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Thread: String journey on a Collings MT

  1. #101
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    Default Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    I have only ever used J74’s on my MT. I have, however, noticed a big sound difference with different picks. I get a nice dark woofy tone with a Proplec.
    -2012 Collings MT, Honey Amber Gloss with Tone Gard
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  2. #102
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    The J74s and the flatwound 74s (and all other standard medium strings) are just too heavy for me. I like the lighter feel of med-lights. My mandolin has low action and is set up well, but it’s too hard for me to do closed position chords and play comfortably with true mediums. Odd because I use mediums on my acoustic guitar and sometimes 11s on my electric. YMMV.
    Last edited by Caleb; Aug-31-2019 at 4:57pm.
    "The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly
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  4. #103
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    Default Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    The La Bella 880Ms have settled in and are some of the best strings I've tried so far. Excellent tone, volume, and playability. Not sure how long they will hold up - hopefully for a good while since they cost a bit more than the strings I normally buy. I'm impressed! Not sure why I don't see more about La Bella here.
    Hi Caleb, Glad you keep reviving this discussion. I have an MT to this day, although it is my second, and I no longer have the original one. I have used Monels and found them very satisfactory. A tiny bit less bell-chime from the bronze, but a rich full tone is present with them on the MT. They stay fresh longer and it feels traditional when you are playing these old shiny steel strings. They are a great match and I was relieved at how they sounded warm and not like an electric guitar string. Now, I did go back to the chime of the J74's and am happy with those. It gives my MT a great warm, rich sound with a modern flavor. I can get plenty of chop when I need it! Now, I would really like to try your La Bella 880M's! I hadn't talked to anyone who had tried those and I would like to experience the tone and feel you are speaking of. May need to raise the bridge a tiny bit on the low end, possibly?
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5
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  6. #104
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    Default Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    Hi Caleb, Glad you keep reviving this discussion. I have an MT to this day, although it is my second, and I no longer have the original one. I have used Monels and found them very satisfactory. A tiny bit less bell-chime from the bronze, but a rich full tone is present with them on the MT. They stay fresh longer and it feels traditional when you are playing these old shiny steel strings. They are a great match and I was relieved at how they sounded warm and not like an electric guitar string. Now, I did go back to the chime of the J74's and am happy with those. It gives my MT a great warm, rich sound with a modern flavor. I can get plenty of chop when I need it! Now, I would really like to try your La Bella 880M's! I hadn't talked to anyone who had tried those and I would like to experience the tone and feel you are speaking of. May need to raise the bridge a tiny bit on the low end, possibly?
    Glad this thread has been beneficial. It’s been fun trying new things. Have still not tried any monels, mainly because they will probably be the same tension as most strings, and tension is the primary thing I like or dislike about most strings. It was the same on my old Eastman too: after a while I wanted a lighter feel but still a full sound. The GHS Osbornes and the La Bellas have been the best in this regard. I’ve tried “lights” and will like them at first, but they end up being too slinky and clangy. True mediums sound great, but trip me up when I do a Bm, Am chord etc. Great for playing single notes and tunes though.

    I play guitar a lot too and have come to the conclusion that mandolins are just harder to play, much less forgiving, and much more susceptible to nuance.

    I’m not sure how your MT is set up, but I doubt you’d need to make a bridge adjustment for the La Bellas. I think you’d really like their feel and sound though. They do cost about twice what a set of EJ74s or GHS cost though. Not sure why that is. And they are harder to find. I get mine from Strings By Mail.
    "The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly
    that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable.
    Favourable conditions never come."
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  8. #105
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    Default Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    Caleb, you might try the GHS pure nickel strings. I love them on my mandolin, not a Collings, but have them on a couple and like them alot. They come in two gauges, the lighter on may be what you are looking for.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  10. #106
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    Default Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    Thanks for the info and ideas, Caleb and Pops1!
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5
    1913 Gibson A Oval
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  12. #107
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    Thumbs up Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    Caleb, you might try the GHS pure nickel strings. I love them on my mandolin, not a Collings, but have them on a couple and like them alot. They come in two gauges, the lighter on may be what you are looking for.
    This is a great suggestion: thank you! Their 10 1/2 gauge has my interest for sure. Not sure how I missed these all this time.
    "The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly
    that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable.
    Favourable conditions never come."
    -C.S. Lewis, Learning in Wartime

  13. #108

    Default Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    Have you tried Elixir Nanoweb? They come in medium and light. I don't know what it is but the mediums feel lighter that other medium strings to me? They sound good and last a long time. I have a friend that likes them on his MT.

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  15. #109
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    Quote Originally Posted by Northwest Steve View Post
    Have you tried Elixir Nanoweb? They come in medium and light. I don't know what it is but the mediums feel lighter that other medium strings to me? They sound good and last a long time. I have a friend that likes them on his MT.
    Yes, tried Elixirs in mediums. Great strings. Still a tad too much tension for me though.
    "The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly
    that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable.
    Favourable conditions never come."
    -C.S. Lewis, Learning in Wartime

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  17. #110
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    Default Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    thanks Caleb, also for this thread, and keeping it current.
    like you, I tend to end up putting light gauge on most all my mandolins. They are all set up very well, fret heights, neck almost flat, very little relief and a low bridge height. I just prefer a light easy feel when playing. I do like the J74's and J73's on my current MT. I want to try the Labella 880 and pops1 suggestion of the GHS pure nickel(I like the pure nickel on guitar).

    d

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  19. #111
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    I took off the EFW74s today. Never could warm up to the feel or sound, and I pretty much disliked everything about them. The experience was so unpleasant that I really can't see dropping the $50+ for Thomastiks to see if I like them any better.

    I put back on a set of La Bella M880s and all is well in the world again. At this point the only other strings that really have my curiosity are the GHS nickel in 10.5 gauge. Maybe at some point in the future I'll give those a shot.

    FYI if you're interesting in trying the La Bellas: they come in heavier and a more standard med gauge; I just happen to prefer the feel and response of the med-lights.
    "The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly
    that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable.
    Favourable conditions never come."
    -C.S. Lewis, Learning in Wartime

  20. #112

    Default Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    I've played the Labella 770M and 880L on my F5L, trying to copy David McLaughlin. My hands tended to kill the sound a little too quickly for me but I sure love his playing with those strings.
    Play it like you mean it.

  21. #113
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    Default Re: String journey on a Collings MT

    I keep experimenting with various strings but I keep going back to GHS A270's !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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