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Thread: 19.5"short-scale Octave Strings?

  1. #1

    Default 19.5"short-scale Octave Strings?

    I have recently purchased a custom built 19.5" scale length OM. I know it is in that never-land of mandola/OM's size but I would like to play it in gdae...It has a carved spruce top with X bracing.
    About a year ago, zoukboy listed D'Addario's J80's and J72's with lbs. of tension and I assume it was for gdae at 20" scale length.
    Any ideas if this would be not too much pressure on the top?
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    This builder is a real artist--R. G. Noyes; to check him out, Google R G Noyes instruments

  2. #2
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: 19.5"short-scale Octave Strings?

    I’ve got a 20.3” Octave in the same tuning and use 0.014, 0.022w, 0.032w, 0.045w

  3. #3
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: 19.5"short-scale Octave Strings?

    I have a couple of tenor guitars and one octave all 20" scales . 14 20 32 50
    That works out at close to 19lb per string, quite low tension compared to a lot of string sets but seems to suit the short scale extremely well.

  4. #4
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: 19.5"short-scale Octave Strings?

    Well, I'd put Thomastik 174 lights on it, but that's the way I am. What a great looking instrument, by the way! Such a long neck, too, for its scale length! Gorgeous back - what kind of wood is that? (I'll take a guess... koa?)

    bratsche
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  5. #5

    Default Re: 19.5"short-scale Octave Strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by bratsche View Post
    Well, I'd put Thomastik 174 lights on it, but that's the way I am. What a great looking instrument, by the way! Such a long neck, too, for its scale length! Gorgeous back - what kind of wood is that? (I'll take a guess... koa?)

    bratsche
    The wood on the back and sides is Claro Walnut, highly figured. The maker said it was from old trees from the Sacramento Valley in CA. Engelemann Spruce top and African Mahogany neck.

  6. #6
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: 19.5"short-scale Octave Strings?

    Wow, how cool is that! I have Claro Walnut on one of my mandolas, and it's figured, but not nearly as much as that - I didn't even recognize it. I imagine it sounds as great as it looks!

    bratsche
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

    GearGems - Gifts & apparel for musicians and more!
    MandolaViola's YouTube Channel

  7. #7

    Default Re: 19.5"short-scale Octave Strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyF-4 View Post
    I have recently purchased a custom built 19.5" scale length OM. I know it is in that never-land of mandola/OM's size but I would like to play it in gdae...It has a carved spruce top with X bracing.
    About a year ago, zoukboy listed D'Addario's J80's and J72's with lbs. of tension and I assume it was for gdae at 20" scale length.
    Any ideas if this would be not too much pressure on the top?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This builder is a real artist--R. G. Noyes; to check him out, Google R G Noyes instruments
    Hello TonyF-4,
    I'm glad to see your post here about the Noyes Octave. I was watching that one on Ebay too! Was going to bid but just couldn't swing the $$. He's got another one up now and I'm seriously considering at least trying to win the auction. But, I'm concerned with not being able to play it first and see how it feels/hear how it sounds. And he is unable to provide me with a sound clip. Can I ask your opinions on how this octave sounds and plays? It would help me a lot. With a smaller body than most, does it still have good resonance and projection? Is the bass end still fairly strong or is it "thin" sounding? How does the neck feel, not to thick/bulky? Anything you can offer me in details would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much for any help you can offer.
    Brian

  8. #8
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: 19.5"short-scale Octave Strings?

    I would do two things:

    1. Contact the builder and see what he recommends.

    2. Download the free Universal String Tension Calculator (USTC) at the link below. Calculate the tension of the gauges of strings on there now for the pitches it's tuned to now. If you don't already know the gauges, you may need a micrometer to figure that out, but a usable one is not that expensive. Then change the pitches in the USTC and experiment with the gauge settings until you get a similar tension, say plus or minus 10% for each string pair. Order those as single strings and try them. Adjust from there based on personal preference. You may also find an established set on the market that is close.

    http://www.kennaquhair.com/ustc.htm

    One hint about the USTC: Save your work after every change you make in the software. It has a bad habit of locking up and the only solution is to close it and reopen it and then any unsaved changes are gone.

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