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Gibson Humbucker In A Mandolin


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I'm just about to put a Gibson 490R humbucker in this solid body mandolin I have.

The humbucker is around 8 ohms.

I'm using a 500K pot for the volume and another 500K pot for the tone with a .020 capacitor.

Being that the mandolin is a high pitched instrument, I was wondering if anybody with more wiring experience would recommend using another sized pot and/or capacitor? Like a 250K pot or .047 capacitor.

Or is using two 500K pots with a .020 capacitor good for this humbucker and mandolin?

oh yeah, the humbucker cover I'm using has no holes for the poles, just like the Tony Iommi covers.

Edited by rino
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Welcome to PG and, no, I don't have any advice.

"Sam Bush Meets Tony Iommi" is an interesting concept, however!!!

If possible, let's see some pix and how this Mando-Bucker sounds (later). I just can't quite "hear" Mule Skinner Blues...*On Acid*...not just yet NEwayz.

Plz keep us updated.

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I’ll keep you updated.

What's funny is that I was raised and still bleed metal, but I don't play anything but lullaby type country/circus music?

And yeah, the strings don’t line up with the pole pieces – which is why I got the Iommi covers without any holes.

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Congrats on Yer Avatar. (As I'm reminded of an olde Adrian Belew recording, "Lone Rhinocerus"...used to have it, wonder what the cover looks like? (I forgot)).

I have to admit this is the 1st time I've heard of a solid-body Mando.

Did you make it yerself?

What kind of wood is it?

How thick?

Standard Mando-sized?

Any F-Holes?

Though soapbarstrat's idea of using some kind of Blade-Pup sounded Right; your using a Pup-Cover may achieve similar results. Either way you look at it yer gonna have an "extended field" past the Pup's size. Which the solid-body will also help to compensate for.

How's about "angling" the Pup? (like a Strat's Bridge Pup). I just love---the mere idea of---"experiments" such as yours!!! Assuming you've never done one of these before, that would be. How's About: Install the Pup horizontally? (maybe)? Well, I dunno about all-that....(nevermind)

So you usually play country-lullaby type stuff?


I'm kinda thinking that maybe, just-maybe, this "Metal-Mando" of yours may wind up being totally doable for that kinda music. You know, that humbucking "warmth" (with the volume down, obviously).

Should work on a few Zeppelin covers....I must add/ would think....

What kinda volume & tone controls will this instrument have?

Rear-routed or Cover-Plate?

(etc? etc?)....

Tell us about yer progress, plz!



PS, here's Adrian Belew's "album cover" for Lone Rhino---


Edited by rick_here
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yes, that humbucking warmth, mmmmmmmmm.

Except I like to turn my instruments wayyyyy up and barely glide over the strings with my pick - so gentle that if a baby were sleeping in the same room, they wouldn't wake up.

But if I were to accidentally stumble and hit a string with regular force, the thump would be so LOUD, people 2 or 3 rooms away would wake up startled. Very dynamic.

This is the most work I ever attempted to do to an instrument. I don't have the tools nor room necessary to do any serious work. Luckily I never had to 'till now. I have a Gibson SG and LP and never had to do anything except change the tuners on one and change the nut on the other.

I love my guitars and been wanting a mando for over a year. I bought this one cause it looked cool and was only $70, but when I got it everything on it sucked! The pickups were single coils made of super cheap plastic. They were wired wrong and not even grounded to anything... Crap! Crap!! Crap!!!

The nut and bridge it came with was notched crooked and unevenly spaced. Action was about 5 times too high. Strings kept popping out of the bridge and wouldn't intonate.

I finally got fed up and decided to make the instrument cool, cause even though it sucked - the body and machine head tuners were of high quality and worth saving cause I liked the way it looked and felt.

It's a standard sized mando with wooden cover plate. I'm wiring it with one volume and one tone, just like an SG or LP. It's completely flat, without any f holes. Not sure what kind of wood it is, but its strong & solid and about 1 1/2 inches thick.

I didn't want to spend the money on nut files this time around so I bought a pre-slotted graph-tech nut and a pre-slotted ebony bridge.

The whole setup seems to coincide with these measurements I found on the net. Hopefully it'll turn out right.


scale length: 13 7/8"

width of nut: 1 5/32"

width at 12th: 1 15/32"

strings, outside to outside, at bridge: 1 19/32"

I just finished bending those metal things on a humbucker that the height screws and springs go into. I had to bend them backwards so the humbucker would fit into a 1 1/2" thick instrument.

The uneven pole spacing with strings shouldn't be a problem. They come close and I did some preliminary test - plus Gibson pole screws are slightly adjustable so we'll see.

The Iommi cover is for aesthetics and might end up being a little functional, maybe?

My next goal is to do a little work on the ebony bridge. It's too high and made for archtops, but perfect to modify. I just need a few threaded inserts and something like a router or something to cut into a few spots a little.

I don't have the tools or room to do the work, so I need to find a local store or something or someone?

After that, I can wire it up and put it together.

Hopefully, it'll be one tuff little mandolin.

Oh and if I can't find a way to do the bridge work right now, I can still use it temporarily. It just won't be height adjustable untill I do a little routing and cutting or something?

Thanks for the well wishes, will keep you updated. ANY advice and/or recommendations will be apprecitated.

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