Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

  1. #1
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    KC MO
    Posts
    436

    Default “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    The Mandolin Cafe administrator teased with this line before the NAMM show. I must confess my apparent ignorance for not seeing how the finally released info was anything that would “rock the industry.” Please help me understand what I’m missing.
    Doug Brock
    Eastman MD315, Eastman MDA315, 2019 Silverangel Econo A
    Pisgah Wonder open back banjo, cheap old German fiddle, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

  2. The following members say thank you to Doug Brock for this post:


  3. #2
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Bloomington, IN / USA
    Posts
    703

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    Eric Hanson
    Click #016/ Born on 2/29/08 - Sold to the next Conservator of this great mandolin!
    The search has ceased! (At least for now)
    Collings A-Style

  4. The following members say thank you to Eric Hanson for this post:


  5. #3
    Mandolin Player trodgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Southeast Iowa, U.S.A.
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    From where I sit, the return of Steve Carlson to the mando-universe is important news. Add to that that he's coming back with what looks like a big step forward in amplifying an acoustic mando, well, I'm pretty excited!
    “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.” -- Aldo Leopold

  6. #4
    Registered User JAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    California
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    It's all in the mind of the beholder....
    John A. Karsemeyer

  7. #5

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    Today electro-acoustic, tomorrow possibly a traditional line of mandolins. Either way, a Zeta mandolin is an attractive alternative to putting a pickup in or on one of my mandolins.

  8. #6
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    16,021

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    We mandolin-freaks have our own perspective, our own particularistic focus, and our own standards of what constitutes an "industry," and what it takes to "rock it."

    Did Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, C F Martin et. al. see their seismographs go off-scale because of the Carlson announcement? Probably nah. From a mando-centric perspective, is it an important development? Almost certainly. A respective innovator and designer "gets the band back together" to some extent, and offers a line of instruments that will appeal to the increasing number of performing mandolinists who play "plugged in." Go to the Equipment forum, and look at the series of threads discussing the pros, cons, costs and frustrations of amplifying acoustic mandolins, and you'll recognize the niche he's aiming for.

    I have an '80's Gibson "pancake," an A-N Custom model with Steve Carlson's signature on the label. Only signed-label instrument I own. I'll be glad to see him active again, whether that fact's "earth-shaking" or not.

    Jus' my 2˘.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  9. The following members say thank you to allenhopkins for this post:


  10. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Brentwood, TN
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    So my quite naive question is why this is ground breaking? Why have there not been acoustic mandolins with this style of electronics before now?
    The Loar LM600VS

  11. #8

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lackey View Post
    ..... Why have there not been acoustic mandolins with this style of electronics before now?
    That’d be Zeta’s groundbreaking part.
    Play it like you mean it.

    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  12. #9
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    2,074
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Brock View Post
    The Mandolin Cafe administrator teased with this line before the NAMM show. I must confess my apparent ignorance for not seeing how the finally released info was anything that would “rock the industry.” Please help me understand what I’m missing.
    It got the attention of other builders at the show, and plenty not there as well. Carlson is a big deal, has always been a big deal, and many of the people that worked under him at Flatiron are still with the company, meaning lots of long-time, professional experience and the ability and knowledge to run huge CNC operations without the need to hire and train a bunch of people unfamiliar with the industry. Bruce Weber Jr. is working for him now as well is what I heard. Anyone that thinks this all ends with a few mandolins built for stage readiness has their eyes closed to the long-term implications.

    Name the last time a brand new mandolin company starting out announced they'll turn out over 100 mandolins a year and did so at launch, with lots of capacity beyond that. Been awhile.


  13. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Mandolin Cafe For This Useful Post:


  14. #10
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    4,972

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lackey View Post
    So my quite naive question is why this is ground breaking? Why have there not been acoustic mandolins with this style of electronics before now?
    If it's an active internal preamp (and the earlier Zeta mandolins had that, I think?), then it means a removable battery to power it. That's easy for an acoustic guitar, because you can replace the battery through the soundhole. It's why acoustic guitar pickup systems are generally more advanced and (arguably) sound better than mandolin pickups, because acoustic mandolin players are reluctant to have a hatch built into the instrument to hold a battery.

    So that's one difference, if indeed it's an active systems with a battery. The other difference looks they're using the Zeta violin-type individual saddle pickups for each string course. That allows balancing the volume of each pair of strings separately, either as a factory preset or with adjustments of the preamp by the user (ideally the latter). You have a weak-sounding E string pair? Just boost the volume of E strings while leaving the other string volumes the same. I can't remember if my S.O.'s Zeta violin had user adjustments for that, but it might have.

    Of course there have been individual saddle pickups for mandolins available for years, but those were the specialized pickups for Roland-type Midi or VG waveform processors. This is an approach that works the way most players use amplification, with a single signal as output.

    Whether any of that rocks the industry or not, it's an interesting alternative for those who like internal pickups. It doesn't grab me personally, because I prefer the sound of clip-on mics or external mics, and don't play the kind of music or venues that need high feedback rejection. But there is probably a market for a new approach to internal pickups combined with a good-sounding acoustic mandolin.

  15. The following members say thank you to foldedpath for this post:


  16. #11

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    There is a real need for a good sounding electric mandolin. Think of all the utility touring pros who aren’t the focus of attention, but need to sound good. Once players are seen on stages, and a few of the young adventurous hot shots start playing them, it will create a whole new market. If you hang out at guitar forums, a lot of what should I buy threads start out with I’m just starting but I need a cutaway. Even here newbies say they need a pickup.

    Eastman is going to sell a lot of electrics that will never see a stage.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  17. #12
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Crockett, TX
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    Name the last time a brand new mandolin company starting out announced they'll turn out over 100 mandolins a year and did so at launch, with lots of capacity beyond that. Been awhile.
    Wow. I had no idea of that large a number.

    That's pretty significant.

    I've got a Carlson Flatiron that I won't part with. His signed mandos are prized for good reason. Glad to see Steve back in the business.
    Chris Cravens

    Girouard A5 Mandolin
    Montana Flatiron A-Jr.
    Girouard A Mandola
    Leo Posch D-18

  18. #13
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego CA
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    because acoustic mandolin players are reluctant to have a hatch built into the instrument to hold a battery.
    I get not wanting to cut a hatch in as it has potentially significant tone implications but I've often wondered why a plug in power adapter is not an option for this reason. You can run that through the soundhole and either have it connect to a battery that lives outside the mandolin (maybe clipped on a strap) or to a 9v power source like pedals do. The cable itself could be almost completely hidden fairly easily etc.
    www.mattcbruno.com
    www.thebigdecisionsband.com
    https://shakedownstringband.org

    Mando's in use
    Newson 2018
    Gibson F9 2014
    Jonathan Mann OEMsc 8
    Jonathan Mann OSEMdc 5
    Weber Gallatin Mandocello

  19. #14
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    1,633
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    Compared to violin, mandolin is easy to amplify. Granted, the peculiar tone of an F5 is more of a challenge than a flat top guitar, but I will point to Drew Emmitt's Nugget F5 with Baggs bridge that sounds excellent, even without microphone help. Ditto Don Stiernberg's two-point.

    Achieving acoustic tone is pretty easy with a combination of undersaddle and contact pckup, or internal mic, but it gets cumbersome. I am very happy with a Headway undersaddle, and some British guys I met liked theirs on bouzouki and octave mando. Appropriate EQ can transform sterile tone to rich color.

    Zeta fiddles are cool but I haven't noticed them owning the amplified violin market. Individual pickup elements for each string seem clever--I had such in a Barbera violin bridge--but the tone is definitely not helped on a violin, since the raw string tone at the bridge is what we really don't want. Plucked instruments are better captured at the bridge, although flat top guitars and similar are more true to the plain string tone. Arch tops have more complicated resonances, but those could easily be incorporated into the EQ of a preamp. I think the Headway and related preamps have more basic, broad-brush EQ.

    String-to-string balance is an issue, and I am fussy, so I tinkered with my pickup until it is perfectly balanced. It could easily be made individually adjustable using the Taylor approach of separate saddle pieces (3 is what I have seen) with set screws to suppress one piece or another. I find the undersaddle tends to be bottom-heavy, not in tone but in having a too-loud low string and weak high string. The flexible-element design handles the weak top if you extend some extra piezo beyond the E. The too-strong bottom, both too loud and too bright, is suppressed by adding a tiny drop of CA glue into the slot, or adding tape, to restrict movement of that end of the saddle. Only tiny resistance is necessary to match the pickup response to the acoustic.

    As to batteries, an undersaddle does not really need an internal preamp (I am pretty sure those Nuggets have no hatch).
    Blog--Miniature Orchestra
    Sound Clips--SoundCloud
    Videos--YouTube
    The viola is proof that man is not rational

  20. #15

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    Quite a few jazz violinists have started playing Zetas. After Carlson bought Zeta folks began to get more interested. Eileen Ivers has played a Zeta for years. They make acoustic-electric models too. Evan Garr who plays with Stanley Clarke has several. And there’s Jean Luc Ponty.

    Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but I mentioned that Carlson was making acoustic electric mandolins to a dealer friend at the show and he ran off to look for Steve. There’s quite a lot of interest already.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  21. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Winnsboro, LA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    Steve Carlson is as big as they get from a Mandolin historian's point of view. Not only are Flatirons a household name for mandolin players, but his company helped put Gibson back on the right path and eventually gave us Weber. Without Steve's drive to find and build better mandolins, we wouldn't have all the great instruments from three great companies. I am thrilled to have Zeta in the mandolin family and I think their niche will grow quickly.
    2018 Ratliff R5 "Country Boy"
    Mid-MO Model OO
    2002 Gibson F9 with radius fretboard.

  22. #17
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    2,074
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    We did a feature interview with Steve back in 2014 that's worth a revisit. When you understand the scope of what they perform, the work they're doing for major, well known, guitar (and other instrument) manufacturers you get a different sense of what the possibilities are. If they decide they want to turn on a dime and suddenly produce a variety or entire line of mandolins in volume, there's nothing to stand in the way, and little trouble finding major retailers familiar with him to carry them. Anyone that thinks Steve doesn't have a lot of fire in the belly hasn't spent a few minutes with him.

    Steve Carlson Tooling Up at ZETA

  23. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mandolin Cafe For This Useful Post:


  24. #18

    Default Re: “one announcement we're privy to that will rock the industry”

    I had a Zeta violin 20 or so years ago. It was a beautiful little metallic blue thing! Jeff Cook of the band Alabama was an early endorser back then -- keep in mind, Alabama had over 40 number one hits in the 80's and 90's.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •