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Thread: looking for warmer strings

  1. #1
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    Question looking for warmer strings

    hello everyone,
    i am a beginner mandolin player on a kentucky KM-140 mandolin.
    i am not sure what strings came with it but i am ready to have them replaced. they sound too metallic/steely to me. can anyone please recommend affordable strings that have a warmer, richer sound?

  2. #2
    Registered User MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    Unfortunately - without knowing what is on your mandolin now, getting something 'different' is nothing less than a crap-shoot. All I can think to recommend is that you get a set of phosphor/bronze strings, as opposed to an 80/20 set . . . and then, just see what happens from there.
    Five mandolins, ten electric guitars, one acoustic guitar, one electric bass, two lap steel guitars, one ukulele, one electric keyboard, a handful of percussion instruments . . . zero talent.

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    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    Quote Originally Posted by aleidasuarez View Post
    hello everyone,
    i am a beginner mandolin player on a kentucky KM-140 mandolin.
    i am not sure what strings came with it but i am ready to have them replaced. they sound too metallic/steely to me. can anyone please recommend affordable strings that have a warmer, richer sound?
    recent thread, lots of opinions except some of the new sets aren't cheap: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...ndolin-Strings (discussing GHS nickel, monel strings by Mangan, d'addario nickel bronze)

    But if it's not setup, take it to dusty strings or one of hte local jams and have a player look at it and get Rob M's setup pdf book: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...by-Rob-Meldrum

    I remember people recommending light gauge for the KM140 because they may be laminate tops, but you'll have to google for those threads
    The Keepers: Kentucky km900, two J.Bovier A5's
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  4. #4
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    Try D'Addario EJ74 or EJ75. They're cheap, then you can come back and ask for something relative to those.
    Eastman, D'Addario, BlueChip

  5. #5
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    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    It has been my experience that a nickel wound string is less metallic sounding than any type of brass/bronze

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  7. #6
    Registered User varmonter's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    I recently put a set of DR md11s on mine.after
    A couple of days they sound warmer then
    The ghs a270 that were on it. It is really such
    A subjective thing. Keep trying until you find
    Something you like..i am certainly not done
    With my new ellis. Next set will be DR dragonskins.

  8. #7

    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    GHS Silk and Steel.
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

  9. #8
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    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    The D'Addario EFW74s are warm and feel great too...
    Craig Mandola
    Mann SEM-5

  10. #9
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    How much play on those old strings? If they're still pretty new, they'll probably quiet down on their own.
    One warmer choice is flat wound strings which have the added benefit of feeling really good under the fingers and no noise when you slide up and down the fingerboard.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

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    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    GHS has a pure nickel mandolin string that has just been marketed recently. I have used them a few times now on different mandolins and really like them. They also make a silk and bronze string.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  12. #11

    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    Try the flatwound daddarios, thomastiks, or GHS silk and bronze

  13. #12
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    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    Your best bet is to do like 99% of all of us on here and that is to try as many different sets of strings that you can find and when the right combination comes along you will know it, try different picks also...and don`t be afraid to let the strings on for a while to get broken in, most new strings do sound metallic...It`s a long but fun trip but it is possible that the sound of a entry level mandolin won`t improve with new strings and a pick...Just saying...

    Willie

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    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    thank you all.
    i just learned that the mandolin came with D'Addario J74 strings.
    i got it august of last year, 2016.

  15. #14

    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    Quote Originally Posted by aleidasuarez View Post
    hello everyone,
    i am a beginner mandolin player on a kentucky KM-140 mandolin.
    i am not sure what strings came with it but i am ready to have them replaced. they sound too metallic/steely to me. can anyone please recommend affordable strings that have a warmer, richer sound?
    Before trying different equipment, I'd recommend working on your technique. Learning to "pull good tone" from the instrument has a great deal to do with your picking technique, and can be influenced by your left hand positioning as well.

    After that, try a few different picks. Thicker picks (1.4mm-2.0mm) with rounder corners will give a less bright tone, and that may get you closer to something that pleases your ear. Many people mistakenly start with guitar flatpicks on a mandolin, and it sounds very tinny. The Dawg pick, and the D'Andrea ProPlec 385 are both great Mandolin picks.

    As a beginner, it's hard when the sound isn't exactly pleasing to you. Believe me... it takes a while to develop the tone you want. Learning to pick down and with an angle to the string using your wrist and not your fingers or rotation of the hand take some investment of time. Once you get it, you'll discover a world of difference in the tonal quality of the pick release.

    Stick with it!

    Best,
    D

  16. #15

    Default Re: looking for warmer strings

    it's mostly about the pick - try a thinner and/or softer material pick for less clank and more thunk. for a really mellow tone i've made picks from 3/16" thick soft felt. going lighter in strings instead of heavier may also help. lots will really depend on the box, its materials, bracing, etc, and then the pick and strings, and your playing technique ... and lotsa testing. some boxes will just sound like tin cups no matter what window dressing is used.
    playability trumps sound, but we anticipate both to be no less than stellar

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