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Thread: string gauges

  1. #1

    Default string gauges

    Can anyone tell me the recommended string gauges for a mid teens Gibson F4

    Thanks in advance, Dave H
    Eastman 615 mandolin
    Eastman 615 mandola
    2011 Weber Bitteroot A5
    2012 Weber Bitteroot F5
    Eastman MD 915V
    Gibson F9
    2016 Capek ' Bob ' standard scale tenor banjo
    Ibanez Artist 5 string
    2001 Paul Shippey oval hole

  2. #2
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: string gauges

    The D'Addario J-74 (EXP-74) gauges work fine, as do many similar sets: 0.011" (E), 0.015" (A), 0.026" (D), 0.040" (G).
    You can also use something like 0.010" for E, or 0.0016" for A, or 0.041" for G, as you prefer. Anything in that ballpark should be fine. If you are afraid of the tensions in these gauges, you can certainly opt for a lighter gauge set, but that should not be necessary.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: string gauges

    Thanks sblock, this what suspected.

    Dave H
    Eastman 615 mandolin
    Eastman 615 mandola
    2011 Weber Bitteroot A5
    2012 Weber Bitteroot F5
    Eastman MD 915V
    Gibson F9
    2016 Capek ' Bob ' standard scale tenor banjo
    Ibanez Artist 5 string
    2001 Paul Shippey oval hole

  5. #4
    Registered User
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    Default Re: string gauges

    I have a 1916 Gibson Oval hole F-4 and I use the EXP-74s. It sounds great.
    David Hopkins

    Breedlove Legacy FF; Breedlove Quartz FF
    Gibson F-4, (1916); Blevins Octave Mandolin, 2018
    McCormick Oval Sound Hole "Reinhardt"
    McCormick Solid Body F-Style Electric;
    Recording King Resophonic Mandolin; Slingerland Songbird Guitar (c. 1939)

    The older I get, the less tolerant I am of political correctness, incompetence and stupidity.

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  7. #5

    Default Re: string gauges

    Related question: Does the lack of a truss rod in low-end vintage Gibsons (such as my '23 A-Jr) make lighter strings preferable to reduce tension on the neck? Or are their solid necks strong enough that you don't need to worry about it? Or would lighter strings actually be worse (say, because the neck is designed for standard-weight strings and you'd need to adjust the action for lighter ones, which you can't because there's no truss rod)?

  8. #6
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    Default Re: string gauges

    I use J74s on my ‘14 Gibson A without any problem. Their necks are shorter and beefier.

    I suspect that strings back in the teens and twenties were heavier anyway and people didn’t agonise over gauges.

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  10. #7

    Default Re: string gauges

    If you are looking for a more classical sound from your F-4, try the D'Addario EFW-74 flat wound, stainless steel set. I've been using them on my '16 F-4 for a couple of years as an alternative to PB strings (sound too much like my F-5 style mando) or the expense of Tomastik Infeld strings. They are quite soft under the fingers and sound about 90% like the TI's at 1/3 the price. ymmv

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

  11. #8
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Smile Re: string gauges/brands?

    I use 10- 38 bronze wound on my pre- TR 1922 A..,
    the A4 same year, introduced the TR, that one gets 11 - 40..

    GHS or D'Add ?, I cannot tell the difference..

    use whichever/whatever you can find..

    they get changed often enough, right ? try them all..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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