Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Light String Recommendations

  1. #1

    Default Light String Recommendations

    I have recently commissioned a Red Valley wide, deep body mandolin. Being a flat top mandolin, it will do best with light or extra light strings. Recommendations?

  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    25,181

    Default Re: Light String Recommendations

    Why not ask the maker what he recommends?

    I am sure you will get additional multiple recommendations here. I would guess that extra light might be way too light.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes - Old Sheet Music for mandolin

    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,345

    Default Re: Light String Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Seruntine View Post
    I have recently commissioned a Red Valley wide, deep body mandolin. Being a flat top mandolin, it will do best with light or extra light strings. Recommendations?
    Agree with asking the builder, they'll know what they've voiced it for and what it can withstand. My Silverangel was designed with J75s in mind, and there's a notable difference when I use those gauges (regardless of the string type...think I presently have some Elixirs I picked up in the Amazon clearance a few months ago on it) vs J74 gauges. It sounds good with both, but the J75s really bring it to life.

    I use D'Addairio J62s or GHS A250s on my Flatiron 1N, as those strings match the recommended gauges, and I have been happy with both. I think I may prefer the feel of the windings on the A250s, but they're both tonally very good. I recently picked up a set of Martin Lights, just because I needed a string set and they're what was available locally, and I've been underwhelmed with their tone. I'm sure there are folks who swear by them, but I won't be using them anymore. I can't recall now if they were PB or just bronze (thinking the latter), which certainly makes a difference...not home to check.

    The good new is, as long as you don't go too heavy for your mandolin's construction, strings are a relatively inexpensive way to experiment until you find the tone you love.
    Chuck

  4. #4

    Default Re: Light String Recommendations

    James at Red Valley recommended lights and ultra-lights. He liked SIT strings. I have only been able to find SIT strings in the USA so far, so I am trying to find an option I can buy in Canada without the long waits or S&H.

  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    25,181

    Default Re: Light String Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Seruntine View Post
    James at Red Valley recommended lights and ultra-lights. He liked SIT strings. I have only been able to find SIT strings in the USA so far, so I am trying to find an option I can buy in Canada without the long waits or S&H.
    I believe that there are only a handful of string makers in North America. Many of the other brands are made by them. The SIT lights are phosphor bronze and gauged .036-.024-.015-.010. GHS A-250 sets are PB and gauged exactly the same. I might even guess that the SIT strings are made by them.

    It even looks like you can order the GHS sets from Amazon Canada though i am sure your local music store could get them, too.

    I would try them first though you may prefer something else later on. My personal favorite these days are D'Addario nickel bronze strings. But that is my taste and very possibly not yours or your new mandolin’s.

    Or you may like flatwound strings. You will have to experiment. Even owners of Red Valley mandolins will have taste in tone different from yours.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes - Old Sheet Music for mandolin

    Playing lately:
    1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- Gibson TB-Junior -- National RM-1

  6. #6

    Default Re: Light String Recommendations

    I usually like d'Addario, so that's a good place to start. Amazon had a great price on 80/20 and PB, so I got a couple packets of each. I wish I could get Silk & Steel or Silk & Bronze, but while GHS says they're lower tension, nowhere on their site do they say what tension they pull.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •