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Author Topic: My new mando-tele  (Read 6641 times)

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Offline foose4string

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My new mando-tele
« on: Feb 13, 2008, 09:41:13 PM »
I went to the local music shop to buy guitar strings today, and like any good customer, I browsed the shop to see what was new.  They had a tele shaped mando hanging which grabbed my attention right away. The name on the headstock is "Eastwood".  Just slightly more money than a mandobird, but it has two pickups instead of one, and a 3 way selector. The neck needed a serious truss rod adjustment in the shop, and needless to say, caused the intonation to be way off.  I pointed this out to the shop owner, and he made some quick adjustments, then handed it back to me.  Much better now.  Still needs some more tweaking on setup, but I've been having a blast with this thing! ;D Can't wait to use this at our gig Friday night.  I had been using the Tacoma mando with a Schatten bridge, but this actually is easier to play, sounds cleaner, and no feedback worries.;)


Offline PhiddlePhartz

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #1 on: Feb 14, 2008, 01:59:25 AM »
Very cool!  Enjoy that thing.  They really are very fun to sit around and play when you don't feel like getting into the whole bow and fiddle thing.  I've had my Mandobird VIII for a month or so now and really like it.  Read about the Eastwoods a bit along the way.  Good find.  I like that Tele look.

 >:D :afro: >:D

Offline madmat

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #2 on: Feb 14, 2008, 02:08:05 AM »
I'm really starting to like the 4- and 5-string ones, I've got a couple of the "F"-style Kentucky electric mandos and a couple Australian Jupiter Creek (Robin Dick) Tele-shaped creations.

Active pickups (EMG SA's, Strat-style pickups) really help the sound and totally kill the hum, downside is you gotta totally rewire the axe with 25k ohm pots and find a place for the battery.
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Offline foose4string

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #3 on: Feb 14, 2008, 02:48:53 AM »
He had a Kentucky, Fender, and couple Michael Kelly A/E's.  The Fender neck was aweful, but it sounded pretty good, and naturally, overpriced. The MK's were  twice the price of this one.  While they sounded and felt ok, I just wasn't blown away by them. I think the Tacoma I have is on the same level.....and made in the US. ;)  Didn't mess with the Kentucky this time, but I have in other shops.  But, this little guy is different from anything I have, and I really dig the tele shape.  Never heard of Eastwood before, so I took a gamble.  Totally not like me to make an impulse buy without doing research, but the price seemed right.

Phartz, what have you read about them?

Offline fiddleandstrum

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #4 on: Feb 14, 2008, 07:45:49 AM »
I have had a similar Eastwood electric mando for around a year or so. I have to say that while I am impressed with th eplayability (after a good bit of adjusting and setup) I find the sound from the pickups to be a bit 'thin' and metallic which I have so far only been able to make worse with processing and haven't really managed to improve it any.

I have been thinking about changing the pickups but haven't got round to it yet (as usual it is another put-off job ;)

What are you playing it through foose?


Offline nhfiddler

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #5 on: Feb 14, 2008, 11:44:14 AM »
Very Cool Foose.  What fun to have a new toy to play with!   :D

I'm starting to consider getting an acoustic guitar(Which I played back when I was young and foolish).  I used to be pretty good at fingerpicking - might fit in nicely with a Bluegrass session.

I want to find one with a slim neck as I got shortchanged in the little finger dept - any suggestions?
Oh and for the record, these days I'm merely foolish.   ;)

Offline foose4string

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #6 on: Feb 14, 2008, 12:16:44 PM »
I have had a similar Eastwood electric mando for around a year or so. I have to say that while I am impressed with th eplayability (after a good bit of adjusting and setup) I find the sound from the pickups to be a bit 'thin' and metallic which I have so far only been able to make worse with processing and haven't really managed to improve it any.

I have been thinking about changing the pickups but haven't got round to it yet (as usual it is another put-off job ;)

What are you playing it through foose?



I'm playing through a Trace TA100R Concert. With the pickup selector in the middle, the sound is pretty well rounded. Sounds better coming through my amp than it did in the shop.  Certainly not as boomy as a hollow bodied instrument, but I wouldn't expect it to be.  I think it would benefit from a pickup change, not necessarily for the tone change, but for the additional output. I think it could benefit from actives....like Madmat suggested.  It gets plenty loud in my living room, but I'll have to see how it fares in a band situation.

Offline fiddleandstrum

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #7 on: Feb 14, 2008, 01:44:43 PM »
Your post got me into experimenting again this morning. I tried through my Roland AC60 and actually with a bit of tweaking got quite a decent sound from it and agree that the middle pickup position is best. You have to be careful not to tap a pickup though while playing as they are particularly noisy.

I did take the Behringer A/B switch out of the circuit this time and the sound seems improved.. those Behringer pedals are prone to creating a bit of a metallic edge to your sound anyway.

I may experiment a little more with it. My initial temptation was to remove half the strings (so it became a 4string rather than 8) and wind up the distortion to see what effects I can get out of it :D

Offline foose4string

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #8 on: Feb 14, 2008, 02:17:53 PM »
I've got my ME-50 running through the loop on the amp.  It's got several EQ settings I can experiment with also.  I love the Alesis verb/delay that's built into the amp, but I generally cut that when I'm using the 50.  I've been fooling with the Boss delays and distortions.  The distortion is ok, but I think you're right with wanting to do  4 strings instead 8....if that's the intention.  I still want the thing to sound like a mando, and probably won't be using distortions that often, so I'll keep it 8.  I'm loving the delay with it.  Boss tends to be warm sounding compared to many digital effects units, and this amp is warmer sounding than many solid states on the market, and I chose them for that very reason....but with E-violin in mind.  The mando is benefiting from that too, I think.

Offline PhiddlePhartz

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #9 on: Feb 14, 2008, 04:29:57 PM »
Phartz, what have you read about them?

I know I heard them mentioned a lot in forum type settings and did a google on Mandocaster and Eastwood.  In general they seemed to have a fairly good rep.  About the same league as the Mandobird, just different.  Sorry, my past emando research is all a blur.  8)


Offline foose4string

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #10 on: Feb 14, 2008, 05:59:57 PM »

Active pickups (EMG SA's, Strat-style pickups) really help the sound and totally kill the hum, downside is you gotta totally rewire the axe with 25k ohm pots and find a place for the battery.

madmat, are there any passive type pickups that can do the same?  What type of results would a (single space)rail style humbucker produce? 
Even a single coil with less hum and more output would be ok.  What's good... on a budget?  I'm clueless when it comes to today's guitar pickups.  I know the general sound a humbucker produces, but how will that translate to mando?  Am I better off sticking with single coils?


Just had a thought....  I did a mod to my J bass and added a push/pull to toggle it into series mode.  It added some serious gain to the output....would that type of mod work for this ?
« Last Edit: Feb 14, 2008, 06:12:18 PM by foose4string »

Offline madmat

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #11 on: Feb 14, 2008, 06:46:20 PM »
madmat, are there any passive type pickups that can do the same?  What type of results would a (single space)rail style humbucker produce?
Seymour Duncan Hot Rails are the original "twin rail" humbucking pickups that fit in a single-coil Strat pickup hole, they have four-wire output so they can be split and wired series and parallel. I like 'em a lot, if your tone and volume are 250k ohm pots now they sound a lot better if you switch to 500k pots. They really kill hum, and you don't have to find space for a battery in the axe.

There is a four-deck, five-position switch wiring on the Duncan site that lets you use individual coils in each pickup in series and parallel (eg, a wide magnetic aperture humbucker, like in some Paul Reed Smith axes) but I haven't tried that yet with rail pickups... the switch is wider than a Tele control plate so it'd have to go in something like a Tele Custom or Thinline with some routing to make space for the switch.

I'd probably get a Vintage Rails (sounds more like a old single coil, but it's humbucking...) for a mando.There are all kinds of Korean clones of the Hot Rails out there, I've seen them as low as $20. You do lose some output when they are wired in parallel (that is, a single rails pickup's two coils) but boy, are they BRIGHT! Perfect for funk.

If you've got a normal 3-position blade switch in there now, there are four-position Tele switches that let you go for parallel and series wirings when you have both pickups on. The series sound is loud and heavy on  a Tele, my favorite Tele sound is both pickups in series, but out of phase (you can put a push-pull DPDT pot on either the volume or tone control, and not drill any extra holes if the body's deep enough) sounds really good, like a halfway depressed wah pedal... a "honk" if you will. Craig Anderton's "Do It Yourself Projects for Guitarists" has a diagram so you can use a standard 2-deck, five-position Strat switch in a Tele to get individual pickups and both series and parallel combos, the fifth position is dedicated to a tone cap bleed on the rhythm pickup for a jazz sound... I remember seeing it on the web.

Edit: Here's the Anderton Tele wiring: http://users.adelphia.net/~cygnusx_1/anderton_jpeg.html

Dunno how it'd sound on a mando, all mine have single (magnetic) pickups.
« Last Edit: Feb 14, 2008, 07:09:13 PM by madmat »
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Offline madmat

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #12 on: Feb 14, 2008, 07:01:45 PM »
I know I heard them mentioned a lot in forum type settings and did a google on Mandocaster and Eastwood.
One of my frequent eBay searches is "electric mandolin", and that does turn up an Eastman Mandocaster from time to time... they only thing putting me off a little is the $399 price tag for a new one... waiting for a used/abused one at around half that... ;D

Edit: I may end up just putting a second pickup on one of these kits, with a homemade pearloid Tele Thinline style pickguard, but that's a ways off:
http://www.internationalviolin.com/item_detail.aspx?ItemCode=EMK2

I like four strings, less tuning hassle! ;)
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

Offline soundboot

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #13 on: Feb 15, 2008, 02:25:24 PM »
I've noticed that the Fender re-issue mandocasters (not the original 50
s model), which are now no longer made, are being sold at quite a high price.

Offline madmat

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #14 on: Feb 15, 2008, 03:31:49 PM »
I've noticed that the Fender re-issue mandocasters (not the original 50
s model), which are now no longer made, are being sold at quite a high price.
Perfect recipe for a flood of inexpensive Chinese copies... ;D
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Offline foose4string

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #15 on: Feb 19, 2008, 02:05:32 PM »
I sat in with ex band mate on Thursday night, doing an acoustic type gig. He works as a guitar tech in a music shop by day, so he finished doing the setup on the mando.  Thing plays like a dream now.  Output still kinda' low. He's rather critical when it comes to fit and finish on stuff, and he was very impressed with it.

The gig went very well Friday night.  The little mandocaster was a big hit with the fellas in the band.  Everyone loved the looks of this thing. There was only one song during the set where I used it, but it sounded great.  I plugged into the second channel of the Trace, and cranked up the gain to about 3 o'clock.   I could hear myself ok.  Just a few chord chops and some tremelos, nothing too complicated, I was just background fill anyway.   I still had a tiny bit of headroom, but it might still benefit from some hotter, possibly active,  pickups....but I'm in no rush to do so.  Lovin' my new toy. :)

Offline chili

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Re: My new mando-tele
« Reply #16 on: Feb 21, 2008, 01:45:35 AM »
I've posted this before but I really like Steve Ryder's pickups for electric mandolin. 

http://sjryder.com/pickups.htm

I have a vintage 60's fender mandocaster (4 string) w a Ryder single coil pickup and it sounds great.

http://www.macidol.com/song/19322



 




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