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Thread: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

  1. #1
    flyfishermandolinist mandognome's Avatar
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    Default Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    Looking for some quick advice on a good pickup for my archtop, f-hole mandocello. I'm wanting something bomber and passive (no batteries to change since f-holes make it hard to get in there) and something I can permanently install. I have a carpenter jack in the endpin already. I'm wanting something that emphasizes the low end without getting all muddy, of course. I don't want to install a microphone in it, I'll just use one on stage in addition to or instead of the pickup if I want to mic.

    I've heard tell that the K&K twin might be a good choice. I don't want to spend a ton of money for the sake of spending, but I'm willing to pay what it takes to get something I will be happy with for a long time. I hate the "quack" of a cheap pickup.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
    Weber Bitterroot mandolin
    Pono GBOM

  2. #2
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    I haven't tried a K&K on anything as big as a 'cello, but I've been very impressed with them in my 'dola and a recent mandolin build.

    It might be worth while getting in touch with K&K and see which version they recomend though - maybe a big twin http://www.kksound.com/bigtwininternal.html ?

  3. #3
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    Speaking as a fellow Weber CBOM owner (Yellowstone F octave), if you really want to capture the "boom and chorng" of your instrument, then why not use a clip-on microphone? It's the best of both worlds -- faithful acoustic sound with low feedback compared to an external mic.

    Here's what it looks like on my Weber OM:




    The DPA mic is expensive, but there are lower-cost alternatives (Audio-Technica Pro 35, K&K Silver Bullet etc.) that won't set you back more than the cost of something like a good contact pickup. It's very quick to get on and off the instrument. And you can use it on other instruments too. You'll need the guitar mount, if you use the DPA system.

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    I have mounted JJB's in my Eastman 'cello. They are very similar to K&K, which I also use in a mandolin. I really prefer the endpin jack; a switchcraft or similar to the clip or clamp on carpenter jack. Not having used any other type of pickup in this mandocello, I can't compare it other than to say that it works for me. I use it with the K&K pure preamp.

  5. #5
    flyfishermandolinist mandognome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    Ended up with a K&K Big Twin installed with endpin jack. Very happy with it. I like an external mic on a stand in combination or alternatively. Love having a bomber passive pickup. this one sounds good, especially with a little low boost from the Baggs Para DI.
    Weber Bitterroot mandolin
    Pono GBOM

  6. #6
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    Glad it turned out well Tim: how about plugging into your computer and recording some sound clips for us?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    The Ovation MC868 has an on-board pre-amp... it rocks.

  8. #8
    Registered User Terry Allan Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim F Thornton View Post
    Looking for some quick advice on a good pickup for my archtop, f-hole mandocello. I'm wanting something bomber and passive (no batteries to change since f-holes make it hard to get in there) and something I can permanently install. I have a carpenter jack in the endpin already. I'm wanting something that emphasizes the low end without getting all muddy, of course. I don't want to install a microphone in it, I'll just use one on stage in addition to or instead of the pickup if I want to mic.

    I've heard tell that the K&K twin might be a good choice. I don't want to spend a ton of money for the sake of spending, but I'm willing to pay what it takes to get something I will be happy with for a long time. I hate the "quack" of a cheap pickup.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
    The JJB is exactly the same as the K&K, but for quite a bit less $$$...I have two of them, the PPS-200 setup, under each end of the bridge, from the inside, and they reproduce it's growl nicely.

    http://www.jjb-electronics.com/PPS-200.html

  9. #9
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    I have thus far avoided needing to plug in my Andersen ... but if it ever happens I'm planning on slapping a Schertler on it. I have a DYN-M and a DYN-V. Anyone tried this?
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  10. #10
    Is there a "talent" knob? Christian McKee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    I can't find much info on frequency response for the Schertler, but I loooooove the sound I get out of my Breedlove mandolin with a Schertler in it. I bet you'll be plenty happy if you go that route. I have a K&K in my Gibson K1, and it's got low end to spare, almost too much. When I record through the pickup or play it amplified I dial back the lows and low mids a bit to get more definition out of it.

    Christian
    Christian McKee

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

  11. #11
    flyfishermandolinist mandognome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    I had a Schertler in my OM and loved it. It got a lot of positive comments from sound guys too.

    I will see if I can get a video of me playing it through a PA--I don't think the computer plug in would be very impressive, more for computer reasons.
    Weber Bitterroot mandolin
    Pono GBOM

  12. #12

    Default Re: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    I am looking to change the pickup on my Gold Tone mandocello. I am thinking of something a bit brighter and with a rail magnet so I do not have to worry about pole alignment. Has anyone tried a gold foil or lipstick pickup in their mandocello, or can you suggest any other pickup?

  13. #13
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite pickup for Mandocello?

    Quote Originally Posted by Securb View Post
    I am looking to change the pickup on my Gold Tone mandocello. I am thinking of something a bit brighter and with a rail magnet so I do not have to worry about pole alignment. Has anyone tried a gold foil or lipstick pickup in their mandocello, or can you suggest any other pickup?
    Since my last response 12 years ago, I've also added a Stew-Mac Kent Armstrong floating neck magnetic pickup to my Eastman MDC 805, along with a pickguard with volume and tone pots.

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