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Thread: D'Addario Flatwound Guitar Strings

  1. #1
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default D'Addario Flatwound Guitar Strings

    I have wondered off and on if D'Addario flatwound electric guitar strings would be appropriate for acoustic instruments (like mandolins, mandolas, etc.). I just bought some D'Addario single flatwounds to try out on my 16.75" scale mandola. So far, I do like them. Nice mellow tone. They seem to reduce the brightness of the initial contact of the pick on the string. Certainly not for bluegrass, but for classical, old timey, celtic, I think they sound great.

    Has anybody else tried them? Any drawbacks to using them? They are not cheap, but they are way cheaper than Thomastiks, are available in multiple gauges, and they are plenty long enough. One drawback - only ball ends. I didn't have any trouble cutting the balls out (ouch, that really sounds bad) but it took a few minutes on each string.

    I used .045, .030, and .020 inch for my C, G, D strings and .014 plain steel for my A strings. I think I could go a bit heavier on the next set I try.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: D'Addario Flatwound Guitar Strings

    I use Daddario Chromes flatwound strings on almost every instrument I own. Mandolins, octave mandolin, Mandocello, electric mandolin, Les Paul guitar. I love them.
    And on my mandolins, they play bluegrass just fine.
    Best,
    Stevo

  3. #3
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Flatwound Guitar Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    I have wondered off and on if D'Addario flatwound electric guitar strings would be appropriate for acoustic instruments (like mandolins, mandolas, etc.). ...
    I'm using DA Chromes flatwound strings on my cello banjo (Goldtone CEB-5) and they sound just right for a cello banjo (loud but muted) and they feel great (and yes, I'd prefer nylon for cello banjo in a classic-banjo style, but I wear them out in about a week). Haven't tried DA Chromes flatwound strings on my mandolins yet and I'm not sure I ever will... But I would wonder if they aren't a little too muted for most mandolin players.

    I do use DA FlatTops G&D on my mandolins (for my G&C), and DA plain .017 and .015 (for my E&g). Slightly muted tone, nice touch, volume similar to DA P/B round wounds. I like the tone of the FlatTops quite a lot.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
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    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)

    [About how I tune my mandolins]

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    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Flatwound Guitar Strings

    They are very appropriate for other string instruments. The EFW74 flatwound mandolin strings were essentially borne out of the DíAddario Chromes line. They were just shortened and combined in a set of gauges that was appropriate for mandolin. Other than that they are exactly the same. I have, a couple of times, bought a pair of Chrome singles in .038 to replace the G string. However I stopped doing that as it didnít make much difference. I have also bought Chrome sets to use on my octave.
    Larry Hunsberger

    2013 J Bovier A5 Special w/ToneGard
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    3/4 guitar converted to octave mandolin

  5. #5
    Registered User Polecat's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Flatwound Guitar Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by mandobassman View Post
    I have also bought Chrome sets to use on my octave.
    What gauges do you use, mandobassman?
    "Give me a mandolin and I'll play you rock 'n' roll" (Keith Moon)

  6. #6

    Default Re: D'Addario Flatwound Guitar Strings

    I liked them on my OM, before it became a tenor guitar.

  7. #7
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Flatwound Guitar Strings

    When I bought my first hollowbody electric I loved it. I then put the DA flat-wounds on it and over a few days it got payed less and less. I came to hate the tone and wound up trading that guitar. I didnít realize the strings affected tone that much. Last year I tried TI flats on my electric and loved them. Had I known better I would have pulled those strings and rounds put standard strings back on. We live we learn.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  8. #8
    Chief Moderator/Shepherd Ted Eschliman's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Flatwound Guitar Strings

    I have many hours in using the Chromes for mandolin family instruments. Here's a link:
    Build your own flatwound

    Ted Eschliman
    Tenor Guitar Enthusiast

    Author, Getting Into Jazz Mandolin

  9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Ted Eschliman For This Useful Post:


  10. #9
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Flatwound Guitar Strings

    It's interesting, since I've been playing double bass I've also become aware that there is a huge population of double bass players who select, use, buy, sell and even trade new and used individual strings. This is done openly and is very widely accepted.

    Once on a double bass they're often referred to as mixed sets, and they may consist of any combination of individual strings from any combination of manufacturers and their string sets.

    Since double bass string sets can easily cost $300-$900 depending on who makes them and what they are made of, since strings make a huge difference in double bass sound, and since they can last and sound great literally for decades, this can become a very interesting study and activity for both pro and non-pro double bassists.

    A number of double bass suppliers specifically sell new individual strings from existing string sets specifically for this purpose.

    There's a whole mashup of science and superstition about how these mixed sets are selected, how they sound and how they feel to play.

    ... And, now I are one. My double bass wears a mixed set too!

    Of course I've used mixed sets for quite some time with my mandolin strings, although they are from the same manufacture... But among mandolinists, this practice is not widely accepted, still being somewhat of a secret, dark science.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MKLFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)

    [About how I tune my mandolins]

  11. #10

    Default Re: D'Addario Flatwound Guitar Strings

    Thanks to Ted, I have been using D'addario chrome steel guitar flatwounds on my octave. Assembled a set that sounds great, but I still use Thomastik on my mando.

    Instead of using a pair of wire cutters to clip the ball ends, I use a set of beading pliers (round nose pliers). I just push one of the round smooth ends in the gap, expand it a bit, then simply pop the ball out. Easier than cutting. Plus, I have to expand the loop a bit anyways in order to get them to fit over my Allen tailpiece hooks.
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