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Thread: favourite strings

  1. #1

    Default favourite strings

    i can't often find bright bronze(80-20) mandolin strings where i live unless i special order them, but every time i put a set on i love them. i think these are real mandolin strings. the absolute right strings, not those wimpy phosphor/bronze that make a mandolin sound too much like a guitar. especially on old gibson's from the teens ans twenties.

    but i had a friend who used to swear by nickel wound, perhaps in the teens and twenties they only had nickel wound, but he had a space age rigel which might love nickel wound strings. i found his rigel very loud but very weird.

    so am i the only one who loves bright bronze strings????

  2. #2
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    I'm another who needs a good bright 'clang" out if a set of strings.
    I've been using the DR MD11on my archtop Davidson (which are Phos Bronze but very bright) and the Dogal Calace roundwound mediums on my Calace & the equivalent ones on my mandoloncello, those are steel.
    Embrace the clang I say.
    Eoin



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  4. #3
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    Two of my mandos have Sam bush monels. But my Gretsch New Yorker has flatowunds, mostly as an atta to to put off changing the strings as much as possible and my epiphone mm50 has Daddarios. It just doesn’t suit the monels. My solid body has elixirs for the electric guitar. .
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  5. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    I used J-74s and EXP-74s for a long time. Then I tried Sam Bush monels by Gibson whoh decided to drop them (and possibly all their strings). Then I tried D'Addario Nickel Bronze and that is what I have on all my carved tops with the exception of Lyon & Healy A with T-I flatwounds. Use the NB on most of my flattop guitars too.
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  6. #5
    Registered User Joey Anchors's Avatar
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    I love flatwounds and specifically Pyramid Gold 532 flats. Just has that warm sound I dig.
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  7. #6

    Default Re: favourite strings

    nickel bronze??? is that what we used to call just nickel wound? like old black diamond strings ??? like i said a friends had a rigel and he used nickel. i think in the pre modern era before 1960 they may only have had nickel wound strings in most places. that's all they had in my small town in nova scotia in the sixties. and they had no flat picks!!! i started finger picking right odd because i hated the home made picks we made. the record store was the only muisic store with about two shelves of strings picks et al., and nothing but black diamond nickel wound guitar strings.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    I found out that Elixir nan web sound great and last a long time.

  9. #8

    Default Re: favourite strings

    i blame the young whippersnappers who upped the demand for posphor-bronze strings. often that's ali i can find locally. they are ok but prefer brighter tone for mandolin family instruments. if i want bassy tone i'll play guitar.

    for some zouks, especially my weird renaisance bell cittern iused to use d'adarrio reds. extra light guitar strings, which were for electrics, but i would used two sets to make a cittern set and cut out the balls in the balls ends.(i got very good at working out the ball, or snipping them). however they stopped making them. they said copper but i think they might have been a red brass, or red bronze over winding. that had a fantastic aetherial tone for cittern. when they were discontinued i bought every box in town but eventually then ran out. has anyone seen anything like those d'adarrio reds???

  10. #9
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    GHS A270 medium
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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  12. #10
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    IMHO, Phosphor bronze strings are not "a young whipper snapper thing"-- unless you count 64 years old in that category. I first began to use PB strings when they were found on new USA-built Guild Guitars in the 70's. They ring longer and have a more durable sound when played a lot. They don't add bass, per se, and are brighter than straight bronze wound, which are mellower. I like Monels on my MT and J74's on my Ratliff F-5. I put straight bronze Martin lights on the Gibson A4's. I do understand PB's aren't everyone's bag. That's the beauty of it. Different strings are best for different mandolin players. Great thread!
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  13. #11
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    I just started using DR Rare strings on my F5 (phosphor bronze). Wow they are great! Lots of volume with sweet tone. I do like monel strings on my F4 and my archtop guitar.

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  15. #12

    Default Re: favourite strings

    guitars are very different. some are best with phosphor bronze and some better with 80-20 bright bronze. bright bronze makes my little guild f 30 punch like a martial artist, but on a jumbo sound tinny. but guitars are much more bassy. i like mandos and zouks to have a throaty punchy tone.

    my local store had a bunch of 80-20 bronze today to i stocked up!!!

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  17. #13
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    I have been using Straight Up Strings Mediums, and I really love them.
    They are balanced across the strings and have a great bright tone.
    I have tried many different strings and found myself always coming back to J74s and EXP74s.
    The Straight Up Strings are similar to J74s, but feel a little better to me.
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  19. #14

    Default Re: favourite strings

    The D'Addario Nickel Bronze strings have become my strings of choice. They last longer (i.e., remain bright) than the Phosphor Bronze and are more economical even given the price difference. They haven't been on the market that long, and MandolinCafe members participated in the beta testing a few years back.

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  21. #15

    Default Re: favourite strings

    Silk and Steel on the ovals (23 AJr and Collings MT0) Straight up Strings medium or Monels on a Hamlett f-hole A.
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

  22. #16

    Default Re: favourite strings

    I have a very strong urge to heed Beanzy's call to embrace the clang.

    Have tried NB,monel from three different makers,PB etc. But never 80/20.

    Will look for the "red" fromDaddario. Not sure what those might be.

  23. #17

    Default Re: favourite strings

    I use Elixor on my Mando and Banjo they last a long time and I love the tone.

  24. #18
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    Used J74s for a long time, now use Straight up Strings, really like them.

  25. #19
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    GHS silk n steel, & GHS silk n bronze
    BTW the silk n steel is not a steel wrap, it's a silver plated copper wire.

    I've been wondering why there are so few variations of string tech in comparison to violin strings...which is vast.
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  27. #20
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    On most of my mandolins PB gets the tone I like. Will experiment with 80/20 or monel. Right now have Mangan monel light on the Kalamazoo. Also went back from FW to J74 for the Collings. Every time trying 80/20 end up taking them off, too brassy.

    None of my mandolins sound anything like any of my guitars. Not even close.

    Also play with a thinner, pointed pick. Helps get the tone I want. Plus, can help me compete with accordions.
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  28. #21
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    Quote Originally Posted by ollaimh View Post
    nickel bronze??? is that what we used to call just nickel wound? like old black diamond strings ???
    No, NB is an alloy like Monel. An MC friend sent me some GHS pure nickel strings but I didn't quite like the tone. I used Monel (Gibson Sam Bush) for awhile then realized they were to be discontinued. Once I tried the NB's in that beta test (as James Vwaal mentioned) I have used those since. I might go back and try a few of the old favorites—even PBs—sometimes but for the moment NB is the string of choice for most of my carved mandolins.
    Jim

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  30. #22
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    Monel has a history FWIW https://www.thebalance.com/monel-all...d-uses-2340255.
    and is made in a few alloy mixes..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monel
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  32. #23
    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: favourite strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    I just started using DR Rare strings on my F5 (phosphor bronze). Wow they are great! Lots of volume with sweet tone. I do like monel strings on my F4 and my archtop guitar.
    Hi Mandobart! I am glad you shared about the DR Rare strings on your F5. I have not tried those though I have tried the DR Pure Blues on my Strat once or twice. Liked those! I will have to try those DR Phos. Bronze on my Ratliff, soon.
    2017 Collings MT (Gloss Top, Ivory Top Binding, Wide Nut)
    1999 Ratliff R-5 (F-5 Model)
    Two Old Gibson A Mandolins passed down through my wife's family. These are the mandolins that got me started on mandolin in 1982. Then I didn't touch it again until 2013.

  33. #24

    Default Re: favourite strings

    here are several option i have to try

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