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Thread: Electric mandolin.

  1. #26
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    I assume the Ortega has an active pickup given the installed electronics on it. If that's the case, that might be the best of both worlds. Likely sounds better unplugged than the Godin A8 since it has traditional sound holes etc.

    Good luck with whatever direction you go!! Definitely post a video with the winner when you do make that decision
    www.mattcbruno.com
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    Mando's in use
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    Gibson F9 2014
    Jonathan Mann OEMsc 8
    Jonathan Mann OSEMdc 5
    Weber Gallatin Mandocello

  2. #27

    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbruno View Post
    I assume the Ortega has an active pickup given the installed electronics on it. If that's the case, that might be the best of both worlds. Likely sounds better unplugged than the Godin A8 since it has traditional sound holes etc.

    Good luck with whatever direction you go!! Definitely post a video with the winner when you do make that decision
    Hello, what mandolin do you have? I've seen your videos, congratulations.

  3. #28
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinita View Post
    Hello, what mandolin do you have? I've seen your videos, congratulations.
    Thanks

    Primarily I use a 2018 Newson with a Twin K pickup installed. My backup is a 2014 Gibson F9 also with a Twin K installed. Whenever I play plugged in, I use a Fishman Loudbox as the amp and for pedals I use LR Baggs Venue DI, LR Baggs Compression, and Strymon Reverb. You don't "need" the pedals really (it sounds good plugged directly in to the Loudbox IMO). But those pedals really help get more of the acoustic feeling back (not completely, but whatcha gonna do?).

    For what it's worth, I also have a Jon Mann 5 string electric octave solid body and a Jon Mann 8 string electric octave semi-hollow body that I play sometimes. These two instruments are both 100% electric - they sound great plugged in, but are not designed to be acoustic. I use these when I play more funk / jam / rock when I want to sound like a guitar but I don't want to have to put the work into being a good guitarist haha
    www.mattcbruno.com
    www.thebigdecisionsband.com
    https://shakedownstringband.org

    Mando's in use
    Newson 2018
    Gibson F9 2014
    Jonathan Mann OEMsc 8
    Jonathan Mann OSEMdc 5
    Weber Gallatin Mandocello

  4. #29

    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbruno View Post
    Thanks

    Primarily I use a 2018 Newson with a Twin K pickup installed. My backup is a 2014 Gibson F9 also with a Twin K installed. Whenever I play plugged in, I use a Fishman Loudbox as the amp and for pedals I use LR Baggs Venue DI, LR Baggs Compression, and Strymon Reverb. You don't "need" the pedals really (it sounds good plugged directly in to the Loudbox IMO). But those pedals really help get more of the acoustic feeling back (not completely, but whatcha gonna do?).

    For what it's worth, I also have a Jon Mann 5 string electric octave solid body and a Jon Mann 8 string electric octave semi-hollow body that I play sometimes. These two instruments are both 100% electric - they sound great plugged in, but are not designed to be acoustic. I use these when I play more funk / jam / rock when I want to sound like a guitar but I don't want to have to put the work into being a good guitarist haha
    Could you please write me the internet links where you can see or buy your mandolins? Thank's

  5. #30
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Godin, hands down.
    Ortega should stick to green chiles.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

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  7. #31
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    I would recommend an Eastman 615. Classic F style that comes ready to plug in. They sound good acoustically too.

    Here is a 605 for sale....

    https://themandolinstore.com/product...cosmetic-blem/

    NFI
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  8. #32
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinita View Post
    Could you please write me the internet links where you can see or buy your mandolins? Thank's
    I got the Gibson F9 from the Mandolin Store https://themandolinstore.com/ - these are about $3k - $4k plus the pickup and installation
    I got the Newson from Gruhn's Guitars in Nashville https://guitars.com/ - these are about $6k - $10k plus the pickup and installation

    Plenty of folks play Gibson F9s but Newson is a more rare build (though gaining in popularity - I saw 3 at the South State bluegrass festival!). I'm don't know off hand which artists use these mandolins for you to check out - however I use one of these in all my videos if that helps. Earlier videos had the F9, more recent videos are with the Newson.

    Based on the mandolins you referenced before, these may be out of your price range. If you have the money for these instruments, then you have a whole new world of mandolins that you could be looking at. There's a great wide range of choices.
    www.mattcbruno.com
    www.thebigdecisionsband.com
    https://shakedownstringband.org

    Mando's in use
    Newson 2018
    Gibson F9 2014
    Jonathan Mann OEMsc 8
    Jonathan Mann OSEMdc 5
    Weber Gallatin Mandocello

  9. #33
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    The Godin's are much cheaper. Here's one at the Mandolin Store for $850 USD:
    https://themandolinstore.com/product...tric-mandolin/
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  10. #34
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    The Godin is an electric mandolin that sounds OK played unplugged, and great plugged. Every Godin i’ve owned, three so far, has been of excellent quality. I still own a hollow body electric guitar that was reasonably priced and would be very difficult to improve upon.

    I suspect that they’ve discontinued the A8 because materials are in short supply and they are concentrating on instruments they sell a lot of.

  11. #35

    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    The Eastman 615 mandolin is very beautiful however it is without a hook for amplification.
    Eastman, on request, can mount an amplification system but without an equalizer.
    Do you think it is a problem not to have an equalizer on the instrument? Without the equalizer, do you have to have a preamp to adjust the sound before the signal is connected to an audio system?
    Thank's

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    The Godin's are much cheaper. Here's one at the Mandolin Store for $850 USD:
    https://themandolinstore.com/product...tric-mandolin/
    It's sold out :-(

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  13. #36

    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Please help me.
    Godin A8 is no longer found in any store and is no longer produced.
    In your opinion better: Eastman with amplification mounted by the manufacturer and without equalization on the instrument or Ortega RMFE100AVO with amplification and equalizer?

    Thank's

  14. #37
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    I would prefer without equalization on the instrument. Whatever preamp is on an instrument will be of dubious quality, while you can have a much better quality peamp that is external. You can also upgrade anytime, you are stuck with what is in the instrument.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  16. #38

    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I would prefer without equalization on the instrument. Whatever preamp is on an instrument will be of dubious quality, while you can have a much better quality peamp that is external. You can also upgrade anytime, you are stuck with what is in the instrument.
    Which preamp do you recommend?

  17. #39
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Just saw this in the classifieds....

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/178010#178010

    I don't know anything about them but Greg Boyd's is a well known shop and I doubt he would sell junk instruments.

    NFI
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  18. #40
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Just saw this in the classifieds....

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/178010#178010

    I don't know anything about them but Greg Boyd's is a well known shop and I doubt he would sell junk instruments.

    NFI
    Well, I have no wish to impugn anyone's character, but Crafters are not high-quality instruments.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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  20. #41
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Keep an eye on Reverb and eBay ... used Godins will come around.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Lyon & Healy • Wood • Thormahlen • Andersen • Bacorn • Yanuziello • Fender • National • Gibson • Franke • Fuchs • Aceto • Three Hungry Pit Bulls

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  22. #42
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Well, I have no wish to impugn anyone's character, but Crafters are not high-quality instruments.
    And it looks like you have to use ball end strings, a pain in the butt.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  23. #43
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinita View Post
    Which preamp do you recommend?
    TL;DR - focus on the tone you want from the mandolin alone first, then worry about the tone shaping pedals etc after. Given your choices - the question is do you want a good sound acoustic instrument that can be plugged in to increase volume etc or do you want a mainly electric mandolin that more or less has to be plugged in? If acoustic mandolin, the Ortega type seems great for you. If electric mandolin, the A8 type seem great for you.

    Now for the "longer" part
    With all due respect, given 1) what you've mentioned of your budget (sub $2k for the instrument) 2) that you can always upgrade an external preamp and/or EQ after the fact and 3) that it doesn't seem you are knowledgeable in this area (not meant as a slight - just what I read) - I would suggest not getting too hung up on this right away. I echo Pops1's comment about the onboard preamp and EQ being limiting since you can't change that later however, given what I infer from your posts (and sorry if I'm wrong), you might be getting too in the weeds here. First and foremost, what mandolin do you like? You can always add external tone shaping pedals after the fact - so don't get hung up there. Focus on the tone from the instrument first then worry about what pedals and etc you need to keep / enhance that tone when plugged in.

    While many preamps have multiple functions (usually a small EQ for one), a true Preamp just boost the signal - that's it. If you're just plugging direct to a PA system - you need one and there are many great ones (LR Baggs are my favorite line). However if you are plugging into an Amp, you likely don't "need" one. Personally, I've found plugging my mandolins directly in to my Fishman Loudbox Mini amp is good alone without any other pedals period. I started playing gigs plugged in with just that amp. The amplifier itself has enough tone shaping to make it work okay and when needed, there's a direct out to plug into PA boards. This required no external preamps.

    Over the years of playing gigs and getting more familiar with electric setups, I put together a small rig with 3 main tone shaping pedals (and some weird fun pedals). These aren't "necessary" - but I like the way they impact my sound. I started with the LR Baggs Venue DI - mostly because it had a good preamp, a few tone shaping capabilities, and a tuner / mute built in. Plus I believe it has a good output buffer built in (that's another topic altogether).
    www.mattcbruno.com
    www.thebigdecisionsband.com
    https://shakedownstringband.org

    Mando's in use
    Newson 2018
    Gibson F9 2014
    Jonathan Mann OEMsc 8
    Jonathan Mann OSEMdc 5
    Weber Gallatin Mandocello

  24. #44
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolinita View Post
    Which preamp do you recommend?
    I have used a lot of different preamps over the years, I have been using the RedEye for several years now. It is simple to use, has a good sound, and a boost switch. I added a mute switch in mine, but if you don't want the boost they will convert it to a mute switch for you. I wanted both so I did it myself. There are much more expensive and possible better sounding preamps, such as one that uses a mic to memorize your sound and help your piezo sound more like a mic. Depends how much you want to spend for the upgrade and how much you think that actually sounds better. The RedEye is small, easy to use, works with phantom power or battery, and is affordable. I have no financial interest in the company, just a satisfied user.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  26. #45
    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    mandolinita,
    You're getting some excellent advice and information here.

    It's worth keeping in mind your goal: "I have to play with amplified mandolin because I have to play on mp3 bases. Mandolin and mp3 base amplified in an audio system." So what you want is an amplified acoustic sound, rather than a strictly electric sound. Plus it seems like feedback won't be an issue either.

    This leaves out (with very few exceptions) anything with a magnetic pickup, like the Eastman ERM.

    So I agree with the idea that you ought to concentrate on the acoustic sound and amplify it after. If you already have a (an acoustic) mandolin, then you could have any number of excellent pickups installed. Once the pickup is in, THEN concentrate your efforts on external items like EQ, Preamp, reverb, etc.

    I have a Schertler in my Mix F5 which I run through a Boss GE-7 (EQ pedal) and a SlideRig before sending the signal to the PA. (The SlideRig is a two channel limiting pre-amplifier, meaning it boosts the signal from the Schertler and adds compression, which I can adjust.) Point is, the Schertler is on board the mando, as all pickups need to be, but the tone treatments (EQ and Boost/Compression) are not. I can remove them, add more, change brands, etc as I see fit without haveing to touch the mandolin.

    Daniel

  27. #46
    Resident Hack
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I have used a lot of different preamps over the years, I have been using the RedEye for several years now. It is simple to use, has a good sound, and a boost switch. I added a mute switch in mine, but if you don't want the boost they will convert it to a mute switch for you. I wanted both so I did it myself. There are much more expensive and possible better sounding preamps, such as one that uses a mic to memorize your sound and help your piezo sound more like a mic. Depends how much you want to spend for the upgrade and how much you think that actually sounds better. The RedEye is small, easy to use, works with phantom power or battery, and is affordable. I have no financial interest in the company, just a satisfied user.
    +1 on the Redeye. Classic example of "Less is More". Sounds so good, you don't need a lot of eq. Addditionally, Founder, Vice President / Chief Engineer Daren Appelt is a hellofa nice guy. I bought mine pre-owned off ebay and it was missing a screw from the bottom plate. Called them up and he answered. Not only wound up getting the info as to which screw and why he chose it (common easy replacability) as well as an offer to send me some but also just hung out and talked for a while.

    100% satisfaction on mine, a dozen gigs so far. NFI
    What I play
    2021 Skip Kelley Two-Point
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  28. #47
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Like to be clear here. The preamp does not boost the signal, it's not what it's for. It should have a different name. In fact a lot of preamps for piezo pickups actually lower the signal. The "preamp" is to match the impedance of the piezo to the input of whatever you plug it into. The Fishman works because it is designed to plug a piezo into it. I know a lot of folks that have preamps in their instruments and still use the Fishman, another impedance mismatch because of the preamp in the instrument, but sounds OK. A piezo on it's own puts out enough signal to have plenty of volume, but the mismatch makes it sound horrible, hence the use of a preamp. Interface would be a better term.

    I also agree with Mitch, Darin answers his own phone, is a very nice guy, and makes a good product. He also had no problem with me modifying my RedEye and we talked about different ways to make the mod.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  30. #48

    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    In your opinion, does an Eastman mandolin with K&K Duotone pickups, connecting it to an audio system mixer, need a preamp?
    I ask you this as I will buy an eastman.

  31. #49
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    I have a Eastman ER-1 El Rey...I got it cause i play in a country band and double on mandolin..i struggled to get a good amplified sound with my J.Bovair F5 So i bought this thing and havent looked back..This might be more confusing but i use a Fractal Audio Ax8 with an IR (impulse Response) of a Gibson F5 so i use that with the El Rey, some reverb and compression sounds great..


    I just saw a demo of the Zeta! Wow...i want one of those now lol..but an F, i saw they only make an A style right now.

  32. #50
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electric mandolin.

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Like to be clear here. The preamp does not boost the signal, it's not what it's for. It should have a different name. In fact a lot of preamps for piezo pickups actually lower the signal. The "preamp" is to match the impedance of the piezo to the input of whatever you plug it into. The Fishman works because it is designed to plug a piezo into it.
    Fairly sure you're not accurate here. A preamp is designed to increase gain (what I referred to as boosting the signal) to boost to line level. That is the main purpose of preamps. Gain doesn't mean "volume" as you can attenuate volume while keeping gain high (think dirty rock riffs). Input / Output buffers are designed to match impedance. While I know many preamps have buffers (LR Baggs builds them in for example), it doesn't mean all preamps have buffer. Most often these buffers are either in the DI (which could be in the preamp hardware, but is not the preamp itself) or as a standalone I/O Buffer pedal.
    www.mattcbruno.com
    www.thebigdecisionsband.com
    https://shakedownstringband.org

    Mando's in use
    Newson 2018
    Gibson F9 2014
    Jonathan Mann OEMsc 8
    Jonathan Mann OSEMdc 5
    Weber Gallatin Mandocello

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