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Thread: Guitar strings on a GBOM?

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    Registered User THart's Avatar
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    Default Guitar strings on a GBOM?

    I read that Sarah Jarosz likes guitar strings on her GBOM. Seems like an interesting idea. I'm currently using D'Addario octave strings, .012, .022, .032, .046. Is it as simple as swapping for guitar strings of the same diameters or is there more to it than that?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Guitar strings on a GBOM?

    Except for different string lengths, I would think strings of the same guage and material, no matter how named, are the same string. And they would sound the same. A PB .032 string is the same regardless of where it’s strung up.
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    Registered User THart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar strings on a GBOM?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    Except for different string lengths, I would think strings of the same guage and material, no matter how named, are the same string. And they would sound the same. A PB .032 string is the same regardless of where it’s strung up.
    Well, what do I know? When I read that I thought there must be some difference. Maybe she just likes a heavier gauge than is available as octave sets?

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    Default Re: Guitar strings on a GBOM?

    Guitar strings come with ball ends; which might make a practical difference depending upon the type of tailpiece she has on her GBOM. My Clark GBOM takes ball ends which generally means that I have a greater choice of gauges although I’ve always had Newtone make me up sets with the right ends and correct length.

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    Registered User Pete Braccio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar strings on a GBOM?

    Sarah might like different gauges than those found in standard sets. That is probably why she she is using guitar strings (most likely bought individually). I have a zouk and and an octave. I like 45, 30, 16, 12 on the zouk (25.25 scale) and 47, 32, 22, 12 on the octave (22.75 scale), so I buy guitar single stings (from juststings.com) to make up those sets.

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar strings on a GBOM?

    What if I told you....
    There is no difference between a D'addarrio .034 wound phosphor bronze guitar string and a D'addarrio .034 wound phosphor bronze octave mandolin string except for length and ball vs loop end?

    My F5 mandolin, A4 mandola, F4 OM and F4 mandocello all have Allen tailpieces that take loops or balls. A couple of the above are 10 stringers, and I use octave pairs on 3 of them. So no, I can't just buy pre-packaged sets for them. I buy single guitar strings to make up custom sets. They sound great.

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    Registered User NotMelloCello's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar strings on a GBOM?

    Strings are not self aware, and do not know they are even strings - let alone know what instrument they are on.
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    Registered User Aaron Bohnen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar strings on a GBOM?

    The world of guitar strings offers a lot more choice and a huge (nearly limitless!) range of options. I use them on my octave and mandocello because of that. Might be the same for Sarah.

    I happen to like Elixir strings on my Weber Octar but they aren't made in the right gauges and lengths with loop ends long enough for an octave mandolin. So I get them as guitar singles from one of the online string places and remove the ball ends. That works great. You can be more specific with the string gauges that way too. Same works on a mandocello - I restrung my Gibson K-1 just this afternoon with Elixir guitar singles I removed the ball ends from.

    Guitar strings open a big world for you to experiment with. You might want Monels on your octave (they're next on my list!) or stainless flatwound, or 80/20, or really anything you want to try.

    The only challenge is removing the ball ends from the guitar strings. Once you work that out you're off to the races. If they're hard to remove you can even just cut the ball ends off and use one of the Pearse String Wizard gadgets to twist new loops on the other ends.

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