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Thread: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

  1. #1
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    Default Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Cheap Asian mandolins need string changes right away, right? Well, I did it. Was dreading it, but now it's done! Kind of a pain though.


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    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erok View Post
    Cheap Asian mandolins need string changes right away, right? Well, I did it. Was dreading it, but now it's done! Kind of a pain though.

    I don't know? Depends how they sounded, how long they were on the mandolin, etc. I've never done it that soon, and I've bought my share of Asian mandolins. But, if it sounds better, great! You did one string at a time? If not. If you removed all the strings at once, did you mark the placement of the bridge?
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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erok View Post
    Cheap Asian mandolins need string changes right away, right? Well, I did it. Was dreading it, but now it's done! Kind of a pain though.

    Not so much a string change, as checking the playability (strings not painfully high or buzzing because they're too low), and intonation (making sure every string plays in tune wherever you fret it).

    Changing the strings can't hurt though. And many people think it's the worst part of being a mandolinist, so congratulations on just getting it done!

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    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by jesserules View Post

    Changing the strings can't hurt though. And many people think it's the worst part of being a mandolinist, so congratulations on just getting it done!
    It does hurt, I shed blood every time I change my strings

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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by OneChordTrick View Post
    It does hurt, I shed blood every time I change my strings
    Ah, but you're all the stronger for it!

    ...........................


    Right?

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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    It will get as easy as changing your underwear !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    There are numerous threads here that give tips for easier string changes. One that helped me was putting a piece of masking tape over the loops and hooks on the new strings before putting the end in the tuner so that they do not come off while bringing the string up to tension. After you have done it a few times it will get easier.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    My body chemistry seems to corrode strings and I probably have to change strings more often than many. I'd rather spend a weekend in jail than do it. It's not difficult or time-consuming. I just don't like doing it.
    David Hopkins

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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Yeah, it's a rotten job, and has to be done pretty often. The sound of the new strings takes a lot of the sting out of it, though.
    1988 Reno mandolin, Trinity College mandola, Kentucky KM 272 oval hole mandolin, a few bowed string instruments and some stray woodwinds

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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    It's a piece of cake compared to a 12 string with a slotted headstock.
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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    good for you, I started my 1st string change about 2 years ago, still have the E's to do.

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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    I changed them hoping it would help a intonation problem with the mandolin. However, no joy. Note the position of the bridge after setting intonation with a tuner.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by TallMikeM View Post
    good for you, I started my 1st string change about 2 years ago, still have the E's to do.
    Great, coffee through the nose and all over my key board!
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Well .... it does get easier with practice and the right tools and space. Firstly a capo holds the strings under tension on the tailpiece so they won't continue to pop off the hook. Secondly a mandolin sized string winder will make the process considerably faster. THis one has a built in string cutter and bridge pin puller for a n instrument if needed. R/ http://http://www.westmusic.com/p/pl...SABEgIb2vD_BwE
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erok View Post
    I changed them hoping it would help a intonation problem with the mandolin. However, no joy. Note the position of the bridge after setting intonation with a tuner.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Check out the Rob Meldrum book, if you haven't already:
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...=setup+meldrum

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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by jesserules View Post
    Check out the Rob Meldrum book, if you haven't already:
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...=setup+meldrum
    Thank you, but this mandolin is a "lemon" I'm afraid.

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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by OneChordTrick View Post
    It does hurt, I shed blood every time I change my strings
    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    It will get as easy as changing your underwear !
    Let's all meet in a time when you needed a wrench to change your underwear - and yes, it hurt, too...



    Apart from that, I don't understand what the fuss is about. You develop a fixed routine and follow it thereafter. You can even read Cafe posts while doing it.
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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erok View Post
    Thank you, but this mandolin is a "lemon" I'm afraid.
    So, resetting the bridge position didn't help?
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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Shouldn't the bridge be roughly even with the center of the f-holes? Look at the picture again. Eyeballing the bass side, it's close to an inch off. The treble side looks to only be 1/4 inch or so off. Should the bridge really need to be at that extreme angle for good intonation? Also, this causes the strings to be at too high of an angle from the tail-piece to the bridge, so that the strings are catching on the underside of the tail-piece cover. I can't believe this is normal?

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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erok View Post
    Shouldn't the bridge be roughly even with the center of the f-holes? Look at the picture again. Eyeballing the bass side, it's close to an inch off. The treble side looks to only be 1/4 inch or so off. Should the bridge really need to be at that extreme angle for good intonation? Also, this causes the strings to be at too high of an angle from the tail-piece to the bridge, so that the strings are catching on the underside of the tail-piece cover. I can't believe this is normal?
    No. Strings touch the underside of the tailpiece cover. You can put a piece of felt there. Measure the distance from the front of the mandolin nut to the 12th fret wire. That should be the same distance from the 12th fret wire to the bridge. I generally put the bass side just a touch further. You'll have to loosen the strings some to move the bridge to that position. But... if your intonation is okay, the position you have it in is fine.
    None of the mandolins I own have the bridge perfectly centered between the centers of the two F holes.
    Yours doesn't really look as much as an inch off. How does it sound and play?
    Last edited by willkamm; Nov-10-2017 at 3:02pm.
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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by willkamm View Post
    No. Strings touch the underside of the tailpiece cover. You can put a piece of felt there. Measure the distance from the front of the mandolin nut to the 12th fret wire. That should be the same distance from the 12th fret wire to the bridge. I generally put the bass side just a touch further. You'll have to loosen the strings some to move the bridge to that position. But... if your intonation is okay, the position you have it in is fine.
    None of the mandolins I own have the bridge perfectly centered between the centers of the two F holes.
    Yours doesn't really look as much as an inch off. How does it sound and play?
    Well I'm embarrassed now...


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    Registered User Tim N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Is changing Mandolin strings worse than changing bouzuki strings? I only have experience of the latter, and there are certainly times when one could weep! The capo idea to keep up the tension certainly sounds worth a try. Why do the fine strings sometimes just break at the loop, as if at a whim? I almost gave up when I de-balled some guitar strings once (I was trying out flatwounds), only to find that the loops were much smaller, but I persevered, and eventually achieved the impossible. Do we conclude, then, that the world would be a better place if all mandos were designed for ball end strings? I gather there are designs that accept ball ends and still have a floating bridge - aren't there? Do some purists prefer a floating bridge for sound quality reasons...? Or is it just a tradition thing?
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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by willkamm View Post
    No. Strings touch the underside of the tailpiece cover. You can put a piece of felt there. Measure the distance from the front of the mandolin nut to the 12th fret wire. That should be the same distance from the 12th fret wire to the bridge. I generally put the bass side just a touch further. You'll have to loosen the strings some to move the bridge to that position. But... if your intonation is okay, the position you have it in is fine.
    None of the mandolins I own have the bridge perfectly centered between the centers of the two F holes.
    Yours doesn't really look as much as an inch off. How does it sound and play?
    It's a bit tough to play, and sounds a bit "tight", but good to my ears. I'll keep working on it. And it may open up a bit as I play it.

  31. #24
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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by Erok View Post
    It's a bit tough to play, and sounds a bit "tight", but good to my ears. I'll keep working on it. And it may open up a bit as I play it.
    Okay. Have you checked the "Action" or the distance of the strings from the fret wire? I use a feeler gauge. For me, in general, I like the string height to be, .050" at the 12th fret G strings, and .040" at the 12th fret E strings. Understand that I like the action high. It shouldn't be any higher than that though. Its adjusted with the wheels on the bridge. Converting those to fractions, neither should be over 3/64". It can certainly be lower. Check that and then I'll try and help you out checking the neck relief. By the way, I sent you a PM. (Private message.)
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    Default Re: Just finished my first mandolin string change!

    Quote Originally Posted by willkamm View Post
    Okay. Have you checked the "Action" or the distance of the strings from the fret wire? I use a feeler gauge. For me, in general, I like the string height to be, .050" at the 12th fret G strings, and .040" at the 12th fret E strings. Understand that I like the action high. It shouldn't be any higher than that though. Its adjusted with the wheels on the bridge. Not sure what that is in fractions. It can certainly be lower. Check that and then I'll try and help you out checking the neck relief. By the way, I sent you a PM. (Private message.)
    I'll have to shave a bit off the bridge, I think. That should fit it better to the curve of the sound board as well.

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