix but counterintuitively I've decided I'm selling it. Keeping the badgerlin, which IS acoustic, but is maybe a bit muddy when plugged in compared to the f5.

    I can't countenance the Godin. It looks too "old guy thinking he looks cool" for me... !! Even though pickup wise it's the sound choice. I'm not a fan of flat fretboards though.

    I love the look of the el rey - i'd dearly like to get into that as a live mando. But i want it to sound alright, and not like an electric guitar.

    But do you think in a loud band, it'll sound acoustic enough? I play an AER Compact 60.3 amp.
    Probably been asked a few times in this thread.

    I'm up against acoustic guitar, brass and elec bass, plus drums.
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, Ď59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: Ď57 Gibson ETG-150, Ď80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

  16. #37
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    Actually I found my answer with a further google. This LINK

    Not sure this has been shared on the cafe before, but this Facebook post is visible without login

    to me this is the sound i need for the band - powerful and clear - and not like an electric guitar

    Folks are right to distinguish the point...

    Does it sound acoustic?

    - NO - not in the sense of sitting and listening an acoustic mandolin in the room, or mic'd up.
    but for me...
    - YES - because this is close enough to how my F5 sounds through our PA when going via my AER and its K&K internal pickups.

    If I was a proper mandolin player seeking HiFi amplification, I'll use my other acoustic mandolin

    But for the band I think this is IDEAL. The sound is definitely "mandolin" and not "little electric guitar".

    So am I right in thinking we now have a clear answer as to what this mandolin is to mandolin "sound"?

    it's got a fantastic PLUGGED IN mandolin sound... but it's NOT an out and out acoustic sound replacement
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Tenor Guitars: Acoustic: Mcilroy ASP10T, Ď59 Martin 0-18t. Electric: Ď57 Gibson ETG-150, Ď80s Manson Kestrel
    Mandolins: Davidson f5, A5 "Badgerlin".
    Bouzouki: Paul Shippey Axe
    My band's website

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  18. #38

    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    I'd like to hear more about the quality of the overdrive/distortion tones on this thing if you could elaborate? cheers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Khatarlan View Post
    My El Rey arrived last week. I canít claim any real talent with it, but it has me grinning like a fool just with the experimentation.

    Decidedly not bluegrass, but with a couple of tweaks on the DAW it takes me anywhere between Chet Atkins to Black Sabbath. Great fun for Hank Williams or jazz if thatís your thing. Build quality better than I expected. Neck and frets feel quite good - a near match for my Weber. Muscle memory between the two hasnít tripped me up like my electric tenor guitar did.

    If I could be certain that Curt Mangan monel strings would work, I would change to those and have the strings feel the same.

    If you get a chance to try it, give it a whirl!

    Khat
    - - - Updated - - -

    Anyone have experience with overdrive tones on the El Rey? Also how does it play when strung with just 4 strings?

  19. #39

    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    Quote Originally Posted by willnherrin View Post
    I'd like to hear more about the quality of the overdrive/distortion tones on this thing if you could elaborate? cheers!



    - - - Updated - - -

    Anyone have experience with overdrive tones on the El Rey? Also how does it play when strung with just 4 strings?

    I have been getting a very nice overdrive sound with a Keeley compressor, Boss SD-1 and a Fender Smolder Acoustic OD. The Fender works for me as I'm using an acoustic amp and it gives some amp simulation.

    I did try it with four strings briefly. It was okay but I didn't like how the strings were skewed towards one side of the fingerboard and had got used to the feel and sound of the 8, so I added the other four.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    There are other threads addressing it, but in a nutshell, an acoustic amp such as a Fishman Loudbox is the general consensus to get an acoustic mandolin sound out of it

  21. #41

    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    I got my ERM at the end of May. I thought the A was a little punchy so I went a little lighter on that string. Seemed to fix it so it's more balanced.
    I love the instrument.....seems to sound good through an acoustic (Fishman Loudbox Performer) or a tube amp (Carvin Nomad) that I use for my Mann EM-5. The issue I have with it is the tuners. I know Martin Stillion did a review on it early on, and he said it had Grovers, but they went to these Pingwell things, and I can't keep the thing in tune. So, instead of enjoying the instrument, I'm bothered by that! Suggestions?

  22. #42
    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eastman El Rey?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndFidl View Post
    I got my ERM at the end of May. I thought the A was a little punchy so I went a little lighter on that string. Seemed to fix it so it's more balanced.
    I love the instrument.....seems to sound good through an acoustic (Fishman Loudbox Performer) or a tube amp (Carvin Nomad) that I use for my Mann EM-5. The issue I have with it is the tuners. I know Martin Stillion did a review on it early on, and he said it had Grovers, but they went to these Pingwell things, and I can't keep the thing in tune. So, instead of enjoying the instrument, I'm bothered by that! Suggestions?
    I changed some Schallers on my Vessel F5 to Rubners. Love them.

    Daniel

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