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Thread: Slight frustration when changing mandolin strings

  1. #26
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slight frustration when changing mandolin strings

    Quote Originally Posted by flatpicknut View Post
    Actually I do it that way. I bend the loop end around a pencil tip, then insert the pointed string end through the tailpiece. The problem is that when I'm doing the middle courses, there's very little space to try to grab the string and route it over the bridge. Recommendations above are to use hemostat or other skinny grabbing device (after putting something under the strings to reduce chance of damaging the finish) OR bend the end of the string a bit and then rotate that end up so that it's easier to grab.

    Not a huge problem, but still it has been a frustration for me. Fortunately, forum members were quick to give me good, practical suggestions that I'm eager to try in about four weeks.
    Sounds like a design flaw similar to the National TP. My main mandolin came with a James and the others have standard Gibson style tailpieces. No problems with either that have removable or swing away covers. Some of the cast ones are quite nice and simple but maybe need to be redesigned for better functionality.
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  2. #27
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slight frustration when changing mandolin strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    My main mandolin came with a James and the others have standard Gibson style tailpieces. No problems with either that have removable or swing away covers. Some of the cast ones are quite nice and simple but maybe need to be redesigned for better functionality.
    I've read lots of positive comments about the James tailpiece and how much easier string changes are. I'm looking at an upgrade mandolin and an instrument having a James tailpiece would be a definite positive in my calculations. (I've had a few mandolins with removable tailpiece covers and I didn't like that style tailpiece at all.)
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  3. #28
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slight frustration when changing mandolin strings

    This thread reminds me that it is time to change the strings on all 3 of my mandolins!

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  5. #29
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    Default Re: Slight frustration when changing mandolin strings

    Quote Originally Posted by John Soper View Post
    This thread reminds me that it is time to change the strings on all 3 of my mandolins!
    I need to change strings, too. I think I'll take a nap.
    David Hopkins

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  7. #30
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slight frustration when changing mandolin strings

    I used to use the paper envelope from the strings and placed it under the tailpiece and strings. It lifted the end of the new string up enough to be able to grab it.

    Last year I switched over to a Nugget tailpiece (Northfield sells them) and it eliminates the issue completely.
    Drew
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  9. #31
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slight frustration when changing mandolin strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Egerton View Post
    I used to use the paper envelope from the strings and placed it under the tailpiece and strings. It lifted the end of the new string up enough to be able to grab it.

    Last year I switched over to a Nugget tailpiece (Northfield sells them) and it eliminates the issue completely.
    Interesting about the envelope also being used to lift the string.

    I've wondered about the Northfield Nugget tailpiece ($129), but don't think I'd like the string windings being exposed. I know you can try to turn each string so the sharp piece is downward. (I read one person's comment that his sweater sleeve was shredded after using the the Northfield Nugget tailpiece.)
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  10. #32
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slight frustration when changing mandolin strings

    Quote Originally Posted by flatpicknut View Post
    Interesting about the envelope also being used to lift the string.

    I've wondered about the Northfield Nugget tailpiece ($129), but don't think I'd like the string windings being exposed. I know you can try to turn each string so the sharp piece is downward. (I read one person's comment that his sweater sleeve was shredded after using the the Northfield Nugget tailpiece.)
    In the year or so I have had it I have managed to pick a spot on one long sleeve shirt but that's it. One thing I do is I still use the rubber grommets to kill the ringing and I push them all the way against the tailpiece, so that's a little buffer on those sharp spots. 99.5% of the time it hasn't been an issue.
    Drew
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  12. #33
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slight frustration when changing mandolin strings

    Yes, there's a whole lot to be said for the James tailpiece design over the Allen/Monteleone cast tailpieces, and also over the Weber cast tailpieces. No strings ever have to be fished through holes, no protective barrier needs to be placed against the mandolin to to guard against scratches, no forceps or hemostats are needed to help grab the inner strings, no special orientation of the string winding is necessary. No way to lose the cover, either, which makes it better than the traditional Gibson style. And built-in O-ring dampers, so no rubber grommets or "harmonic suppressors" are needed either. String changes tend to be quicker and simpler. Two of my mandolins already have James tailpieces, but I'm seriously considering investing in one for every member of my herd.

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