Preferred strings

  1. Mike Bunting
    So what strings do Collings players like? Me, I've been playing bluegrass/old time for the most part and after trying others brands, I've come to like the Gibson Sam Bush monel strings. I like them for their crispness and fast response. I realize that these tastes are pretty subjective but I'd like to find out what others may think on this subject.
  2. Ken_P
    I've been doing some experiments with my MT2, and I've settled on EXP74s. The 2 for 1 deal at Elderly helped, but I just love the way they sound on my mandolin. Probably the most balanced set I've tried, they sound great on every string in every register. I also got over 2 months on the set I used last, so extended life claim checks out too.

    I was also very impressed with FT74s when I tried those a few months ago. The felt great under the fingers, and the notes really popped out, especially on the D and A strings. The Gs on that set weren't quite as strong as I like, though.
  3. mandopete
  4. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Call me middle of the road, but I'm partial to J74s. For one thing, I can always going into the store and buy them.
  5. tango_grass
    Elixir Mediums! on my MF5
  6. Paul Lucas
    Paul Lucas
    I recently tried the GHS A260 Phosphor Bronze set on my MT, and I have been happy with them so far. I'm a big fan D'Addario, but I like the string gauge combination in this set (011 016 024W 038W). I especially like the slightly heavier A string (.016) as it seems to stay in tune better. The package says it's the Bobby Osborne set. Maybe that accounts for me wanting to only play Rocky Top lately.
  7. Mike Bunting
    Addendum, I always swap out the cheesy .14 A's that the monels have for the .16's
  8. GTG
    I'm a J75 man myself. There are plenty of strings that I haven't tried, but I didn't like Sam Bush monels. J74s were ok, but J75s were better. Didn't like JS74s or Martin Bluegrass.
  9. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    *Maybe this discussion should be linked to the 'what kind of music do you play on your Collings?', which may influence string choice. I play mostly 'New Acoustic' music (Dawg, Bush, Fleck, originals, etc.).
    Until recently I'd used J75's since they were introduced - it saved me from replacing the E and A strings on the J74 with (usually home-made) heavier gauges. I've been using GHS Silk and Bronze (LBS250) lately, as the MF5's tend to lean toward the brighter end of the sound spectrum, having a more 'modern' tone. I put a set on before a gig Sunday, but a few hours of HD picking ended them. I'm having second thoughts (now that I've stocked up and have about a dozen sets)! Restrung with phosphor bronze yesterday.
  10. DougC
    Mandopixie, the Steel version of GHS strings LS250's might last longer. I noticed that they can be heard over the band, in my case, the accordion, where the LSB250's don't punch thru as much. I have not had the steel strings long enough to see if the steel version lasts longer.
    *I agree that these discussions overlap the regular discussion groups as well as the Collings group. There must be a way to link this stuff. I'm sure there is plenty of talk about strings and music styles.
    BTW I'll take the LSB250's Paul.
  11. Mike Thomas
    Mike Thomas
    I've been using Thomastik starks on my MT2 after trying Flat tops, Labellas, and J74's. I love the feel and sound , and they seem to last forever. Hold a tuning really well, too. Every once in a while I'll try something different (thinking about Pyramids next) but it seems like I always come back to Thomastik.

  12. Steve Ostrander
    Steve Ostrander
    I just tried a set of the EXP74s and They sound great on my MT, better than J74s. And they were on sale 2 for 1.
  13. clem
    I'm using the the Jazz Mando flat wounds from LaBella and LOVE them on my MT2V. I've strung it with phosphor bronze strings too (which sound xlnt) but the flat wound sound and fell just WORKS for me. Plus, it encourages me to stretch and try to play using Ffcp and jazz chords...
  14. Rick Schmidlin
    Rick Schmidlin
  15. Bill Auld
    Bill Auld
  16. Jack Roberts
    Jack Roberts
  17. Douglas McMullin
    Douglas McMullin
    I used Thomastik heavy's for several years on my MT, but now I use Nanoweb mediums.
  18. Paul Lucas
    Paul Lucas
    After some experimentation with the GHS A260 and D'Addario EXP74s, I'm back to the J74s. I tried these strings (A260 and EXP 74s) on my "plain" sunburst Collings MT. I play Old-Time and Bluegrass Lite music.

    I started with J74s and looked at other strings, because I was looking for a longer lasting set. For me changing strings on the mandolin almost ranks with going to the dentist (no offense intended to our mando playing dentist brethren out there).

    I tried the EXP74s first and was pleased with the tone. After a week or so it seemed like I could never get my mandolin to stay in tune with that set. The A string seemed to be the worst offender. I started looking for other string sets to try and I noticed that the GHS A260 set had a slightly heavier A string.

    I like the slightly heavier A string that comes with GHS A260 set, but the set seem to go dull more quickly than the J74s. The A string seemed to stay in tune better with the 260s. So, I'm back to the J74s and will just have to get used to change strings a little more often for now.
  19. stoney
    I haven't tried a large number of strings, but of those I have tried,
    I keep returning to J74s.
  20. F-2 Dave
    F-2 Dave
    I hate changing strings. I'll play a dead set of strings for months just so I won't have to change them. That said, the J74's that came on my MT were getting a little tired so I thought I'd try some phosphor bronze Flat Top 74's.
    Does anybody else have trouble with the tailpiece holding the string until you can get it sufficiently wound around the peg? Several times I'd almost have the slack out of the string and notice that the loop end had slipped off of the little peg on the tailpiece and the loop end was too short to reattach to the peg. Maybe i'm a klutz, maybe I just need more practice, (it won't happen. I hate changing strings).
    Patience and persistence pays off in the end. All eight strings successfully changed. The new flat tops sound sweet.
  21. Paul Lucas
    Paul Lucas
    I have the same problem with my MT. You have to learn to make you eyes go in two directions.

    We should ask Collings to post a video showing us how they string up their mandos.
  22. F-2 Dave
    F-2 Dave
    Thank you Paul. It's nice to know that its not just me. I've contacted Collings a couple of times about this and that. They are always good to return emails quickly, and always seem willing to help.
  23. HarveyB
    I used a suggested method by someone on the board to use a piece of tape on the tailpiece to keep the string in place. It works fairly well.
  24. Paul Statman
    Paul Statman
    I prefer the James tailpiece on my other mando, but this one is workable:
    If you put a 'downward' bend (as it appears in place on the pin) in the loop just behind the twist, this will prevent any slippage/jumpage/pullage through the hole/aging/genital warts, etc., etc..
  25. nobullmando74
    J74. I have tried a couple other brands but haven't found any that made me want to switch.
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