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Thread: Eight Is Not Enough

  1. #1
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Eight Is Not Enough

    The extended range of five courses, along with the richer tone and attack of doubled strings, means I can make a full sound in just a trio setting. Here I revisit a favorite Keith Jarrett tune from the 70s.

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    The viola is proof that man is not rational

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    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eight Is Not Enough

    That is really nice, Tom!

  4. #3
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eight Is Not Enough

    My five course instruments offer extended range and great sound. I have 2 five string violas, a 10 string mandola, a 10 string Hardanger viola and a 10 string mandocello.

    None of these require fan frets, staggered saddles or other workaround. Just semi-custom string sets which are easy enough to put together.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Eight Is Not Enough

    10 string mndln and citterns for me too.

  6. #5
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eight Is Not Enough

    I do have company in acoustic players, but I find the doubled strings essential for electric playing. It is a mystery, to me, that folks will play an eight-string electric, or a five-string, but not a ten-string. (Lack of offerings is of course an issue.)

    In my recordings the only effect is overdrive. No chorus, only a bit of reverb added in production.

    Half the string length of a guitar, one needs twice the strings. A bit of bending vibrato and the sound swells. I find it easier to do slides on the doubled courses than on singles, so a major pitch bend is not usually my goal. I can do that by damping one string with the picking hand if necessary.
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    The viola is proof that man is not rational

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    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eight Is Not Enough

    Sounds great Tom! Love the tune and the way you execute it.

    But I'm not giving up my 5 string emandos.

    Daniel

  8. #7
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eight Is Not Enough

    Thanks for listening, folks.

    Lots of players enjoy their single-course emandos.

    I wish we had a tiny fraction of the options for electric guitar. For example, an ES335 clone would be cool. I would enjoy a sweeter high range, and the hint of acoustic response in that design might do it. One can find an archtop equivalent, but those are inherently pricey, and lack sustain to my ears.

    Another feature I would seek is a larger coil for the stacked-single design. Only Steve Ryder makes a 5-pole stack, and they are kind of skinny, like a Strat. Balancing bridge and neck pickups is a goal, and the way it happens on a Tele is the neck p.u. is tiny, and the bridge one is fat. Otherwise, you have set very different heights.

    A wider coil would yield the P90 or Jazzmaster sweeter tone. In my experience, side-by-side humbuckers are so midrange-heavy they lose transparency and subtlety.

    I also prefer the slightly long 14.25" scale on my axe, which matches the scale on Buchanan 10-string acoustic mandos. It is still mando-playable, with adequate C string, and allows lots of choice of fingering and chord voicing.
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  9. #8
    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eight Is Not Enough

    I'm with you on the scale length. My Arrow G5 has a 15" scale length and my JBovier a standard 14". I much prefer the extra inch. It makes a big difference to the feel and reach.

    I'm (probably idly) wondering if I should ask a luthier to make me a longer neck for the JBovier.

    However, I do prefer the JB53's on the JBovier to the Kent Armstrong on the Arrow. The JB53's are fat single coils resting side by side on the body. The middle of the three position switch turns on both, at which point they act as a humbucker. Each JB53 is actually hotter than the pickup I've got in my Esquire.

    The Armstrong is a little weaker and for some reason doesn't run through effects all that well.


    Daniel

  10. #9
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eight Is Not Enough

    15" would be too long for me. I can barely reach some voicings and would not give them up. 14" feels very slightly cramped but otherwise ok. I asked Pete Mallinson to use 14.25" to match the Buchanan scale.

    The value of the more transparent single-coil sound is that at the alto/soprano range of mandolin the strong midrange of humbuckers buries the other overtones.
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  11. #10
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eight Is Not Enough

    5 course is where Fan Fret fingerboards help - longer for the low C, & shorter for the high treble E
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  12. #11
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eight Is Not Enough

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    5 course is where Fan Fret fingerboards help - longer for the low C, & shorter for the high treble E
    I don't find a need. As I noted, I need the mandolin scale length to reach my chord voicings.
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  13. #12
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Eight Is Not Enough

    OK, this is your thread, you started..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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