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Thread: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

  1. #1
    Registered User thecelloronin's Avatar
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    Default Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    Hello all,

    D'addario gets a lot of praise for manufacturing mandocello strings of pretty reliable quality. However, after having heard enough 'cellos string with these, I'm always left unimpressed by the response and resonance of the C strings, which sound duller and quieter than their counterparts.

    The question I have is: do mandocelli around the 24.5-25.5" scale range all have this dead spot as a feature, rather than a bug (similar to a wolf note on on violoncello), or are J78's just simply too thick to sound worth a damn in the lower register?

    I'm working on getting other types of mandocello strings to compare, but in the meantime I thought I'd tap into the collective wisdom of the 'cafe. How y'all feelin bout these strangs?
    Pomeroy #244 Custom Mandocello - "Liuto Americano"
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    Wishnevsky Mandocello

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    My experience with D'Addario over many years is that they are very open to feedback on their products. Discussing it here is also a good idea but, if you are so inclined, I would suggest contacting them with your concerns and I would think they might work with you to remedy the problem. I have heard good things about some of the other string companies as well.
    Jim

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    Registered User thecelloronin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    Hi Jim,

    That's a great idea. This thread is not meant to disparage D'Addario in any way–I'm grateful that they make easily obtainable m'cello strings of otherwise great quality. That said, before I take your suggestion, I do want to make sure the issue is with the strings, rather than the mandocelli I've played.

    To rephrase my initial question: is the mandocello somewhat like the viola, in that its proportions impose sonic limitations on certain registers? Tangentially, does anyone else have the same gripe as me, and has changing strings/string gauges fixed the issue if so?
    Pomeroy #244 Custom Mandocello - "Liuto Americano"
    NS Design CR6 Electric Cello
    Wishnevsky Mandocello

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    Registered User fumblefour's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    Not sure if this is strictly relevant, but I seem to recall (from an Artistworks video exchange) that Mike Marshall has been speaking to D'Addario about providing Mandocello C strings at a lighter gauge (.070 instead of .074). But whether that would address your issue I have no idea.

    I am a total novice with the Mandocello, but the Newtone strings which came with my Hathway m'cello (26 inch scale) include .070 C strings which to my inexperienced ears sound pretty good and lively.
    "To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable". Beethoven

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    Default Re: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    I was having trouble with buzz on the C string as I developed more strength and accuracy in the 4th finger. Mike Marshall suggested lighter strings and my local Fretworks guy put together a set with C .066, using guitar strings with the ball-ends punched out. I think I am playing a little better now and plan to use slightly heavier (.070?) strings when I freshen up. I do think the lighter strings, while easier to play, produce a less impressive boom of sound, even when open. I do wish there were more options on this point, like there are with guitar and mandolin. This thread has given me helpful information (love the Cafe!) and I will shop around.

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    Registered User thecelloronin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    Hey Doc James, thanks for the input. I've come a long way in fretting the C course properly (even with my undersized pinky!), but even then I'm unimpressed with the resonance of the J78 C's on each instrument I've tried them on. For reference, those instruments include my beloved Pomeroy, my previous 1914 Gibson K-1, my Wishnevsky, and a Goldtone I randomly picked up once. Admittedly, this isn't a massive cross section of instruments, but they all have the same sonic issue in common, as well as the string set. Got me to thinking...
    Pomeroy #244 Custom Mandocello - "Liuto Americano"
    NS Design CR6 Electric Cello
    Wishnevsky Mandocello

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    Default Re: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    Upping the date: I contacted Neil Silverman as suggested here and got an immediate positive response. Newtone will make me a set of C .070-based strings (G, D, & A slightly lighter than J78's), costing only a little more, but well worth the "custom" work. In my Artistworks mandocello lesson Mike M did talk about .070 as a perfectly reasonable gauge; maybe D'Addario will come around. My only concern with Newtone is they are in the UK, and between Brexit and trade wars I might be targeted by MI6 (I believe MI5 is strictly UK national, so I am safe from them.) If they do send a James Bond after me, I want it to be Idris Elba.

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    Registered User thecelloronin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc James View Post
    Upping the date: I contacted Neil Silverman as suggested here and got an immediate positive response. Newtone will make me a set of C .070-based strings (G, D, & A slightly lighter than J78's), costing only a little more, but well worth the "custom" work. In my Artistworks mandocello lesson Mike M did talk about .070 as a perfectly reasonable gauge; maybe D'Addario will come around. My only concern with Newtone is they are in the UK, and between Brexit and trade wars I might be targeted by MI6 (I believe MI5 is strictly UK national, so I am safe from them.) If they do send a James Bond after me, I want it to be Idris Elba.
    Careful, importing high-grade mandocello strings is likely to catch the attention of musicians within the NSA, TSA, and ATF as well.

    Edit: Also, please do report back any sonic differences you notice with the Newtone strings.
    Pomeroy #244 Custom Mandocello - "Liuto Americano"
    NS Design CR6 Electric Cello
    Wishnevsky Mandocello

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    Default Re: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    OMG You're right! I am now placing my computer, cell phone, and mandocello in the microwave to remove any trace! Now how can I erase all record of my Mandolin Cafe entries?

  12. #10
    Registered User thecelloronin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc James View Post
    OMG You're right! I am now placing my computer, cell phone, and mandocello in the microwave to remove any trace! Now how can I erase all record of my Mandolin Cafe entries?
    Open up Chrome in an incognito tab should do the trick!
    Pomeroy #244 Custom Mandocello - "Liuto Americano"
    NS Design CR6 Electric Cello
    Wishnevsky Mandocello

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    I've bought a lot of Newtone strings (but not custom sets) through the well known online string companies, never had an issue with price or delivery. They all come with a warning not to cut/trim the strings until after you put them on the instrument. First time I read that I thought "who does that (cut strings before you put them on)?" its like warning me not to eat dessicant packs....

  14. #12
    Registered User NotMelloCello's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    Lawyers doing their CYA thing.... But you know, some moron tried it - or there wouldn't be a warning.
    The difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

  15. #13

    Default Re: Real talk: Are the C strings in the J78 packs dead?

    Newtone strings generally have a round core. You need to tune them up to pitch and the trim them. Many people will get just enough tension on the strings and then trim them, and then tune them up. The warning is an attempt to save them from dealing people contacting them and telling them there is something wrong with their strings. I’m not sure Malcom is lawyer-oriented, aside from the fact that his business is not in the US.
    Good Advice: Play before you pay, and know your product and your market.

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