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Thread: Mapes strings

  1. #26
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    I just don't go all OCD on brands anymore... I mostly go by gauge numbers.
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  2. #27
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Brief update,

    The bronze Mapes have been completely consistent since I put them on the Gil A3 at the end of Feb. Admittedly I play that mandolin far less than the Weber Fern so there hasn't been that much wear. They sound exactly like they did when I first put them on. I bet that very thin coating (Appalachian Moonshine!) stops any oxidation from happing. I have seen untreated bronze strings darken, loose tone and become rough with time.

    I purchased the Mapes 80/20 brass set to try on the Fern because they're said to be brighter. A local luthier put on a set of the standard D'Adario 11-40 the last time through the shop and they're ok and not quite worn out. I will report back on the Brass set once I put them on.

    At $5.00 a set and being a top quality string makes Mapes worth a try.

    Billy
    Billy Packard
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  4. #28
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    I tried them on a Breedlove Legacy. I wasn't crazy about them. They're OK and probably better then many but, like George R. Lane said, they're not overly bright. I really like the $5.00 price. I still have a set and I'll probably use them for individual replacement strings or something. I went back to my stockpile of Gibson Sam Bush strings.
    David Hopkins

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  6. #29
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Update, 9-20-2017

    On 8-26-17 I installed the 80/20 Brass set, 11-15-26-40 on my Weber Fern.

    I noticed the color difference right away, the wound strings were not nearly as gold colored or as dark as the phosphor bronze set. The brass set are silvery with a gold-ish hue.

    The sound is very interesting in that the tone of the wound strings is more like the plain wire strings. With phosphor bronze there is a significant tonal contrast between the wound and plain strings. What I hear with the brass is a very balanced tone going back and forth between the plain/wound strings. I'd never noticed that contrast before but I compared a mandolin with phosphor bronze with a mandolin with the brass and it's obvious. In other words the brass set has a very balanced and similar tonality overall.

    I reiterate what I posted earlier about the phosphor bronze set not being overly bright. These are also not overly bright. After a month of constant daily playing they have remained very consistent with excellent intonation. I'm beginning to hear the wear though.

    Also the "Appalachian Moonshine" coating on both type of sets is very smooth under the fingers.


    I give a thumbs up on Mapes for value, consistency and quality.

    Billy
    Billy Packard
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  7. #30
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    I still had one set of the GHS Americana Series, so I strung them up on the Yellowstone and was very disappointed with them. Took forever (7 days) to settle in and the A string never did sound right. I went another 2 weeks with them and then had enough. Put the Mapes, 11-16-26-40 ( same as the GHS strings. Took two days to settle in and the tone is very even across the strings, not too much bass. They don't have a much sustain as the GHS, but that is not a deal breaker. At $5.00 a set they are a good buy.

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  9. #31
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    The ability to customize and create your own set is great. I'm going to try some. Till this thread I had never heard of them.
    ...

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  11. #32
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    George, I have noticed no difference regarding sustain with ether mandolin. They both have stellar sustain as far as that goes.

    Billy
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  12. #33
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Caleb, Mapes only sells direct from it's online web site. They don't sell at music stores, as far as I know.
    Billy Packard
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  14. #34
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Packard View Post
    George, I have noticed no difference regarding sustain with ether mandolin. They both have stellar sustain as far as that goes.

    Billy
    Billy, I am not complaining about the sustain, I just prefer the Mapes to the GHS.

    herew is a link to their website.

  15. #35
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    An additional note on the first set of Mapes phosphor bronze I put on the Gilchrist A3 on Feb. 21 of this year.

    Seven months later there is no deterioration of the bronze wrap, they are as smooth as can be and sound just fine. That Appalachian Moonshine keeps the oxidation at bay and doesn't mute or muffle the sound.

    Billy
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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    I just realized I forgot the link.

    https://www.mapesstrings.com/

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  18. #37
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    George, right you are!

    If any of y'all want any Mapes strings--go by that web site or call them direct at,

    423-543-3195

    but look at the web site first, it is very cool and they have lots of products.

    Billy
    Billy Packard
    Gilchrist A3, 1993
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  19. #38
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Here is a page from their web site...

    https://www.mapesstrings.com/about-our-strings/
    Billy Packard
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  20. #39
    Registered User Bob Visentin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Anybody ever try their bass strings?

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    My Dearstone likes steel or nickel with a 41 G and a16 A. I can order just what I need from Mape an have no strings to throw away. The last set I had before I found Mapes cost me 9 dollars plus after shipping, the Mapes are 5 dollars and ordered 3 sets at a time shipping is less than 5 dollars, less than $6.75, and they sound great. I'm sure something will change but 'till it does I've found my string for my 'stone.

  22. #41
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Just a few additional comments on Mapes strings:

    I tired a couple sets this summer and liked them. Price is good and they have lasted at least as long as any other non-coated string that I've tried. (Not a fan of coated.)

    Looking at their website recently, I notice a link to Octacore Strings down in the right corner of the page. These are apparently a branch of Mapes which produces strings with an octagonal core, with the idea that more corners with a less acute angle will capture the windings better and make the string more stable. Also increases the cross sectional area of the core or at least makes it approximate a circle more closely with the claim of perhaps better tone IIRC.

    So I got a few sets and have installed the first set. Sounds good. The metallic jangly sound that I hate on newly installed strings disappeared within 5-10 minutes of playing. Strings feel good, not overly stiff feeling and fairly slick. My first impression is "pretty nice". Will they prove to have any lasting improvement over the standard Mapes mando strings? We will see how they wear and age. I had some email discussions with them about gauges and customer service was great. (You can select custom gauges if desired.)
    I'll report any new observations of importance as they occur.
    Phil

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  24. #42
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    I just ordered three sets myself today...I hope you guys aren`t lying about well they sound...Lol....I`ll put them to a good test...

    Willie

  25. #43
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Willie, which kind of string did you order?
    Billy Packard
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  26. #44
    Registered User Atlanta Mando Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Just put these on 2 days ago and really like them so far. They are very neutral sounding if that makes sense. Not too bright, not too bassy and as others have reported, they are comfortable to play. Haven't played them in a jam or at a gig yet so will report back when I do. I'm also going to try the octocore strings they make and see what those are all about as well.

  27. #45

    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Packard View Post
    Update, 9-20-2017

    On 8-26-17 I installed the 80/20 Brass set, 11-15-26-40 on my Weber Fern.

    I noticed the color difference right away, the wound strings were not nearly as gold colored or as dark as the phosphor bronze set. The brass set are silvery with a gold-ish hue.

    The sound is very interesting in that the tone of the wound strings is more like the plain wire strings. With phosphor bronze there is a significant tonal contrast between the wound and plain strings. What I hear with the brass is a very balanced tone going back and forth between the plain/wound strings. I'd never noticed that contrast before but I compared a mandolin with phosphor bronze with a mandolin with the brass and it's obvious. In other words the brass set has a very balanced and similar tonality overall.

    I reiterate what I posted earlier about the phosphor bronze set not being overly bright. These are also not overly bright. After a month of constant daily playing they have remained very consistent with excellent intonation. I'm beginning to hear the wear though.

    Also the "Appalachian Moonshine" coating on both type of sets is very smooth under the fingers.


    I give a thumbs up on Mapes for value, consistency and quality.

    Billy
    Fascinating — my experience with a set of Mapes brass is exactly the opposite. The wound strings sound tinny and growly. The A and E strings sound sharp (not sharp as in flat or sharp, sharp, like something that cuts). And the amount of string noise and friction seems enormous to me, ut that coud be because I took off a set of D'addario coateds.

    I don't like the Mapes brass set I got at all. In fact, they've been on a day and if they don't start sounding better in a hurry I'm not going to be able to wait to see if they improve.

    Also got a PB set from them. Hoping I like them more.

    The strings don't seem to be coated, but if they say they are, I guess they are.

  28. #46

    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Two days in and the brass Mapes sound a lot better. I haven't put any 80/20s on in a long time, and I think I forgot just how, well, brassy they sounded out of the box. I have to hand it to Mapes, too, for the custom set vibe. I asked for 11.5 Es, and that's what showed upon the mail only a few days later. Picking your fave gauges and having Mapes do it for you is way cool. They didn't even list 115s as an option, and I wasn't really expecting to get them.

    The A and E strings sounding cutting was probably just an artifact of the difference between them and the wound strings. The skinny strings sound like any other decent string.

    The brass experiment was my own fault. I haven't tried them in years and years, and though I'll be sticking with PBs, I bet their PBs are as good as anyone's.

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  30. #47
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Billy, I ordered the phosphor bronze strings and installed a set two days ago and played them for about an hour and I really like them so far...Myself I don`t like a lot of sustain and these have it about the way I like it...I have been a GHS user for +20 years but I do try different brands now and then just to see if there is something better...I do believe the sets that I got have a .015 A string, I didn`t see any with a .016 like GHS has but the intonation still seems OK....I will have more to say after I play them for a month or so...

    Willie

  31. #48
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Update on the brass 80/20 set on the Weber Fern.

    As I stated above, the tonal characteristics are very different than the phosphor bronze and I've gotten to like them after more than 5 weeks. They are ready for replacement which I'll do soon. The tonal even-ness has grown on me because there isn't that abrupt change in color going from the wound to plain strings. In the higher registers of the wound strings that even tone stays very consistent. It is different than anything I've used to date. I like it.

    I plan on keeping the Gil A3 with phosphor bronze so as to have a comparison. Also the A3 has a darker, fuller sound that may benefit from PB.

    Willie, isn't in interesting how tastes vary? I like as much sustain as possible. I often let a string ring on whole and half notes where the simpler clarity suits the melody better than a tremolo.

    Billy
    Billy Packard
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  32. #49
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Billy, I am going to call Mapes and see if they make a wound A string around the .015-.016 gauge, I have been wanting to try some for a long time to see if some of the shrillness can be avoided, not all mandolin have a shrillness but on one that I have I would like to get rid of it and if just using a different string will do it I`ll be a happy camper...

    Willie

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  34. #50
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    Default Re: Mapes strings

    Just a follow up on these strings....I played a show today using them and liked what I heard but since I have my mandolins intonation set for a slightly heavier A string I will order my next set with a .016 A strings and also .11.5 E strings, I have always used GHS strings with the heavier E and A strings so I will give the Mapes a try with those added changes...

    Willie

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