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Thread: 2020 NAMM Show Report

  1. #126
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Steve, is the AETA Strados pickup sold separately, if so is it possible to fit to any mandolin. Wondering if the electronics could be in a pedal as opposed to in the mandolin. Thanks
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  2. #127
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Anyone have or considering a Crossrock Case? They're all over amazon. Stopped at their booth, traded business cards with a guy I took to be Italian, though it's a Chinese company. Crossrock Cases web site. On amazon. Appeared to be well made.

  3. #128

    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    I bought a fiberglass Crossrock case last year and I'm very happy with it. Neither my 2 point or F style fit into my Superior fiberglass case...it's too tight. The Crossrock has plenty of room- even for a Toneguard. There is an extra pad at the bottom that I move in the case depending on the mandolin. With the extra pad it's very protective at the endpin. It also come with two straps so you can wear it like a backpack.
    Rob

  4. #129
    Registered User Steve Carlson's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Steve, is the ZETA Strados pickup sold separately, if so is it possible to fit to any mandolin. Wondering if the electronics could be in a pedal as opposed to in the mandolin. Thanks
    Yes . . . the ZETA 'Stage' retrofit pickup is available to order from any of our ZETA Mandolin dealers. The bridge feet need to be fit to your mandolin . . . just like any other retrofit bridge pickup. The pickup 'pigtail' tucks away nicely into the treble f-hole when not in use. The cable end is a slick bayonet style 5-pin connection with short 1/8" cable running to a belt-clip pack which fits nicely in your pocket or clips to your pocket or belt or strap, etc. Wireless or cable connection from the retrofit pak (1/4" jack out) which contains the preamp and battery.
    I had the privilege of installing one of our retrofits on a very nice Sam Bush model a while back.
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    Greg Floor (owner of this Gibson Sam Bush model) has been kind enough to share his experience below:

    "Introduction: This is a review for the newly developed ZETA retrofit mandolin bridge installed on my Gibson F5L, Model # Sam Bush Proto. The Bush's serial # is Prototype 1 with a factory checklist date of 2/18/00. My mandolin with the installed retrofit bridge was picked up at the ZETA factory on May 24, 2018. The content of the review reflects my observation, experience and opinion gathered over the past 2 years.

    May 2016: When Steve Carlson of ZETA invited me to play a mandolin with a prototype mandolin bridge “transducer pick up” that he had developed, I immediately pulled out a pick. The bridge was set up on a raw acoustic mandolin fabricated by ZETA. There was also an" (other brand name withheld) "transducer pick up attached to the top. We then proceeded to compare the two. Both pickups were plugged into a Acoustic DI 5 band EQ preamp. The EQ and output settings were equal and sent to a Fishman Loudbox Artist amplifier set to flat response.

    I tuned and strummed the mandolin in its non amplified state to establish in my mind an audible baseline of its acoustic properties. The instrument sounded pretty good considering its top was assembled to the rim with screws. It played and projected like a mandolin which produced decent intonation, overtones and harmonics.

    After tweaking the tuning and playing the mando for about 5 minutes, I had a pretty good idea what it sounded like acoustic. We then powered up the amp, plugged in and ping-ponged between the ZETA and 'the other pickup'. Hearing is believing. The ZETA bridge pickup captured the acoustic properties of the fabricated acoustic mandolin better than the 'other' pickup with absolutely no boom box effect which is inherent with typical transducer style pickups. The ZETA bridge pickup allowed greater gain with a more balanced tonal output requiring less EQ. I was sold and ended up loaning ZETA my Sam Bush Proto to use in the final production stages for a marketable retrofit mandolin bridge pickup.

    Time marches on. Invention, creation and perfection for the bridge pickup did not occur overnight and I totally understood that fact. Then, one day, it was ready! I scheduled a trip to the Belgrade factory to pick up the goods. Also, Steve informed me that my ZETA JM 25 MIDI Mandolin was ready! Good grief. I was slammed with information of a double ZETA whammy and it felt good.

    May 2018: My first response upon opening the case that held the Bush was “well this looks cool”. The solid ebony bridge was beautiful and sleek. It barely resembled the prototype version that was a bit clunky. Visually it looked like it was meant to be. The fit up appeared to be perfect. I pulled out my D’Andrea .96 mm celluloid pick and strummed a few open chords only to astound my ears. The sound emanating from the tone chamber had sparkle, a quality that never really existed with the original Gibson factory saddle/bridge. The more I strummed the more I liked how it felt and what I was hearing. I picked out scales, octaves, arpeggios, random melodies and chopped rhythm.
    The Bush now displayed a relatively equal amplitude of ringing harmonics and overtones that projected from pianissimo to forte. Hearing is believing.

    The bridge pickup output has a mini-male 5 pin jack that inserts into a 5 pin female jack which is connected to a preamp powered by a 9v battery. There are adjustable sensitivity output pots for each bank of strings inside of the preamp housing. A 1/4” female jack output is assembled within the housing allowing the use of a 1/4” guitar chord or 1/4” wireless system to then plug into the amp. This specific amp or DI interface is not your traditional means of plugging in but the end result is well worth the effort.

    The installed ZETA bridge pickup did not let me down in the amplification department. It captured the more complex tonal qualities of the Bush without making concessions to its inherent acoustic properties and delivered them to the amp and speaker with very sensitive clarity thereby achieving the amplification of the acoustic mandolin without the boom box effect. ZETA has been successful with the develoment and introduction of their mandolin bridge pickup and its retrofit for my mandolin.

    Bottom line: I love it and everything it has done to greatly improve the acoustic and amplified qualities of my Gibson Bush Prototype mandolin. There has been no compromise whatsoever to the acoustic properties of the instrument in achieving these improvements. ZETA's bridge pickup delivers a clean, balanced and consistent signal necessary for the amp to do its job. This pickup is better than anything I have tried and used over the past 35 years for my mandolin amplification. It sounds like the acoustic Bush when plugged in and it can be turned up easily."

    Greg Floor . . . Salt Lake City, Utah

    Thanks Greg for allowing me and ZETA to use your Sam Bush model as a 'real' testing platform for our new mandolin bridge/pickup. Your generosity was beyond the call for sure!

    Steve Carlson
    ZETA
    Last edited by Steve Carlson; Jan-26-2020 at 11:03pm.

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  6. #130
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    Anyone have or considering a Crossrock Case? They're all over amazon. Stopped at their booth, traded business cards with a guy I took to be Italian, though it's a Chinese company. Crossrock Cases web site. On amazon. Appeared to be well made.
    I have one of the Crossrock ABS Molded hardshell A style cases that I really like. It is not a tight fit for my Collings MT2, and I use it more like a hardshell gig bag in the summer. There is some movement with the mandolin in there and the case closed, I am sure it would do damage in a jolting impact. The backpack arrangement makes this case super friendly for taking around in the summer though, and with a little extra padding it's certainly a winner for me.

    I am leaning towards getting the Fiberglass version, it seems to fit tighter and offer more protection. Not that I really need another case...
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  7. #131
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Hey Steve, glad to have you back building mandolins. Flatirons were an big part of my interest in the Mandolin coming up. I may have missed this somewhere, but will the Zeta mandos be X braced? Will they share some of the qualities of your previous Mandolins? I am certain they would, but had to ask.
    2018 Ratliff R5 "Country Boy"
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    2002 Gibson F9 with radius fretboard.

  8. #132
    Registered User Steve Carlson's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot172000 View Post
    Hey Steve, glad to have you back building mandolins. Flatirons were an big part of my interest in the Mandolin coming up. I may have missed this somewhere, but will the Zeta mandos be X braced? Will they share some of the qualities of your previous Mandolins? I am certain they would, but had to ask.
    Thanks for your interest and support Pilot . . .

    Our 'Stage' mando has tone bars. I've made a couple x-braced proto-types but settled on tone bars as the model we wanted to 'nail' . . . perhaps first. I think there is no doubt similarities, body shape, peghead, etc . . . but in reality I started with a clean slate regarding especially the carves. The goal has been to create a world-class mandolin . . . not just a vehicle for a pickup system . . . but a worthy stand alone acoustic mandolin. I'd like to think our technical abilities, production process, testing methods, documentation, feedback loop and channels, desire, etc . . . all work to produce a superior product.

    For instance . . . all our mandolins are tuned up, played in and fully tested in the white-wood state. Our build schedule is also a parallel process which provides surety in the tonal consistency and response from week to week and in each instrument shipping out the door.

    Steve Carlson

  9. #133

    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    I wish I would have known about this thread while we were at NAMM, that'll teach me to be more of an active member. I was on Mandolin mission the whole week. We did make some live videos from NAMM showing off some of what I found, I'll share those here two weeks post NAMM and be more on top of it come Summer NAMM. -Jeremy Chapman - The Acoustic Shoppe

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    The new Chris Thile pick from D'Addario video starting at 8min in:
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  10. #134

    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Nothing new with Eastman for mandolins, but we did kick off the show playing a MD505CC:


    Collings Mandolins
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  12. #135
    Registered User archerscreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Great videos and playing. The Gibsons sounded great of course. The specs and looks of the Road Dog are awesome. I'd love to see/hear how that translates soundwise. And that D'Addario gig backpack looks mighty handy.

  13. #136
    Registered User Joe Dodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Quote Originally Posted by dang View Post
    I have one of the Crossrock ABS Molded hardshell A style cases that I really like. It is not a tight fit for my Collings MT2, and I use it more like a hardshell gig bag in the summer. There is some movement with the mandolin in there and the case closed, I am sure it would do damage in a jolting impact. The backpack arrangement makes this case super friendly for taking around in the summer though, and with a little extra padding it's certainly a winner for me.

    I am leaning towards getting the Fiberglass version, it seems to fit tighter and offer more protection. Not that I really need another case...
    I have a Crossrock A style fiberglass mandolin case that I got in December. I wanted something sturdier than a gig bag, but didn't want to spring for a Calton or Hiscox. My Collings and my Pava both fit rather loosely inside, and the top is flexible enough that it can be pushed in with a few pounds of pressure. I'm not super impressed, candidly. Granted, I had been using a gig bag for traveling, and it's a step up from that. But I don't know if I'm going to keep it for the long term.

  14. #137
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Dodson View Post
    I have a Crossrock A style fiberglass mandolin case that I got in December. I wanted something sturdier than a gig bag, but didn't want to spring for a Calton or Hiscox. My Collings and my Pava both fit rather loosely inside, and the top is flexible enough that it can be pushed in with a few pounds of pressure. I'm not super impressed, candidly. Granted, I had been using a gig bag for traveling, and it's a step up from that. But I don't know if I'm going to keep it for the long term.
    I'm a bit puzzled by the replies, I visited their site via Scott's link and all I can find there for mandolins is a gig bag ... http://www.crossrockcase.com/product...andolin-cases/
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  15. #138

    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    You had me at nopalitos tacos.

    Thanks for the news from NAMM.

    My MAS is pretty well cured but I am very interested in the carbon fibre Glasser(?). Especially if it has a not too wide of a nut/neck.

    And a National RM 1.

  16. #139
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    I'm a bit puzzled by the replies, I visited their site via Scott's link and all I can find there for mandolins is a gig bag ... http://www.crossrockcase.com/product...andolin-cases/
    https://www.amazon.com/Crossrock-Man...SIN=B07F2CL8PC
    2012 Weber Bitterroot F5.

  17. #140
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Quote Originally Posted by MandoChapman View Post
    I wish I would have known about this thread while we were at NAMM, that'll teach me to be more of an active member. I was on Mandolin mission the whole week. We did make some live videos from NAMM showing off some of what I found, I'll share those here two weeks post NAMM and be more on top of it come Summer NAMM. -Jeremy Chapman - The Acoustic Shoppe
    Jeremy, those videos are very nicely done. Thanks.

  18. #141
    Registered User Roger Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    I have this Crossrock case. Very sturdy little number that is light weight enough to be handy! Mine has a "grab handle at the headstock end which is a nice addition. I also use their guitar case, which gives excellent protection without the weight. I would not hesitate to travel with either.
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  19. #142
    Registered User Joe Dodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Stueve View Post
    That looks like a step up from the one I have. I've got this one. It's actually ABS plastic and not fiberglass as I said in my original post.

  20. #143
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    Default Re: 2020 NAMM Show Report

    FYI, ZETA Mandolins now has their Facebook page up and running for those interested in following them. We'll have a news release about the mandolins and some new pictures next Tuesday.

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