Mandolins Pickups …

Mandolins Pickups …

Hello ‘Sessions’ –
I often play a number of’ Celtic flavored’ tune sets on one of several different mandolins. In small settings (ie. kitchen sessions, some local sessions) I don’t require a mandolin pickup. In a stage setting, the ‘direct into Mic’ can be impractical – (despite the often superior sound results). I’ve used several contact pickups and more recently, a bridge pickup (I think it was a ‘Fishman’) but even with an EQ – the results aren’t completely satisfactory. Too much gain, the ‘clic, clic …’ of the pick. Any suggestions? Anyone use a radio frequency system?
Regards,
PrairieDawg
Montreal, Qc

Re: Mandolins Pickups …

I have a michael kelly mandolin with a built-in pickup and preamp. The pickup is built into the bridge, and I think it is piezoelectric — probably very similar to the one you tried out. The preamp is a Fishman. I have been very happy with the electronics of this mandolin. Of course, it does not sound as pure as a microphone, but the sound is reasonable, and so much easier than trying to use a mic. It took a little while to get used to it though. You have to resist the temptation to compare it to the regular acoustic sound of a mandolin — that’s an impossibly high standard for a pickup.

One important thing I discovered is that I have to turn down the bass fairly low on the preamp, or else there is a clicking or thumping noise from the pick. With the bass turned down to about 20% of the range of the bass slider, it sounds good.

Best of luck to ya!

Re: Mandolins Pickups …

I have this thing that looks like a frackin’ boat paddle. It’s got a select by EMG pickup midway between the bridge and the bottom of the fretboard. Remarkably, it’s the only electric mando I’ve ever played that sounded like a mandolin and not just an electric guitar on helium. I paid $99 US for it from musicmakers and would be happy to let it go for $50 since I dropped mandolin in a fit of Chris Theile envy.

Re: Mandolins Pickups …

Hello, I have a flat bottom american style mandolin with a singlecoil magnetic PU (& vol & tone pots). The instrument has a steel rod inside the neck, too. Acoustically and electrically it sounds nice. I bought it in my hometown Bremen, Germany Cost me about DM 600 (EUR 300) then. This is a pic:
http://www.uli-boesking.de/inst_gal/Seiten/mand2_gr.htm
Cheers - Uli

Re: Mandolins Pickups …

look for shatten pick ups
if not - headway - friend has on on his paul shipey mandoline and old washburn - great stuff
if U don’t like those U always can try BBand

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Re: Mandolins Pickups …

Thanks everyone for the comments - I’ve just ordered a Shatten and will see how it goes (I’ll get back to this thread with more later). Padre - I’ll look into the BBrand - never heard of it (NAm or European?). Crazy_fingerz, I use the Fishman as well. Ya - the gain on the Fishman is high an really gets all those pick/surface noises. I usually just shut down the mid-range, but I’ll try the low end and see what happens. Sorry about the instrument KC, Ya CT has super hot chops - I’d like to hear more trad Am tune/style out of his playing though.
Well everyone - take care, catch ya on the ‘flipside’
PDawg