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Thread: Nickle Strings

  1. #1
    Andy McAllister ajm2qc03's Avatar
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    Default Nickle Strings

    I've heard/read some threads on here saying things about all nickle strings. Rumors were that Martin was coming out with some, though I believe those were only rumors? are there other all nickle string manufacturers/lines out there? I've not dabbled in this tonal realm yet and am very interested and would love to try them out.
    Next question...same question rather, different instrument, what about for guitars?
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    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    For guitars, the Martin Tony Rice Monels. Very good!
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    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    I have been using Classic Ernie Ball RocknRoll regular slinky "Pure Nickel Wrap" strings on my electric guitars and they are very good with big sound and accurate harmonics. A friend recommended them.

    I prefer bronze wraps on acoustic instruments. I am currently trying out "D R Rare mandolin strings" and so far not much liking them. I'm not sure why but they go in and out of tune up the fingerboard and it's not possible to get the pairs tuned the same.

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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    GHS is prototyping some mandolin pure nickel. I have had two different gauges on a couple of mandolins and really like them. They have a very nice dry sound and are very warm, hard to explain, loudness is normal but the attack sounds softer. The plain strings are normal, so we are only talking about the wound strings. Not sure when they will be on the market, but I will definitely post when they become available.
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  6. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    Some discussion on these recent threads:

    Martin Retro mandolin strings

    Monel mandolin strings
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    Registered User mcgroup53's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    D'Adarrio is definitely bringing out their NB (Nickel/Bronze) strings for mandolin. Probably at Winter NAMM, but maybe IBMA (if they're smart).

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    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nickle Strings


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    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    I posted on the other thread...what will be the difference between Martin Retro mandolin and the old GHS Sam Bush strings?

  10. #9
    Andy McAllister ajm2qc03's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    Thanks for all of the feedback! So another question, what is the difference between nickle wound versus ALL nickle (core and wound)? I understand that the core would obviously not be nickle, but when referring to nickle strings, is it understood that we are talking about nickle would or complete nickle? do they even make %100 nickle strings?
    I apologize if this is in the previous threads that Jim posted, I will read those when I have more time to more thoroughly peruse...just questions for sake of conversation on this thread
    Andy McAllister

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    NewTone nickel wound on my Hodson D'jangolin have been fine for a long time .

    the loop forming on the plain ones reminds me of why old gibson t p have 12 hooks ,

    I changed those..
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  12. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    I have really been enjoying Monel alloy which (courtesy of WikiPedia) is "a group of nickel alloys, primarily composed of nickel (up to 67%) and copper, with small amounts of iron, manganese, carbon, and silicon."

    So these Monel strings like Martin Retro and Gibson (not GHS) Sam Bush strings are not pure-nickel wound. As pops1 notes above, GHS is prototyping an all-nickel wrap that he likes.

    I have been switching from PB strings to Sam Bush strings on my main mandolins and have been liking them a lot especially on my Flatiron A5-2 and my 23 Gibson A2 snakehead.

    I am also waiting to get some of those beta nickel-bronze strings from D'Addario to test. I guess these are like regular PB strinfs but with a higher addition of nickel (I guess). According to wikipedia: "Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12% tin and often with the addition of other metals (such as aluminium, manganese, nickel or zinc) and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon." I have heard that these strings which D'Addario has been selling already for guitar have a slightly sweeter tone than the purer nickel-wound strings.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Perry View Post
    I posted on the other thread...what will be the difference between Martin Retro mandolin and the old GHS Sam Bush strings?
    I don't really know what Martin has planned for these strings. I don't think they are making these anytime soon. I would guess that they would use the same alloy composition that they use for their guitar strings and prob would have different gauges from the Gibson Sam Bush strings.
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  14. #13

    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    what is the difference between nickle wound versus ALL nickle
    Some Nickel strings have nickel plated steel windings. "Pure Nickel" or "100% Nickel" strings have windings of solid nickel, not plated steel. The core wire is always carbon-steel music wire. Nickel plated steel strings don't last as long but have a brighter, hotter sound with magnetic pickups.

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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    If I remember correctly, the GHS strings are going to be the same as their Nickel guitar strings, but loop end. The .040 for the G string that I have now they made with a slightly smaller core as I was using their White Bronze and the core on the .042 is .003 smaller than the core on the .040 phosphor bronze. The main differences I am noticing with these strings is a very natural sound that is very soft in the attack. I don't mean soft as in not loud, but not a harsh sound when you first strike the string. It is a very warm soft attack with plenty of volume and sustain. Others have noticed when I play so it is not just me. Hard to explain, but I notice the difference between the white bronze on my other mandolin and the nickel on my main mandolin. Could be the difference of mandolins, but I don't think so. Jim says he likes the Monel on his A2 and these are really nice on my A2 also. Mine is not tubby, but with these strings it is nice and deep, but clean solid. I would love to do a side by side with the monels, I wonder how the copper changes the sound.
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    Registered User ddawson2010's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    Don from D'Addario here - our Nickel Bronze Mandolin strings have our NY Steel Plain Steels and cores for the wound strings, which is a music wire our own wire mill developed (we're the only string manufacturer that also has it's own wire mill). This is a big bonus for tuning stability. The Wrap Wire is a Nickel Plated Phosphor Bronze, which has a character unto itself. Hopefully that clarifies that a bit.

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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    Just talked to GHS and the nickel they are using is the most pure nickel available at (if I remember correctly) 99.6%. They are not sure of a time frame to be available to the public, but are thinking by NAMM also.

    We are fortunate at this time to have the choice of such a variety of string gauges and materials to have the sound we prefer with our instruments. Guitar players have had this for decades and now more varieties are coming to us mandolin players thanks to companies like GHS and D'Addario.
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    Registered User Rick Jones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nickle Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by mcgroup53 View Post
    D'Adarrio is definitely bringing out their NB (Nickel/Bronze) strings for mandolin. Probably at Winter NAMM, but maybe IBMA (if they're smart).
    This is good news! I have been really liking the Nickel Bronze strings on my guitars, and would be first in line to try them on the mandolin.
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