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Thread: Mandocello tuning/tension (CcGgDdAa)

  1. #1
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    Default Mandocello tuning/tension (CcGgDdAa)

    Hey there all, I don't post much but recently captured myself a much fabled mandocello and LOVE it. I was wondering if anyone has tuned it in octaves? Still CGDA tuning but in split octave pairs.. CcGgDdAa. I just think it would be wild and I love the idea of that crazy octave sound with the warmth of the cello range.. but wondering if it throws the tension out of wack and would hurt the instrument.

    Here's a snippit of it.. Goldtone some finger picking over St James Infirmary
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B6LZyQkg...d=esyb6v1jwc5d
    ~Henry Clark

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mandocello tuning/tension (CcGgDdAa)

    Nice! Here is an electric 'cello tuned octaves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNkLPzCuXFE

    Somewhere on YouTube is an Eastman 'cello with the strings tuned in octaves, as well, but I couldn't relocate it.

  3. #3
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello tuning/tension (CcGgDdAa)

    I have tuned a regular mandolin in split octaves. Nice effect, especially for rag time.
    Indulge responsibly!

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  4. #4
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello tuning/tension (CcGgDdAa)

    Octave pairs are dead simple. Choose a string one-half the diameter of the regular string and tune it one octave higher. String tension remains the same. I have a 10 string mandola, 21.5" octave mandolin and 10 string mandocello all strung with octave pairs on the lowest 3 courses.

    Before I converted my Eastman MDC805 to an archtop guitar I tuned it:
    C .060, c .030
    G .045 g .023
    D .034 d .017
    A .020 each

    My 10 stringer, ~26" scale:
    C .074 c.037
    G .048 g.024
    D .034 d.017
    A .022 each.
    E .011 or .010 each
    I like the unison sound on the A and E courses. I string them up the opposite of a typical 12 string guitar - I have the "normal" string on the bass side (first to be picked in a down stroke).

    Two features of my instruments that really enable this are
    1. Zero fret, so I don't have to worry about changing string diameters and fixed nut slots.
    2. Allen tailpieces that take loop or ball ends.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mandocello tuning/tension (CcGgDdAa)

    How does that Eastman 'cello-guitar conversion sound? (Not that I am going to change mine, but I have been considering picking up one of Eastman's archtop acoustic guitars and I wonder how they sound) Thanks in advance!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mandocello tuning/tension (CcGgDdAa)

    Oh fantastic! Thank you for all the info. Didn't think of the half diameter string to keep the tension that is so cool! Once these strings I have on it start to go I'll check back in with the octave pairs.

    Thanks all!!
    ~Henry Clark

  7. #7
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandocello tuning/tension (CcGgDdAa)

    Quote Originally Posted by meow-n-dolin View Post
    How does that Eastman 'cello-guitar conversion sound? (Not that I am going to change mine, but I have been considering picking up one of Eastman's archtop acoustic guitars and I wonder how they sound) Thanks in advance!
    I really like the sound with a set of .013 Martin Retro Monel strings. I still have the 'cello nut and bridge so I can convert back if I want. I guess I should make a video of it.

    Eastman archtops IMO have a little more sustain and warmth than a classic dry archtop punch.

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  9. #8

    Default Re: Mandocello tuning/tension (CcGgDdAa)

    Thanks for the response!

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