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Thread: Monel wound strings...Black strings....

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    I really like my Monel wound Sam Bush strings. I was wondering first of all:

    1. What is monel? Why are my strings silver in color as opposed to bronze?
    2. Do they make these for acoustic guitar?
    3. I've seen BLACK strings for guitar - who makes them, and do they make THEM for MANDOLIN?

    Thanks folks.
    Alan

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    Black Dimond, and yes. Don
    I been through the mountians on a mule with no name.

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    From my understanding Monel is Stainless Steel. Although I could be wrong. I find them very similiar to the D'Addario JS74 set I use, just a little lighter is all.
    Philip Halcomb

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    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    So, does anybody want to give a description on how the sound of the monels compares to the J-74s? I recently bought a set and have yet to put them on a mandolin. Maybe tonight. . . .

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '25 A, '30 L-1, '84 1N, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5

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    They are darker, more guitar-like tone (to me anyway)than the J74's. Although they are the same diameter as the J74's, the JS74's seem to have less tension and maybe also less volume. They are both good products, just a matter of personal preference and compatibility to a particular mandolin.

    I prefer the tone of the JS74's for chording/choping and the J74's for picking.



    Keep it acoustic.

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    To me the monels give a thicker darker tone and they seem more flexible too.

    Monel was "discovered due to the efforts of Robert Crooks Stanley, who worked for the International Nickel Company (INCO) in 1901; the new alloy was named in honor of the president of the company - Ambrose Monell"
    However, the builders of the famous and awesome Bryn Athyn Cathedral near Philadelphia, dedicated in 1919, were and are committed to using only naturally occuring materials. #
    "The metal used in the railing of this staircase is a nickel/copper alloy called "monel". It is a naturally occurring alloy mined in Nova Scotia and Ontario that is resistant to corrosion and wears well."
    Every nail, doorknob, keylock, key, all the hinges, handrails, anything metallic in there is naturally mined monel.



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    Registered User David M.'s Avatar
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    I just installed a set of Monels last night, but kept on my .016 A's and .0115 E's. #They seem to be darkish, like the Silk and Steel, but with more power and volume. They're not as shiny silver as the Silk and Steels, either.

    Jury's still out for a while if they'll replace my J75's.



    David Mehaffey
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    ...I wonder how the old folks are at home...

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    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Lee957 @ Mar. 10 2005, 15:04)
    famous and awesome Bryn Athyn Cathedral near Philadelphia, dedicated in 1919, were and are committed to using only naturally occuring materials.
    During the early '70s, I knew several folks from the "Church of the New Jerusalum" a.k.a., Swedenburgs. We went to Byrn Athyn to visit some others from the church and I was fortunate enough to take a tour of that cathedral - WOW! It may have been dedicated in 1919, but it wasn'nt completed then. Lee, that's an interesting item of note about the metal that they used. I recall at the time stone masons carving the gargoyles in place and the hand laying of the tiles for the very intracate mosiacs.

    At the time, I was playing my Kay mandolin (for content) and used the Black Diamond strings - ha.

    fatt-dad
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '25 A, '30 L-1, '84 1N, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5

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    Funny, I think of them as brighter than my J74s. They also seem to last forever. They also sound great.

    Alan
    Alan

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    Registered User Steve G's Avatar
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    Do they make monels for guitar?
    ‎"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." - Howard Aiken

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    Don't mean to hijack this thread but have a question of similar content. I have a loud, bright sounding F5 which I tried to tone down with a set of Bush strings(replacing the J74s). While it did reduce the brightness(somewhat), the base could use some improvement. Is there a string type that could help this out? Sorry for "butting in". Thanks.

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    As Steve and I have both said, do they make monels for guitar? ...
    Alan

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    Quote Originally Posted by (levin4now @ Mar. 13 2005, 21:36)
    As Steve and I have both said, do they make monels for guitar? ...
    The FQMS catalog shows Monels only for mando and banjo.
    (This space available)

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    The come sounding dead or broken in and do not change... versus bronzes which seem brighter initially and seem to mellow out as played. Lately I have been keeping strings on til they break. Got some GHS mando strings over a year ago and still havent tried them out... Guess I'll put them on next and compare.
    Scot
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    sounding DEAD? ? ? ? Oh, c'mon!

    Perhaps on your mandolin they might sound dead,
    but on my mando they are the best sounding strings
    that I've tried in 2 years of playing.

    I LIKE the deep sound, they are not "bright". I don't want that "bright" sound, really. But they sure do make my mando sound good!

    SO basically, I guess what I'm saying is, different strings give a variety of sound on a variety of instruments.

    Nettie

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    So what about BLACK strings? Some of us play a set of strings far too long, admittedly (it is hard to replicate those smooth bass notes on a fresh set).
    But to set the record straight, Black Diamonds are not black. Yes, 40 years ago they got a dark nasty color pretty quickly, but those of today seem to be similar in quality and durability to other brands.

    rasa

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    I have been using Monroes. From reading this i think im gonna change to the Bush's.

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    ..they sound dead in a good kind of way....by far the best string on the market for my money.

  19. #19
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    I put the Monels on my distressed Ibanez (really a great sounding mandolin) and I like them. I will likely try them on one of my a5-type mandolins in the near future, but I just got the one set to check them out (and the Ibanez really needed a string change). I also sensed a deeper, but full tone to them - a sharp but good contrast to phos-bronze strings.
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '25 A, '30 L-1, '84 1N, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5

  20. #20
    Registered User Steve Williams's Avatar
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    BTW - Black Diamond does currently market black coated strings for a number of instruments, including acoustic guitar and mandolin. My wife has used the medium guitar set (N600MB) for a while now and likes them real well; I have tried the mandolin set (N774B) for the last couple months and the jury is still out. To me they are somewhere between a monel/steel and a phosphor bronze in sound, at least on the mandolin that I have tried them on. They are the only coated string that we have ever tried, so I don't know how they compare with Elixers or the coated D'Addarios.

    (The wife plays a black Gibson J-30 with a real dark fingerboard...we've had folks in the audience comment that it looks like her guitar has no strings on it, they are that black!)

    Chichester #1 F
    Kratzer #71 Flat Top A
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    Kawalek Flat Top kit mandolin

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    Speaking of black coated. I have an old A with J-74's on it that are pretty much black now. I really over played them.

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    I switched from J74's to Gibson monels(Sam Bush)on my Weber Absaroka about 3 years ago and have used them ever since. They gave my mando a great woodsy sound on the 3rd and 4th strings producing a great chop and real"punch" on leads. However the treble of the 2nd and 1st strings isn't quite as bright.
    I've tried one set of GHS silk & bronze which gave me the treble I was missing but really nothing for the bass and mid tones and they died in a few days. I did try one set of the JS74's( I think these are the stainless steel D'addarios). They were close to the monels but were rough to the touch. If I ever change from Gibson monels it will probably be to J74 phos brz.

    Oh yeah, a couple of other positives for the Sam Bush set, they include an extra A & E string and they are vacumn packed. I never break strings so after 2 sets I have extra pairs of A's & E's which I change after a couple or three weeks extending the life of the 2nd set by a couple of weeks. The vacumn pack, like D'addarrio guitar string(which I use) keep the strings new indefinitely so they die in the package if I buy a lot of sets at once.

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    Thanks Gospelmando - I stand corrected. Now that I actually look at a string list in a catalog, I see them there. I've tried the Black Diamond mandolin strings, all sizes, uncoated (hence my ignorance), and they are good. Coated strings are not my preference, although I have used them. I'll try the B's on some instruments.

    rasa

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    Registered User Steve Williams's Avatar
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    rasa,
    I'd never used Black Diamonds or coated strings before, frankly I tried them on the mandolin because my wife was having such good luck with them on her guitar. She had used Martin Mediums for years, now she uses the black Black Diamonds and has never looked back. Let me know if you like them on your mandolin...I've never talked with anyone else who has tried them!

    Chichester #1 F
    Kratzer #71 Flat Top A
    Strad-O-Lin A
    Strad-O-Lin Twin Point
    Kawalek Flat Top kit mandolin

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    Interesting, as I'm convinced Martin SPs (not coated) sound best on my guitars. And I still try a lot of different strings on mandolin, but have pretty much determined J74s work best on my F.
    I'll speak up when I get the chance to try those Black Diamond B's.
    rasa

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