• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Does my new mandolin sound better?

    March 25th, 2013
    music, experiment, mandolin  [html]
    I just bought a Collings MT to replace my Morgan Monroe MAM-200. I love playing it and I think it sounds much better, but I'm curious: how does it compare out in the hall when I play it for dances? I made recordings [1] of the 3/22 Brooklyn dance where I played my old mandolin and the 3/24 Powder Mill Barn dance where I played my new one, which means we can compare them.


    Of the ~14 sets we played each night we played six both nights. I listened through each of the six paired tracks and picked segments where I was playing similarly. They are below, in random order, for blind comparison:

    Shenandoah Falls chords A B
    Brenda Stubbert's chords A B
    Far From Home melody A B
    Speed the Plow chords A B
    Rainy Night in Montague chords A B
    Julia's Waltz melody A B
    Seanamac Tube Station chords A B
    Thomas Shrug's March chords A B
    Thomas Shrug's March melody A B
    Devil in the Strawstack chords A B
    Toothfairy Jig chords A B
    The key is here, but listen and form your opinions before unblinding yourself!

    What this test doesn't capture is I think the biggest advantage of the new mandolin: it's much louder. With the old one I could barely hear myself acoustically and I could almost never have enough of it in the monitor without feedback, and while the new one isn't as loud as a fiddle it's still loud enough that I can hear it acoustically and I have the flexibility to put it as loud as I want it in the monitor.

    (Other reasons I like the new mandolin more: it's easier to play and keeps it's tuning better.)

    Shenandoah Falls chords old new
    Brenda Stubbert's chords old new
    Far From Home melody old new
    Speed the Plow chords old new
    Rainy Night in Montague chords old new
    Julia's Waltz melody old new
    Seanamac Tube Station chords old new
    Thomas Shrug's March chords old new
    Thomas Shrug's March melody old new
    Devil in the Strawstack chords old new
    Toothfairy Jig chords old new


    [1] All recordings were with an sm57 into a vsl1818 audio interface, and are just the mandolin track. Both mandolins had D'Addario J74 Phosphor Bronze strings, though the ones on my older mandolin are getting old. The low thumps on the new mandolin are because there's no eq (low-cut) on any of the recordings and the mic stand was much closer to my feet the night with the new mandolin. The recordings all the raw .wav files at the original sample rate, and I adjusted their volume levels with sox --norm=-6 foo.wav foo-normalized.wav

    Comment via: google plus, facebook, r/mandolin

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It? Part I, Mining

    This week we are starting a four-part look at pre-modern iron and steel production. As with our series on farming, we are going to follow the train of iron production from the mine to a finished object, be that a tool, a piece of armor, a simple nail, a w…

    via A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry September 18, 2020

    Learning Game

    I came up with this game. In the game one person thinks of something and then gives the other person a clue. And the other person writes a guess down on a blackboard or a piece of paper. Or really anything you have that's laying around that's av…

    via Lily Wise's Blog Posts September 17, 2020

    Hong Kong Construction Costs

    I think we have found the #2 city in urban rail construction costs, behind only New York. This is Hong Kong, setting a world record for the most expensive urban el and encroaching on Singapore for most expensive non-New York subway. As we look for more da…

    via Pedestrian Observations September 16, 2020

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact