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Thread: String sound with distortion

  1. #1
    Rocker/Scientist at heart TonyEarth's Avatar
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    Default String sound with distortion

    There is something that happens when I have distortion with my mandolin. I think the top three strings play fine, but the e string has this weird sound as if it had some sort of effect on it, instead of a solid note. i played a few notes on e too. Is there a reason for this and a way to fix it?
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    Your pal, Tony

  2. #2
    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: String sound with distortion

    I have no idea what's causing that effect, but I LOVE it!
    Last edited by Ed Goist; Jun-28-2011 at 3:38pm.
    c.1965 Harmony Monterey H410 Mandolin
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  3. #3
    Rocker/Scientist at heart TonyEarth's Avatar
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    Default Re: String sound with distortion

    did the mp3 attachment work? it didn't for me.
    Your pal, Tony

  4. #4
    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: String sound with distortion

    Hi Tony: Yes, the mp3 attachment opened fine for me. I didn't even need to save the file first, just clicked to open. Played great (more than once), and the sound quality was very good too.
    c.1965 Harmony Monterey H410 Mandolin
    "What a long, strange trip it's been..." - Robert Hunter
    "Life is too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde
    Think Hippie Thoughts...
    Gear: The Current Cast of Characters

  5. #5
    Rocker/Scientist at heart TonyEarth's Avatar
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    Default Re: String sound with distortion

    oh well that's good. i'll see if i change the strings and check the amp settings, although i'm not sure that's the problem. this kind of sound makes me hesitant to play on the e string when i have distortion on. also, it happens through any one or both pickups.
    Your pal, Tony

  6. #6
    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: String sound with distortion

    Jeff Cowherd recommended that I keep the tone pots maxed on my JBovier EMC4 when playing it through my Line 6 Spider 75 amp. He said that most amps (since they're built for guitars) can produce odd tones on the E-string/course if the mandolin's pick-up tone pot is down. Might that be the problem?
    c.1965 Harmony Monterey H410 Mandolin
    "What a long, strange trip it's been..." - Robert Hunter
    "Life is too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde
    Think Hippie Thoughts...
    Gear: The Current Cast of Characters

  7. #7
    Rocker/Scientist at heart TonyEarth's Avatar
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    Default Re: String sound with distortion

    oh i'll see about that. well if by maxed out you mean to the right, the darker tone, then that worked out for me.
    Last edited by TonyEarth; Jun-28-2011 at 4:19pm.
    Your pal, Tony

  8. #8
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: String sound with distortion

    The E is trying to be two pitches at once, and the distortion only exposes that. I guess you are making sure the other strings are damped, since they my ring with a nearby harmonic pitch. That is sometimes tricky to control, but this sounds like another issue. I'm guessing a bad string, but it could be the design of the mandolin.

    I remember this was expected on the lower strings of a Stratocaster, when played up the fingerboard, and the explanation was the magnetic field of the 3 pickups caused deflection of the normal vibration modes.

    Try setting the pickups lower, farther from the strings. Since you have distortion available, you don't need the maximum output from the pickups. If that doesn't do it, try replacing the string with a new one. It is possible to have a weird string, if the manufacturing was a bit off.
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  9. #9
    Rocker/Scientist at heart TonyEarth's Avatar
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    Default Re: String sound with distortion

    i will change the string anyway because its getting a bit rusty, and readjust my pickups as you suggested. for now ed's suggestion (or what i thought he said) seemed to work out. i must say though, i feel like my electrics knowledge is expanded a little just about every time you post, tom. thanks
    Your pal, Tony

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