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Thread: Pickup options?

  1. #1
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Pickup options?

    The JJB clamp-on external pickup I got a while back isn't working out. It sounds fine, but the mando finish looks a little bit worse every time I remove the little round things you stick on at the bridge.

    So I'm thinking of selling the JJB and getting a piezo or transducer pickup that attaches differently (and that maybe isn't as ugly as what I have).

    One brand that shows up online a lot and has a lot of models is Adeline. Are they any good? Do you have preferred models?

    And what other brands and models are worth considering?

    Thanks!

    cb
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    I like K&K, and prefer them under the top. I am not familiar with Adeline.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  4. #3
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I like K&K, and prefer them under the top. I am not familiar with Adeline.
    Yeah, they're great. That's what my last mando had and what my current dread and two resos have. But I want to be done with drilling out endpins, so I'm hoping to figure out an agreeable external solution.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Pickup options?

    [As offered before] I got the Schertler Dyn M, as a contact Mic stick on ..
    their output is that of a dynamic Mic. XLR.

    DYN UNI passive is the current equivalent (P48 version needs a phantom power input)

    https://www.schertler.com/en-US/musi...al-use/dyn-uni ..

    the passive dynamic is hot enough output to use an Impedance matching transformer,
    that is XLR in & TS 1/4" out, so, combines the minus & ground,
    Like a electric guitar, so I've used other people's guitar amps ..

    A friend played flute into a SM58, with a similar matching transformer,
    to his Fender tube amp all the time..

    IMHO, the phantom power requirement complicates things ..

    (Yea price has gone up in past decade or so & there is the CHF>$ conversion rate )

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Pickup options?

    The Wooden coin looking Dean Markley is a stick on piezo , that I have no experience .
    https://deanmarkley.com/collections/...guitar-pickups

    probably better looking than my own soldering of a Piezo disc.
    epoxying the cable end down , and wiring to an inline jack..

    Piezos are pretty simple . a wafer on a brass backing ..
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  9. #6
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    I've mounted JJB pickups internally in over 2 dozen instruments, from fiddles to ukuleles to standard mandos, resonator mandolins, banjos and a banjolin, mandola, octave mandolins, mandocello, many guitars and an upright bass. Most have been installed and gigged with for over 10 years. Zero failures.

    They work great with an external preamp/DI or straight into a HI Z input on an amp or PA.

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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Yeah, they're great. That's what my last mando had and what my current dread and two resos have. But I want to be done with drilling out endpins, so I'm hoping to figure out an agreeable external solution.
    The tapastring jack eliminates the need to drill and works well so you can have the pickup inside.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  13. #8
    Worlds ok-ist mando playr Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    I've been using the LR Baggs Radius through a LR Baggs Acoustic Para D.I. with good results for years. It sticks on the top of my Weber and the jack is attached on a clamp (both removable).

    Once however when taking it off the sticker took a flake of finish with it though.

    LR Baggs Mandolin Pickup with external Jack Mount https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B001E95K...ing=UTF8&psc=1
    Worlds okay-ist mandolin player

    Relative newcomer

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  15. #9
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Yeah, they're great. That's what my last mando had and what my current dread and two resos have. But I want to be done with drilling out endpins, so I'm hoping to figure out an agreeable external solution.
    Here's a thread I started years ago with pictures of options beyond the standard endpin location for output jacks.

    My first pickup install used a carpenter jack, which I was dissatisfied with for several reasons.
    Last edited by Mandobart; Nov-28-2021 at 6:04pm.

  16. #10
    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    I have one mando with an endpin jack (drilled out) and one with a carpenter jack mount. I much prefer the endpin jack, far less of a bother. If you really don't want to drill, the tapastring looks like an option.
    -Dave
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    Way too many other instruments

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  18. #11

    Default Re: Pickup options?

    I would advise against the Shertler. It has good tone, but has the same issue of sticking to the instrument with an adhesive and scratching and messing up the finish. That and the chord is weird and it fell off in the middle of gigs a few times. I ended up with a k and K and drilled, which has been pretty good until the last few gigs where i had some issues I think related to my pre-amp.

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  20. #12

    Default Re: Pickup options?

    I have successfully used a Schertler Dyn-M P48 for several years now with NO finish marring issues. I had a Carvin PA (200W) that had phantom power (48V) and when that died, I bought a $50 phantom power box (very small size) that gets zip-tied to my mic stand (I am also the vocalist). With that setup no pre-amp is need and you can run directly into any acoustic amp or PA. Currently I am using a battery-powered Roland Cube Street EX and get great sound for both the mandolin and the vocal mic.

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  22. #13
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    I've mounted JJB pickups internally in over 2 dozen instruments, from fiddles to ukuleles to standard mandos, resonator mandolins, banjos and a banjolin, mandola, octave mandolins, mandocello, many guitars and an upright bass. Most have been installed and gigged with for over 10 years. Zero failures.

    They work great with an external preamp/DI or straight into a HI Z input on an amp or PA.
    Yup! As I said in post 1, it works fine. The problem is that the sticky round pickups remove the mandolin's finish.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    The tapastring jack eliminates the need to drill and works well so you can have the pickup inside.
    Yes, I know. My last mando had a Tapastring jack.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  23. #14
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Wilson View Post
    I've been using the LR Baggs Radius through a LR Baggs Acoustic Para D.I. with good results for years. It sticks on the top of my Weber and the jack is attached on a clamp (both removable).

    Once however when taking it off the sticker took a flake of finish with it though.

    LR Baggs Mandolin Pickup with external Jack Mount https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B001E95K...ing=UTF8&psc=1
    Yes, the JJB is the same type of pickup. And like yours, mine mars the mandolin's finish. That's why I want to get something else.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  24. #15
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sheets View Post
    I have one mando with an endpin jack (drilled out) and one with a carpenter jack mount. I much prefer the endpin jack, far less of a bother. If you really don't want to drill, the tapastring looks like an option.
    Yes, I've had several endpin jacks. They're good. It's not what I'm looking for now, though.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    Any thoughts on whether the adhesive you use for stuck on internal 'hot dot' style pickups affects the sound?

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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    The K&k Definity might be worth a look, since it's a film type piezo that slips under a bridge foot, rather than using adhesive.

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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    For me there are two sounds using piezo pickups. One is under the saddle, or in this case in the bridge (Fishman)or unnder the foot of the bridge (K&K). The other is under the top, or stuck on the top on the outside. Pickups that are in the saddle or under the saddle, guitar or mandolin, all sound the same and are not as acoustic sounding as a pickup mounted on the top, inside or outside. Bridge pickups will get louder, but have a sound that is between electric and acoustic. I can hear the difference easily. A pickup mounted on the top will sound more like the instrument, so a better instrument will sound better. A bridge pickup will sound the same on any instrument, use a junker it will sound just as good. For me this limits the kind of pickup I am willing to use. I looked up the Adeline and it is simply a piezo in a box with the jack. I wouldn't want to use double stick tape unless it was not going to be taken off. One pickup will not give the quality of sound that two will, even in a hard to find sweet spot. There is such a thing as a contact microphone, it still sticks on the top and is of varying quality. I have used the Schertler, and it sounded ok, but would not get very loud without problems and a change in sound. What you get here is simply my opinion, so a grain of salt is recommended.
    Last edited by pops1; Nov-29-2021 at 10:27am.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  31. #19

    Default Re: Pickup options?

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    For me there are two sounds using piezo pickups. I have used the Schertler, and it sounded ok, but would not get very loud without problems and a change in sound. What you get here is simply my opinion, so a grain of salt is recommended.
    Your assessment of piezo positioning makes sense. It is similar to the pickups on electric guitars. The pickup close to the bridge has a more electric (non-acoustic) sound than the pickup farther away. Think of the two pickups on a Telecaster, for example.

    As for the Schertler, can I assume that you only used the older version of the Schertler? That one required a pre-amp to boost the signal; that is my understanding. The P-48 version uses phantom power which greatly boosts the signal and nullifies the need for a pre-amp as it produces a low impedance output.

    And the non-stick putty doesn't mar the surface finish.

    Whenever someone asks for pickup advice or options, we seem to get the same people promoting the K&K and dissing the Schertler. The advantage of the Dyn-M, P-48 for me are:
    1. Not gluing stuff underneath the sound board, which likely dampens the vibration of that spruce top.
    2. Not drilling out the bottom of the mandolin.
    3. Not spending money on a pre-amp that requires fiddling around to smack the quack.

    Stick the Dyn-M on top when you need it and go truly acoustic when you don't need it. The Dyn-M is a contact mic so it does dampen the vibration a bit; however, it is a mic so it picks up sound waves and not just the mechanical vibration. Sound waves = acoustic; mechanical vibration via piezo crystal >> signal processing >> maybe sound acoustic, sort of.

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  33. #20

    Default Re: Pickup options?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Vwaal View Post
    Your assessment of piezo positioning makes sense. It is similar to the pickups on electric guitars. The pickup close to the bridge has a more electric (non-acoustic) sound than the pickup farther away. Think of the two pickups on a Telecaster, for example.

    As for the Schertler, can I assume that you only used the older version of the Schertler? That one required a pre-amp to boost the signal; that is my understanding. The P-48 version uses phantom power which greatly boosts the signal and nullifies the need for a pre-amp as it produces a low impedance output.

    And the non-stick putty doesn't mar the surface finish.

    Whenever someone asks for pickup advice or options, we seem to get the same people promoting the K&K and dissing the Schertler. The advantage of the Dyn-M, P-48 for me are:
    1. Not gluing stuff underneath the sound board, which likely dampens the vibration of that spruce top.
    2. Not drilling out the bottom of the mandolin.
    3. Not spending money on a pre-amp that requires fiddling around to smack the quack.

    Stick the Dyn-M on top when you need it and go truly acoustic when you don't need it. The Dyn-M is a contact mic so it does dampen the vibration a bit; however, it is a mic so it picks up sound waves and not just the mechanical vibration. Sound waves = acoustic; mechanical vibration via piezo crystal >> signal processing >> maybe sound acoustic, sort of.
    Dude, we get it, you like the Schertler, that is great. No one is "dissing it". For some people the adhesive and pressing it on every time causes damage to the finish, which is exactly what the OP says he wants to avoid. Maybe read the post and answer what the OP wants, not what your personal preference is or what works best for you.

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  35. #21
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    While the Schertler is a contact mic, finding the ONE place that is a sweet spot is not easy and may not really be possible. Sound waves take distance to focus, having a "mic" right on top of the instrument doesn't seem to me to really be amplifying anything acoustically. If it is it is only amplifying a one inch space, not the whole top. I am not dissing the Schertler, but bringing up what I see. Having two places to gather sound is better than one in my opinion, unless the one is a mic away from the top and gathering the sound of the entire top. The K&K for guitar uses three discs, way better than the old days of one, or the cheaper way to amplify using one disc. Some sound folks for recording use two mic's for an instrument, capturing near and far sound from the top. I maybe have to buy a pickup and a preamp, but they are both less $$$ than the Schertler so I don't see that as an argument. I also play places where the PA may have phantom power, but not 48v. Now you have to also buy and carry a phantom power supply. I get good sound, very representative of my instrument, with the K&K, don't think I will change anything.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  37. #22
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    they were cheaper 15 years ago ... the competitive nature of Music as a performing business,

    has me seeing sellers of the equipment are the only ones who are happy to sere me.
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  39. #23
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Beer View Post
    The K&k Definity might be worth a look, since it's a film type piezo that slips under a bridge foot, rather than using adhesive.
    There's not much space between the bridge and the top.

    It's starting to sound like I should just try a different adhesive. Next time I'm out and about, I'll get a package of those little blue stickies and see if that works.

    I'll also try talking the people I play with into letting me use a mic. (I have one I originally bought for miking instruments, but I've found that folks with PAs like pickups.)
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    Charlie you could maybe use a clip on mic on the mandolin. You wouldn't be glued to a mic stand and the folks you are playing with may be less bothered since it's kind of like a pickup, kind of.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  42. #25
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    Default Re: Pickup options?

    You should also check out the Myers feather pickup:

    https://www.myerspickups.com/pickups/the-feather-series

    It is very easy to attach/remove and sounds great. You could run it directly into a mixer or a small amp. I have been running it directly into a small Schertler amp and inserting a volume pedal into the amp to get louder for leads.

    Alan
    acinva

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