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ThomastikMike
Mar-18-2004, 10:47am
There have been some confusion as of late regarding which strings to use for Mandola/Alto Mandolin tuned to ADGC.

It turns out that the strings desginated by Thomastik-Infeld for Mandola, or "Alt Mandoline", are actually for European tuning. #This translates to the American-tuned Octave Mandolin. #Confused yet? #We were, so please refer to this chart:

If you play this... # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ## Then you want this...
Mandolin (EADG) # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # Set 154
Alto Manolin/Mandola (ADGC) # # # # # # # # # # # # # #Set 164
Tenor Mandola/Octave Mandolin #(EADG) # # # # # Set 174
Mandocello (ADGC) # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ## ##Set 184
Lute (EADGC) # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ## # # Set 185

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

stefeb
Mar-18-2004, 12:30pm
So, If I buy, let's say a Weber Octave Mandolin, I would order set 154?

Mar-18-2004, 12:47pm
It seems that you'd clear things up by clearly labling columns for American tuning, European tuning and set. My interpretation was that the part before "/" was european, the part after was american but that doesn't appear to be stefeb's interpretation.

In another thread, there was discussions about variations in scale length in some of these instruments (i.e. Freshwater has instruments 545 and 610 mm that are listed as EADG). Is there a source for the length of these strings. I'd hate to buy set 174 and find it doesn't fit my 610mm octave mandolin.

PhilGE
Mar-18-2004, 7:36pm
So, If I buy, let's say a Weber Octave Mandolin, I would order #set 154?

Actually, I think you want set 174. Set 154 won't have the string length to fit the scale of a Weber OM.

Mike, thanks for your excellent service in the past. My question for you is this: I now own a 17" scale Spira flat-top mandola with a fixed pin-bridge. I currently have .045, .032, .021, and .013 strings on it. #I'm wondering, what TI ball-end strings you might recommend for it? This is a loud, bright instrument with lots of sustain. Not sure if I'll take the plunge on what might be a very expensive set, but I'm thinkng of it.

-Phil

stefeb
Mar-18-2004, 10:45pm
Phil:

Thanks. My mistake.

mad dawg
Mar-19-2004, 6:29pm
Useless observation: it seems that as the sets move down a fifth, the set's part number increases by ten.

ThomastikMike
Mar-22-2004, 9:09am
Useless observation: it seems that as the sets move down a fifth, the set's part number increases by ten.
Definitely not a useless observation. #I'm just embarrassed that it wasn't painfully obvious to us!

http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/coffee.gif #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/coffee.gif #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Mar-22-2004, 9:44am
Set 164 to set 174 is more than a fifth so don't use that 10 rule too strictly.

andermuffins
Mar-22-2004, 12:09pm
Set 164 to set 174 is more than a fifth so don't use that 10 rule too strictly.


Those are a fourth apart, which is less than a fifth, but the part about strictness is appropriate #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

mikeyes
Mar-22-2004, 2:36pm
Mike,

Who has a set of 174's for sale? I have a 22" scale octave mandolin I'd like to try them on. I use the Mandolin strings on all of my mandolins and tenor banjos and love them.

Mike Keyes

DerTiefster
Oct-25-2010, 10:16am
Yes, this is an old thread, but I'm looking now so it becomes current...

The 174 pitches/tensions SEEM TO ME to be given by Thomastik as GDAE octave mandolin pitches for a 45 cm scale length. That scale is 17.7" and is a good fit for the American style 17" scale CGDA mandola if you wanted to use it as an octave mandolin. This would have been very interesting to me last year, and may be again. I'm having trouble finding the scale length for which the 164 set is specified. I can't even find the 164 set mentioned on Thomastik-Infeld.com and that confuses me. Of course, that's not unusual.

I'm currently wrestling with the string gauges and tensions needed to play a Vega 15" mandola at either (alto) mandola CGDA or possibly (with light strings) mandolin GDAE tuning, but what I may need again is a good set of strings for a 17" octave GDAE instrument.

Ted Eschliman
Oct-25-2010, 10:49am
As an aside, PLEASE folks, tell D'Addario Strings you want them to make the new FW74 series for mandola and octave mandolin. The gauges on these are similar but other than the length, it's the silk wrapping that keeps these from being interchangeable. It took me three years to get them to make the FW74 for mandolin; plead my case they need to go the next step an make a mandola/OM set! We are so close...

Tim2723
Oct-25-2010, 11:10am
Ted, when you say that the 'silk wrapping' is the problem, do you mean that both ends of the string are wrapped like a violin string or the T.I. mando set?

ColdBeerGoCubs
Oct-25-2010, 11:11am
Whats the best way to contact them about that, Ted?

bratsche
Oct-25-2010, 11:24am
I have both the TI 164 and 174 string sets currently in use - the former on two 15.5" scale mandolas tuned CGDA, and the latter on a 17" mandola tuned GDAE.

My observations are that, on the shorter scale instruments (MidMo and Big Muddy) the 164s are absolutely ideal for they kind of music I play, and I would never want to use any other strings on these instruments. (You can see/hear them on my YouTube link, though they were recorded with a digital camera so the sound recording isn't wonderful, but gives an idea.)

It is indeed bothersome that the TI site itself doesn't even acknowledge these strings, but I have measured the set with my metric micrometer at .33, .50, .72 and 1.13mm; which converts to 0.012992, 0.019685, 0.028346 and 0.044488. I don't know about tensions, but they do not feel heavy. I think they were designated Medium. The winding is black. I got them from Ted E. a while back. He doesn't carry them any longer, but Elderly does, I believe.

The MidMo has had the same strings on it for over four years. It may be due for a change soon. :)

On my 17" mandola tuned GDAE, which is a Flatiron 1N, the 174s are good, but not perfect. The 4th course is flabbier than I'd like, even though they're the Starks (heavy). But the intonation is good and they are the best I could come up with. I wanted an octave mandolin, but can't quite play even a "short scaled" (20.5" or so) instrument comfortably, so, having a plethora of mandolas already, I decided to try octave tuning on one instrument, and chose the one that had the most strident voice when tuned normally at CGDA.

Now, when it had been tuned to CGDA in the past, it was with different strings - D'Addario or GHS, round wound light mandola strings, and speaking personally, I can NOT even imagine tuning these current TI 174 strings UP to CGDA - they're just too heavy, especially for a flattop instrument. From my experience these strings are definitely for octave tuning, not CGDA!

The 17.7 scale had me wondering, too. But I think they'd work for a couple inches longer than that. And I think in Europe that octave mandolas with scales of 18" or 19" are more typical than they are here in the US, at least from what I've seen on the auction sites. And I would guess, from my experience with the TI 174s on a 17" scale, that they would sound better on a slightly longer scale. But they may be too short to use with an American short scaled OM, because the wrappings might extend over the nut. I'm not sure, though.

Well, that is my perspective. I hope it helps!

bratsche

Eddie Sheehy
Jul-13-2011, 1:18pm
So for a Gibson H1 mandola - 16" scale length CGDA - I should be looking at TI 164? I got my TI 1804 Mandocello (Liuto) strings from mixedcompany.com but they don't show TI 164 in their list. They have three options - TI 174, TI 174ST, and TI 174W (Medium, Soft, and Hard tension). I guess I'm still confused.

Ted Eschliman
Jul-13-2011, 1:34pm
Eddie, it is definitely 164M. $75.99 Mfg suggested List Price. $39.99 MAP price. I use these on my Rigel Fandola (10-string converted mandola) with a TI E string pair.
PM me if you can't find them anywhere else.

DerTiefster
Jul-13-2011, 1:52pm
As I recall, elderly stocks these. I checked and it seems to be still true.

Eddie Sheehy
Jul-13-2011, 2:15pm
The description of the 174W (Light) is 14, 19, 28, 45 with 25.75" of "metal". The 164 medium are 13, 19, 28, 45 with 2.5" of "metal". Surely the 174 is a better "fit"... The distance from the tailpiece loop to the nut is a tad over 21" on the H1...

Eddie Sheehy
Jul-13-2011, 2:19pm
Elderly also show TI-174 MEDIUM - but not the string gauges...

Eddie Sheehy
Jul-13-2011, 2:40pm
And this just in from Mixedcompany -

"There is only one size for Mandola. The 1604 set is the standard. 164 is for Mandolin. They are available as light, medium, or heavy. But for Mandola/Alto Mandolin you need set 1604. They fit a 16-16.5 inch Mandolin or Mandola."

Ted Eschliman
Jul-13-2011, 3:05pm
Pardon the shameless plug. 164M (http://www.dietzemusiconline.com/products/Thomastik-164M-Mandola-string-set-8052.html) ggs are 12, 16, 25, 36.

Eddie Sheehy
Jul-13-2011, 4:02pm
Then they are different gauges to the MEDIUM TI 164 on Elderly?
THOMASTIK 164 MANDOLA SET
Strings are chrome flatwound over a steel core, medium tension (only) 013w 019w 028w 045w, usually tuned ADGC, treble to bass. They are 30.5" long, 20" between silked ends. The head-end silk covers about 9" of wire, so the distance from the loop to the end of wound wire is about 21.5" . This can work for flat-topped Celtic style mandolas, but probably NOT CARVED TOP mandolas. Measure before you buy. Labelled Alt Mandoline by Thomastik.

Eddie Sheehy
Jul-13-2011, 4:11pm
and from an earlier post above:

"but I have measured the set (TI-164) with my metric micrometer at .33, .50, .72 and 1.13mm; which converts to 0.012992, 0.019685, 0.028346 and 0.044488. I don't know about tensions, but they do not feel heavy. I think they were designated Medium. The winding is black." - Bratsche.

Forgive me for flogging this to death, but at the price, I need to make sure of what I'm getting before I order...

DerTiefster
Jul-13-2011, 4:39pm
Eddie, The JM-13 set ought to cover your needs. I find that the John Pearse 2250 set fits my 17" scale mandola well, and the bronze strings sound very nice. Are you just wanting to try out the TI flatwounds on your new Gibson H? If so, then a phone call to Elderly ought to satisfy your need for information.

Eddie Sheehy
Jul-13-2011, 5:22pm
I'm gathering info right here so I can peruse it later and have the info in document form. I avoid phone inquiries because I seem to spend so much time on hold and then have to repeat myself to every one of the many transfers - where there are transfers instead of automated menus...
Yes, and no. I want to specifically try the TI's but not on the new H1. I have a "hybrid" H1 with a new Lutz top and X-bracing that I want to try them on.

Eddie Sheehy
Jul-16-2011, 6:15pm
I got a set of TI 164 and put them on the x-braced H1. The silk part of the string just stayed above the nut so it worked out good - though I did have to skip the extra loop-holder in the tailpiece. So a 'good' fit for a carved-top 16" scale-length 'dola. I like the sound, tone, and resonance.

Eddie Sheehy
Sep-14-2011, 2:18pm
Back to this again... I just acquired another carved-top 16" scale mandola. It has a cast tailpiece with all the strings aligned at the bottom of the instrument. It is exactly 22" to the nut from the loop-holder. I measured the TI 164's I have on the H1 and the loop to the bottom of the silk is approx 22" - but two of the strings are a tad shy of this. So I should really move up to TI 174's for this mandola... or should I ?

Eddie Sheehy
Sep-14-2011, 6:31pm
I know the RECOMMENDED tuning for TI 174's is GDAE (on an OM), but surely - since they are the same gauges as the TI 164 - they will happily tune to CGDA on a 16" Mandola (that needs the extra 2 inches of metal between the silks...)

bratsche
Sep-15-2011, 6:02pm
174s are not the same gauges as 164s; they are much thicker! I have a set on a 17" mandola tuned to GDAE, and they work, just barely (the Gs are floppier than ideal), but I can't imagine tuning them all the way up to CGDA tension, even if the scale was an inch less.

bratsche

Eddie Sheehy
Sep-15-2011, 10:22pm
174s are not the same gauges as 164s; they are much thicker! I have a set on a 17" mandola tuned to GDAE, and they work, just barely (the Gs are floppier than ideal), but I can't imagine tuning them all the way up to CGDA tension, even if the scale was an inch less.

bratsche

Then that makes nonsense of this:

The description of the 174W (Light) is 14, 19, 28, 45 with 25.75" of "metal". The 164 medium are 13, 19, 28, 45 with 21.5" of "metal".
This info is on the Elderly site under the Tomastik Strings...

DerTiefster
Sep-15-2011, 10:25pm
Eddie, I used to see the 154 sets (Weich, Mittel, Stark) all listed with the same gauges on at least one string source site. I sort of believed the site was wrong. So it might not take bratsche to "make nonsense" of the site info. Just sayin'....

I think she keeps a vernier caliper around. And she even knows how to use it.

bratsche
Sep-16-2011, 2:10pm
LOL, nope, no vernier caliper here, but I do have a micrometer. ;) The 4th string of the 174 set (not sure which weight, it's been on so long) is 1.49mm thick, while the 4th string of the (mittel) 164 set measures 1.14mm. I can't measure the other strings easily, as they are installed and I have no extra ones at the moment.

FWIW, the 174 set even came in a much larger diameter envelope than the 164 sets do.

So yeah, I'd say that info is nonsense... not the first time I've heard of such, though. There seems to be a lot of confusion and misinformation out there on the Thomastik sets. I found that the only way to know for sure what's what was to get ahold of them.

bratsche

Eddie Sheehy
Sep-16-2011, 3:36pm
I've ordered a set of 174's. I'll have them measured by a luthier and post the results - if they don't fit my mandola I'll put them on my OM.

Eddie Sheehy
Sep-21-2011, 6:14pm
OK. The TI 174 M arrived. I took them to a luthier for measurement and I also took my H1 with 164's. Here's the measurements:
TI 164: .013, .019, .028, .047
and TI 174: .015, .019, .029, .053

I have to think that both those sets are lighter than their counterparts J72 and J76 - both of which tune easily to CGDA on a 16"/17" scale and to GDAE on a 20+" scale.

Eddie Sheehy
Sep-22-2011, 10:55am
I put a set of 154M on an Eastman. One of the E strings snapped near the peg before reaching pitch. Bummer!

Eddie Sheehy
Sep-30-2011, 11:38am
I put a set of 154M on an Eastman. One of the E strings snapped near the peg before reaching pitch. Bummer!
Elderly put me on to Thomastik who put me on to their U.S. agent - Connolly Music - who are shipping me a replacement string...

Eddie Sheehy
Sep-30-2011, 11:40am
I put a TI 174 set on a 17" Mandola - Weber Bitterroot - and the sound is amazing... also plenty of 'metal' between the silks... The gauge seems similar (perhaps a tad heavier) to J76's... The TI 164 appear to be similar to J72's...

I put a set of FT76 on a 16" Mandola and I am disappointed with the overly-bright sound and the strings don't 'feel' nice...

Eddie Sheehy
Oct-01-2011, 5:56pm
I have recorded tunes on both mandolas to sample the strings. Check out the Song-A-Week group - Contra Set and Cakewalk.

Eddie Sheehy
Oct-10-2011, 12:57pm
Here's a table of TI string gauges for the Mandolin Family Instruments:

Ted Eschliman
Oct-10-2011, 4:39pm
Working with Thomastik right now on the viability of the 174W for my 16" scale Galatin Mandola. As I've mentioned to some of you privately, the 164M will not fit a mandola with the Weber style tailpiece in which the loops are all the way to the end of the top of the instrument. Though the gauges are heavier than the 164, they are well within range for our American concept of what a CDGA mandola should use. Hope to have full pictorial report soon.

As a side note, I think we've discovered there is a misprint on the 2nd string of the 174 vs 174W numbers above. We hope to confirm they are actually reversed (should be lighter on the 171W string):

171W .60 .024
171M .54 .021
(wrong)

I'll keep you posted.

Eddie Sheehy
Oct-10-2011, 6:26pm
Yes, those 2nd strings look reversed... I got the chart from John Griffen at Connolly Music - the TI "agents" in USA. I, now have 174M on a 16" DGM3 Mandola and on a 17" Bitterroot Mandola - both tuned CCGGDDAA.

Eddie Sheehy
Oct-22-2011, 3:37pm
Here's a link to the SAW group (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/group.php?discussionid=2741&do=discuss) where I did a comparison of the TI's and FT on three mandolas...

Eddie Sheehy
Oct-23-2011, 12:28pm
Here's a comparison of TI 164, TI 174, and FT76...

http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/group.php?discussionid=2741&do=discuss

SleepyCreeker
Oct-01-2012, 9:11am
Eddie, it is definitely 164M. $75.99 Mfg suggested List Price. $39.99 MAP price. I use these on my Rigel Fandola (10-string converted mandola) with a TI E string pair.
PM me if you can't find them anywhere else.

" $39.99 MAP price." - New Member question, what is MAP?

Nat
May-19-2013, 3:53pm
I am trying to find the perfect set of strings for my Lyon and Healy Style A mandola. It has a 15.75" scale length.

I started out with the "Jazzdola" JD13 strings that Ted used to supply. They sounded great, and I like the feel, but there was one big problem: the C string intonation was completely wrong when I put the strings on. At the twelfth fret, I was maybe 30 or 35 cents sharp. And this is with a professional set up, correct bridge placement, all other strings perfect, etc. [This was, of course, not a deficiency in the string, rather a mismatch between string and instrument... Ted and jazzmando.com get the highest marks from me.]

The C string from the Jazzdola set was .043. So, next I tried the .048 C-strings from the GHS PF280 set. Same exact problem.

So, today I put on a C-string from the alt-mandoline Thomastik 164 set (which Elderly says is a .045)... and now the instrument intonates PERFECTLY at the 12th fret (and sounds amazing). It's like sunlight shooting through rainbows with confetti and glitter and lens flare and angels singing.

The only problem, as mentioned before in this thread, is that the silk wrapping at the headstock end of these strings extends too far down the string. In my case, they end up extending about half an inch past the nut (i.e. over the fingerboard).

So, two questions:

1. Is there any idiot-proof way for me to strip about an inch of that wrapping off without injuring the strings?

2. Alternatively, does anyone have any other recommendation as to what string set might work? I don't understand the science of why these strings intonate perfectly and the others didn't, and I'm going broke experimenting. I know that there are other Lyon and Healy mandola owners lurking out there... what do you use?

Eddie Sheehy
May-19-2013, 7:35pm
As I said above, I have used TI 174's on my mandolas -they are currently on my Absaroka Mandola - and they are longer than the 164's , also a tad heavier...

Eddie Sheehy
Feb-20-2014, 11:41pm
Bump so I can get to it easier

bratsche
Feb-24-2014, 1:07am
Just out of curiosity, what is the longest scaled instrument you've ever used the 174 set on with good results, Eddie? Anything longer than 17"?

(Also doing my part to bump an interesting and informative thread!!)

bratsche

Eddie Sheehy
Feb-24-2014, 9:26pm
I had the TI 174's on a 23" scale Octave Mandolin - GGDDAAEE. They were a tad muted so I went back to lighter gauge OM strings...

bratsche
Feb-24-2014, 10:57pm
Wow, there's enough string between the silk windings for a 23" scale? Impressive. What kind of OM was it? Did you have the medium or light 174s on it?

I wish they'd make 164s with an inch or two more silkless string to play with...

bratsche

Eddie Sheehy
Feb-25-2014, 12:09am
It's a Richard Beard OM. I think they were Stark (Heavy). The 174's aren't a problem, only the 164 which barely fit a 16" H1 - and you can't use the cross pins on a stamped tailpiece - and of course you can't use a cast tailpiece with the pins right at the edge of the top.

bratsche
Feb-25-2014, 12:35am
Yeah... I have 164s on a 17" flattop - I had to get a new tailpiece with hooks farther up, and even with it, there's just a little room to spare - and now I'm seriously considering an even longer bodied CGDA instrument. But I won't do it unless I know I can somehow make the 164s fit, because I won't play roundwounds - that's not an option. (I'd first make an even longer tailpiece from ebony, if I could figure out how to design one so it'd be strong enough...)

Very pretty OM there. What kind of back wood is that?

bratsche

Eddie Sheehy
Feb-25-2014, 2:26am
Flamed Koa. 174 Wiens - Light - might be an option for 17"+...
Walt Kuhlman, Steve Sorensen, and Graham McDonald make ebony tailpieces... and there's one on the Eastman DGM1... I'll take some pics of mine...

mandotx
Mar-02-2014, 7:52pm
I've read every thread I can find about mandola strings and would appreciate some advice. I have a Weber Bitterroot Mandola (17") that is currently strung with D'Addario J72's (CGDA). I like the way they sound but I hate phosphor bronze strings (they seem to react to my skin). I also have a mandolin and I love D'Addario's FW74's. The steel flat wound sounds and feels great and they really last.

So my question is, what is the closest thing in a mandola string to the mandolin FW74? I need/want a non-bronze, flat wound set. And I like the J72 weight. It appears this would be the TI 164, but from what I read they won't fit my carved top 17" mandola?? So that takes me to what - the TI 174L? But those say they are octave mandolin strings to be tuned GDAE. Thanks for the help.

And dear D'Addario - please make your FW74's for a mandola!

Eddie Sheehy
Mar-02-2014, 8:38pm
Look for Jazzdola strings - Ted Eschliman might still have a few sets. You could also try FT76 or perhaps the TI 174 Wiens (light). Thay can say what instrument they'd like to see them on, but it's up to you to put them on and tune to whatever you want...

Ted Eschliman
Mar-03-2014, 11:21am
Negative on the JD13. I discontinued them because of perpetual construction flaws. They wouldn't fit a 17", anyway. Best bet is the 174W (http://jazzmando.com/tips/archives/001690.shtml). Or make your own from a set of ball-less Chrome guitar singles (http://jazzmando.com/tips/archives/001442.shtml).

mandotx
Mar-03-2014, 5:16pm
Thanks Ted.

I talked to the guy at Emando.com and he has D'Addario flatwounds for the mandola. His "sets" are D'Addario guitar strings and he is clipping the ball ends off (just like Ted's site suggests). He has three different weight sets. $28 for the set and I don't have to mess with the clipping.

bro.craig
Mar-03-2014, 6:39pm
This is great to know. I'd like to try some on my Gallatin. Please update when you get them on. Thanks! -craig

Thanks Ted.

I talked to the guy at Emando.com and he has D'Addario flatwounds for the mandola. His "sets" are D'Addario guitar strings and he is clipping the ball ends off (just like Ted's site suggests). He has three different weight sets. $28 for the set and I don't have to mess with the clipping.

Eddie Sheehy
Mar-03-2014, 7:10pm
Martin Stillion (Emando.com) is a member here. I'm sure he'll be happy to any questions you might have.

mandotx
Mar-10-2014, 8:17pm
I put the D'Addario flat wound guitar strings on my mandola. I like them. However, not as much as I like the FW74's on my mandolin. Ted sent me some old JD13's to try and warned me the D would probably not hold. Just as he said, I broke them. I did not like the sound of the silk wounds on the mandola - too dead. The flat wounds are better but if the bronze rounds (J72's) would not deteriorate so fast I actually prefer them slightly.

So I am glad I got to try the silk would flats. And I will probably stay with the chrome flats from emando. Thanks to Ted (Jazzmando)
and Martin (emando) for the great customer service.

bro.craig
Mar-10-2014, 8:35pm
I put the D'Addario flat wound guitar strings on my mandola. I like them. However, not as much as I like the FW74's on my mandolin. Ted sent me some old JD13's to try and warned me the D would probably not hold. Just as he said, I broke them. I did not like the sound of the silk wounds on the mandola - too dead. The flat wounds are better but if the bronze rounds (J72's) would not deteriorate so fast I actually prefer them slightly.

So I am glad I got to try the silk would flats. And I will probably stay with the chrome flats from emando. Thanks to Ted (Jazzmando)
and Martin (emando) for the great customer service.

Thanks so much for the update. I'm likely to try a set from emando on my Gallatin when the current set of J72s go dead. What gauge did you get?

mandotx
Mar-10-2014, 9:12pm
Thanks so much for the update. I'm likely to try a set from emando on my Gallatin when the current set of J72s go dead. What gauge did you get?

Got the light gauge. He has medium, light and an extra light that I might get for next set.

bratsche
Mar-10-2014, 11:51pm
Do any of these mandola combos have wound A strings? Or is Thomastik still the only one for that?

bratsche

Eddie Sheehy
Mar-11-2014, 12:02am
I didn't think the TI 164 A string was wound. The lightest wound string I have seen is a .018 (the inner core is .009 I think). A .018 is a very heavy gauge for a mandola - the FT76 and J76 A string is a .016 and a .015 respectively, the J72 A is .014.
The wound A strings I have seen are all for Mandocello, or Octave Mandolin/Bouzouki

bratsche
Mar-11-2014, 1:08am
The TI 164 A string is definitely wound. That's why I like them so much. I don't know the gauge, though. Plain ones have all sounded 'twangy' to me. I wish I could buy single ones to possibly try with other sets, since they seem to be the only wound As for mandola. (And I wish they were 1-2" longer.)

bratsche

Eddie Sheehy
Mar-11-2014, 1:30am
Now you've got me thinking. I took out my DGm3 - 16" scale mandola with TI's on. Since the tailpiece has the prongs right at the edge of the top then I assume 174 (164 barely fit a H1 16" Scale with the stamped tailpiece. The silk is black so I assume Mittels, The A is plain.
I no longer have the H2 that had the TI 164 starks on it - maybe that was a wound A?

My 15" scale 10-string Vega has TI 164 with black silk (mittals?). The A is plain.

I believe Starks (heavy) have green silk. The only Starks I have are 154 - plain A and E.

bratsche
Mar-11-2014, 1:57am
I've only ever seen 164 mittels (black winding), and all the As are wound. I have them on 3 instruments right now. Check again. They are very thin, and you may have to use magnification (I do) to actually see the windings. However, I've found them very durable, and have been known to keep them on an instrument 4+ years. In that time, they haven't broken, and the windings have not even unwound anywhere. BTW, the A strings on the 154 mandolin sets are wound, too (in all gauges). Only the Es are plain. Again, get out a magnifier and you'll see.

But my ears can easily hear the difference between wound As and plain ones. I'm a violist, and we would never tolerate plain metal A strings on violas (or violins), either (if they even make such a thing - I don't know). If winding is so universal on viola & violin A strings, why is it so rare on mandola and mandolin A strings?

bratsche

bratsche
Apr-05-2014, 2:27pm
Just wanted to bump this thread with an update of interest. Because my next mandola (now being built) will have a longer body than my others do, I persuaded Keith Newell to make me a longer tailpiece than the ones I've gotten from him before, which I really like a lot. I made this request specifically because of the short working length of the Thomastik 164 strings, which I never plan to give up.

I see Keith has these longer ones in the Classifieds now - here's the link, for anyone who's also interested:

http://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/74890

(No financial interest; I'm just a happy user of Newell tailpieces!)

bratsche

Traveling Tracks
Apr-08-2014, 8:05am
Hey guys and gals, some of you were helping me on my recent thread about TI stings for octave mandolin....and I don't mean to muddy the waters here...but the above discussions were about several different string varieties...and I do have the TI 174 set now on my 20" Weber octave mando....but the green winding is literally touching the nut. I never heard back from Eddie how these could possibly work on a 22" scale length octave mandolin if the green winding is touching the nut on my 20" octave mandolin....this is so confusing. (and the luthier had to scrape back the green winding to even make it work)

bratsche
Apr-09-2014, 1:56am
Well, if your 20" Weber OM has the typical Weber tailpiece (with the string hooks right at the edge of the body), that would explain the difference. A different style, or even a longer style tailpiece could buy you 1-2" of additional critical string length.

bratsche

bertran
May-03-2014, 5:11pm
Hello, mandola novice lurker here.

Thomastik has a new website. On this website there is a document explaining how to order custom made strings from them:

http://www.thomastik-infeld.com/sites/default/files/servicedocument/ti_service_howtoorder_special_e.pdf

Reading this, it appears that they will make strings of whatever length, tension, core etc. one requires. Would you agree? In which case, the woes of fine-flat-wound afficionado mandolists are over, as long as the expense isn't prohibitive.

(I have an 18.5" scale euro-mandola I am tuning CGDA. I have some flat wound Dogals on it right now, which are okay, certainly, for current shedding. If custom strings from TI are indeed an option, I'll be trying them out in a while.)