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Thread: Northfield Octave really benefits from the right string gauges...

  1. #1
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Northfield Octave really benefits from the right string gauges...

    I hadn’t been playing my Northfield Octave as much as I had hoped lately. I was busy. There was some traveling it couldn’t go with me but my mando did... Maybe it was jealous. It seemed to be less responsive to me. I kept telling myself we’d reconnect later.

    Then Northfield had a sale at the beginning of the month, and they are now carrying the correct gauges of OM strings as a set. So I bought some, which reminded me, I had cobbled together a set from other sets but hadn’t put it on... so what was on there?!?

    D’Addario EJ80’s - not extremely different gauges, but different. And this was the second set I had on there. The strings on it when I bought it were old, and I guess I had only ever put the Ej80s on it.

    How different could a new set of the correct gauge strings be? Obviously good enough for me to write this thread... but seriously, it reminded me of why I bought the instrument. Not just the sound but the feel was just right. A balance of tensions properly restored.

    No financial interest, I was not compensated in any way for posting this but I will say that they initially sent me mandolin strings. When I sent them back and got the correct OM strings overnight they did send me a couple of stickers and a small cloth Northfield bag!

    I wanted to post this because it reminded me of why we are so picky about all the little details of our instruments, it’s because it matters!

    You could be just a gauge away from happiness!

    Dan G.
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Northfield Octave really benefits from the right string gauge

    Nothing beats a well dialed in instrument! What are the gauges for the Northfield set?

    Thanks,
    Baron
    MandoLessons: Free Online Mandolin Lessons
    Velocipede: My Fiddle Tune Duo
    Old Time Mandolin: Solo Old Time Mandolin Album

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    dang 

  5. #3
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield Octave really benefits from the right string gauge

    Northfield OM String Gauges: .052 .034 .022 .014 (inches)

    The D’Addario are
    Medium Gauge: Plain Steel .012/.012, Phosphor Bronze Wound .022/.022, .032/.032, .046/.046
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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  7. #4
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    Default Re: Northfield Octave really benefits from the right string gauge

    So here goes my first Mando-Cafe post.. If it wasn't for this site I wouldn't have ended up with a big mon and the octave in the first place.

    Since two months I'm the proud owner of a Northfield archtop octave mandolin as well. I've tried different gauges. Since I'm used to higher tension on my guitar, I ended up with 053, 035, 024 (or 023 not sure), 015. And a week ago I installed octave pairs 053-026 G , 035-017 D, 023-011 A, and 015-015 E . I think the last option will best serve my use of the instrument.

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  9. #5
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Northfield Octave really benefits from the right string gauge

    I think the same is true for every fretted instrument - and perhaps all stringed instruments? I’m trying to find the right set for my new guitar, think I’m nearly there but it’s hard to find a good DADGAD set for a short scale guitar so I’m resorting to custom sets.

  10. #6

    Default Re: Northfield Octave really benefits from the right string gauge

    Ya, it took me a while to find a custom set for my Crump OM. I bought D'addario flatwound chrome steel singles, and assembled something that feels good. Made two different purchases from just strings, and now I think it is close to what feels right. Now the problem is I have no idea what gauges I ended up with. Nothing that a new digital micrometer from Stew Mac can't fix...
    Collings MT-O
    P.W. Crump OM-III
    Bun in the oven: Girouard A Oval

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