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Thread: Electric mandocello

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Jul 2016
    Central New York

    Default Electric mandocello

    Its been about three years since MAS grabbed ahold of me, but Im getting the itch for something in the lower cello or octave range. Unfortunately, I cant seem to find much available without going to a custom builder. Being retired now, funds are limited. The only ones that seem to be in my price range are the Eastwood Warren Ellis mandocello or the Gold Tone mandocello, which doesnt thrill me all that much. Does anyone have any first hand knowledge of the Eastwood products? They also have a nice looking tenor electric and their website says they have a new 5 string tenor becoming available soon. I dont mind setting it up properly after purchase but hate to buy junk and pay to return it. Ive done that before and its quite a disappointment. I found a thread from several years ago on the tenor electric but nothing on the mandocello. I would appreciate any information from someone with first hand knowledge of either the tenor electric or the mandocello. Though I rarely contribute, Im a regular visitor and reader and respect the opinions of everyone here. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User Seonachan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Western Massachusetts

    Default Re: Electric mandocello

    I have an Eastwood mandocello, and a couple of their tenors (including the oddly named "tenor baritone", which is basically a 4-string mandocello). Eastwood's QC is not the best, so sometimes you'll get a great guitar and other times a frustrating hassle. I got my 'cello used, so I can't put this all on Eastwood, but it arrived with a stripped truss rod nut, and a desperate need for a serious truss rod adjustment. I got it all fixed up so now it's working great, and I like the sound, especially the neck pickup - very clear & beefy. I have it with octave pairs on the 2 bottom courses, and I love the sound, but the difference in string thickness occasionally makes it tricky for me to fret cleanly. Could even go with 3 octave pairs, or none of course.

    Compared to the 4-string tenor baritone, I find the latter easier to play (used to single courses) but the tone from the cello is markedly better (it looks like the same pickups, so I attribute this to the variable quality of whatever Eastwood's source is). I also prefer the narrower neck on the cello, though I know some people like the wide spacing that some of the Eastwoods have. Both instruments give me a little static crackle when I touch the pickguard while playing, but I've read there are remedies to that, which I haven't tried yet.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Electric mandocello

    Depending on what you're looking for, a guitar conversion is an inexpensive way to go. I've been doing these for a few years. A conversion takes me about five or six hours. A 25.5"scale will tune to either a mandocello or an octave mandolin although its a longer scale length than most people think of for octave mandolin and has the playability problems with the lower frets being quite far apart. Four or eight string -- not much difference in the process.
    I look for Fender Squire Stratocasters as victims because they are generally okay to begin with and can be had for cheap.

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  6. #4
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Sep 2002

    Default Re: Electric mandocello

    You could check out the MORTone guitar conversions sold here: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy Wood Thormahlen Andersen Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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  8. #5
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Warwick,New York

    Default Re: Electric mandocello

    they also have a conversion kit

  9. #6

    Default Re: Electric mandocello

    Overpriced for what they appear to be. The parts too. The guitars look like boardwalk or carnival grade prizes.
    Find a local luthier. Bring them donuts.
    Buy a decent playing Fender Squire or, hold out for a good deal on a Mexican made Fender.
    Edit: But then, if I started doing this commercially, I'd probably list mine near the same price range.

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