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Thread: Strings for a K-1 Mandocello

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    Default Strings for a K-1 Mandocello

    I recently acquired a vintage K-1 mandocello and found out that the low C strings on a D'addario set at .078 are too thick to fit through the vintage tuner post holes. Anyone determined what gauge they will accept? Any preferred sets for your K-1?

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    Default Re: Strings for a K-1 Mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by sykofiddle View Post
    I recently acquired a vintage K-1 mandocello and found out that the low C strings on a D'addario set at .078 are too thick to fit through the vintage tuner post holes. Anyone determined what gauge they will accept? Any preferred sets for your K-1?
    They fit mine just fine.

    The tension was too much for an old repair. The luthier put on a lighter set as he didn't have the correct on hand. I haven't changed them yet, but will put together my own set, something like 18 28 42 65 or 18 26 41 62.

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    Default Re: Strings for a K-1 Mandocello

    I thought D'addario J78's were .074 on the C string. But for easier playing I use Newtone custom made strings, C is .070; lighter action still good sound. I had a K2 (same build as K2) and now a K4 but on both the lighter strings were better. Mike Marshall also recommends lighter. But another factor is set-up: I played borrowed K1's when I traveled to CMSA and Germany (WILL NOT take my K4 on a plane) and they felt quite different. Have it checked--the nut and bridge especially, and try lighter strings.

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    Default Re: Strings for a K-1 Mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Imhoff View Post
    I thought D'addario J78's were .074 on the C string. But for easier playing I use Newtone custom made strings, C is .070; lighter action still good sound. I had a K2 (same build as K2) and now a K4 but on both the lighter strings were better. Mike Marshall also recommends lighter. But another factor is set-up: I played borrowed K1's when I traveled to CMSA and Germany (WILL NOT take my K4 on a plane) and they felt quite different. Have it checked--the nut and bridge especially, and try lighter strings.
    That's right - it's .074 but it definitely doesn't fit. Are the Newtones a set you put together from single strings?

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    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings for a K-1 Mandocello

    As I recall there was a recent thread where a D'Addario representative said they might be reconsidering their string gauges for mandocello. Hoping we'll hear news about that; I suspect we need lighter sets to approximate the string tension that the old Gibson mandocellos were designed for.
    Exploring Classical Mandolin (Berklee Press, 2015)
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    Default Re: Strings for a K-1 Mandocello

    I was able to get loop end 0.70's from Curt Mangan and just used the Octave set for the rest. Gold Tone Makes a lighter Mandocello set but they are ball end.
    I have tried going as low as 68 on some other mandocellos and wasn't really happy with it (open C not deep enough), not sure where that cut off is, I suppose it depends on the scale.
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    Default Re: Strings for a K-1 Mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by sykofiddle View Post
    That's right - it's .074 but it definitely doesn't fit. Are the Newtones a set you put together from single strings?
    Not sure I understand the question, but Newtone will make a set--all 8-- to your chosen specs. I didn't put it together, I just sent them the gauges I wanted for each course.

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    Default Re: Strings for a K-1 Mandocello

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Imhoff View Post
    Not sure I understand the question, but Newtone will make a set--all 8-- to your chosen specs. I didn't put it together, I just sent them the gauges I wanted for each course.
    Thanks, you answered it. I was wondering if you assembled the set and custom ordered it, or if it is a standard set offered by Newtone.

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    Default Re: Strings for a K-1 Mandocello

    This has me curious; anyone else have sykofiddle's problem?

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    Default Re: Strings for a K-1 Mandocello

    I do on my short scale bowlback mandoloncello. I have to unwind and remake tge taper further down the string. (I put the string in a vice just above the nut position then undo the windings and remake the taper)
    Eoin



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