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Thread: Octave Mandolin String Recommendations

  1. #1

    Default Octave Mandolin String Recommendations

    A couple months ago, I was very fortunate to find a Garrison octave mandolin being sold in a city a few hours away. It was made in 2007 and the former owner, a serious collector, had kept it in pristine condition. It literally did not have a scratch and looked like it just came out of the box. Build is similar to the Trinity OMs: flat sound body and fairly short scale of about 20 inches. I love it! The tone and volume are great and the fretboard isn't much more difficult than my standard sized mandolin.

    But strings are a challenge. Not a lot to choose from. All I can find for OMs is d'Addario strings. I'd like to find strings that have a somewhat higher tension to reduce string movement. Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin String Recommendations

    I’m using 014/.022w/.032w/.045w on my Ashbury OM which has a similar scale length. I think that’s the set that d’Addario sell as (Tenor) Mandola strings but I wouldn’t describe them as especially tight

  3. #3
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin String Recommendations

    Some people have reported good luck with the D'Addario Light Mandola set (J-72) on short scale octaves. The J-80 OM strings are 12-46, the Light Mandola strings are 14-48.

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    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin String Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flynn View Post
    Some people have reported good luck with the D'Addario Light Mandola set (J-72) on short scale octaves. The J-80 OM strings are 12-46, the Light Mandola strings are 14-48.
    That’s more or less what I’m using, but as I said not especially tight.

  5. #5
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin String Recommendations

    You might go with the heavy set from emando.com
    http://emando.com/shop/strings_zouk.htm
    13, 24, 38, 54
    He recommends them for 19-20" scale lengths. You'll have to make sure you cut the nut slots accordingly

  6. #6
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin String Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by OneChordTrick View Post
    That’s more or less what I’m using, but as I said not especially tight.
    You could try the regular mandola set, J-76. They are 15-52.

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    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin String Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flynn View Post
    You could try the regular mandola set, J-76. They are 15-52.
    Thanks - wasn't clear when I posted, it was just after 5am here , whilst they're not tight they're also not loose so work fine for me!

  8. #8
    Registered User tbown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin String Recommendations

    I use the Mandola J-76 Mandola set on my 20" OM and like the tone and tension better than the light set.
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