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Thread: Octave Mandolin strings

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    Customer in music store, "Excuse me my good man but do you have any octave mandolin strings for sale?" Clerk, "No, but I do have some nice tenor mandola strings that might do."

  2. #27
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Hudmister View Post
    Customer in music store, "Excuse me my good man but do you have any octave mandolin strings for sale?" Clerk, "No, but I do have some nice tenor mandola strings that might do."
    Just to add to the confusion the recommended strings for my Octave mando-thing correspond best (1 string is 0.001 different) to the d'Addario Tenor mandola set

  3. #28
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    Quote Originally Posted by OneChordTrick View Post
    As it seems I can’t agree with my fellow natives on the correct terminology I think we’ll have to accept that there are lots of terms for the same instrument.

    I’m fairly new to this and when I asked for an octave mandolin in a shop (which shares its name with a popular ale) I was rather pompously told “that’s an American term, in England we say octave mandola”.
    Hey, we Americans invented the instrument, so we get to name it.

    Just joking (sort of), but check this out, from 1904:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...ctave-Mandolin

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    The first time I ever played an octave mandolin was around thirty years ago, in the studio, when I was asked to exatly repeat the solo I'd just played on mandolin; so we had two instruments, on seprate tracks, an octave apart. The owner of the instrument called it a cittern!

  5. #30
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings


    Wow!
    ever forward

  6. #31
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    I noticed a definite improvement in articulation of the low notes on the Pono after changing the G course to 49's. I left the others at the the Pono recommended gauges 12 22 32. I think I'll try the 34's as well next time round.

  7. #32

    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    Hello, friends,
    I myself play a 23" scale octave mandolin by Lawrence Nyberg of British Columbia, Canada. It does very well with 48w - 32w - 22w -14p gauge strings. Lawrence's tailpiece will accept ball-end strings, and l buy mine in bulk from JustStrings...the quality is IMO very good. If you can use ball-end strings, there's no need to buy custom sets if you can afford the bulk option.
    Best,
    Jamie Wahl
    S E AZ State, USA

  8. #33
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    The answer below in response t Ray(T)'s question at the end of page 1.

    It's my analysis of the situation being an American player in the UK, and ignoring the early (and gorgeous) Gibson instruments linked above. Those instruments have reminded me that there is an Italian name for a bowlback/classical version of an octave mandolin. I just wish I could remember what it's called.

    ---

    "Mandola" is the original Italian name for the instrument. A mandolin is a smaller version of the mandola.

    When the octave version of the mandolin came along it looked a lot like the original instrument to the people here in the UK. So it generally gets called a mandola. But a distinction needs to be made between the octave-lower-than-the-mandolin version and the 5th-lower-than-the-mandolin version. So you get octave mandola and tenor mandola.

    Problem is, the CGDA (original more or less) mandola is an alto instrument not a tenor instrument. So "tenor mandola" is really a misnomer. Makes things confusion for us literal-ists.

    In the US, the instruments were marketed with the idea of having mandolin family versions of the string quartet instruments: mandolin::violin, mandola::viola, mandocello::violoncello, mandobass::bass viol

    Since the octave mandolin is not one of those members, it gets a qualifying 'octave' in front of the general family name of mandolin.

    Where it gets real confusing is playing all three instruments --mandolin, mandola (tenor mandola), and octave mandolin (mandola or octave mandola)-- here in the UK. If someone in the audience asks between songs what they all are you'll waste half a set explaining these things!

    I like the US nomenclature a bit better because it's a little clearer, a little more logical, and less prone to regional differences here in Britain. But the Celtic players will correct you if you use those terms. ;-)

    Daniel

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  10. #34
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Nestlerode View Post
    The answer below in response t Ray(T)'s question at the end of page 1.
    Where it gets real confusing is playing all three instruments --mandolin, mandola (tenor mandola), and octave mandolin (mandola or octave mandola)-- here in the UK. If someone in the audience asks between songs what they all are you'll waste half a set explaining these things!
    Daniel
    when my regular duo partner and I play locally here in Scotland and have our mandolins, octave and bouzouki all in use, we generally take a while to talk about them to the audience (means you have to play less) and our usual line is that we have the three clearly different instruments there as it makes as look really talented, able to play all those different types, then we point out that they are all tuned to the same intervals, so not really so clever. The guitar and concertina give us the range of cleverness!

    as I have made mandolin family members, I call them mandolin, octave mandolin and bouzouki.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

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  12. #35
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    To add to what Danniel says, I suspect the term "tenor mandola" is used in order to differentiate the instrument from the "octave mandola" which some insist in calling the "octave mandolin". I too prefer the US system.

  13. #36
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    I like that idea John, showing my versatility by being able to play multiple instruments

  14. #37

    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    I have a PONO (just got it from the US) & am very keen to follow this thread. PONO wont send their strings to Australia, so I need to find an alternative that is a good fit. I have noticed the strings are buzzy that came with the instrument. I thought it might be just me not handling it properly yet. I would greatly appreciate some contact if you have more knowledge, I'm a bit starved for it. Yours hopefully -
    Thanks A

  15. #38
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    I’m sure that PONO don’t make their own strings so I wouldn’t worry about getting hold of them. All you really need to know is what gauge strings you already have.

    If they’re “buzzy”, it may well be your technique, they may be too light or there could be a set-up issue with the instrument. If you want/need different strings, as I mentioned very early in this thread, you can get virtually enything you want from Newtone - https://newtonestrings.com/shop/cust...-configurator/ - don’t worry about what the instrument is called but, if you tell Newtone, they’ll print the name on the packets!

    I’m not sure sure whether they ship to OZ but they’re quite approachable and I’m sure they’ll tell you. The only issue as ai see it is whether the shipping etc. would make them uneconomic.

    Edit - Welcome to the forum, by the way!

  16. #39
    Registered User tbown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mandolin strings

    A quick look through this thread and I have not seen a reference to Northfield's octave sets. They make one set for archtop and one for flattop Octaves. Here's the description from their website:

    "We have customized a set of strings for our Archtop & Flat Top octave mandolins that are perfected for the play-ability and tone we demand from our instruments. The set is gauged for an even tension across the string courses.

    Archtop [Loop end] String Gauges: .052w .034w .022w .014 (inches)

    Flat Top [Ball end] String Gauges: .050w .032w .022w .014 (inches)

    Phosphor bronze wound and plain steel

    Made in the USA."

    I use their archtop set on my archtop octave and see no reason to change. They sound great.
    ========================
    2012 Gibson F5 Master Model
    2019 Northfield F5 Artist 5 Bar
    2019 4.0 Northfield F5 (being built)
    2019 Northfield Arched Octave Maple

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