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Thread: Mandobird stuff

  1. #1
    Registered User John L's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Mandobird stuff

    A couple of things I have learned about my Mandobird IV:

    - They are great fun - most fun per $ I have ever bought (in an instrument anyway)

    - The often mentioned e string problem was not something I have noticed at all - maybe Epiphone solved this? I think the e string I was using in mandolin tuning was fairly heavy, perhaps an 11

    - Really like mandola tuning right now. Found a cheap string solution for mandola tuning - D'Addario Chromes Light Guage ECG25 - a flatwound electric guitar set, I used the 12-24W-32W-42W (about $12USD)

    - Bought a small VOX DA15 amp with built-in effects - also great fun - will buy something bigger and better, but this little amp has some great amp models and effects, and can be foot switched between manual and two memories for three distinct sounds on the fly. The 30W or 50W Valvetronix are really nice for the money.

    - All the hard cases I have found for a Mandobird cost as much as the mandolin. I am using Levy's mando gig bag that has way more padding than the one that comes with a Mandobird.

    I am great fan of these little instruments. I will probably buy a better 4 string, or more likely a 5 string, some day, but this has been a really nice acquisition for me.
    Johneeaaddgg

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    Where have you found the hard cases? I'm kinda wanting one...
    Last edited by Mandophocles; Feb-28-2009 at 4:50pm. Reason: I'm stupid...

  3. #3
    Registered User John L's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    A company called "Access" makes one, but as I said, the price is not far off the price of the Mandobird. There are other rectangular cases at $125-150. I think I will keep using the Levy's gig bag and replace the mando if that doesn't protect it. The instrument is almost disposable. I paid $150 for mine NOS.
    Johneeaaddgg

  4. #4
    Registered User John L's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by John L View Post
    A couple of things I have learned about my Mandobird IV:

    - They are great fun - most fun per $ I have ever bought (in an instrument anyway)

    - The often mentioned e string problem was not something I have noticed at all - maybe Epiphone solved this? I think the e string I was using in mandolin tuning was fairly heavy, perhaps an 11

    - Really like mandola tuning right now. Found a cheap string solution for mandola tuning - D'Addario Chromes Light Guage ECG25 - a flatwound electric guitar set, I used the 12-24W-32W-42W (about $12USD)

    - Bought a small VOX DA15 amp with built-in effects - also great fun - will buy something bigger and better, but this little amp has some great amp models and effects, and can be foot switched between manual and two memories for three distinct sounds on the fly. The 30W or 50W Valvetronix are really nice for the money.

    - All the hard cases I have found for a Mandobird cost as much as the mandolin. I am using Levy's mando gig bag that has way more padding than the one that comes with a Mandobird.

    I am great fan of these little instruments. I will probably buy a better 4 string, or more likely a 5 string, some day, but this has been a really nice acquisition for me.
    Update - I bought a spare set of strings as above today for $9.99 Canadian or less than $9 USD
    Johneeaaddgg

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    Just received my mandobird today. As has been consistently reported in various threads, the bridge will need to be adjusted for intonation at the 12th fret--way too sharp!

    Also the action seems kind of high. An inspection slip that came with it says that the action is 1/64 at first fret and 4 at the 12th (but then it also claimed the intonation had been checked). What have other people been adjusting theirs to?

    Every review I've read says to change out the strings right away. It could be that it has too heavy a gauge. So far the recommendations on this site for the jazzmando strings are consistently good.

    It also appears that a set of electric guitar strings could be used, you'd just waste two strings. That is, if I'm in a hurry and wanted to just stop in the local guitar shop and buy a set to try tomorrow. Any recommendations there?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    Okay, kiddos. My mandobird has a new trick... When the E strings are plucked (open--fretting kills the problem), the bottom (outside) one sounds really brassy and has about 2 seconds worth of sustain... Birdy need a new nut? The bridge is fine, and it's not fret buzz. Should I try to file the nut down a hair and add some graphite, or is a new nut the way to go?

    (Yeah, I know they're cheap and disposable, but mine's modded and has sentimental value, so I might as well fix and keep 'er. Plus--I'm an Arkansan... We suffer from the "Well hell, I can fix 'at!" syndrome. "Fix" is can also be exchanged for "make", though our home projects sometimes are found wanting...)

  7. #7
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    Yep. Sounds like a bad nut slot. Unless you're real comfortable with slotting them yourself, you should take it in to someone.

    OTOH, you could buy some nut blanks, a set of files, and learn the skill!

    Daniel

  8. #8
    Registered User John L's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Howard View Post
    Just received my mandobird today. As has been consistently reported in various threads, the bridge will need to be adjusted for intonation at the 12th fret--way too sharp!

    Also the action seems kind of high. An inspection slip that came with it says that the action is 1/64 at first fret and 4 at the 12th (but then it also claimed the intonation had been checked). What have other people been adjusting theirs to?

    Every review I've read says to change out the strings right away. It could be that it has too heavy a gauge. So far the recommendations on this site for the jazzmando strings are consistently good.

    It also appears that a set of electric guitar strings could be used, you'd just waste two strings. That is, if I'm in a hurry and wanted to just stop in the local guitar shop and buy a set to try tomorrow. Any recommendations there?
    For MANDOLA tuning try D'Addario Chromes Light Guage ECG25 - a flatwound electric guitar set. The set includes 12-24W-32W-42W. At $9 a set, throw away the two you don't need. I will probably try the Jazzmando set sometime, but this works for me and is both readily available and cost effective. AND you really should try mandola tuning.
    Last edited by John L; Mar-21-2009 at 7:58am. Reason: added last sentence
    Johneeaaddgg

  9. #9
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    The weak E-string problem can be fixed by re-wiring with 500K pots and a .022 cap. This would also give you the opportunity to go to a better pickup, a "star" grounding system and shielding for the electical components. There is lots of info on electric guitar sites on how to do all that. It is not terribly expensive, but it's a lot of detailed work.

  10. #10
    Registered User flatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    I'm getting a Mandobird iv 'soon as I can find one in stock at any of the local (UK) internet stores.
    The "weak e-string" may or may not become apparent once I plug it in!

    Be interesting to know how many mods this guy did? His M'bird sounds fantastic! Look at him here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwCkEHpjG8U

    Wish me luck!
    Chris; London, England

    http://www.myspace.com/mandolinjack

    http://uk.youtube.com/user/MandolinJackFlatt



    (Furch MF23, Gibson A0, Hoyer archtop, a nameless tenor, Abbot banjo ..
    + some guitars)

  11. #11
    Registered User John L's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    I wonder if something has been done to correct the e-string issue out of the box? I didn't notice it in mandolin tuning, and it certainly isn't a problem in mandola tuning. I had a fairly heavy e-string, a 10 I think, and using a 12 now in mandola tuning. The mass of the heavier string may be helping.
    Johneeaaddgg

  12. #12
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/cgi-bin/...uery=retrieval

    Mando IV in the classifieds.

    Daniel

  13. #13
    Registered User flatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by DNestler View Post
    http://www.mandolincafe.com/cgi-bin/...uery=retrieval

    Mando IV in the classifieds.

    Daniel
    Shame ...... I live in the UK!
    Chris; London, England

    http://www.myspace.com/mandolinjack

    http://uk.youtube.com/user/MandolinJackFlatt



    (Furch MF23, Gibson A0, Hoyer archtop, a nameless tenor, Abbot banjo ..
    + some guitars)

  14. #14
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandobird stuff

    Jack,
    The seller does not specify U.S. only shipping. Perhaps a set up and some extra hardware is worth the shipping cost to the UK. I would check my local shops (if I were you) and get an estimate on a set up before rejecting the thought of the above purchase. Might be worth the effort.

    Daniel

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