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John L
Jan-31-2010, 9:48pm
Just wondering what others are using for strings on old Gibson A mandolins? Mine is a 1916 A-1. I play mainly as an accompianist to singer-songwriter acoustic guitarists, at least on this particular instrument. I have a good F-5, which I use Gibson Monel strings on, but I think the old oval soundhole Gibson calls for something different and lighter.

:popcorn:

Dave Hanson
Feb-01-2010, 3:02am
As a rule I use J74s on my 1917 A, no problems. Check out what Frank Ford says on his website.

Dave H

John L
Feb-01-2010, 9:08pm
Thanks Dave. I can't find anything on the Frank Ford website (how to put them on, yes, but nothing on what to put on). I have also searched this site, but nothing specific to Gibson As - I am looking for comments from other teens Gibson A owners as to what they use.

Rob Gerety
Feb-01-2010, 9:42pm
I have a 1916 A4. Based on advice of the luthier that replaced the nut, reglued the brace and leveled the frets - I am using GHS medium light strings - A260- 11,16,24,38.

So far I like them on this particular mandolin which I think is fairly representative of the teen A models - ie. strong bass response. I had J74s on it before these. And a lighter set on before that. I think these GHS medium lights balance on this instrument the best. It does not need the extra bass that the J74s provide but is does need the fat trebles which is what these strings provide. So I think these work better than J74 in this particular case and they take a little pressure off the top compared to J74 - actually quite a bit of pressure.

bigbike
Feb-02-2010, 1:38am
From what I have heard from a guitar tech that services Amy Rays Early A's (she has 2 of em) she is using D'Addario mediums on it and Amy jams the heck out of that old mandie on the folk and rock tunes she plays on it.:mandosmiley:

danb
Feb-02-2010, 4:58am
On all old gibson oval holes you should check the lateral brace- reach in under the soundhole and see if you can feel either side is loose. You should also look for any previous top sinkage or distortion in the top. Once you're comfortable that is in good shape, put strings on to your taste up to a j74 set. If you want to go heavier, best to consult with a luthier about your specific instrument- the truss-rod ones seem to do fine with those too.

Myself- they all get j74 or exp74 sets from D'Addario

Pete Martin
Feb-02-2010, 11:31am
Sam Bush Monels work for me.

mandroid
Feb-02-2010, 12:26pm
I have GHS A250, P bronze wound .. 10,15,24,36 on my non TR Gibby, paddlehead.

Mark Levesque
Feb-02-2010, 3:30pm
I like D'Addario EXP-77s on my 1918 A-4.

Bob A
Feb-02-2010, 3:50pm
I use GHS PF250 brighr bronze on a '21 F4.

Zigeuner
Feb-02-2010, 11:44pm
I use light ga. bronze strings on my '17 A-3. They are something like .010 to .034's of various brands, usually D'Addario. They are easier on the top and they sound very nice,

pops1
Feb-03-2010, 1:09am
Try the GHS Silk and Bronze, you can use the 11- 40 and still have less tension and a great sound. Just put them on a Brentrup and they sound better than the phospor bronze 11-40 i was using

John L
Feb-03-2010, 12:33pm
I bought some Newtone strings yesterday on the recommendation of The 12th Fret, a really good vintage (and new) store in Toronto. These strings are handmade in the UK, and may not be widely available. They are a heavy string at 11-16-26-41, but the story the manufacturer tells is that they have a round core, where most wound strings are hexagonal. Apparently they can be brought up to pitch with less tension - does that make sense? My A-1 is really sound, so I am going to give them a try and will report back. These Newtones are a phosphor bronze string, and the package indicates they make lighter sets.

Appreciate all the suggestions. Like Pete I also like Gibson Monel strings, and try them on every mandolin. I really like them on my F-5. They last forever, and have a distinctive "dark" sound that I really like, but may not be for everyone.

Goodin
Feb-03-2010, 1:18pm
After many trials of strings early on in my mando career I found J-74's to be the best to my liking. I use them on all my mandos.

Rob Gerety
Feb-03-2010, 1:29pm
I went though a Newtone phase with my guitar playing. I remember they had a pretty high price tag but they played very "soft" it seemed. I ended up falling in love with Curt Mangan guitar strings a few years ago and I have been using them full time since then. It would take a lot to move me away from them.

But I do wonder how the Newtone mando strings would work on an oval hole mando. Might be just the ticket. Do you know - is the string pressure actually less? Do they publish figures?

John L
Feb-03-2010, 9:20pm
I went though a Newtone phase with my guitar playing. I remember they had a pretty high price tag but they played very "soft" it seemed. I ended up falling in love with Curt Mangan guitar strings a few years ago and I have been using them full time since then. It would take a lot to move me away from them.

But I do wonder how the Newtone mando strings would work on an oval hole mando. Might be just the ticket. Do you know - is the string pressure actually less? Do they publish figures?

I hoped to get them on tonight, and may yet. Not sure about tension. Price was about the same as D'Addario, maybe a bit more at just over $9 CAN, which is getting pretty close to the same in USD.

mandroid
Feb-04-2010, 12:31am
I had nickel wound Newtones on my Hodson Djangolin when I got it, they seem OK
they're still on there or at least the wound ones ..

British imports to the US so that's gotta raise the price .. currency exchange rate.

the loops, the way they are done on the plain strings, is why there 10 hooks on old Gibson tailpieces
strings can slip as the loop twisting is on the loose twist side

Rob Gerety
Feb-04-2010, 6:42am
I now recall that with the Newtones I was cautioned not to clip the excess until I had the string up to pitch - apparently they will unravel.

John L
Feb-04-2010, 8:36pm
Newtone update... I have them on, and they do seem "soft" or at least light considering they are heavy (41 G - this set is "Custom Heavy" Phosphor Bronze). Other than that my first reaction is that they sound a lot like the D'Addarios that were on it before. Didn't notice the unravelling, but the loops are huge if you're into that kind of thing.

Jeff Wheelock
Feb-05-2010, 11:03am
I've had no problem using J74's on my '14 A-3. Of late, I've switched to a flat top set (FT74's). They seem to offer a little more ring, especially from the wound A course; and they're a tad bit lighter on the D and G courses.