Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

  1. #1

    Default Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    I like wound 2nd courses on my mandola (D) and bouzouki (A) but I have some questions about tension and sourcing.

    I would prefer a .017 but have been using a .018. I can get .018 nickel wound in bulk. I found some .017 nickel wound but they are listed as electric. Would they still work well for acoustic mandola and bouzouki?

    I hear that nickel wound strings generate a little less tension than plain steel. I've been unable to plug them in on string tension calculators because most seem to not support wound strings below .020. The steel .018 run a little high but not off the charts so if the nickel really are less tension then I would be fine sticking with the .018.

    .018 plain steel bouzouki is 23.41 pounds
    .018 plain steel on 18 scale flat top mandola 20.7 pounds
    Thanks!
    Northfield NF5S
    Bayard Guitar bodied octave mandolin
    Gernandt Octave mandolin
    Crump B1 Bouzouki
    Davy Stuart Mandola
    www.singletonstreet.com

  2. The following members say thank you to Chuck Leyda for this post:


  3. #2
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Re: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    Yes, I was suggested to use a wound nickel 18 by Rex Preston (a very good player from the UK but not really active musically at the moment).
    He had a point. I used to have a plain steel A but it spoiled the balance of the sound. Mostly on zouk tho. Wouldn't say it a thing on a shorter scale instrument?
    Can't go back to plain steel A now on my zouk. It was a bit of a revelation to be honest!
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Paul Shippey custom "Tone" Octave Mandolin, Paul Shippey "Axe" Bouzouki,
    Phil Davidson A5 "Badgerlin" mandolin, Phil Davidson F5 mandolin,
    Mcilroy Tenor Guitar, Phil Davidson Tenor Mandola
    My band's website

  4. The following members say thank you to Lord of the Badgers for this post:


  5. #3
    Registered User Reinhardt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Dublin Ireland
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    I use nickle wound on my bouzouki and octave mandolin A Strings all of the time. They're absolutely brilliant. The A on the bouzouki is .020 , 25 inch scale, the A on the Octave is .022, 23 inch scale. Highly recommended and they dont really break too much either. Was given this tip by Adam Rhodes of the Trad group IMAR when I bought his Forster Bouzouki from him. Nigel Forster recommends Nickle wound by the way. Adam actually uses .018 on the zouk but I found that they were a bit fragile to be honest.

    John

  6. The following members say thank you to Reinhardt for this post:


  7. #4
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Re: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    John my shippey is a 25 and I find 18 isn't fragile.
    Weird tho - That forster you own shipped with 80/20 strings
    On the shippey I misinterpreted Rex first time around and restrung entirely in nickel. It did not sound good - brittle and over bright.
    So I have pb on GD, nickel 18 and a heavyish high D
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Paul Shippey custom "Tone" Octave Mandolin, Paul Shippey "Axe" Bouzouki,
    Phil Davidson A5 "Badgerlin" mandolin, Phil Davidson F5 mandolin,
    Mcilroy Tenor Guitar, Phil Davidson Tenor Mandola
    My band's website

  8. #5
    Registered User Reinhardt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Dublin Ireland
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the Badgers View Post
    John my shippey is a 25 and I find 18 isn't fragile.
    Weird tho - That forster you own shipped with 80/20 strings
    On the shippey I misinterpreted Rex first time around and restrung entirely in nickel. It did not sound good - brittle and over bright.
    So I have pb on GD, nickel 18 and a heavyish high D
    Hi Rob, I use Elixer nanowebs (bronze of some sort) on my Gs and Ds, and Nickle wound on my As only. The Elixers are absolutely fantastic by the way. I used to use regular Phosphour Bronze all of the time but switched to Elixers last year. My current set has been on for nearly 4 months and still sound bright. Highly recommended. I get them delivered from Strings and Beyond who are based in the US, very reliable company and great service (am I allowed say that on the Forum??).

    I broke a few 18 nickels when i tried them first, hence my change to 20s. No problems since.

    John

  9. #6
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Re: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    I remember it also shipped with very heavy strings....!
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Paul Shippey custom "Tone" Octave Mandolin, Paul Shippey "Axe" Bouzouki,
    Phil Davidson A5 "Badgerlin" mandolin, Phil Davidson F5 mandolin,
    Mcilroy Tenor Guitar, Phil Davidson Tenor Mandola
    My band's website

  10. #7

    Default Re: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    Have you fellows been able to find a string tension calculator that works with your nickel wound strings?
    Northfield NF5S
    Bayard Guitar bodied octave mandolin
    Gernandt Octave mandolin
    Crump B1 Bouzouki
    Davy Stuart Mandola
    www.singletonstreet.com

  11. #8
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Re: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    sorry, no i haven't. I'm a bit of a luddite and do trial & error - i don't really understand what the aim of such a thing is - even though i appreciate it is useful... it just doesn't compute with me!
    My name is Rob, and I am Lord of All Badgers

    Paul Shippey custom "Tone" Octave Mandolin, Paul Shippey "Axe" Bouzouki,
    Phil Davidson A5 "Badgerlin" mandolin, Phil Davidson F5 mandolin,
    Mcilroy Tenor Guitar, Phil Davidson Tenor Mandola
    My band's website

  12. The following members say thank you to Lord of the Badgers for this post:


  13. #9
    Registered User Reinhardt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Dublin Ireland
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Leyda View Post
    Have you fellows been able to find a string tension calculator that works with your nickel wound strings?
    Same here Chuck. Its trial and error on my part as well. I was extremely lucky to pick up a Sobell Octave Mandolin in nearly mint condition just before Christmas ( for a real knockdown price!!) and I'm still experimenting with the strings, especially the D and A. On the D I've had 36, then 32, then 35,then back to 32 and now finally I've decided that 35s are the best fit. on the As its been 20s, 22s and just tonight, 24s (all Nickel Wound). I think the 24s are here to stay!! Its a 23 inch scale. The gs have remained a constant 47 but the high Ds are next on the list!! I've gone from 12 to 13s but I'm seriously thinking of 14s now. I'llget there eventually!!

    I've gone through the same process with all the CBOMs I've ever owned (and there's been a lot!!). I dont think I've ever stuck with the original gauges recommended by the various luthiers to be honest. It's really a matter of personal taste. I always check with the makers as to what the max the instrument will take though so none have fallen apart..... yet!!

    Nice collection you have there by the way..

    John

  14. #10

    Default Re: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    Thanks John
    I'm happy with all of em. If times are tight I might move one of the octave mandolins..despite the body difference they are both octave mandolins in the 22-23 scale range. I probably don't need both of them but I like both of them

    Congrats on the Sobell!

    I'll keep experimenting. It would just be nice to know the tension difference between plain steel and nickel wound. I don't want to stress any soundboards. I've been able to dig up a couple threads indicating that nickel wound does produce less tension but can't find any calculator.
    Northfield NF5S
    Bayard Guitar bodied octave mandolin
    Gernandt Octave mandolin
    Crump B1 Bouzouki
    Davy Stuart Mandola
    www.singletonstreet.com

  15. #11

    Default Re: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    Some info here:
    https://music.stackexchange.com/ques...itar-for-elect

    Using the G string on a guitar 25.5 scale length.
    .024 nickel wound 28.1 pounds
    .024 Phosphor B 30.0 pounds
    .024 Plain steel 33.4 pounds
    Northfield NF5S
    Bayard Guitar bodied octave mandolin
    Gernandt Octave mandolin
    Crump B1 Bouzouki
    Davy Stuart Mandola
    www.singletonstreet.com

  16. #12
    Registered User Reinhardt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Dublin Ireland
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    Hi Chuck, thats really interesting re the difference of the tension being dependant on the metal type. I didnt think there's be any difference at all!! Instruments are kinda strange beasts aint they. this is going to sound a bit nerdy but I have 2 standard shape bouzoukis by different makers. Both have the same scale length but I use 35 wound on the D string of one and 30 wound on the D string of the other. I must look up the science of that. I'm sure there must be a reason ( or maybe not!!! ).

    Yeah, I was really lucky re the Sobell Octave. I've had 2 set ups on it since I got it but it's really singing now. So much so that I've been barred by my wife from playing it downstairs in the house!!! You should check out the Irish Bouzouki Forum on Facebook. The moderator is a friend of mine called Seanie McGrath who also has a beautiful Sobell Octave and a Manson Bouzouki. Great source of information and exchange of views and news. A bit like a mini Mandolin Cafe!!!

    John

  17. #13

    Default Re: Nickel Wound 2nd course (mandola and bouzouki)

    I'm a member. Great FB resource. One of the reasons I'm still on FB!
    Northfield NF5S
    Bayard Guitar bodied octave mandolin
    Gernandt Octave mandolin
    Crump B1 Bouzouki
    Davy Stuart Mandola
    www.singletonstreet.com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •