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Thread: Pickup Suggestions Please

  1. #1

    Default Pickup Suggestions Please

    I am building an octave mandolin, flat top. I will use it for gigs, so I want to add a pickup that has a volume control that I can mount on the instrument. Most times, my band doesn't have a sound man, so I want to be able to turn my volume up for solos, then back down for backup playing. I have been using a mic, stepping up and back to control volume, but that gets aggravating in a loud room.

    Any suggestions on what would be best for this? I am about to start bracing the top, so this is a good time to get parts ordered so I'll have everything before I close the box.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pickup Suggestions Please

    JJB P-330 with volume control
    http://jjb-electronics.com/prestige-330.html

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pickup Suggestions Please

    Quote Originally Posted by stevojack665 View Post
    JJB P-330 with volume control
    http://jjb-electronics.com/prestige-330.html
    Looks interesting. have you used one? Didn't see any specs on the website, but I like the hidden volume control, and the price looks good.

  4. #4
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup Suggestions Please

    Passive volume pots, even with an audio taper, do not work near as well as a volume control after the preamp. For years I used this K&K Pure preamp for gigs. Gives you eq and volume controls close at hand, after the preamp gain. Much more effective.

    I now use the RedEye because it is simpler, runs on phantom power and IMO sounds a little better. I still bring the trusty K&K along as a backup/loaner.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pickup Suggestions Please

    You might consider coming out of the preamp and into a foot controlled volume pedal, then into the P.A.
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  6. #6
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Pickup Suggestions Please

    Piezos are popular as the cost of the wafer is cheap, then a Preamp improves the signal strength and character..



    I opted for a Schertler passive dyn M * as a dynamic contact microphone , any board channel mic Pre amp will do .

    and as it is a hot signal , being a contact Mic, an impedance matching transformer works plugging into a Guitar amp..

    Installed.. https://secure.schertler.com/public/...resocoil-2.jpg

    * this one needs phantom power .. so not same as above..


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  7. #7

    Default Re: Pickup Suggestions Please

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I am leaning toward a piezo, either the K&K or the jjb. Will look also at a preamp with volume control, like the one suggested on a belt clip. i have a Schertler Dyn-M, it got a short in it and failed on me. Can't trust it any more, maybe someday I can find someone to fix it.

    As for now, which of the pickups is the best option for an octave mandolin? I noticed on the sites they have 2 and 3 pad versions, some for guitars, 12 strings, etc. This will go on an octave mandolin, so in a lower range than my standard Weber. It will also have a flat top, with guitar style pin bridge. I'd like to get something ordered so I can plan the install. With any luck, I may be ready to close the box next week.

    Thanks again for all the help,
    Phil

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pickup Suggestions Please

    I have a JJB installed in a guitar and recently installed K&K in a friend's mandolin. The K&K sounded fine with just a standard DI into a Loudbox Mini when we soundchecked the installation. The consensus from all the threads I've read on SBTs is that JJB sounds just as good at half the price but K&K has a higher output. In either case, models made specifically for mandolins have 2 transducers of a larger diameter, guitar models 3 smaller transducers. Since the frequency range of the OM is really more in the guitar range you may get a better sound using transducers designed for guitars. In either case, they get superglued inside the top under the bridge. Double stick tape is reported to let go over time. Installing after the fact in an octave mandolin would be a challenge because the sound hole likely isn't big enough to get your arm inside the instrument.

    As for volume control, the soundhole mounted version might be more finicky to constantly adjust during performance. Volume pots that are before the amp tend to be a tone suck when turned down. As a builder and a player, I've read A LOT about transducers and there is a great love for the K&K/Redeye matchup. The Redeye does have an adjustable boost but not a mute. It has an effects loop that you can put tuner in for muting (or a volume pedal). I hope you'll post pictures of your build.

  9. #9
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup Suggestions Please

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I am leaning toward a piezo, either the K&K or the jjb. Will look also at a preamp with volume control, like the one suggested on a belt clip.....As for now, which of the pickups is the best option for an octave mandolin? I noticed on the sites they have 2 and 3 pad versions, some for guitars, 12 strings, etc. This will go on an octave mandolin.....It will also have a flat top, with guitar style pin bridge.
    I've installed the twin head JJB PPS 220 in everything from fiddles to all mando family instruments, banjos, resonators, guitars and double bass. Works fine in all applications I've tried. On a pin bridge in an OM there may not be a lot of room on the bridge plate so I would recommend the smaller size. IIRC Jessie offers a regular size of 20 mm and a smaller 15 mm. That's the one I've used in 4 fiddles.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Pickup Suggestions Please

    Here are a few pics of the build. Coming along nicely, my first octave mandolin.

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  12. #11
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup Suggestions Please

    My Mendel flat top octave has a K&K Twin and I run it through a Red-Eye Twin and then into the main sound system with an XLR. The Red-Eye has a boost for solos. If you get the Red-Eye Twin and just don't plug anything into the second channel, it also acts as a pedal mute. You just switch it to the unused channel and there is no output. It sounds better than any piezo set up I've ever tried and I have tried a few. If I'm running it into one of my Fishman amps, I don't use the Red-Eye, though. It seems to sound just as good with the Fishman electronics and it is less hassle.

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