View Full Version : string emergency

May-05-2004, 9:39pm
hey folks- popped a string last night (this seems to happen with the nanoweb meds every once in a while).
i only have one pack and want back up strings to change between sets just in case.

the stores near me only carry a variety of d'addario strings (2-3 kinds if i remember and i know they have the the 'j' family of strings). what would give me the closest sound/feel to the elixirs.
i know they are different animals, but i need help for friday's gig, as i need to order elixirs and wont get em till next wk.


John Flynn
May-06-2004, 5:26am
which string did you pop? If it is a plain steel E or A, just replace the one you broke with any brand of a similar gauge. You could even ask the store if they sell any single strings. If you popped a wound string, the D'Addario Phosphor Bronzes are going to be a lot brighter than your Elixers and you probably won't like that. They do make a steel set, the J67s. I am not wild about them personally, but they are less bright and might be a better match.

May-06-2004, 6:27am
i popped a d string. is it ok to change just one string? i thought one needed to change the whole set?

May-06-2004, 7:00am
Ira, Give me a call, I always have a few odd strings for emergencies. I don't have Elixirs, but as posted above, any port in a storm will be fine. By the way, I have been waiting to see and hear your new axe. Larry

John Flynn
May-06-2004, 7:12am
No, you don't absolutely "need" to change a whole set. There is no rule. It does make sense in a perfect situation and it would sound more consistent, but to get by in your "emergency" situation, it might work OK. A luthier I respect once told me that a very slight dissonance between paired strings is actually one of the components of a mandolin's unique sound. I have always thought there is something to that, since intonation on a mando is rarely 100% consistent with pairs on every single fret.

There are some other possibilites: 1) Just play with the string missing. The D tends to ring out pretty well on most mandos if I had to play missing one string of a a course, a D would probably not be the worst choice. 2) You could also put a single unwound E string on there and tune it to D, but an octave higher. Some people do both thier lower courses that way as an alternative stringing. It creates a really interesting sound.

The only real problem with mixing strings in my mind is having a "wolf" string that rings a whole lot louder than the others. You want to avoid that and that is the caution with the D'Addario/Elixer combo, especially with Phosphor Bronze. #If you decide to mix and can only get D/Addarios, I would go with the J67s if you want a string that is not as bright.

If you do want to change out the whole set, one hazard you have at this point is that any new set of D'Addarios will sound very brassy for the first few days. I love the J74s and J75s, but they will be the worst for this factor. A full set of J67s will be somewhat less brassy.