View Full Version : Wound A Strings...

Feb-25-2004, 10:10am
Saw the Thile dvd for the first time last night. He mentioned his preference for some [flattop?] D'addario strings with a wound A string. I can't quite remember the details. Which strings are these and does the wound A make much of a sound difference to any of you?

I still have some j74's, but I was going to order some strings soon, and was considering the monel strings Sam uses....just for something different.

Feb-25-2004, 10:17am
I just got that DVD recently as well. He's using D'Addario Flat Tops. I think he says (or maybe it was someone on this board) that he thinks the wound A provides a better transition from the D string in terms of tone.

It has been reported here that lately Thile has been using Elixir Nanowebs. I put on a set recently and like them, but I'm intrigued by the Flat Tops and may try a set at my next string change. I'm still experimenting to see what strings I like best.


J. Mark Lane
Feb-25-2004, 10:23am
I believe these have to be the FT74's. The only other string set that I am aware of that has a wound A is the Thomastik-Infield brand. I believe those are also flatwound strings. I have been trying to find a flat wound bronze string in the 14-16 range, but have struck out at every turn. It may be that it is just not feasible, I don't know.


Feb-25-2004, 12:18pm
According to the info on the Just Strings web site, the D'Addarios are "phosphor bronze flat wound" and the A is a 15.

J. Mark Lane
Feb-25-2004, 12:37pm
Oops, I meant to say that I was looking for a bronze wound in the 14-16 range that was NOT flat wound. Sorry.

John Hill
Mar-07-2004, 1:59pm
The D'Addario flattops are excellent strings and I used them exclusively just for the wound A string. I liked them a great deal but are on the quiet side but sound great recorded. I recorded with the flattops and a Dawg pick and had a nice fat tone. I think the wound A does give a nice transition to the D.

Now I'm using the J75's because of the thicker A & E strings also give a nice transition IMO.


Mar-10-2004, 5:46pm
Just got a couple sets of those flat tops this past weekend. I changed them out last night and I love them! For some reason they sounded really good, but I guess only time will tell if that's because I just wanted them to sound good.

It seemed like there was some resistance between the pick and the strings that I liked. Almost like their was violin rosin on the strings. I tried several picks to make sure it wasn't just me or the pick. I have no idea what that's about but whatever the case, I thought the strings were great. I can't wait to go home in about an hour to play some more.

Mike Bullard
Mar-10-2004, 6:28pm
I used them for a while but the "A" wound string would break if I used them during a festival or heavy playing. They are nice strings and do a good job and most definatly good for recording. I will stick with my Elixir's and Dawg picks for jams and festivals.

Martin Jonas
Mar-12-2004, 5:35am
I haven't used FT-74s, but am goign to try them soon. I have used TI strings with the wound A, though. I was surprised to find that the normal bridge compensation is fine with these: my understanding had been that the pattern of string compensation on the bridge is supposed to adjust intonation for the different bending radius of a wound string compared to a bare string. Why then does one not have to change the bridge compensation when switching from, say, J74 to FT74?


Mar-12-2004, 8:25am
Levin4now, I sent you an e-mail. I have some Sam Bush I just ordered. I would trade some for J74s. Let me know if you're interested.


Scotti Adams
Mar-12-2004, 9:11am
Danny...you dont like the Bush's?

Mar-12-2004, 10:43am
I like the tone but it seems I'm giving up too much in volume and that A string is killin me..I think part of the problem is the bridge is cut for a 16 and the 14 is dropping to far into the slot in the bridge. If you look at it you can actually see the difference in height from my E to my A, the A being lower than the E. Overall I think I'm better off with the J74's, I'll deal with the brightness for a few days. I do however see what people like about the Bush's. By the way, I know you're getting a band together, I'd like to know when you guys play, maybe I can get away and give a listen..Thanks


Scotti Adams
Mar-12-2004, 10:44am
..Ive never noticed the volume issue with the Monels....I guess its all according to what one gets used to...huh?

Mar-12-2004, 10:54am
I think you're excactly right. The lighter guage A string I keep bending it out of tune...I know this is my problem and a damn bad habit. I have a gig coming up so I'm gonna leave em on till next week and try not to give up who knows. But odds are I'll switch back.
I already asked on the other post but you were typing at the same time I was. I want to come and give a listen to your group one of these days...

Mar-12-2004, 7:56pm
I love the Flattops

Scotti Adams
Mar-12-2004, 8:46pm
..well..Im starting to play with a band called Coal Train...the guitar player, Terry Johnson, used to play mando with Crowe when Tony King was the lead singer/guitar player. Our first festival will be in Friendship Indiana on May 7th. Our first practice was last weekend so weve got some woodsheddin to do...it shouldnt take long...these boys know how to do it..

Mar-16-2004, 11:12am

I sent you an email about trading some strings. Still offering?


Mar-16-2004, 1:07pm
Yes, Still interested. I didn't get an e-mail but I didn't realize I hadn't updated my e-mail. I'm not sure it went through. It should be squeak78@thewavz.com. I sent a message thru this sight to your messenger. It just asked how many sets you have and want to trade. I have 5 sets of the Sam Bush. thanks,

Danny Bryant

Mar-30-2004, 11:28pm
I agree with Danny B. I just put some Sam Bush Monels on my new mandolin, and I can't wait to get them off. I had Elixers on it and they were OK. On my other F5 #2 I tried lots of #brands and ended up liking TI's the best for it, I also liked the FT74 flat tops but they did'nt last too long like TI's/. The Bush Monels I put on my F5-#3 two days ago, and I like the tone of the D and G string altho they lack volume, but I have the same problem Danny B. has I hate the A string, sounds kinda tinny and scratchy, it's OK for just hitting notes but any tremelo I get a bad sound that I did not have with other strings. I think my next set for mando #3 will be FT74's then TI's Stark, still experimenting with #3 it's only a couple weeks old.

Mar-31-2004, 7:55am
Yonkle, I found that the reason for my problems were the saddle is cut for a 15 or possibly a 16 guage string. The A is visibly lower than the rest of the strings because the 14 sits in the saddle and nut too low. I swithched back to the J74s'.

Scotti Adams
Mar-31-2004, 8:58am
..you guys arent giving those Monels a fair shake...play them for a while and I bet you will have a different opinion about them...

Mar-31-2004, 1:55pm
i love the monels.

Apr-06-2004, 10:55pm
Hey Scotty: I think you may be right. After the Monels were on a few days I started to like them, but I changed them out and tried some J75's and now I miss that deep wooden tone from the D and G string that the Bush Monels give.
I once tried a set of just "Gibson Monels" which I think they quit making, and I did not like them at all, there is a difference in the Gibson Sam Bush Monels, they do sound better.
I have some flattops FT74's and some Ti's on order, still experimenting with my new mandolin#3 It's amazing what different strings and different picks can do for a mandolin. I played guitar for 25 years and strings and picks were no big deal, but on a mando it can be night and day!

Apr-07-2004, 6:43am
I'm tryin to give it a week or so but since I put the J74's back on I miss the same strings. I do have a question for anyone. What I want to do is use the Monels but do as Charlie D is doing and change the A string to a 15 or 16. My question is are the steel strings so different from maker to maker that I'd notice this? Dammit I hate when someone else is right. THANKS SCOTTI http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Scotti Adams
Apr-07-2004, 7:25pm
..uh..your welcome..I think http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif