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Thread: what strings do you use.

  1. #26
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    I love the Mapes selection.

    I currently have the 80/20 brass med. guage on my Weber Fern and I really like them. The brass wrapped strings have a tone that is very similar to the plain wire strings so there is not a big tonal jump switching across corses. I have a set of their phosphor bronze on my Gilchrist A3 which is very nice.

    Mapes uses a super-thin coating on the wrapped strings which prevents oxidation.

    Oh, and you can order up any gauge you prefer, you are not limited to prescribed sets.

    And they are only $5.00, such a deal!

    You can only get them directly,
    https://www.mapesstrings.com/product/mandolin-strings/

    (Can you tell I'm a fan??)

    Billy
    Billy Packard
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  2. #27
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    I tell you the one brand I don't like are black diamond. maybe that should have been the title, what strings do you dislike & avoid.
    And that's why you should do your own experimentation. I have a set of Black Diamond strings on my Breedlove Quartz and they sound pretty good. You need to figure out what sounds good on your mandolin, not what someone else wants on your mandolin.
    David Hopkins

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  3. #28
    Registered User EricLopez's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    About a year ago, I tried the D'Addario Stainless Steel strings in medium gauge, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to go back to anything else
    Owner of emlpicks.com

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  5. #29

    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    I just ordered a set of EJ75s and a set of DRs 12 to 42. Will I have trouble with the DRs at the nut? I never thought about that. Ordered from Elderly. Never ordered from them before, smooth transaction.

  6. #30
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    GHS A270's have .016" A strings, & on my own Weber "Fern" they sounded very bright & toppy !. However,on my Ellis,which i'd maybe have expected to be overwhelmed by a .016" A string instead of a .015" A string,it's exactly the opposite,the slightly heavier strings sound as 'sweet' as you could wish for. Strangely enough,DR MD11s which are a very strong sounding string set,sounded perfectly fine on the Ellis - less 'refined',still evenly balanced but pretty 'punchy'.

    Right now,i'm trying to rationalise what string brands i buy,mainly from a logistics point of view. I like GHS A270's on my Ellis,but i can't find a reliable source in the UK,so i have to buy from Germany. I can easily get DR MD11s & EJ74's & was hoping that EJ74's might be ok on my Ellis & Weber & just put DRs on my Lebeda. The EJ74's sounded very muffled on the D strings,but after a few days,they're either sounding 'better' or i've simply got used to them. Maybe i'll go back to DR's on my Ellis at some point. It won't sound as 'refined' maybe,but it still sounded very good. So maybe DRs for my Ellis & Lebeda & EJ74's for my Weber. I haven't tried EJ74's on my Lebeda for a long while,but since i'm using a Primetone pick these days,maybe they'll sound as good on that as they sound on my Weber using the same pick ?.

    Decisions,decisions !!,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
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  7. #31
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    GHS A270's have .016" A strings, & on my own Weber "Fern" they sounded very bright & toppy !. However,on my Ellis,which i'd maybe have expected to be overwhelmed by a .016" A string instead of a .015" A string,it's exactly the opposite,the slightly heavier strings sound as 'sweet' as you could wish for. Strangely enough,DR MD11s which are a very strong sounding string set,sounded perfectly fine on the Ellis - less 'refined',still evenly balanced but pretty 'punchy'.

    Right now,i'm trying to rationalise what string brands i buy,mainly from a logistics point of view. I like GHS A270's on my Ellis,but i can't find a reliable source in the UK,so i have to buy from Germany. I can easily get DR MD11s & EJ74's & was hoping that EJ74's might be ok on my Ellis & Weber & just put DRs on my Lebeda. The EJ74's sounded very muffled on the D strings,but after a few days,they're either sounding 'better' or i've simply got used to them. Maybe i'll go back to DR's on my Ellis at some point. It won't sound as 'refined' maybe,but it still sounded very good. So maybe DRs for my Ellis & Lebeda & EJ74's for my Weber. I haven't tried EJ74's on my Lebeda for a long while,but since i'm using a Primetone pick these days,maybe they'll sound as good on that as they sound on my Weber using the same pick ?.

    Decisions,decisions !!,
    Ivan
    Check out Mapesstrings made here in USA , I think Tennessee ! You can have any gauge you want made , even a half like 11.5 ! Mapes has been in the musical string business for 100 years ! Mainly piano strings ! $5.00 a set ! You have choices of different alloys also ! I chose PB and will report back when they arrive !
    Last edited by yankees1; Dec-03-2017 at 6:34am.
    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

  8. #32
    Registered User Michael Neverisky's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    I agree that there is no one "best" string for any instrument, but here is what I like on my Collings MTO: the treble strings from D'Addario EJ-74 and the bass strings from D'Addario EXP-74CM. This creates a set with the same string gauge as the EJ-74 set, but with lower tension on the base strings.

  9. #33
    Emando lover David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    It's funny how different strings react differently. My epiphone MM50-E hates monels, the MM-40-L loves them. The Gretsch New Yorker currently has flatwounds - it likes them. The MM50 has EXPs, which the Washburn dislikes - that has the non-wound D'Addarios...


    And my Jbovier uses guitar strings - the EXP needs to be for electric - most ballend mandolin strings don't work well with pickups...
    JBovier ELS; Epiphone MM-50 VN; Epiphone MM-40L; Gretsch New Yorker G9310; Washburn M1SDLB;

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  10. #34
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Packard View Post

    ....Mapes uses a super-thin coating on the wrapped strings which prevents oxidation.

    ....
    Billy
    I haven't been able to find any mention of coating. Can you give a link to further information?? Thanks.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

  11. #35
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    I strung up one mandolin with the Mapes mediums P&B string...I looked at my fingers and they were black, I know this has happened to me before when I polished a mandolin and had some polish on my fingers but this time my hands were clean...Maybe it is the bourbon coating that they say they use, maybe I shouldn`t have licked the bourbon off of them ...Have any one else noticed this when using the Mapes string? BTW they sound great....

    Willie

  12. #36
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    Been meaning to try some Mapes strings but I usually think of it after I already get some other strings.

    I play a Collings MT and find that the Bobby Osborne GHS med-lights are my favorites for this mandolin. YMMV. Try a bunch.

    As to where, I usually get my strings from Amazon.
    ...

  13. #37
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    D'Addario flat tops
    Rich, complex, not jangly. Nicest a string going, wound p/b!
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
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  14. #38
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    Hey Phil,

    Mapes calls it "cured with Appalachian moonshine"! on the label.

    Mapes people answer the phone each time I've called. One time I asked about the coating and was told it is 'proprietary' and very thin. I have never cared for coated strings but these don't sound at all like other brands. What I noticed about the coating was a set I put on a mandolin and didn't play for 6+ months was like new when I pulled it out. Uncoated strings would have oxidized to some degree in that time, that is they become rough to the finger, darker in color and duller in tone.

    Hey Caleb, just order a few sets and you'll have them when you need them. That's what I do, plus is saves on shipping when ordering multiple sets.

    Willie, I have noticed no effects on my fingertips with any of the Mapes I've used. Maybe you shouldn't lick the moonshine off?


    Billy
    Billy Packard
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  16. #39
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Packard View Post
    Hey Phil,

    Mapes calls it "cured with Appalachian moonshine"! on the label.

    Mapes people answer the phone each time I've called. One time I asked about the coating and was told it is 'proprietary' and very thin. I have never cared for coated strings but these don't sound at all like other brands. What I noticed about the coating was a set I put on a mandolin and didn't play for 6+ months was like new when I pulled it out. Uncoated strings would have oxidized to some degree in that time, that is they become rough to the finger, darker in color and duller in tone.

    Hey Caleb, just order a few sets and you'll have them when you need them. That's what I do, plus is saves on shipping when ordering multiple sets.

    Willie, I have noticed no effects on my fingertips with any of the Mapes I've used. Maybe you shouldn't lick the moonshine off?


    Billy
    I asked by email if it was a synthetic product, as I don't want to rub teflon(known to be bad for living a long time) into my fingers...they replied that it is not a synthetic product, but didn't say what it is...
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
    2017 Ratliff R5 Custom #1148
    Several nice old Fiddles
    2007 Martin 000-15S 12 fret Auditorium-slot head
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    Too many microphones

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  18. #40
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    Of course having more than one mandolin and them being different types ,

    not F5 by various builders,


    does complicate things..





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  19. #41
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    I prefer the 24 ct. gold wound over a hex platinum core.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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  21. #42

    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    I have been using EJ74 Phosphor Bronze, Medium, 11-40, they have been the best for me.
    " Practice every time you get a chance." - Bill Monroe

  22. #43
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by AKA Frosty View Post
    I agree that there is no one "best" string for any instrument, but here is what I like on my Collings MTO: the treble strings from D'Addario EJ-74 and the bass strings from D'Addario EXP-74CM. This creates a set with the same string gauge as the EJ-74 set, but with lower tension on the base strings.
    You know the bass strings from the EXP-74CM set are the same as the bass strings from the EJ-74 set, albeit coated, right? If you used the EXP-74 set, you'd have the same thing without combining two sets.

  23. #44
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    From MontanaMatt - "They replied that it is not a synthetic product, but didn't say what it is..."

    Any 'black' substance coming off strings is usually the residue of the carbon lubricant used to lubricate the draw dies when drawing the wire down to size = don't lick it off !.

    Of course Carbon isn't a ''synthetic'' substance - it's the element that all life on earth is based on,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
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  24. #45
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    Just bought two sets of Mapes strings as I had never heard of them ! I took my GHS A270 strings off my Ellis A5 and replaced with Mapes P/B 11.5, 16, 26 and 40 ! Wow! Love the sound and volume ! A different instrument ! Very impressed !
    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

  25. #46

    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    Best string: whatever brand I can get at a sale price.

  26. #47
    Registered User smokinop's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    Discontinued Gibson Sam Bush monels. I've gotten a few packs stashed but have recently found Curt Mangen makes monel mandolin strings, will try these soon.

  27. #48
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: what strings do you use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Martin View Post
    Monels!!!
    I liked the monels (Gibson Sam Bush) for awhile and bought a bunch of sets when they were still available. I know Curt Mangan sells a couple of gauges of monel strings for mandolin. OTOH after I tried the beta set D'Addario I have switched over to those. They have a little more "sweetness" to them and suits my favorite mandolin just fine.
    Jim

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