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Thread: More light gauges for my mandolin octave

  1. #1

    Default More light gauges for my mandolin octave

    I mounted the strings ofd'Addario EJ80 Medium (12-22-32-46) on my octave mandolin.
    I have too much difficulty to play with these strings.
    Can you advise me of other more light gauges?

  2. #2

    Default Re: More light gauges for my mandolin octave

    You could try D'Addario's Irish bouzouki set, EJ-81, they're 11-16-28-40. Not very expensive so worth a try. What is your scale length?

  3. #3

    Default Re: More light gauges for my mandolin octave

    scale length : 22,8'
    I saw that the EJ81 set is for a 25.5 ' scale of bouzouki.
    Therefore, for the mandolin octave, the tension will be less?

  4. #4

    Default Re: More light gauges for my mandolin octave

    The tension should be quite a bit less, maybe even too much. Are all of the strings in the EJ-80 set too high tension for you, or just certain ones?

  5. #5

    Default Re: More light gauges for my mandolin octave

    Especially for the strings D and G

  6. #6
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: More light gauges for my mandolin octave

    Hi Morix,

    Could you describe for us the problem you are having? Also, how high is your action? Just asking for clarity, so we can offer better advice.

    Best wishes,

    Bob
    Purr more, hiss less.

  7. #7

    Default Re: More light gauges for my mandolin octave

    I have a similar set of strings, flatwound 13/24/35/45 on my 22.75" scale octave, and they feel pretty good. I didn't like the EJ81 set, I felt the 46 G string didn't fit well.

    I would check the action to make sure it isn't too high. I'd describe 12/22/32/42 set as light for your 22.8" scale, anything lighter may not drive the volume on it. What kind of octave mandolin is it?
    Collings MT-O
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  8. #8
    Registered User
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    Default Re: More light gauges for my mandolin octave

    Many octave mandolin players put together custom string sets for their personsal preference. They use an online string calculator to do this. D’Addario has a free one that I use frequently. It’s called String Tension Pro., and it’s easy to find with a quick search. You can customize it for your scale length, start with the standard set ( in this case their ej80), but then you can look at it and find out which strings are heavy in tension and which are on the light side. Then you can adjust the hypothetical gauges until you reach your target. Most players find that right around 20 pounds or so of tension on each string is the ideal of feel and sound. Getting the string tension per course as consistent with each other as possible (perfect is impossible, and the enemy of pretty darned good) leads to a very even feel. Once you have your ideal set, you can order single strings to match. A bit more costly, and more bother, than just buying a pre made set, but worth it in the long run. You must keep in mind that there really is no standard set for octave mandolin. There was s too much variability between instruments.

    +1 for checking the action and set up. Paying for a professional set up might solve the problems more effectively than new strings.
    Don

    Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    Weber Bitterroot A
    Fender Octave Mandolin

  9. #9

    Default Re: More light gauges for my mandolin octave

    I just picked up a Flatiron 3K Zouk that was almost impossible to get to a decent, across the board string height set up. I am not sure what the set of strings was that was on it, but the G course was, at least, a .44.

    It came with a spare set of EJ81's, so I put them on and the action fell right into place, almost without any adjustment.

  10. #10
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: More light gauges for my mandolin octave

    Check out emando.com. there is a nice selection of 4 different gauges for octave, including ultra light. You can also do custom sets in various gauges.

    http://www.emando.com/shop/strings_zouk.htm
    Larry Hunsberger

    2013 J Bovier A5 Special w/ToneGard
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    3/4 guitar converted to octave mandolin

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