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Thread: XT D'Addario Mandolin Strings?

  1. #26

    Default Re: XT D'Addario Mandolin Strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    Monels? I have never tried them how do they compare to TI?
    Monel is a nickel-copper alloy. Resistant to caustic stuff,salts.

    I have played monel mandolin sets from Daddario and Martin(made in Mexico and cost less). I like the Martins ok(on snakehead),but prefer the
    sound of the Daddarios on my F style. Maybe less overtones with the monel. Kind of older-timey vintage,possibly Gibsonish tone. Some have stated that monels strings don't have the same volume as PB.

    The Thomastik strings are flatwound,so whole nother batch of taters. They are so nice to the left hand witn sqeaky-free sliding. I think
    they are great on old oval hole Gibsons. Noticeable decrease in volume imho. I used to think"they're dead when they go on and dead when you take them off." Cost even more than XTs. Sort of mando-specific strings if not stylistic. At my age one set would last me a lifetime.

    I'm learning Old Ebeneezer Scrooge from Tabledit at half speed(thank you,Mike Stangeland,wherever you are.) The new XTs are strong. They do tune up nicely.

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  3. #27
    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT D'Addario Mandolin Strings?

    I apologize. I was mistaken about the specific D'addario strings I've been using. The set that I'm satisfied with is not the XT but the EXP74. Sorry about my confusion. The EXP74 have been the both the best phosphor bronze and coated mandolin strings I've ever used.

  4. #28
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT D'Addario Mandolin Strings?

    I put on a new set of the XT D'Addario strings (11-40) yesterday and went out to a jam last night to try them out.

    Less than five minutes of the new-string jangly metallic sound that I hate. So the strings seem to settle in very fast.
    The tone is brighter than the Monels that I've been using lately, as expected. Not quite so bright as J74s to my ear, but not far off.
    The feel of the strings to the fingertips is good. None of that "sqeaky-clean" sticky feel that I notice with EXPs (and don't like).

    First Impression: Sound good; feel good; brighter than monel; feel like non-coated.
    Only time will tell how long the good qualities will last before needing a string change.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

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  6. #29
    Registered User Kevin K's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT D'Addario Mandolin Strings?

    Anyone else tried the new XT and can report back?

    I've had about three sets on the mandolin now and initially, very good tone and volume but they do seem to die to quickly as volume just goes away and tone gets too muddy. A little disappointed. Maybe it's me and what I put them thru but was expecting more.
    "Can I have a little more talent in the monitors please?"

  7. #30
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT D'Addario Mandolin Strings?

    We mailed 5 packages to winning entries yesterday, USPS Priority, so could arrive Wednesday, Thursday at latest. Believe 5 winners that are Forum members--I typically check just out of personal interest, so they should be able to report soon.

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  9. #31

    Default Re: XT D'Addario Mandolin Strings?

    I have tried one set of the XT75 strings. The gauge is the same as my favorite EXP75 : .0115 - .016 - .026 - .041 The feel was a little different almost a flatwound feel compared to the EXP's. The sound was comparable also. They lasted approximately 3 weeks of regular daily playing. Including heavy playing on 3 weekends of gigs. If I can get used to the different feel, I think they will be fine. I did go back to a set of EXP's to make sure it was a fair comparison. I will update as I continue to alternate between the 2!

  10. #32
    Registered User Kevin K's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT D'Addario Mandolin Strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by MandoRock65 View Post
    I have tried one set of the XT75 strings. The gauge is the same as my favorite EXP75 : .0115 - .016 - .026 - .041 The feel was a little different almost a flatwound feel compared to the EXP's. The sound was comparable also. They lasted approximately 3 weeks of regular daily playing. Including heavy playing on 3 weekends of gigs. If I can get used to the different feel, I think they will be fine. I did go back to a set of EXP's to make sure it was a fair comparison. I will update as I continue to alternate between the 2!
    I guess it was roughly about 3 weeks for me too, one set was subject to some very rough humidity outside gigs and were really abused so maybe I shouldn't be so hard on them saying I wanted more.
    "Can I have a little more talent in the monitors please?"

  11. #33
    Registered User Janos's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT D'Addario Mandolin Strings?

    Over the last two weeks I have tried the new XT74 strings. I normally use EJ74, EXP74 and Elixir. To me the XT74 strings sound really good when new. I might like them a little better than Elixir strings when new. They have rich overtones and a nice punch. I don't think I could hear a big difference with the EJ74 and EXP74 strings. The unwound strings feel a bit different because of the treatment. I played my mandolin a lot in rehearsals, played three gigs and used it while giving folk music workshops for a week. I didn't have to play very loud, except during the last unamplified gig. I had to make myself heard in a great trio with a loud accordion. During this gig my wounded strings died and got very muddy sounding. The unwound strings were pretty ok still.
    So I replaced my strings for a new XT set and went to play a one mic bluegrass gig. All the musicians were digging in and trying to make as much noise as possible. While that's not really my cup of tea I had to try and keep up. After the first set my strings were dead and sounded worse than the ones I took off a day earlier. For the second set I used a different mandolin. With Elixir strings this never happens to me and they last for over a month. I think if I really want to sound of fresh phosphor bronze strings, I might just as well use EJ74's.
    I wonder why the XT74's get muddy so much sooner than the Elixirs. Does my body acid and sweat eat through this coating? Is it because it is possible for dirt to get between the windings with the XT's? Does a heavy attack vs a light touch make a difference in the lifespan? I think a read somewhere that Elixir uses strings from the D'Addario factory. If that is true only the coating could make a difference.
    So I'd say the XT's are good, probably last a little longer than EJ's, but don't last nearly as long as Elixirs. I would love to have Elixir phosphor bronze strings for mandolin. They problably have a contract with D'Addario and are not allowed to make these.
    New mandolin / double bass cd out! Check www.janoskoolen.nl

  12. #34
    Registered User Kevin K's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT D'Addario Mandolin Strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Janos View Post
    Over the last two weeks I have tried the new XT74 strings. I normally use EJ74, EXP74 and Elixir. To me the XT74 strings sound really good when new. I might like them a little better than Elixir strings when new. They have rich overtones and a nice punch. I don't think I could hear a big difference with the EJ74 and EXP74 strings. The unwound strings feel a bit different because of the treatment. I played my mandolin a lot in rehearsals, played three gigs and used it while giving folk music workshops for a week. I didn't have to play very loud, except during the last unamplified gig. I had to make myself heard in a great trio with a loud accordion. During this gig my wounded strings died and got very muddy sounding. The unwound strings were pretty ok still.
    So I replaced my strings for a new XT set and went to play a one mic bluegrass gig. All the musicians were digging in and trying to make as much noise as possible. While that's not really my cup of tea I had to try and keep up. After the first set my strings were dead and sounded worse than the ones I took off a day earlier. For the second set I used a different mandolin. With Elixir strings this never happens to me and they last for over a month. I think if I really want to sound of fresh phosphor bronze strings, I might just as well use EJ74's.
    I wonder why the XT74's get muddy so much sooner than the Elixirs. Does my body acid and sweat eat through this coating? Is it because it is possible for dirt to get between the windings with the XT's? Does a heavy attack vs a light touch make a difference in the lifespan? I think a read somewhere that Elixir uses strings from the D'Addario factory. If that is true only the coating could make a difference.
    So I'd say the XT's are good, probably last a little longer than EJ's, but don't last nearly as long as Elixirs. I would love to have Elixir phosphor bronze strings for mandolin. They problably have a contract with D'Addario and are not allowed to make these.
    It seems this is common, after some heavy playing, the strings just loose volume and tone and die. I had put another set on and did a couple practice sessions and during the gig, they just seem to quit, volume and tone gone.

    I use Elixir Nano's
    on guitar but never had liked them on mandolin, tone just wasn't there.
    "Can I have a little more talent in the monitors please?"

  13. #35
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: XT D'Addario Mandolin Strings?

    I switched over from PB strings on my guitars and mandolins to monel and then to NB's. I may try these new PB's and see if I am missing anything. We shall see.
    Jim

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