Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

  1. #1
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,077

    Default 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Hi all. I've a lovely electric OM courtesy of Tavy - who is welcome to chime in here!

    I would like to try it in CGDA tuning (hopefully)!!
    If that's workable... What gauges should I use? It's an eight string one.
    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

  2. #2
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Picardie
    Posts
    1,960
    Blog Entries
    81

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Were you thinking of tuning down a fifth or up a fourth?

    Daniel

  3. #3
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Up. Yes sorry good point!

    Ps I find the tension calculators really confusing so appreciate being told as if I'm a complete newbie!��
    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. #4
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Picardie
    Posts
    1,960
    Blog Entries
    81

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    I'd start with a standard mandolin set. I use D'addario EJ-74s.

    The string tension calculator (http://stringtensionpro.com/) shows a reduction in tension of about 4 pounds from a standard mandolin scale length. That may be good for you. If not you could go to a heavier set.

    Good luck!
    Daniel

  5. #5
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Oxfordshire, England
    Posts
    634

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    You can also use the calculator that Daniel suggested and get it to calculate a custom set for you that will feel the same as a standard set

  6. #6
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Beaverton, OR, USA
    Posts
    1,261

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    I have a waldzither with ~18.5" scale which I have tuned like a mandola (CGDA) and I am using D'Addario EJ80's. They seem to be pretty good except for the C string, which is a bit floppy. My solution, as a bona fide cheapskate, is simply to tune the C string up to a D. That works for a large majority of the tunes I play. It also eliminates that long stretch up to the low F#. Call me a lazy cheapskate.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

  7. #7
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    I really struggle to understand even that string calculator though!
    I need it to be CGDA, Hank as it's for a chord backing with a few odd chords!
    Appreciate your help but I didn't even know how to choose the material of the 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

  8. #8
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    1,567
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the Badgers View Post
    I really struggle to understand even that string calculator though!
    I need it to be CGDA, Hank as it's for a chord backing with a few odd chords!
    Appreciate your help but I didn't even know how to choose the material of the strings
    You should use nickel-wound strings. Given that you need only four you can simply buy various singe string gauges and see. A normal D’Addario mandola set, for 17” scale acoustic, is .015, .025, .035, .052. Go down a notch in gauge, perhaps .013, .022, .032, .048. Wound strings can be had down to .018 if you need, or you could go plain on the D with a low-tension set of .011, .018, .028w, .040w.

    You are in luck if you can use ball end, as pretty much the entire catalog of string types and sizes is available from the major manufacturers at web sites like juststrings.com. If you want the feel of double-course acoustic strings try the higher gauges. The light set would be emulating electric guitar feel, easy bending on A and D.
    Blog--Miniature Orchestra
    Sound Clips--SoundCloud
    Videos--YouTube
    The viola is proof that man is not rational

  9. #9
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Hi Tom. Thanks! I am using eight strings though not four? Metal wise I knew it was nickel but the site suggested three options and didn't function as I expected - mind blown! Doesn't take much...
    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. #10
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Oxfordshire, England
    Posts
    634

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Using a set of EJ76 as a starting point and putting in your scale length suggests that a. 012, 022w, 030w, 044w will have a similar tension to EJ76 on a 1 3/4” scale

  11. The following members say thank you to OneChordTrick for this post:


  12. #11
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Awesome that is brilliant thank you!
    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

  13. #12
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Oxfordshire, England
    Posts
    634

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Happy to help!

  14. #13
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    it's loop ends tho. Dammit. Was hoping local shop would help today
    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

  15. #14
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    My local shop are legends. Without sounding smutty they crushed the balls for 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

  16. #15
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    1,422

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    I have a spread sheet of various gauges and tensions I worked out for an 18.5". I will upload it tonight when I get home.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  17. #16

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    You can use pliers to crush the ball ends and convert them into loop ends as long as you do it carefully, opens up a lot of options since you can then use electric guitar strings.

    Edit - just saw the shop already did the job.

  18. #17

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Thanks for the link to the string tension calculator. I’m rehabbing an old bowl back, and wanted to experiment with some different string combinations, but also to keep the string tension low.
    Levi

  19. #18
    Lord of All Badgers Lord of the Badgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    South West UK
    Posts
    1,077

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Frustratingly the loops on the heavy string are too narrow to go over the tailpiece anchor things. Ah well.
    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

  20. #19

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Sometimes you can widen them out a little using a pen or other cone shape to gently make the loops a little bigger.

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

  21. #20
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    1,422

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    I have an 18.5" scale length mandola/OM that I have tuned GDAE (OM) and CGDA (mandola). I worked out string tensions using D'Addario's Tension Pro. These shouldn't be too far off from 19" scale length but you can check for yourself, if you like. I put 4 OM combinations and 1 mandola combination into a spread sheet with the columns listed below. I only put the one CGDA combination because it really works so well.

    1. Tuning
    2. String Type (Homogeneous, Round Wound, Flat Wound, Flat Top)
    3. String Material
    4. Gauge
    5. Tension
    6. D'Addario # (or Thomastik number)
    7. Just Strings number

    I converted this to PDF and have attached it here. It looks black, but click on it, wait a minute and it will open for you. If you are interested, have a look.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails String Gauge Spread Sheet 18.5 inch.pdf  
    Last edited by Bob Clark; May-10-2019 at 9:11pm.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  22. The following members say thank you to Bob Clark for this post:


  23. #21
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Tavistock UK
    Posts
    3,994

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Hi Rob,

    Apologies for not seeing this sooner, for sure you could go CGDA on that one, I plugged some numbers into a tension calculator and came up with:

    A .011
    D .016
    G .027
    G .040

    That's at about 20lbs tension per string. You could actually go somewhat lighter than that, especially on the bottom end, so maybe: .011, .015, .024, .036 which is near enough a light gauge mandolin set. You will need strings that are long enough though, my usual source for custom gauges are these. Just be sure to select nickel wound and loop end when you check out. I also note they have these which are cheaper and look to be bang on the right gauges, give or take (the .014 A strings may be a bit wimpish, you would have to try and see).

    And finally, a 19" scale is much the same as a tenor banjo (or indeed guitar), the banjo string sets tend to be a too light on the bottom end, but it's worth considering as CGDA and GDAE are the standard tunings to tenors.

    HTH, and let us know how you get on!

  24. #22
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    1,422

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Ahhhh! There is a mistake in the spread sheet I posted earlier. Left some zeros off. You would all understand what is meant, but might as well fix it. Here is the corrected version.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	18.5 String Gauge Spread Sheet.pdf 
Views:	12 
Size:	214.0 KB 
ID:	176647
    Purr more, hiss less.

  25. #23
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Beaverton, OR, USA
    Posts
    1,261

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    As we used to say back when our computers were made by Pickett or K&E, "Hey, I got the answer right, I just misplaced the decimal point."
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

  26. The following members say thank you to HonketyHank for this post:


  27. #24
    Registered User fox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Guernsey... small island just off the coast of France
    Posts
    1,412

    Default Re: 19" octave mandolin - tune as CGDA

    Here you go Rob...
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	8479D677-7442-4F1A-8B53-0D2A66A1CDF0.jpeg 
Views:	27 
Size:	278.6 KB 
ID:	176920

Posting Permissions

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