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Thread: OM string difference between a 23.5" scale and a 21.5" scale

  1. #1
    Registered User J.C. Bryant's Avatar
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    Default OM string difference between a 23.5" scale and a 21.5" scale

    What would you think would be the string gauge/size differences for each of these two scales? If any?
    thanks,

  2. #2
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: OM string difference between a 23.5" scale and a 21.5" scale

    On my Eastman (which is 21" scale) am using D'Addario Mandola EJ-72. Heavier gauge. The longer scale would work with the normal EJ-80 strings, which were designed around a 23" scale.

    By going to the heavier strings on the shorter scale, am increasing the tension to hopefully drive the top better.
    1910 Gibson A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305, 2018 Big Muddy MW-0, 2015 Ashbury Style E OM
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    Default Re: OM string difference between a 23.5" scale and a 21.5" scale

    What Eric says, with one correction. When you use heavier gauge strings on a shorter scale length, you are increasing the tension only in how it compares to the lighter set. Another way of saying it is, the heavier gauge on the shorter instrument and the lighter gauge on the longer instrument have roughly the same tension. String tension on all instruments has to hit the Goldilocks zone (not too tight, not too floppy) to play well and sound well. The EJ80 set works well on the longer scale because that’s what it was designed for. Nobody designed a short scale octave set for a long time so we used the J72 light mandola set. When Weber started making short scale octaves they had John Pearse design a special set for them. I think you can buy it as the John apearse Custom Octave Mandola set. It is not exactly the same, but very close to the gauges in the J72 set.
    Don

    Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    Weber Bitterroot A
    Fender Octave Mandolin

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