Stick on bugs mandolin

Stick on bugs mandolin

Before any knickers get twisted I must point out, this is not for sessions.
I have been asked to do a parade thing and am looking for a CHEAP solution to make my mandolin louder. Sound quality for once is not an issue.
Has anyone tried a stick on piezo, do they need preamp, any ideas for a small portable (belt clip) amp. Any help would be appreciated
I also play banjo before you start down that road but I’m not lugging that around.
Thanks in advance

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Re: Stick on bugs mandolin

borrow a mandolin banjo. They’re truly horrible but very loud. Processional work is about the only thing they might be good for and of course you wouldn’t need an amp.

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Re: Stick on bugs mandolin

does that tone gaurd really make much difference? i can’t imagine the mandolin becoming signifigantly louder?

Re: Stick on bugs mandolin

Thanks for the input so far, I should also point out that I play melody not rhythm.
What I’ve seen of tone guards is that there is some improvement for those that hug their mandolin, not so much otherwise.
Mando-banjos are (unfortunately?) rare down here in Cornwall.
Any info on the electric path?

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Re: Stick on bugs mandolin

Piezos need a preamp ( more cost ). The stick-on contact mikes need less pre-amp, and aren’t usually expensive. I’ve recently seen one that was built inside an Altoids tin listed on ebay. Plug it into a Roland Micro-Cube or similar mini buskers battery-powered amp, replacing the poxy handle with a guitar-strap ( £2 from Sue Ryder shops ) and you’re on your way. IMNSHO.
But a banjo-mandolin is the best option. Or a tenor banjo.

Re: Stick on bugs mandolin

How about Magnetic pickups - they give relatively high output without preamp.

http://www.stringmail.co.uk/pickups_fretted.htm

"SHADOW BOUZOUKI Pickups
Single Coil or Humbucker Models Available
Single Screw Fixing to bottom of Fingerboard"

Re: Stick on bugs mandolin

Shadow bouzouki pickup; £35 or £37 for humbucker. I got a Seymour Duncan soundhole pickup for my ‘zouk ( it’s only a big mandolin, after all ) on ebay for not a lot, had to modify the wooden ends of the pickup mount to fit it in the slight smaller ‘zouk soundhole than the guitars it’s designed for; not a great problem.
You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Re: Stick on bugs mandolin

I think I have cobbled together a solution using a clip-on tuner lead plugged into my nobels streetman. Cumbersome and I’m not sure how durable it is but it is certainly cheap.
When gigging I use the Headway system for my OM and open mic for banjo so I am unwilling to spend too much on something that won’t be used very often.
Thanks for the input so far, any further ideas will be of interest.

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Re: Stick on bugs mandolin

Outdoor gigs where accidents could happen, including water? Get a resonator mando, can’t easily hurt them. You’ll probably find a used Johnson or the like even in Cornwall.

Re: Stick on bugs mandolin

Stick-on McIntyre piezo pickup and Roland Cube ST battery powered amp should do the trick…

Re: Stick on bugs mandolin

If you want the real CHEAP solution and you can use a soldering iron - build your own. Search on Google for ‘homemade piezo pickup’ and lots of links (and You Tube)are available and for the kind of use you are proposing a pickup can be built for a few pounds.

I have used these for years in some quite loud bands and work as good if not better than the commercial ones costing much much more. I generally wire a capacitor across the unit to roll off some of the high frequencies and encapsulate the lot in epoxy. They will generally work straight into an amp without a pre amp although a graphic pedal such as a boss GE 7 will give a lot of useful tone control and act as a pre amp. Simples - the bits can all be purchased in your local Maplin store in the UK …