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Thread: String gauge, volume, and tuning stability

  1. #1

    Default String gauge, volume, and tuning stability

    Hi folks, another nooby question from me:

    The cheapo Mandolin I used briefly had 10 gauge strings.

    The one I bought a few days ago (used, by mail) was restrung by the owner just before he sent it, but he only had an old set of 9s on hand, so that's what is on there now.

    He did say that he generally uses 11s though, so I am of a mind to put 11s on.

    Will the 11s be noticeably louder than the 9s? The current 9s also drift a little on the G course when playing (although they look to be very neatly strung (I come from guitar so know the importance of good stringing for tuning stability) - can I expect the heavier strings to be more stable.?

    thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: String gauge, volume, and tuning stability

    Heavier strings generally are louder, darker and more stable.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: String gauge, volume, and tuning stability

    They also stay in tune better and can be played with a lower action since they wobble less. They also have more tension on the instrument and your fingers. I use an .011-.041. Martin mandolin .010-.036 at the heaviest.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: String gauge, volume, and tuning stability

    Thanks - I've ordered some D'Addario 11-40

  5. #5
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    Default Re: String gauge, volume, and tuning stability

    11s are probably the most popular choice but it doesn't necessarily follow that the heavier the strings the louder the mandolin will be. For starters, the heavier you go, the more picking effort it takes to get the strings moving and second, heavy strings can stiffen up the instrument and stop the top vibrating.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: String gauge, volume, and tuning stability

    What kind of mando? The pancakes and older Martins need lighter gauges to perform their best and avoid damage. 11s are my preference on my arch topped mandolins...
    Chuck

  7. #7
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: String gauge, volume, and tuning stability

    Part of being louder is higher string tension holds up to picking harder.. sforzando !
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