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Thread: Gibson EM-200 tuned like a mandola?

  1. #1
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    Default Gibson EM-200 tuned like a mandola?

    So, I'm thinking of putting mandola strings on my EM-200. Just to get a lower, more guitar like sound. Has anyone tried this? Or know if it would work? I find I don't use the E string much with the music I play. Anyone have any idea? Thanks in advance.
    Chief. Way up North. Gibson 1917 A model with pickup. JL Smith 5 string electric. 1929 National Triolian resonator mandolin with pickup. National RM 1 with pickup. Ovation Applause. Fender FM- 60 E 5 string electric (with juiced pickups). 1950's Gibson EM-200 electric mandolin. 1954 Gibson EM-150 electric mandolin. Custom made "Jett Pink" 5 string electric- Bo Diddley slab style. Jay Roberts Tiny Moore model 5 string electric.

  2. #2
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson EM-200 tuned like a mandola?

    Sure it would work. Johnny Gimble tuned CGDA. I like .056, .040, .024, .014 for 14" scale like my 5-string.

    Bridge compensation might be an issue. A straight line bridge is ok, but individual adjustment best.
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    Default Re: Gibson EM-200 tuned like a mandola?

    I made that very switch about three years ago for the very same reason and am very happy with the result. You definitely have to have a new bridge saddle for proper compensation and then may have to mess with string gauges to make the new CC courses sound and feel right. PM me and I can give you a bunch of info based on what I learned in the process. A note, though...it will not make the mando sound more like a guitar at all, but rather a deeper voiced mandolin.

    I am in St Paul. And was born in Duluth....still have relatives up in Piedmont Heights and up off 61 on French River.

  4. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson EM-200 tuned like a mandola?

    The EM-200 has a straight-across brass saddle which (at least on mine) drove me crazy with an incessant ringing. I tuned my to standard but replaced the top with a regular ebony compensated saddle. I think it sounds better. it might even sound better with the lower tuning. Try it and let us know.
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    Default Re: Gibson EM-200 tuned like a mandola?

    Another thing you can have some fun with is to go down to 4 strings....especially with an electric.

  6. #6
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson EM-200 tuned like a mandola?

    I got a 4 string converted EM150, the C offset is further back so you may need a custom made bridge piece ..

    the Shop that did mine (bought as such had a Tune-O-Matic style brass Bridge for it, (wood base)

    C is an .050" ... other 3 Just mandolin shifted over . so Intonation offset shifted with them.
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