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Thread: Strings for A 1

  1. #1

    Default Strings for A 1

    Had my Gibson for several months now. Pretty much is my Celtic go to, with some fiddle tunes and old time. String suggestions? I have no idea what is on there other than they are J74 gauges. What do you use?
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  2. #2
    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings for A 1

    j-74
    Hughes F-5 #1
    Hughes A model #1
    1922 Gibson A-2
    1958 Gibson A-5

  3. #3
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Strings for A 1

    I make up my own sets for these old oval hole Gibsons. Usually 10 1/2-14-24-40. I also sometimes used the "Sam Bush" set before Gibson discontinued it -- 11-14-25-41. I didn't necessarily like the 41, though.

    These days, I am showing a preference for nickel strings.

    I don't like to load these old-timers down with too heavy a string. Some of them can't physically handle them, and some of them sound choked.

  4. #4
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings for A 1

    I used to use Curt Mangan Bluegrass Medium's on my A-jr, I found them warmer sounding than J74's.
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  5. #5
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings for A 1

    I have a ‘24 Gibson A that is in loan from a friend. I’ve had D’Addario EFW74 flatwound strings on it since I’ve had it. They sound great and the lighter tension is a plus for the mandolin.

  6. #6
    Registered User Eric Davis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings for A 1

    I've tried a number of different strings on my '25 snakehead and really like the EXP 74s best on it.
    Eric Davis

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Strings for A 1

    I have used normal strings on two old Gibson's for decades now. A 1918 and a '22. One has a truss rod (still have it) the other not (gone to a friend). rcc56 says lower tension strings are better, and I would say they will sound good with these old Gibson's, as they seem to sound good with any pick too. I think where the trouble happens is when they are put in the case for extended periods of time and not played. Playing does several things, one is keeping an eye on the mandolin for changes, two is changing strings , three is enjoying the instrument. Keeping an eye on things and changing strings is important for the survival of the mandolin. Enjoying is important for both you and the mandolin.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  8. #8
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings for A 1

    When I had my A2, I used j74s, but switched to a 38 gauge 4th string. Seemed to decrease the 'tubbiness'.
    Phil

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  9. #9
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings for A 1

    EJ 73 or 74 depending on my mood. My 1910 A seems to like lights better. Also trying some EJ62 right now. They seem to be a good match to this mandolin

    On my 1929 A Jr have a set of EJ74 right now, but will probably go back to light at the next string change. Chords are too much of a chore on it with medium, IMO. And there doesn't seem to be any volume increase on this particular instrument. Again, that's me and on this particular instrument. Most of the time mediums will be louder.
    1910 Gibson A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Finnegan, 2018 Eastman MDO-305, 2015 Ashbury Style E OM, 1950's Californian, 1941 Strad-O-Lin
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    Default Re: Strings for A 1

    I like a very low action and a heavier string will be able to achieve a lower action. I agree that most will sound very fine with any string. Mine is not tubby at all, just warm and deep with great warm highs.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  11. #11
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings for A 1

    EJ-74s. In the summer, I use Elixirs nanos to cut down on the corrosion, but they're still medium weight.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings for A 1

    I use either Curt Magan medium Monel or Martin medium Monel on my 1918 A2.

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