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Thread: Mandocello strings on Octave mandolin

  1. #1
    Shayan Givehchian
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    Default Mandocello strings on Octave mandolin

    Hey guys
    Is it possible to put mandocello strings on an octave mandolin ? I have an APC 308 cedar top octave.
    I'm trying to at some cello music and I would like to be able to play them in the original keys and not a 5th higher
    In love with the mandolin since Feb 2016
    Eastman MD514
    APC MOC308 Octave

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    Default Re: Mandocello strings on Octave mandolin

    I would think that they would lack tension as Mandocello's tend to have longer scale length than OMs.
    - Jeremy

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello strings on Octave mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Ge23ev View Post
    Hey guys
    Is it possible to put mandocello strings on an octave mandolin ? I have an APC 308 cedar top octave.
    I'm trying to at some cello music and I would like to be able to play them in the original keys and not a 5th higher
    A lot of cello music never goes down to the low C string, so you can play it at pitch on OM (possibly adjusting a few bass notes). Just play everything one string lower than you would on cello. To the extent that the piece goes above first position on cello, you can either use the E string as a cheat to extend first position upwards by a fifth or ignore the E strings completely and shift to higher positions.

    As Jeremy has said, using mandocello strings will depend on the scale length as to whether you get high enough tension. However, even on a long-scale bouzouki, the low C won't be very convincing as the body size isn't optimised for that frequency.

    Martin

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello strings on Octave mandolin

    An octave mandolin is already 3/4ths of a mandocello. All you have to do is remove the E's, move the G, D and A courses over one set of slots toward the treble side and select the appropriate gage of string for your C's. That gage will depend on your scale length, but in general If you double the size of whatever your D strings are that should be fine for your C's. If you like the sound you may want to re-file your nut slots later to fit the bigger strings.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mandocello strings on Octave mandolin

    Apc do a cello similar scale to the OM. If you contact kieran moloney music shop he can give you info on the strings

  6. #6
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello strings on Octave mandolin

    You could try these gauges based on a 23” scale ....

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  7. #7
    Shayan Givehchian
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    Default Re: Mandocello strings on Octave mandolin

    I just got the PM from Moloney and I'm just trying to see what the limits are. Kind of playing around

  8. #8
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello strings on Octave mandolin

    I have tried C2 a few times but I could not really get a very good result from the actual C strings, .070 is a pretty thick string as it is but even then it seems a bit floppy & dull.
    What I found was an all wound set could be made up from .16 .24 .40 .60 but tuned BEAD. Maybe not what you want but much easier to play and sounds pretty cool.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Mandocello strings on Octave mandolin

    I just purchased a Flatiron 3K Bouzouki off the cafe and changed the strings to cello tuning. The scale length is 24" and the scale on my Gibson is 25" so they are close. At first I tried a set of mandocello strings but as everyone says the C is just too squishy. What I ended up with was using octave mandolin strings for G, D and A then I purchased single ball-end .066 and .070 strings for the C. You end up with .022, .032 .046 and .070. I still haven't totally decided on 66 or 70. You will have to remove the ball from the strings. All of this because I don't want to take my Gibson to Germany this spring with the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra.

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