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Thread: Strings for a Martin 2-15

  1. #1
    Registered User Nathan Kellstadt's Avatar
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    Default Strings for a Martin 2-15

    I just acquired a Martin 2-15 (F hole, archtop). I've read through the various threads and it seems these are a much lighter build than their Gibson counterparts, so I'm concerned about how much tension/what gauges it can take. I use medium/heavy strings, including 41s for the G course if I'm using monels. Does anyone with experience know how heavy a set of strings I can get by with? I'm not looking to compromise the structural integrity, but I also have a lot of different set of strings that I'd like to use, none of which are light gauge. The previous owner was using J62s which appear to be a light set (I have no experience with these). None of the older threads I looked at seemed to address this. Thanks.

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    Default Re: Strings for a Martin 2-15

    I have a Martin and while it is the bent top I use 10-36, which is the heaviest I would consider using. The 2-15 I would still not use heavier strings on. Others will know more about that I am sure.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Strings for a Martin 2-15

    I'm pretty much in the same boat as Pops. 10-14-24- I might go as heavy as a 38 for the 4th string, but that would be the absolute maximum.

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  6. #4
    Registered User Nathan Kellstadt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings for a Martin 2-15

    I'm curious about the 38s. Most of the strings I'd normally use (aside from GHS silk & bronze unfortunately) come in lighter gauges, but I'd like to try the D'addario nickel bronze and the skinniest G course they offer is 38. However, I certainly don't want to take chances.

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    Default Re: Strings for a Martin 2-15

    While silk and steel have lighter tension, the silk and bronze do not. I was looking at a tension sheet from GHS, it was set up for guitar strings, but the white bronze and vintage bronze have much less tension than the rest of the strings. Bright bronze less than phosphor bronze. It doesn't give mandolin tensions, but is a great comparing tool for the types of strings looking at similar gauges. So while a 38 might be ok in one type of string it may not be in another. There can be 5 or more lbs. difference in tension of the same diameter of string from different materials.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  8. #6
    Registered User Nathan Kellstadt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings for a Martin 2-15

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    So while a 38 might be ok in one type of string it may not be in another. There can be 5 or more lbs. difference in tension of the same diameter of string from different materials.
    Thanks, Pops, that was actually really insightful. I had no idea. I'm definitely not entertaining the idea of putting my beloved silk & bronze on there. I'm not used to shopping for lighter gauge strings so it's actually taking me to strings I hadn't previously considered like the 80/20 bronze.

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