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Thread: Carpenter jack

  1. #1
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    Default Carpenter jack

    Does anyone use a carpenter jack for their pickup. I am planning on putting a K and K in my mandolin. However , I am really struggling with the prospect of the endpin of my Kimble being routed to install the jack. I am also not in love with the idea of having the carpenter jack on there all of the time. Particularly since I will play acousitcaly or into a microphone 80% of the time. Does the carpenter jack work well? Do you forget it' s there when you aren't using it? I am aware of the vintage jack( tapasring) option, but it is $80 extra and seems like it could be a pain in the butt. Does anyone use the vintage jack how do you feel about it?
    LIke I said I will use a mic when at all possible, but feel the pickup will make life easier in a louder enviroment. I feel like a DPA 4099 would probably be ideal, but I can't really take that leap yet financially.
    Thanks in advance for any insight.
    Carleton

  2. #2
    Registered User jake-mando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    I have the K&K in my mando with the carpenter jack. It works well. The only thing I find is that you have to hang on to it when you pull the cord out, or it'll pull the jack off the body. It doesn't seem to get in the way or anything.
    To play or not to play? Well that's a silly question.

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  3. #3
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    They are as good as the jack quality used in them..
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    The jack is fine . but I think you should be considering getting performance mandolin and keep your Kimble unchanged . If you need to plug in then you probably can get away with less expensive mandolin and still get a comparable sound

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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    I have fitted a couple of Vintage Jacks for people. No problems at all, so not sure where the pain is emanating from.

    One has now been in regular use for over three years and it has proved 100% reliable. They are not cheap, but made from very high grade materials. Then, so is your mandolin.
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    Registered User if6was9's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    I used a carpenter jack for a while and then switched to a Vintage Jack. The carpenter jack was OK but you do have to be careful when unplugging and there is always the chance of it getting yanked off (and taking some finish, or worse, with it).

    I am very happy with the Vintage Jack. My only issue with it is needing a special cable. Not a big deal, I can carry a spare. But in the worst case gig failure scenario it would be more convenient to scrounge a spare guitar cable than a spare 1/8 to 1/4 adapter cable.

    Ultimately, I got a relatively inexpensive second instrument for stage use and put a regular endpin jack in it. The amplified sound is just as good and I worry a lot less about it.

    Hope that helps.
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  7. #7
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    Basically,
    Carpenter Jack = a block of wood, a viola chin rest and a 1/4" jack..

    Tapastring, tapered end pin shaped, vintage jack is 1/8", the company sells a short adapter to 1/4"
    that, would be fixed to your strap so as to not strain the plug pin.
    they also make a longer 1/8 to 1/4" cable..
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    I have had a vintage jack installed in a Loar Ls-700 and it works very well. It can be deinstalled and an original end pin installed if i sell it. With something like a Kimble I would recommend it as the carpenter jacks really dampen the tone.
    John

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  9. #9
    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    Just install it as the endpin. I know it's a Kimble but it's still a piece of wood and the endpin jack is replaceable and usually only needs minor adjustments to fit it.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    Quote Originally Posted by rico mando View Post
    The jack is fine . but I think you should be considering getting performance mandolin and keep your Kimble unchanged . If you need to plug in then you probably can get away with less expensive mandolin and still get a comparable sound
    I couldn't agree more with this. Once you put a pickup on your Kimble it won't sound like your Kimble anyway. There's an old saying, somewhat debated, that goes, "They all sound alike with a pickup". If I owned a fine acoustic I would use it for that purpose and have something suitable for amplified performance. That's why I play the Ovation. It's designed specifically for the job. It doesn't try to be a fine acoustic mandolin, but it excels at being an amplified one.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    Ditto to a Kimble only being a piece of wood. Many people agonise about screwing a strap button on the heel of a precious mandolin but at least you didn't have to do that as Will fits them as standard.

    Fit the best end pin jack socket you can find and forget about it! As long as its done properly, nobody is going to give it a thought in the future.

  12. #12
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    Someone I saw put the carpenter jack on the back just to avoid mass on the soundboard..
    as I recall it went where the block of wood is for the Lap Point. He had an F style Weber.
    writing about music
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    Carpenter jack! Ugly, in the way and fell off every time I unplugged. Use an endpin and be done with it, especially as most mandolin players end up doubling on mandola or guitar at some stage of a gig.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    I have a K&K pickup with the carpenter jack on my Buckeye, and am very pleased with it. I thought about the internal endpin jack, and had the same apprehension you had. So far, the pickup and carpenter jack are working great, and the tone is excellent; very natural acoustic tone. I've been running through a Fishman Loudbox and then into the board (using the Fishman as both a pre-amp and eq, and a monitor). The other thing I like about the carpenter jack is that if I decide I don't want to use it, I can remove the whole thing without having modified the mandolin.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    One thing to bear in mind is that a Carpenter jack that falls off a lot can end up doing more damage than just drilling a hole that no one knows is there.
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    Having installed the K&K internal endpin jack myself I can say it is an easy process and takes off a minimal amount of wood from the block (the inside that you never see) if you even need to take off any wood in the first place. I used a hand T-bone tapered reamer. It didn't touch my finish. Maybe I was lucky but I doubt it. It just didn't seem like any big deal once I actually stopped thinking about it and did it.
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  17. #17
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    and the reamed hole can always be plugged and a screw in strap button fitted..

    Heresy? see all the 'my tapered end pin came loose and I dropped my Mandolin' postings..
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    First of all I agree with the sentiments above that once you amplify a mandolin you loose most of the tonal qualities that we so dearly love. But if you're going to play live, you really have two options; either put on a pickup or use a microphone. Each has it's own challenges and benefits.

    I used a carpenter jack for years and finally relented and put in a K&K endpin jack. I was always fearful that the cord would get pulled at a right angle and it would somehow end up damaging my mandolin. Plus since it was difficult to take on and off, I always left it on. I think the mandolin looks much cleaner without it. When I got my new F5G, I had a K&K endpin jack installed the first week I had it and never looked back.
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

  19. #19
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    I have installed a K&K twin with carpenter jack on a cheapo Ibanez. I like the K&K, but I hated the carpenter jack. It is never totally out of the way, it is never totally secure, placement can affect ability to close the case, it looks terrible and you will occasionally brush the jack or wire while playing which causes noise if plugged in. I changed the jack to an internal type endpin jack. I've since wired many other instruments, including 2 fiddles, with JJB twins (every bit as good as the K&K, just cost less) and endpin jacks. I've never used the Tapastring vintage jack, as I've never had an instrument so precious that I was reluctant to drill out for a normal 1/4" jack. The twin head type piezo jacks (K&K or JJB) do not affect the acoustic sound on any of the 10+ instruments I've installed them in.

    It is true that when plugged in, much of the tonal quality of the instrument is lost. Acoustically it is the same. What I mean is if you play a $500 mandolin and a $5000 mandolin side by side purely acoustically, you will here the difference in quality and tone. If you mount the exact same pickup in each and now play them sided by side amplified, the difference will be less pronounced. You will not affect the acoustic sound of either instrument.

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  21. #20
    Registered User danielpatrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    Just a quick question for those installing the end pin. I just installed the K&K with carpenter jack because when I contacted Gibson (I just bought a new F5G) they said that it would void the warranty if there is a pickup installed. Even if it was done by a Gibson dealer. The gentleman said that if the warranty issue was not directly related to the installation they would look at it but still have the right to deny the warranty. As I looked at the warranty it did state in the first line about any modifications done would void the warranty. Since I just spent quite a bit it has me a little gun shy but I already know I'm not going to like the carpenter jack after one hour of having it on. Has anyone had any problems with warranty issues?

  22. #21
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    Only buying Used Gibson, mandolins, there is no warrantee on mine, anyhow.

    is all your pickup fitting outside, temporary and reversible without leaving marks ?


    good luck with the Company if they are in a warrantee denial mode ..

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  23. #22
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    Default Re: Carpenter jack

    Quote Originally Posted by danielpatrick View Post
    Just a quick question for those installing the end pin. I just installed the K&K with carpenter jack because when I contacted Gibson (I just bought a new F5G) they said that it would void the warranty if there is a pickup installed. Even if it was done by a Gibson dealer. The gentleman said that if the warranty issue was not directly related to the installation they would look at it but still have the right to deny the warranty. As I looked at the warranty it did state in the first line about any modifications done would void the warranty. Since I just spent quite a bit it has me a little gun shy but I already know I'm not going to like the carpenter jack after one hour of having it on. Has anyone had any problems with warranty issues?

    I'm a smart ass. If someone said that to me, I would ask to send me in writing how that complies with the Magnuson–Moss warranty act.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuso...s_Warranty_Act


    I had a carpenter jack on my old mandolin. I too did not like how it looks. When I got my F5G, I had a K&K endpin jack put on the first thing. If the wood splits any where close to the jack, I'm out of luck. But I can't see how anyone could blame a warped neck on it.
    A quarter tone flat and a half a beat behind.

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