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Thread: String recommendation.

  1. #1
    Registered User Dave Fultz's Avatar
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    Default String recommendation.

    When I first bought my Loar LM590 I took it to a luthier and had it set up. He asked what music do I play, I said old time and folk. Bluegrassy stuff sometimes but not pure bluegrass

    So he put one some GHS A260 11-38s. The sound was nice and earthy but not real loud.

    Today I decided to replace the strings and put on some D'Addario EXP74CM .0115-.40s

    Both string sets are Phosphor Bronze.

    It's surely louder now, but rather jangly or at least bright. I'll be playing some Christmas gigs so I'll leave them that way for now.

    So... the big question: What would you recommend that might be in between? Heavier GHS? Something Else?

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  2. #2

    Default Re: String recommendation.

    Well if you like the sound of those custom-mediums, and assuming the gauge is the main reason they are better, you might want to try to find some uncoated ones, they will get darker a lot faster. Meaning you could break them in by xmas. Closet set I can find are the EJ75's.

    If the reason it's brighter is simply that the gauge of the higher strings has increased relative to the lower ones, the experiment could shed some light there. The EJ75s increase the lower strings by 1 too.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: String recommendation.

    Play the EXP's for a few days. I recently tried a set and was not real happy with the tone immediately, but after a few days they have started to settle in and are less bright. I do like the GHS A270's. The other strings I have liked are the Elixir mediums. They are 11-40 as you would expect but just seem to play easier than other strings, at least to my fingers.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: String recommendation.

    New strings are always brighter for a time. The A270 GHS would be a bump 11-40 also the N270 pure nickel 11-41. The nickel hold their sound much longer. I like the sound and get a much longer time with them still sounding good.
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  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: String recommendation.

    I have switched away from PB strings and first went to Monel (Gibson Sam Bush) and now use D'Addario Nickel Bronze strings on all my mandolins and guitars. Less jangly and—I don't know if this really makes sense—but i hear more of the instruments inherent tones and less of the strings. In any case, for me the extra cost is worth it. Since then Curt Mangan and Martin have come our with Monel for mandolin and some players here like those as well.
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    Default Re: String recommendation.

    Ghs a270
    Last edited by yankees1; Dec-06-2018 at 10:30pm. Reason: capitilization
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  7. #7

    Default Re: String recommendation.

    I would suggest,at some point,trying some Monel strings. I played only PB for years. The D'Addario Monels really
    gave my mandolins(two F-style Gibsons) a nice fundamental/less jangly/less stringy tone;but,the big reveal for me is how they
    feel to both left and right hands.
    Every mandolin and player is unique;so,always good to try a wide variety of strings,picks...mandolins.

    I like the nickel bronze too.

  8. #8
    Registered User Dave Fultz's Avatar
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    Default Re: String recommendation.

    Well today at the gig at the retirement facility, I thought the new strings sucked. But I had several of my co-players compliment me. So maybe they sound better out front than above.

    I did notice the larger gauge gave me some buzz on the metal cover (Whatever that’s called). I had to lift it a little.

    I’ll try the A270s or monels next time. The 260s had a nice tone, but just whispered.

    Tomorrow I’m playing a Christmas party for a mental health facility, very appreciative people. Maybe they’ll settle in.

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  9. #9
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: String recommendation.

    I'll go with Yankees1 & suggest the GHS A270 set to begin with. I have those on my Ellis "A" style & they're a beautifully 'sweet' sounding string set. If you really must have extra 'power' - try a set of DR MD11's. DR's are a much 'stronger' sounding string than the other brands that i've tried,but they don't rob a mandolin of any 'finesse'. A friend of mine is a Classical mandolin player,& i took my new 'used' Ellis with a set of MD11's on it for him to play. He produced some of the most sublime tones i've ever heard from any mandolin,despite it being 'strung for Bluegrass' as he put it - but do try the A270's first,
    Ivan
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  11. #10
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    Default Re: String recommendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    I'll go with Yankees1 & suggest the GHS A270 set to begin with. I have those on my Ellis "A" style & they're a beautifully 'sweet' sounding string set. If you really must have extra 'power' - try a set of DR MD11's. DR's are a much 'stronger' sounding string than the other brands that i've tried,but they don't rob a mandolin of any 'finesse'. A friend of mine is a Classical mandolin player,& i took my new 'used' Ellis with a set of MD11's on it for him to play. He produced some of the most sublime tones i've ever heard from any mandolin,despite it being 'strung for Bluegrass' as he put it - but do try the A270's first,
    Ivan
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Years ago I tried several sets of DR strings, mainly Dr11. Tone was fine but didn't last long so I switched back to GHS A270 on my Ellis A5 and have never revisited DR but perhaps I should give them another try ! I do have Curt Mangan PB strings on my Girouard and I love them but more expensive !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  12. #11

    Default Re: String recommendation.

    How good are Martin strings? I do not know anything about mandolin strings but someone mentioned I might try them.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: String recommendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by DocT View Post
    How good are Martin strings? I do not know anything about mandolin strings but someone mentioned I might try them.
    I like them on an old mandolin that I only use light guage strings on. But they sound nice and not particularly brittle or thin, and they last well.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: String recommendation.

    i used to use J-74's but recently switched to Elixir nano-web mediums. For me they last longer and sound just as good as the J-74's.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: String recommendation.

    Quote Originally Posted by DocT View Post
    How good are Martin strings? I do not know anything about mandolin strings but someone mentioned I might try them.
    I have heard that the Martin Monel strings sound very good at a much cheaper price but have not tried them myself. I did not care for D'Addario Monel strings.
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  16. #15
    Registered User Dave Fultz's Avatar
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    Default Re: String recommendation.

    I saw another thread today on strings. I thought I’d cap off my current results with the Daddios I put on last month. Im sometime frustrated reading question threads with no resolution. So, here’s my resolution.

    I do not know if my ears adjusted or or the strings settled in or both, but I do love them now. The Loar LM-590 is much louder, has a cleaner sound that still displays the tonal coloration of the instrument. It bites, barks, and growls. I can lightly play and it’s still clear and clean, then I can hit it and it will punch within the limitations of that instrument. It’s not a $4k mandolin, but these particular strings let me get a lot more from it. The GHS had a much more woody sound but were so quiet, it wasn’t useful.

    Before, my Kentucky KM-272 was my main play out mandolin due to its loudness, (and it *is* a nice sounding instrument on its own) but the Loar is now my go to choice.

    ============
    ~Music self-played is happiness self-made
    ——————————
    Loar LM-590
    Kentucky KM-272
    Johnson MA-110

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