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  #1  
Old 02-23-2024, 08:47 AM
Slim Zooms Slim Zooms is offline
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Default Mandolin pick-up question

Hi all

Iím looking at installing a pick up in my Oakwood flat back mandolin.

Could you guys recommend a good, reliable pick up for me?

Thanks in anticipation.

Slim
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2024, 09:42 AM
Dave Hicks Dave Hicks is offline
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I bought a Big Muddy with a K&K twin internal pickup installed.

I've played at several open mics and it's worked fine. The previous owner had used it in a similar way. (No onboard volume or tone control, though.)

D.H.
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2024, 11:20 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slim Zooms View Post
Hi all

Iím looking at installing a pick up in my Oakwood flat back mandolin. . . .
Have a K&K or JJB pickup installed internally. If you don't want the tailpiece or endpinhole widened, also get a Tapastring 1/8" socket installed.

Do NOT get a pickup with external sticky transducers. The adhesive can permanently damage the finish on the mandolin's top.
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  #4  
Old 02-23-2024, 02:40 PM
Dave Hicks Dave Hicks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
Have a K&K or JJB pickup installed internally. If you don't want the tailpiece or endpinhole widened, also get a Tapastring 1/8" socket installed.

Do NOT get a pickup with external sticky transducers. The adhesive can permanently damage the finish on the mandolin's top.
I've got one of those stick-on things - used it once.

D.H.
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2024, 01:30 AM
Slim Zooms Slim Zooms is offline
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Thank you everyone!

Best wishes

Slim
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2022 Gibson L-00 Studio Walnut/Burst
2019 Martin D-28 Re-imagined
2018 Gibson J-45
2007 BSG GJ-27 12 string
2005 BSG J-27
2020 Regal RD-30M Resonator
1938 Dobro model unknown
2023 Michael Messer Fiddle Edge Dobro

Plus a Takamine and an old S.Yairi.
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2024, 03:59 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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Slim,

Depending on the gig, an SM57 or similar will amplify a mandolin well on stage even in a band situation.
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I've played and studied traditional noter/drone mountain dulcimer for many years. And I used to play dobro in a bluegrass band.



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  #7  
Old 02-24-2024, 08:20 AM
mauricemcm mauricemcm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slim Zooms View Post
Hi all

I’m looking at installing a pick up in my Oakwood flat back mandolin.

Could you guys recommend a good, reliable pick up for me?

Thanks in anticipation.

Slim
I enjoyed looking the Oakwood website over but did not see any reference to pickups. I recommend you contact Oakwood for a recommendation. Installing an internal pickup in a mandolin is not easy. I do not encourage DIY pickup install to folks without experience working on instruments, the mandolin in particular as they are too small to get your hand inside. I use the K&K twin spot and the Mcintyre Acoustic Feather. Both are very tricky to get just right working through a small sound hole or F-holes. Take a look at the L.R. Bags radius M. I have also flattened the base of a Fishman M-200 for use on a flat(ish) mandolin. As mentioned above, by Robin, Wales , a microphone is a very good option. With a Microphone you capture much more of the character of the instrument.

http://www.oakwoodinstruments.co.uk/four/index.htm

https://acousticon.com/17-mcintyre-pickups

https://www.stewmac.com/electronics/...UaAtaqEALw_wcB

https://www.sweetwater.com/c985--Aco...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

This video is good. Acoustic pickups are discussed in the first few minutes.
https://youtu.be/Ualm3rCZRz0?si=TmlOR3YiCvamD_Tf

Last edited by mauricemcm; 02-24-2024 at 08:27 AM.
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2024, 09:11 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
Slim,

Depending on the gig, an SM57 or similar will amplify a mandolin well on stage even in a band situation.
Up to a point. I'm sure it works sometimes, but I haven't had good experiences. Even with a supercardioid mic, there's too much interference from the rest of the band.

A pickup isn't as hi-fi as a mic, but for me it's been much more practical.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2024, 09:39 AM
Slim Zooms Slim Zooms is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mauricemcm View Post
I enjoyed looking the Oakwood website over but did not see any reference to pickups. I recommend you contact Oakwood for a recommendation. Installing an internal pickup in a mandolin is not easy. I do not encourage DIY pickup install to folks without experience working on instruments, the mandolin in particular as they are too small to get your hand inside. I use the K&K twin spot and the Mcintyre Acoustic Feather. Both are very tricky to get just right working through a small sound hole or F-holes. Take a look at the L.R. Bags radius M. I have also flattened the base of a Fishman M-200 for use on a flat(ish) mandolin. As mentioned above, by Robin, Wales , a microphone is a very good option. With a Microphone you capture much more of the character of the instrument.

http://www.oakwoodinstruments.co.uk/four/index.htm

https://acousticon.com/17-mcintyre-pickups

https://www.stewmac.com/electronics/...UaAtaqEALw_wcB

https://www.sweetwater.com/c985--Aco...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

This video is good. Acoustic pickups are discussed in the first few minutes.
https://youtu.be/Ualm3rCZRz0?si=TmlOR3YiCvamD_Tf
Thank you very much for all that information.

I was rather surprised seeing the Oakwood website, as when I last looked in about 2015 they said they were no longer making instruments. This info looks more up to date.

I have only used the mando on a couple of gigs and have micíd it up thus far but am curious about a more permanent solution.

Best wishes

Slim
__________________
2022 Gibson L-00 Studio Walnut/Burst
2019 Martin D-28 Re-imagined
2018 Gibson J-45
2007 BSG GJ-27 12 string
2005 BSG J-27
2020 Regal RD-30M Resonator
1938 Dobro model unknown
2023 Michael Messer Fiddle Edge Dobro

Plus a Takamine and an old S.Yairi.
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2024, 09:42 AM
Slim Zooms Slim Zooms is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
Slim,

Depending on the gig, an SM57 or similar will amplify a mandolin well on stage even in a band situation.
Thank you Robin. Iíve tried the mic option but was hoping to review the options for something more permanent.

Iíve only gigged the mando a couple of times. It seems like a pick-up may be the most practical solution.

Cheers

Slim
__________________
2022 Gibson L-00 Studio Walnut/Burst
2019 Martin D-28 Re-imagined
2018 Gibson J-45
2007 BSG GJ-27 12 string
2005 BSG J-27
2020 Regal RD-30M Resonator
1938 Dobro model unknown
2023 Michael Messer Fiddle Edge Dobro

Plus a Takamine and an old S.Yairi.
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  #11  
Old 02-24-2024, 09:43 AM
mauricemcm mauricemcm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post

A pickup isn't as hi-fi as a mic, but for me it's been much more practical.
And you can plug in to your pedalboard.
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2024, 10:16 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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I've installed JJB twin head piezo SBT's in many fiddles and mandolins. They don't affect the acoustic tone at all, and have worked well with a variety of preamp and systems. Some of mine have been installed for over 15 years. No problems with any of them (so far).

I installed a K&K Twin in my first mandolin. It worked fine all the time I had it. I sold it a few years ago.

JJB and K&K appear equivalent in terms of quality, materials and construction. I can't hear any difference between them.
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  #13  
Old 02-26-2024, 03:19 PM
TobyB TobyB is offline
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I used to live around the corner from Oakwood ... I have a couple of their solid bodied instruments. I believe they retired/closed down with the loss of their premises.

For pickups... Phil Davidson built my acoustic mando's ... and he puts K&K's in them, because he thinks they make his handiwork sound best ... that's more than good enough for me!
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  #14  
Old 02-27-2024, 10:01 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
I've installed JJB twin head piezo SBT's in many fiddles and mandolins. They don't affect the acoustic tone at all, and have worked well with a variety of preamp and systems. Some of mine have been installed for over 15 years. No problems with any of them (so far).

I installed a K&K Twin in my first mandolin. It worked fine all the time I had it. I sold it a few years ago.

JJB and K&K appear equivalent in terms of quality, materials and construction. I can't hear any difference between them.
Glad you said that. Some people prefer K&Ks, but I don't hear a difference, either.

My current (and probably last) mando has a JJB and sounds just fine plugged in.
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  #15  
Old 02-27-2024, 10:02 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
I've installed JJB twin head piezo SBT's in many fiddles and mandolins. They don't affect the acoustic tone at all, and have worked well with a variety of preamp and systems. Some of mine have been installed for over 15 years. No problems with any of them (so far).

I installed a K&K Twin in my first mandolin. It worked fine all the time I had it. I sold it a few years ago.

JJB and K&K appear equivalent in terms of quality, materials and construction. I can't hear any difference between them.
Glad you said that. Some people prefer K&Ks, but I don't hear a difference, either.

My current (and probably last) mando has a JJB and sounds just fine plugged in.
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