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Thread: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

  1. #1

    Default Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    Couldn't resist and got myself an Eastman El Rey.
    Having a lot of fun with it, but, as mentioned by some, do notice slightly thinner sound from the E strings.

    Looking for advise on tweaking it for balance.

    Part of the problem is that the A strings sound loud and strident, so I plan to change the A string gauges from 15's to 14's, and maybe go to 11.5's for the E's.

    I've also raised the treble side of the pickup and that's helped some.

    Playing through Fishman Loudbox, Roland Cube40, and Fender Mustang amps.
    I also have a Baggs Para DI, would that be useful for EQing?

    I have other emando's too, (been suffering from EMAS), but am still a newb on the electric side.

    Any tips would be appreciated!
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User Rick Jones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    Other than the weak E strings, how are you liking the El Rey?? I keep gazing at those photos, trying to think about what I could peddle to raise funds for one. Anxious to see one in person!
    "I don't want to get technical or anything, but according to chemistry, alcohol actually IS a solution."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    Recently, the E string on my Eastman got very dull. I suspected my action had become lower, so I raised the bridge a tad. It made all the difference in the world. Shortly after, I took the instrument in for a setup, and the luthier told me the neck had developed almost no relief (i.e., almost flat). He tightened the truss rod, and said that even the height that I had raised the bridge to was pretty low, so he raised it further. He also lowered the action at the nut slots.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    I thought the pickup wasn't adjustable.
    Chief. Way up North. Gibson 1917 A model with pickup. JL Smith 5 string electric. 1929 National Triolian resonator mandolin with pickup. National RM 1 with pickup. Ovation Applause. Fender FM- 60 E 5 string electric (with juiced pickups). 1950's Gibson EM-200 electric mandolin. 1954 Gibson EM-150 electric mandolin. Custom made "Jett Pink" 5 string electric- Bo Diddley slab style. Jay Roberts Tiny Moore model 5 string electric.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Chief View Post
    I thought the pickup wasn't adjustable.
    The pickup is adjustable but the pole pieces aren't. Put an Almuse pickup on it and wire in a coil tap and you'll be good to go.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    Rick, it's gorgeous, the neck and playability is like an acoustic, so comfortable for me.
    The tone control is very effective too.

    Thanks Andrew, from everything I've read, it sounds like the Almuse is the way to go. Will the "4" models like the Moongazer and Classic work on 8 string mandos? And which would you recommend for clean tone?

    I'll be trying other tweaks first as I am reluctant to replace the pickup on a brand new mando. Hoping that toning down the A's will balance it enough as they overpower the D's as well as the E's.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandodork View Post
    Rick, it's gorgeous, the neck and playability is like an acoustic, so comfortable for me.
    The tone control is very effective too.

    Thanks Andrew, from everything I've read, it sounds like the Almuse is the way to go. Will the "4" models like the Moongazer and Classic work on 8 string mandos? And which would you recommend for clean tone?

    I'll be trying other tweaks first as I am reluctant to replace the pickup on a brand new mando. Hoping that toning down the A's will balance it enough as they overpower the D's as well as the E's.
    This must be your first electric. I've never known an electric player not make changes to their instrument. They always seem to be chasing some new sound.

    I use the MG-4HB from Almuse on all my instruments. I haven't ever had a complaint. He does have some that are hotter and cooler but you'd need to sort that out with Pete. He could give you a better idea based on your style of music.

  8. #8
    Registered User vwfye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    I have found that if I'd just have my pickups a little bit closer to the E-string than the G-string then it evens the sound quite a bit.
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  9. #9
    Créateur des e-mandos Soundfarmer Pete's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandodork View Post

    Part of the problem is that the A strings sound loud and strident, so I plan to change the A string gauges from 15's to 14's, and maybe go to 11.5's for the E's.
    Part of the problem is the difference in string gauges ........ since mandos are tuned in 5ths (rather than 4ths as guitars and ukes), there is a larger step between gauges.
    A lot of people don`t understand how pickups work and there`s so much rubbish on the net constantly being re-cycled about strings "disturbing the electromagnetic field" and such like.
    Go back to basic physics lessons at school...... a copper wire connected to a galvanometer.....wave a magnet over it and it will generate a pulse.
    What`s that got to do with it? ...... simple (don`t ask me for anything technical - 50 years since my schooldays) ....It`s the movement of a magnet relative to a conductor that generates a pulse.
    So, if you do the maths, say, a 10thou E and a 14thou A, for a given length of string, there is almost twice as much magnet vibrating over the conductor.
    There`s a simple reason why the coils are generally around the magnet.....convenience of packaging- the idea being to magnetise the string by induction....... Don`t believe me? ..... then how did those old lap steel pickups with the magnetised plate over the strings work? ......or come to that, Les Paul Recording humbuckers where the coils are on their sides either side of a central magnet.
    Food for thought?

  10. #10
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    I have a couple 4 string electrics , solved weak E output with CGDA tuning..

    IMO, high E is challenged by being, short, thin and low amplitude in the magnetic field,

    it does not vibrate far, from center.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    I played a buddies Eastman ElRay a few days ago and I liked it quite a lot. His did not have the issue that you're having, so I'm guessing it is a setup problem.
    Angle the pickup and heavier strings on the E are your best bet.
    Best, Stevo

  12. #12

    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    Thanks all!

    0.115's on the E's and 0.14's on the A's have balanced it out pretty well.
    Adjusting the pickup height helped a bit too.

    A's still seem a bit strong, but probably OCD more than anything.
    When is any mando ever 100% perfect?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    I'm curious to hear what the resistance is on the pickup. I can't believe that Lollar would under wrap a pickup. I've known several people to install them with great results.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Tweaks for weak sounding E strings

    I'd like to tell you what the resistance is, but beyond my skill set.

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