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Thread: 20 inch OM GDAD

  1. #1

    Default 20 inch OM GDAD

    I have a Weber Gallatin 20 inch scale octave and like to tune it GDAD. I'm using John Pearse set #2265 .014-48.

    I'm happy with everything but the first string (lowered to D). I went to a .015 but it still sounded tinny and had to be finessed within the fret to stay in tune. I tried a wound .15 from DiAddario flatwound mandolin and loved it. It was just long enough to reach. However I can't get them in singles and don't want to buy 2 full sets that I won't use everytime I need a new top string.

    So..can I go to a .016 or is that just too much? It will stay tuned to D I won't jump back to GDAE with this instrument.

    I wrote Weber but no response.

    Thanks!!
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    Tuned to D, your first course will have 17.9 pounds of tension per string with .015 strings. With .016 tension would be 20.4 pounds per string. I should think this would be doable but you might need to tweak the truss rod. I wouldn't go any thicker than that.

    It could be the problems you had with .015 are related to the nut slot. Maybe the slot is a bit too narrow and the string is binding? If this is the case the .016s will only make it worse.
    Don

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  3. #3

    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    Thanks for the response Don.

    I don't think it's the nut. I had it looked at by Kevin Schwab at Hoffman guitars and he didn't notice anything. Also it seems to sound better the heavier I get (started at a .012 and kept going up) I just want to make sure I don't increase the tension too much!
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  4. #4
    Registered User Pete Braccio's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    18lbs for plain and 25 lbs for wound strings is where all my CBOMs are strung. You're within tolerances.

    As for buying the odd D strings, juststrings.com sells strings in bulk. You can get 12 loop end .016 strings for $3.62 plus shipping.
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  6. #5

    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    I got my response from Weber. They said increasing gauge from the Pearse set could void the warranty! Guess I'll just deal with the D as is!
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    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    I am surprised to hear about the warranty issue. Especially when, in the guitar world, players use everything from super extra lights to heavys and all kinds of custom gauges in between, and never have I heard of string choice voiding a warranty. I mean, how would they know anyways? You could always switch back to factory specs before shipping it back. You could swear on a stack of bibles that this is the set you always used, and how could they prove otherwise. They would have suspicions but no proof. Except in your case of course you already showed them the cards in your hand.

    As I already said, it is common practice in the guitar world to switch to a different gauge and adjust the truss rod accordingly. I am curious if anyone else here has ever heard of warrany issues regarding string choice.

    On second thought, maybe it is because you proposed using single strings that are not part of any standard set, while in the guitar world examples cited above, they are all standard sets. The string manufacturers and instrument makers do not operate in separate universes. In some cases the instrument makers have their own lines of strings too. Let's take Martin for example. They market everything from extra light to medium. If they advertise that their strings are for their guitars, there is an implicit warranty that their strings are suited to their stated purpose.

    I wonder if Weber prints their recommended gauges on the label inside the instrument? In my opinion, if a manufacturer is that picky, that recommended set should be right on the label. For example, Martin Backpacker carry a warning to use only extra light strings. I have even seen labels where the exact gauges of each string is stated on the label.
    Don

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  8. #7

    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    Here's the note:
    Hi Chuck,

    I apologize for the delay in getting back to you! Your instrument was designed to accept John Pearse #2265 strings, Gauge .014, .022, .036, .048
    We do not recommend increasing the gauges and doing so could void the warranty, if you have one. I wish I had an answer that would allow you to use the strings of your choice, but I must reiterate that we do not recommend flat wound strings or in the increased gauges.

    Thank you for checking first and I hope that you find this information helpful. Please let me know if you have any subsequent questions. If not, we wish you Happy Playing J!!!

    Paul Kumro | Consumer Services

    The use of the word "could" implies that it might not...maybe they are just saving that for extreme cases. Not sure. I like the mandolin and will stick with the Pearse or Managan light mandola which are similar gauge.
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  9. #8
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    Never in all my time in this crazily expensive hobby, has a luthier told me which make & gauge to use in that way. Suggested gauges, yes, helped me work out a good set, definitely; but say they designed in instrument around one make and weight. No. In prescribing it to JP strings like that.. Are they tied to that make?
    What happens if JP stop making strings?
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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    I used to have .016 on my 21" OM tuned GDAE, so it shouldn't be a problem on a shorter scale one full step lower.
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    Registered User Pete Braccio's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    Wow! It's not like you were asking to put steel cables on it. They're also telling you that you can't do alternate tunings (unless you want floppy or too taunght strings).

    The more I think about it, the more I'm concerned that an email like this could come out of Weber's shop.
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    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    It almost feels like the kind of advice you get from the Saturday kid rather than a knowledgeable instrument maker.
    They're making it feel like you bought a laptop and they don't want you to install peripherals because you didn't buy the ones they stock.
    I say this. Go to a REAL luthier - a sole mandolin etc luthier and ask his advice. Don't allow yourself to be misinformed like this.
    I can't imagine Mr Weber himself would've said such things.
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  13. #12
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    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    One does not need a luthier for this. Just go to Graham McDonald's free online string tension calculator, learn how to use it, and start plugging in som variables to see what happens. Start with the recommended set and tuning to find out what the resulting recommended total tension would be. It would also be telling to find out which courses have a little more and which a little less. If you want to go a little heavier on one course, you could go a little lighter on another course to compensate and keep the total tension the same. It might even be better if all courses were more equalized. If total tension for all strings is the same, plus or minus 10 percent, I don't see what harm could be cause.d if it's a sound instrument to begin with.
    Don

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    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    Well here's the thing, my Weber 22" yellowstone came with quite heavy strings, and when I emailed Weber they recommended the exact same set of JP strings. However, my instrument is 2" longer than yours, and I play in standard tuning. So far no issues. Take their recommendation with a pinch of salt.

    Robbie

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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Leyda View Post
    We do not recommend increasing the gauges...
    Well, it does not say "We recommend to not increase the gauges". Instead, it says "we won't put your lawyer in the fast lane". It's the same voice of fear that said "don't dry your hamster in the microwave".

    After all, it is the consumer service's job to deal with consumers (irrational and dangerous), not with instruments (harmless and goodnatured)...
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    Registered User zoukboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20 inch OM GDAD

    Wow! What an unreasonable response. I have never cared for Weber instruments but now there is good reason not to like the company. I would write a letter to Bruce Weber and see what he has to say.

    You could give him this information:

    John Pearse set, octave mando tuning:
    len 20"
    E4 .014" PL == 19.55#
    E4 .014" PL == 19.55#
    A3 .022" PB == 19.81#
    A3 .022" PB == 19.81#
    D3 .036" PB == 23.97#
    D3 .036" PB == 23.97#
    G2 .048" PB == 18.79#
    G2 .048" PB == 18.79#
    Total == 221.89#

    GDAD w/.015s substituted for .014s:
    D4 .015" PL == 17.81#
    D4 .015" PL == 17.81#
    A3 .022" PB == 19.81#
    A3 .022" PB == 19.81#
    D3 .036" PB == 23.97#
    D3 .036" PB == 23.97#
    G2 .048" PB == 18.79#
    G2 .048" PB == 18.79#
    Total == 218.41#

    GDAD with .016s substituted for .014s, and .035s for .036s:
    D4 .016" PL == 20.27#
    D4 .016" PL == 20.27#
    A3 .022" PB == 19.81#
    A3 .022" PB == 19.81#
    D3 .035" PB == 22.66#
    D3 .035" PB == 22.66#
    G2 .048" PB == 18.79#
    G2 .048" PB == 18.79#
    Total == 220.71#

    The only reasonable objection they can have is if you increase the overall tension of the set. Since those .036s on the D pair are slightly higher tension than the other courses you could use .035s and give yourself a little wiggle room in the overall tension.
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