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Thread: New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

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    Default New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

    My new Morris Oval hole Flattop has arrived and all I can say is WOW! It has exceeded my expectations. Howard said that the pictures don't do it justice and boy was he correct. I tried to upload a couple of pictures and kept getting the message upload failed. Any suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong?

    Anyway, on to my string questions. The strings that came with the Mandolin are Stewart-Macdonald Mediums (11-14-25-39) bronze wound. I don't know if these are considered good strings or not. The 'G' and the 'D' strings sound amazing to my ears. The 'A' and the 'E' strings sound a little muted to me. I am primarily interested in playing classical and folk type songs, mostly single string melodies. What strings do you other flattop owners prefer?

    Thanks in advance,
    Gary

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    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

    Hi Gary,

    My flat-top is a Crystal Forest, not a Morris, but I have tried lots of different strings on it. My favorite is D'Addario EJ73, which are Phosphor Bronze, 10, 14, 24, 38. Nice tone, very balanced, inexpensive, and I get about 2 months out of them. The pick you use makes a big difference, too, but that's probably a topic for another thread!

    Best wishes with your new instrument. My guess is, you are going to love it.
    Purr more, hiss less.

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    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

    No, no, no! I got it wrong in my last email. EJ73 is what I use on one of my other instruments, but not on my flat-top. On my flat-top I use EJ62, which are 80/20 Bronze, 10, 14, 24, 34. Sorry for the confusion, I looked at the wrong pack. Sorry!
    Purr more, hiss less.

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    Default Re: New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Clark View Post
    No, no, no! I got it wrong in my last email. EJ73 is what I use on one of my other instruments, but not on my flat-top. On my flat-top I use EJ62, which are 80/20 Bronze, 10, 14, 24, 34. Sorry for the confusion, I looked at the wrong pack. Sorry!
    Thanks for the clarification. Actually, the strings diameters are almost the same in those two sets. What is the difference in tone between Phosphor Bronze and 80/20 bronze. Also, I am sure your guess is correct. I already love it.

    Thanks again,
    Gary

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    Default Re: New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

    That EJ 73 set Bob uses is exactly the same as the Martin set I use on my Martin flat top mandolin. They are considered “light”. I am surprised Mr. Morris Strings those with mediums. He must have a lot of faith in that steel bar stiffener he uses in the necks. I have heard stories about those necks of his eventually getting a slight bow. Not many mind you, and it’s probably the exception rather than the rule. But if that happens, you’re up the creek without an adjustable truss rod. If I owned one of those, I would not use anything heavier than that 10-14–24-34 set.
    Don

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    Default Re: New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

    New A's and E's frequently sound muted to my ears, for what it's worth.
    The Loar LM-220 VS

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    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwhamil View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. Actually, the strings diameters are almost the same in those two sets. What is the difference in tone between Phosphor Bronze and 80/20 bronze. Also, I am sure your guess is correct. I already love it.

    Thanks again,
    Gary
    To my ears, on this instrument, the EJ62 (80/20 Bronze) sounds a bit warmer and more complex; the EJ73 Phosphor Bronze are a bit, hmmm. . . I'm trying to find a nice way to put it. . . brighter and more fundamental. Actually, the Martins that Don mentioned (Hello Don) are what I used for quite a while until I tried the EJ62. I liked them a lot until I tried these. That said, any of the three mentioned here are acceptable. I just prefer the EJ62.

    That's the beauty of these really good, inexpensive strings; we can try as many as we want until we find what works best for us. I have found that, at least for now.
    Purr more, hiss less.

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    Default Re: New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

    My Morris is a carved top not flat, but I have used EJ74s on it exclusively since owning it. The mandolin is about a year and a half old now with zero signs of neck issues. It sees heavy use daily. I wouldn't worry about choosing light over medium strings based on fear of neck issues. Sonny makes them tough and will stand by his work. Try a few and stick with what your ears like best.

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    Default Re: New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

    I use GHS 250 or EJ 62s on my Flatiron 1N and Martin, depending on what I can find locally. Same gauges and I primarily play my Kelley now, so I get months between changes.
    Chuck

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    Default Re: New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwhamil View Post
    Anyway, on to my string questions. The strings that came with the Mandolin are Stewart-Macdonald Mediums (11-14-25-39) bronze wound. I don't know if these are considered good strings or not. The 'G' and the 'D' strings sound amazing to my ears. The 'A' and the 'E' strings sound a little muted to me. I am primarily interested in playing classical and folk type songs, mostly single string melodies. What strings do you other flattop owners prefer?
    My first piece of advice is always to trust your builder. My Pava wore GHS A270's because that's what the Ellis shop installs from the bench and my Silverangel rode EJ75's because that's what Ken Ratliff uses in his design. That said, those StewMac Mediums run a bit heavier than I would typically choose for my flattops:

    My Mid-Missouri M0 took GHS A260/PF250:10/16/24/38

    My Gypsy Vagabond had EJ70:11/15/24/38

    My Flatiron 1N used GHS A250/J62:10/15/24/36 or 10/14/24/34

    My Redline Traveler wore J73: 10/14/24/38

    My Poe Scout recommends Martin M-400: 10/14/24/34
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

    I recently posted a similar thread about my Poe Scout and I got some good responses (from many of the same people in this thread, actually). Might be worth checking out!
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ncake-Mandolin

    @Bob Clarke, I have since revisited that thread and I just ordered a set of the EJ62s for my Scout. Looking forward to trying them after my Thomastiks wear out.

    @Pheffernan, I'll give the Martins a shot next! Nice to have a sampling of different strings before deciding on "the one"

    Also, fwiw, I'll throw a Thomastik Mediums recommendation into the mix. Especially if you're into classical!
    2016 Martin TEN515 Tenor Guitar
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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Morris Flattop has arrived. String question.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoreThanQuinn View Post
    @Pheffernan, I'll give the Martins a shot next! Nice to have a sampling of different strings before deciding on "the one"
    Andy told me he liked the Martins best, but the D'Addario J62's and the Elixir 11500's have the same gauges. The ones that I am interested in trying next are the light monels from Curt Mangan: https://www.curtmangan.com/monel-mandolin-light-10-36/
    Last edited by pheffernan; Apr-04-2019 at 1:47pm.
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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