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Thread: Strings for Oval Mando

  1. #1

    Default Strings for Oval Mando

    Hey y'all.
    First time poster, long time lurker here.

    I bought my friend's Michelle Kelly A-O oval-hole Mandolin recently. It's got a set of J74s on it that have some brilliance to them, but I'm wondering if there are any strings y'all recommend that may help it sound a little brighter & louder. In a small ensemble, it is a thing of beauty. A really nice, round sound. But I am lacking that bluegrassy punch!

    Any and all advice is welcome!
    Thanks guys 'n gals!

  2. #2
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Washington State

    Default Re: Strings for Oval Mando

    It will likely handle J75's just fine. I also find that Gravity acrylic picks really sound brighter than other picks I've used (cassein, BC, Wegen, Tortex, nylon, plastic).

    Oval holes don't deliver the same punch that f- holes do.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Strings for Oval Mando

    Will the J75s add a bit more volume? I read one reader stating he switched to J75s hoping for more volume, but ended up going back to the J74s and adjusting his playing style to be a touch more aggressive. Something about taking more energy to get the J75s moving than to play the J74s more aggressively.

  4. #4
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.

    Default Re: Strings for Oval Mando

    In D'Add numbers I have 73's on the A 0 of mine.
    the 74 on my A 4,[ or HGS equivalent gages..]

    the 75 are not louder on their own .. but the .115 being thicker, (vs .110)
    you can lay into them harder.. picking.. your string tension is greater.

    and the force will make the top vibrate a bit more..

    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: Strings for Oval Mando

    I have a Kentucky built not long after they moved to China. It's a bit overbuilt and no where near the quality they're putting out today. It really needs J75s to make it it's best.

    Pick choice makes a huge difference, too. Sadly, you may not be able to get "bluegrass punch" from an oval hole. Some have it, some just don't. Good luck figuring it out, though, the journey's part of the fun!

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