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Thread: Gibson A Jr. Owners

  1. #1
    Registered User Marvino's Avatar
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    Smile Gibson A Jr. Owners

    My question is for Gibson A Jr. owners or those who had one in the past.

    My A jr has had Daddario J74 strings on it. J74's are what Ive used for years on most of my mandolins. For a change I thought I would try GHS A260 Bobby Osborne Strings. Its been 2+weeks and they are settling in a little bit, but I am not pleased with the sound.

    I read some good things about the GHS Silk & Bronze strings, and thought about trying before going back to J74's.

    I thought I would keep opinions to just A jr's because about the only difference between models is its either a paddle head or a snakehead and neither model has a trussrod and there is a narrower window of construction.

    What is your exerience with strings? Hoping there might be some logic to this.

  2. #2
    Unruly Crumudgeon Loretta Callahan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    Yes, I really like GHS. I put on the Lights, though. They are fine. I have a A JR 1923 Paddlehead

    http://www.juststrings.com/ghs-a250.html

    Good Luck!
    Just visiting.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    I bought mine in 1983 from the original owner who bought it new in 1923.
    And yes, mine was a snake head with a manufacturing date of Dec 1922.
    I used Thomastiks.. I was not playing bluegrass or "chopping".
    The instrument preferred them.

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  6. #4
    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    I have an A Jr. and it's about the only mandolin I've ever used the J74 set on. I tried the J73s that I use on my Laughlin but they didn't work for me. I used to like silk and bronze on my Stradolin, but haven't tried them on the Gibson. On my banjo killer I have Flattops, on my bowlback Pyramids, etc. etc.

    But really, mandolin strings are so cheap that you may as well keep trying them out until you find the sound and feel you like. (Just spent $129 on two sets of violin strings, that is, eight strings tuned G-D-A-E.)

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    String choices are very personal. On my Ajr, I'm using J73 on the top three courses combined with the G from J74. I tried J74 and thought the mandolin was overstrung and muted. Funnily enough, I was just about to try the GHS Bobby Osborne strings (I use them on my Mid-Mo) to see if they suit it.

    Martin

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    For years I used GHS bronze mediums ---somewhere I switched over to J74's, probably because that was what was in the store, and used them for quite a while and they seem very much like the GHS strings to me. I went to J73's at one point and hated them!

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  12. #7
    Registered User Marvino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    String choices are very personal. On my Ajr, I'm using J73 on the top three courses combined with the G from J74. I tried J74 and thought the mandolin was overstrung and muted. Funnily enough, I was just about to try the GHS Bobby Osborne strings (I use them on my Mid-Mo) to see if they suit it.

    Martin
    I am going to give the GHS Osbornes one more week, then change out if they dont sound better. If you try them I would like to hear your thoughts on them on your Jr.
    Last edited by Marvino; Apr-26-2015 at 12:55am.

  13. #8
    Registered User Marvino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    String choices are very personal. On my Ajr, I'm using J73 on the top three courses combined with the G from J74. I tried J74 and thought the mandolin was overstrung and muted. Funnily enough, I was just about to try the GHS Bobby Osborne strings (I use them on my Mid-Mo) to see if they suit it.

    Martin
    Interesting combo, Can you buy the strings separately? Or do you have to break apart packs?

  14. #9
    Registered User Marvino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Clausen View Post
    I have an A Jr. and it's about the only mandolin I've ever used the J74 set on. I tried the J73s that I use on my Laughlin but they didn't work for me. I used to like silk and bronze on my Stradolin, but haven't tried them on the Gibson. On my banjo killer I have Flattops, on my bowlback Pyramids, etc. etc.

    But really, mandolin strings are so cheap that you may as well keep trying them out until you find the sound and feel you like. (Just spent $129 on two sets of violin strings, that is, eight strings tuned G-D-A-E.)
    I did not realize violin strings so expensive. Good point on how cheap mandolin strings are.

  15. #10
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    I would think that the GHS A270 strings would be more equivalent to the D'Addario J74 set.
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  16. #11
    Unruly Crumudgeon Loretta Callahan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    Since the topic of Gibson Jr's has been brought up, do you think a heavier gage string say the GHS 270 vs GHS 250 (which I'm using) would put an excessive amount of tension on the neck. The A Jr has no truss rod.

    As always, thanks in advance!
    Just visiting.

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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    Curious why you want a heavier gauge string.

    Jethro Burns used medium to low tension strings and low action and swore by both. He got excellent tone and volume.
    I have followed his advice for 40 plus years. The variance being .. I have gone almost exclusively to Thomastik strings.
    I do not play Bluegrass.

  18. #13
    Unruly Crumudgeon Loretta Callahan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    I actually don't want a heavier gage string, Jeff . at least not now. Mainly just curious and trying to expand my instrument understanding.

    Have heard some folks say that a heavier gauge gives them the tone they want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hildreth View Post
    Curious why you want a heavier gauge string.

    Jethro Burns used medium to low tension strings and low action and swore by both. He got excellent tone and volume.
    I have followed his advice for 40 plus years. The variance being .. I have gone almost exclusively to Thomastik strings.
    I do not play Bluegrass.
    Just visiting.

    1923 Gibson A jr Paddlehead mandolin
    Newish Muddy M-4 Mandolin
    New Deering Goodtime Special open back 17 Fret Tenor Banjo

  19. #14
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta Callahan View Post
    I actually don't want a heavier gage string, Jeff …. at least not now. Mainly just curious and trying to expand my instrument understanding.

    Have heard some folks say that a heavier gauge gives them the tone they want.
    I think every instrument has a Goldilocks point when it comes to string gauge: not too heavy and not too light. Go lighter, and the tone becomes increasingly thin and reedy, go heavier and the tone becomes thuddy and dull. I'm not sure all Ajr have the same optimum gauge, and I'm certain not all players have (as this thread once again demonstrates). For me, on my Ajr, I found J74 too heavy and J73 too light, but only on the G course, which is how I ended up mixing the two sets.

    Unfortunately, that mixed set is not sold in that form, so it would need a J73 plus two 0.040" singles. As I was changing from a fairly new J74 set to J73, I already had spare G strings so it wasn't a problem. However, the reason why I want to try the GHS 260 set is to see if this one gets me a decent response across all strings without having to mix-and-match.

    Martin

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  21. #15
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    In my experimentation on my snakehead AJr the best string has been the Gibson Sam Bush strings. Not sure why, but even J-74s, while they do sounds pretty good, I wanted something else. Just another possibility. YMMV.
    Jim

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  23. #16
    Registered User Marvino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    In my experimentation on my snakehead AJr the best string has been the Gibson Sam Bush strings. Not sure why, but even J-74s, while they do sounds pretty good, I wanted something else. Just another possibility. YMMV.

    Sounds silly, but I forgot Gibson made strings. I will check those out. Thank you.

  24. #17
    Registered User Dave Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    I tried Pyramids and liked them, but after I broke a couple of pricey strings, I'm less enthusiastic.

    D.H.

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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Marvino View Post
    My question is for Gibson A Jr. owners or those who had one in the past.

    My A jr has had Daddario J74 strings on it. J74's are what Ive used for years on most of my mandolins. For a change I thought I would try GHS A260 Bobby Osborne Strings. Its been 2+weeks and they are settling in a little bit, but I am not pleased with the sound.

    I read some good things about the GHS Silk & Bronze strings, and thought about trying before going back to J74's.

    I thought I would keep opinions to just A jr's because about the only difference between models is its either a paddle head or a snakehead and neither model has a trussrod and there is a narrower window of construction.

    What is your exerience with strings? Hoping there might be some logic to this.

    What sound did you have in mind? Perhaps a Nickel wound set will be an un Bronze brighter ?.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  26. #19
    Registered User Marvino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A Jr. Owners

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    What sound did you have in mind? Perhaps a Nickel wound set will be an un Bronze brighter ?.
    I have never been able to put sound of a mandolin in words, same with craft beer, have no idea how to describe taste, I either like it or I dont. I have never tried Nickel strings, might be worth a try too.

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