Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Recommendation? Light/Medium Strings for CGDA 16.5" scale mandola

  1. #1
    Registered User Sevelos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    159

    Default Recommendation? Light/Medium Strings for CGDA 16.5" scale mandola

    I read several very similar threads to this one, but got somewhat confused.
    So -
    I have a mandola with a 16.5" scale length, and a distance of about 21.5" from string loops (on tailpiece) to nut. I intend to tune it CGDA (american mandola/alto-mandolin tuning).
    I often play Greek music and use a lot of legato, so I like light/medium strings.
    Any recommendations?

    Some remarks:
    On my Mandolins I use Thomastik 154M and I am very happy. I would prefer to continue using flat wounds if possible.
    I read that the Thomastik 164 Mandola strings could have been very good for me, however, the non-threaded part of the strings is too short to fit my mandola's scale length.
    Some people recommended to use the Thomastik 174W (octave-mandolin strings) for CGDA tuning, but wrote that they are quite tight (even on a "mandola" scale).
    I read that the D'addario Mandola strings are intended for 15.9" scale length and therefore are probably too tight for my mandola. I am also not a big fan of D'addario - each to his own taste.

  2. #2
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,396
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Recommendation? Light/Medium Strings for CGDA 16.5" scale man

    I use Thomastik 174 (weich) light strings on my Collings mandola (string length 15.9"). 14, 19, 28, 45
    I tune CGDA though the package says GDAE.
    These strings are 45 cm /17.5" long.
    I remove the wrap on the lowest string, the 45, with a sharp razor, but the wrap fits into the other tuning pegs just fine.

    An alternative, which may work for you.
    GHS #PF285 strings are silk and steel. They are quite light and about 30" long. 12,24,34,48
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  3. The following members say thank you to DougC for this post:


  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,252

    Default Re: Recommendation? Light/Medium Strings for CGDA 16.5" scale man

    These strings should be fine.
    Robert A. Margo

  5. The following members say thank you to margora for this post:


  6. #4
    Registered User Sevelos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Recommendation? Light/Medium Strings for CGDA 16.5" scale man

    Thanks for the replies.
    I have a few questions:
    DougC -
    Are you sure about the gauges of the TI 174W? I read in another place that it is 15, 21, 34, 49. I wish Thomastik would publish their gauges.
    Would you describe them as light on your mandola?
    Regarding the GHS #PF285, If they are these https://www.ghsstrings.com/products/...ctave-mandolin then they don't mention that they are silk and steel, and write just phosphor bronze with gauges 12 22 32 44 (different than you specified). Are these the same strings?
    Also - have you tried the Thomastik 164s ? Since you found a way to remove the wrapping, perhaps they will fit fine.

    Margora -
    Do you know the gauges of the strings you recommended? I read somewhere that the Fisoma F3150m (same?) are 17, 24, 33, 42. If so, the 17 seems a little tight in comparison to the rest. Are the strings you recommended "light" on a 16.5" scale?

  7. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,252

    Default Re: Recommendation? Light/Medium Strings for CGDA 16.5" scale man

    "Do you know the gauges of the strings you recommended? I read somewhere that the Fisoma F3150m (same?) are 17, 24, 33, 42. If so, the 17 seems a little tight in comparison to the rest. Are the strings you recommended "light" on a 16.5" scale?"

    I don't know the specific gauges. Fisoma 3150 are also made for the mandola in G (GDAE tuning), in three tensions (light, medium, heavy) for two scale lengths (420-450mm, 460-500mm). I use these on my instruments (a bowl back, 420mm scale; a flatback, 432mm scale, and a flatback, 483mm), all in medium tension, all for the appropriate scale length. Probably what "you read somewhere" refers to the mandola in G. If you click on the website I referred you to, the F3150 set is made SPECIFICALLY for the "tenor" (CGDA) mandola, and are produced in light, medium, and heavy gauge. According to your posting, your instrument has a scale length of 16.5 inches, which is approximately 420mm. The website to which I referred you has a contact email, so ask them, I am sure they will know. Fisoma competes with Thomastik; I use both professionally.
    Robert A. Margo

  8. #6
    Registered User Sevelos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Recommendation? Light/Medium Strings for CGDA 16.5" scale man

    Regarding the Thomastik 164 - I emailed Thomastik, and asked whether I could use these strings on my 16.5" mandola.
    This was the reply:

    "Please note, our set Nr. 164 is designed for a vibrating string length of 38cm – so I am afraid, this will not fit on your instrument. I am sorry to inform you as well, that due to lack of production capacity, we are unable to take orders for custom made strings right now.

    I wonder if I could scrape off the extra thread of the Thomastik 164s with a razor and make them work with my mandola, similar to what DougC did.

    I also messaged Fisoma (which Margora recommended) and asked where I could buy their Tenor-Mandola LIGHT set for 42 cm scale-length, but they did not answer. Unfortunately, I cannot find this set online anywhere, only the Mediums.

  9. #7
    Registered User Sevelos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Tel Aviv, Israel
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Recommendation? Light/Medium Strings for CGDA 16.5" scale man

    Margora - I bought the Fisoma strings you recommended (BTW - Carl from Lord of The Strings was very helpful and friendly - great guy!)
    There is a weird thing - the sound of the C string is very muted. It doesn't ring like the other strings, seems to lack all the high frequencies. It might be a tungsten-wrapped string.
    Did you have similar problems with them?

    (reminder - the set is the Supersolo Tenor-Mandola medium tension for 42-45 scale length)
    Last edited by Sevelos; Feb-26-2020 at 8:27pm.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •