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Thread: Alden / Eastwood Mandocaster

  1. #1
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    Default Alden / Eastwood Mandocaster

    I just bought an Alden Mandocaster Via ebay, the instrument had be set up for it's previous owner to Uke tunning and four strings. Fortunately the mods only consisted of fitting strings more suited to the Uke tuning and securing the unused tuners together with short lengths of string to stop the rattling.I fitted a set of Ernie Ball 10-36 strings (the only gauge and type available to me locally). It works pretty well but I do have a slight buzz on the G strings and occasionally on the D on frets 1 to 5. I have raised the action slightly but dont want to go too far. The frets seem level and the neck relief seems about OK.The current set up is Nut (G to E) 16, 13, 11, 11 (Thou) - Fret 12 (G to E) 82, 71, 67, 67 - Relief at 7th fret 5 - Strings Ernie Ball 10-36. Does this set up look about right?# Would using the heavier strings (11-40) suggested by Rhinestone on a previous thread help?# Can I use electric guitar strings as these are available locally?# Any thoughts or experiences gratefully received.## Neil###

  2. #2
    Cambridge Mandolinist Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alden / Eastwood Mandocaster

    Neil,
    There are actual Luthiers on this section, so they may correct me but...
    Heavier strings may cure your buzzing. Heavier strings create a smaller arc at the same pitch as lighter strings. It's also possible that the .036s are a teensy bit too loose in the nut and are rattling in there.

    Daniel

  3. #3
    Registered User Rhinestone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alden / Eastwood Mandocaster

    Yeah you can use regular Ernie Ball, D'Addario etc electric guitar strings which are reasonably cheap and yes I would put on 11-40. You can buy them seperately at any music store and put together your own sets. I buy 2 or 3 sets at a time for around $15-$20.You'll have to widen the nut slots on the Gs and Ds. Be careful and only widen - don't deepen and don't break the nut. Use a set of miniature jeweler's files for that,take your time,choose your files carefully and wear a pair of #3 reading glasses with good light so you can really see what you're doing. Widen the outside of the slots and leave the material between the slot pairs untouched. One trick I use is to burnish and smooth out the new enlarged slots by using a wound string of the correct gauge as a sort of finishing file. When you get the strings on and up to pitch,sight down the neck and adjust the trussrod if necessary to flatten the fingerboard,then lower the bridge to suit and average out the compensation. I do that on this kind of bridge by setting the intonation for the outside strings (Gs & Es) w/the 2 adjustment screws and the Ds and As should be ok. You may have to drill 2 new lower holes in the back of the bridge plate - per my other post you mentioned - to get the bridge low enough. Those things are great and when set up correctly they play like an electric guitar. They sound good,play good,look good,stay in tune and I've never broken a string.
    -Michael Johnstone-

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    Default Re: Alden / Eastwood Mandocaster

    Thank you Michael and Daniel. I have already done the bridge mod as per the previous thread. I hope to get to my local Guitar shop in the next couple of days to pick up some strings and give it a try. Neil

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