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Thread: New mann em-5

  1. #1
    Registered User mando.player's Avatar
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    My new Mann EM-5 arrived on Thursday. #I was hoping to post some pics earlier, but my wife took the camera out of town. #I only managed to get a few hours of plugged in time on the mandolin before having to leave town myself.

    Specs:
    Body/Neck: Mahogany/Maple
    Neck Radius: 12"
    Top: Curly Red Wood
    Scale: 14.5"
    Pickup: Dimarzio Pro-track Humbucker

    The overall fit and finish are excellent. #Being a hollow body, the unplugged tone is sweet and louder than I thought it would be. #Being away from my amp at the moment, I'm very satisfied playing unplugged. #When I did spend some time playing through my amp, I was surprised to how the plugged in tone was very close to the acoustic tone. #It sounds a bit more organic than a solid body.

    Jon Mann uses a 14.5" scale on his 5 strings and that keeps the C string a bit tighter. #I don't have a ton of experience with 5 strings, but that seems to do the trick. #I was worried that the E string would be too tight at that scale length, but that proved to be a non-issue. #Speaking of E strings, it comes through loud and clear when plugged in.

    Prior to placing my order, I spoke with Jon and Ted about the neck profile on the EM-5. #Both of them basically said to imagnie a Rigel neck, but chunkier to accommodate the extra string. #That's about as accurate a description as someone could have given me. #For my personal tastes, it's perfect.

    Enough blabbing...I need to go figure out some 5th string chords and get to know my latest acquisition. #Here are some pics...

    Charlie Jones

    Clark 2-point #39
    Rigel A Natural

  2. #2
    Registered User mando.player's Avatar
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    Two more pics...

    Charlie Jones

    Clark 2-point #39
    Rigel A Natural

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    Really a great looking instrument. Jon Mann is one of the few builders of e-mandos that creates an acceptable product. I have seen some that I feel would get a laugh at, or worse, the comment "it's so cute!" No, Mann creates respectable stuff. Good choice going with him. I think electric is the way to go.
    Without Love in the Dream it will never come true.

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    Registered User Ken Olmstead's Avatar
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    Charlie, that thing is drop dead gorgeous!!! Glad to hear the E string is a "non-issue." That is the 5 string E-mando of choice thats for sure! Congradulations, looks like it was worth the wait!!
    http://www.youtube.com/user/tenorbanjoguy

    "Gettin' by" with the imports!

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    I've got one that looks like its twin brother. Its become my weapon of choice when I'm reaching for an electric, beating out the Mandoblaster. I'm sure you'll have years of great playing with it. What amp are you playing it through? I see Jon has a SEM 5 in the classifieds, ready in a couple of weeks. If only I had a windfall of $1800 bucks, I'd jump on it. But then I'd have to deal with the wife situation, so I'll let somebody else have at it. Congrats on your new baby.
    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.

  6. #6
    Registered User mando.player's Avatar
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    I've got an Epiphone Valve Junior combo (5 watt tube). I've changed out the tubes to get a cleaner signal. I also have a Holy Grail Plus reverb pedal. It's a pretty simple, clean jazz tone setup.
    Charlie Jones

    Clark 2-point #39
    Rigel A Natural

  7. #7
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    Is this the first electric mandolin you will have spent time with? I hear there is a little adjustment period involved. Have you heard of this adjustment period?
    Without Love in the Dream it will never come true.

  8. #8
    Registered User mando.player's Avatar
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    I have a Mandbird 4 string. This is my first 5 string and it presents enough changes that it will take some getting used to.

    Electrics in general require a different touch than acoustics. In my case, anything less than clean playing on an electric results in a lot amplified clicks, scrapes and bumped strings. I'm sure the same things happen when I play my Rigel, you just don't hear them.
    Charlie Jones

    Clark 2-point #39
    Rigel A Natural

  9. #9
    Registered User mando.player's Avatar
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    I've been testing out new 5 watt amps for the Mann. My Epi Valve Junior is a little too dirty and I'm looking for something a little cleaner.

    So far I've tested the Fender Champ 600 re-issue and the Peavey Royal 8. The Champ has the clean tone I'm looking for and I love the looks of it. Unfortunately, the volume is a little low. I've got the Peavey now and it's got more controls on it. Definitely louder, now I just need to see if I can dial in something close to the Fender. The Fender only has a volume knob. Where the Peavey has Gain, Tone and a Master Volume.

    They use different power tubes, so I may not be able to get the exact tone. Hopefully I'll make up my mind tonight and one goes back. They are priced the same, so it comes down to taste.

    I've been playing the snot out of the EM-5 and I'm having a lot of fun. The extra scale length is still a bit of a challenge, but nothing I'm worried about. With an electric that I WANT TO PLAY more, it should be interesting to see how it effects my acoustic playing and technique.

    Speaking of technique, the string break on the tail end of the EM-5 is pretty sharp. It leaves a lot of clearance for your picking hand. The end result is no planting and little brushing. It's an easy player.
    Charlie Jones

    Clark 2-point #39
    Rigel A Natural

  10. #10
    Registered User Ken Olmstead's Avatar
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    Charlie,

    Check these two amps out if you can:


    Super Champ XD


    VibroChamp XD

    I especially liked the Super Champ and will probably buy one. Aside from an incredible price the sounds available were great and it had lots of clean headroom! Amazing what a second 6V6 in a push/pull configuration can do! Amazing value. All of the effects were very useable. It sort of starts where the Epi leaves off. 10" speaker and very compact unit. It is the perfect budget tube amp IMO. Configuration is more like an old tube Princeton.



    http://www.youtube.com/user/tenorbanjoguy

    "Gettin' by" with the imports!

  11. #11

    Default Re: New mann em-5

    That redwood EM-5 is a gorgeous instrument. I placed my order for an EM-4 just like it, except I requested a black pick guard. Now the wait begins!

  12. #12
    Registered User mando.player's Avatar
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    Default Re: New mann em-5

    It's worth it. I really wanted an ebony pickguard, but Jon didn't think it would hold up. The pics above are brighter than usual. In reality, the color is a bit darker.
    Charlie Jones

    Clark 2-point #39
    Rigel A Natural

  13. #13
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    Default Re: New mann em-5

    Charlie,
    Nice looking mando. I've got a tune on jazzmando.com that might be of interest to you. Listed under Tips and Tricks. It's a chord melody arrangement of Christmas Time Is Here, tab and recording.
    Cheers,
    Shelby

  14. #14

    Default Re: New mann em-5

    A bit darker will not be a problem. I know it will look great when Jon is finished with it!

    -Frank

  15. #15

    Default Re: New mann em-5

    I've had an EM-4 for about a year and a half. I play it through a Fender De Lux. It's so much fun to play!
    I live in Chicago the home of a million blues jams. I show up with my red EM-4 (Folks generally don't know what to make of it) and blow out the Strats.
    Great tone and playability. I have Jazzmando flat wounds on it and it sounds so warm.
    You're gonna love it!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: New mann em-5

    I've got one of these beauties too. Jonathan does a great job.
    It took me a long time to loose my phobia of bigger watt amps for clean tone. If you appreciate the all-tube tone, the 15-20 watt amps have some good clean headroom at lower volumes, but they will dirty up quickly. I have an Epi Junior head and it looses it's clean pretty quick. I succumbed and bought an 2 x EL-34 based 40-watt amp and the clean is so nice and juicy. The amp sounds full even turned down low where the clean is, and I can still turn it up and maintain the clean tone. The 4 x EL84 based 30-watt Peavey Classic or Delta Blues are relatively inexpensive with great clean too.
    Wye Knot

  17. #17
    Luthierus Amateurius crazymandolinist's Avatar
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    Default Re: New mann em-5

    I love my marshall mg for my emando, very crisp and clean.
    "The Beauty of Grace is that it makes life Unfair" - Relient K

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