Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 44

Thread: Electric mandolin: Help!

  1. #1

    Default Electric mandolin: Help!

    I'm going to buy my first electric mandolin. What do you think, better the Epiphone's Mandobird or the Fender's Mandocaster? And in both cases, 4 or 8 strings?
    thanks.

  2. #2
    Is there a "talent" knob? taboot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    686

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    There have been a bunch of threads on this topic, try looking around a bit. Generally speaking it depends on what kind of music you want to play - loud "traditional" mandolin music is best played on an eight string, but if you want to get into sounds that blur the line between mandolins and electric guitars, four or five strings are better suited. Of course, that's one guy's opinion.

    Christian
    Christian McKee

    Member, The Big North Duo
    Musical Director, The Oregon Mandolin Orchestra

  3. #3
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    15,564

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Restating above reply ...

    Q with a Q: what music do you have in mind ? a need to amplify your 8 string playing in a loud stage environment is one indication .

    NB: real Fender Mandocasters are $2K+ as they have not made any for decades,
    and so are collectible priced.

    Encouraged to read up in the archived posts? there are many ..

    reading there you will find many have felt compelled to modify their M-Birds .
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  4. #4
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,663

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Plenty of information at emando.com. You will not find a 4-string Fender, either original or imported, that even approaches a Mandobird for affordability. There are 5-string and 8-string imported Fenders from a few years ago; they're decent instruments but a bit noisy. The Fenders and Epis use different pickups and don't sound that much alike.

    I'd aim a little higher and look at Eastwood, Blue Star, Jerman, Elloree, etc.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  5. #5

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Well, i'll play something more like rock than other musics.

  6. #6
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,663

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Then you probably want a 4- or 5-string, solid body. What's your budget?
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  7. #7

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Check out the Godin A8

  8. #8

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Then you probably want a 4- or 5-string, solid body. What's your budget?
    I'd like to spend less than 300 euros (i'm italian) that's 440$.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedNutsMandoPlayer View Post
    Check out the Godin A8
    Nice instruments....the most acoustic sounding and feeling emando I know of. I sold mine as I wanted something for very quiet late night practice and it was way too loud acoustically for that.....a decision I know I will regret. If you dropped a magnetic pick up in one I bet it would be a real "do it all" kinda instrument. Not what everyone is looking for in an electric but if an acoustic vibe does it for ya these are a lotta bang for the buck. Only caution I'd offer is the bridge is glued on and I found changing from the stock strings to my preferred TI flats impossible due to the radical intonation change.
    jeff bonny

  10. #10
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,663

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Italian, eh?

    I wonder if there might be any Fender FM-984s or SB-4s still floating around Europe. (You can read more about those at Emando.com.) They were fairly inexpensive in Europe, but most of the batch that hit the United States sold for collector prices.

    Also keep an eye on European eBay sites (UK in particular) for Alden Mandocasters ... very similar to the Eastwood Mandocaster, but distributed mostly in Europe as opposed to U.S./Canada for the Eastwood. They have 8 strings but you can always remove four of them.

    I just sold an American-built 4-string electric by Terry Bales to someone in Brescia ... but the problem in importing from America is that postage and import duty will consume a third of your budget.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  11. #11

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Nice.
    But i have some doubts about 5-strings. How do you play them? Are similar to a classic mandolin or entirely different?

  12. #12
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,663

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    It's like a liuto, only an octave higher! Or a tenor mandola plus a mandolin in one instrument.

    Some players mute the C string or skip over it when chording. Some learn mandola chords and leave the E string out. Some use partial 2- or 3-note chords all over the instrument and mute whatever strings they're not using at the moment. A few learn 5-string barre chords and do a lot of shifting.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  13. #13
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,663

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    I wonder if there are any vintage Eko electrics floating around Italy?
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  14. #14

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Ok, now the final question? Is an 8-string emando played with half string the same of a 4-string? (sound quality, comfort ecc.)

  15. #15
    In The Van Ben Milne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    To the left of the Southern Cross
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    yep if you buy own a 4 string and buy a pack, you get two sets....

    there's probably slightly different preferences as to particular gauges (light,med, heavy etc) but that is differs more with players preference anyway. opinion will vary about gauge and tone/playability etc

  16. #16
    Is there a "talent" knob? taboot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    686

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    I don't have any experience taking an 8 string instrument, and stringing it with 4 strings (I think that's what you're asking?) It sure seems like it would work just fine, I think the only issue might be the nut slots would be slightly to one side or the other. Small differences, but we're talking about small instruments...

    Christian
    Christian McKee

    Member, The Big North Duo
    Musical Director, The Oregon Mandolin Orchestra

  17. #17
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,663

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    It works for Jeff Bird and Johnny Gimble. You can't do a good mandolin tremolo with single strings, but if you're playing rock music, you probably won't need to worry about that.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  18. #18
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    15,564

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    I have a Gibson an EM150 like A 50 that has been partially converted to a CGDA 4 string electric,
    re slotting the replacement nut and a different bridge

    .. combined with a magnetic pickup and Control Pots installed ..

    re-centering the strings for equal spacing helps.. its worth the effort.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Bucks Co., PA
    Posts
    2,745

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    J Bovier emandos should be available in a few weeks. Don't know the exact price point but they look promising IMHO. If I was in the market, I'd wait for their arrival.
    Wye Knot

  20. #20
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,663

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    The OP is in Italy and has only 300 euros to spend. A JBovier will cost him twice that much by the time it gets to him.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Old Wave • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  21. #21
    In The Van Ben Milne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    To the left of the Southern Cross
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    converting an 8 string to a 4 string i would think that recut nut and probably a different bridge would be required in order for string spacings to feel right...

    lining up an Epi'bird 8 next to 4 the 4 string's neck is somewhat narrower - along with the fretboard and headstock of course..

    how many euros to the pound? RUMC has Aldens on ebay for 190pound, and clearwaters (appears to be the same bar cosmetics) even cheaper

    these would give you the feel of playing an 8 string mando, but output an electric sound...

  22. #22
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    15,564

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Risa in Germany still in business? they offered some interesting little electrics for modest prices.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  23. #23
    Registered User Ronny's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Landrevarzec (Brittany)
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Another solution :
    you can purchase in France (here) the Saga e-mando kit... It will cost 170€+10€ shipping, and keep some money to upgrade the pickup, if you want (I didnt do this, because the actual pickup is good enough for me), or to buy a great amp...
    Dιjΰ Vu 5s 'Clockwork Orange 2' Emando - 'Clockwork Orange 3' Octave Emando - Goodtime Tenor Banjo - Former Framus mandocello
    Kasuga M50-Godin A8-Martella bowlback-Dunhuang Liuqin-Thόringer walddoline-2 Bφhm waldzithers-electric waldzither-'Gelas' mandolin-domeback mandolin-Clearwater upgraded EMando

    "A gentleman is a man who can play the bagpipe and who does not."

  24. #24

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    The OP is in Italy and has only 300 euros to spend. A JBovier will cost him twice that much by the time it gets to him.
    Sorry, but what's the OP?

  25. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,389

    Default Re: Electric mandolin: Help!

    Duplicate post...see the next one...
    Chuck

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •