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Thread: Some Questions on New Purchase

  1. #1
    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Some Questions on New Purchase

    Hi,

    Picked this up on EBay, still to receive it.

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    It was described as a mandolin, but is it a mandolin or a tenor guitar? The scale is 19 inches. Made by English builder Alan Brason mid-90’s. I don’t suppose what you call it really matters, but wondered what the consensus was.

    Given the scale I was wondering whether CGDA or GDAE tuning would be best and then what gauge strings to go for.

    Thanks for your help.

    Regards,

  2. #2
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    My guess is that it was originally intended as a guitar family instrument. Regardless of the size the give away for me is the ninth fret dot. Guitars do that. Instruments tuned in fifths most of the time have the dot on the tenth fret.
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  4. #3
    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    Hi,

    Thanks for that reply. Do you have any opinion on what tuning would suit that scale size best and what a good string set gaugewise would be for that tuning?

    I have not got much experience of playing anything other than mandolin. Given that, I am swaying towards CGDA with the thought that, that in itself might make me approach it as a new instrument, rather than simply as a big mandolin. I’m aware that the fingering will be different from what I’m used to and if that I view it as a different instrument, that might help. Then again, if GDAE is the best way to go, then I’ll go with that.

    All feedback appreciated.

    Regards,
    Last edited by mandrian; Feb-03-2020 at 6:00pm.

  5. #4
    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    Cool looking instrument, it should be fun!

    It's not hard to get used to CGDA tuning, coming from GDAE, and DGBE might work as well. Have fun experimenting.
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  6. #5
    Registered User Seonachan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    A 19" scale is a little longer than most mandolas and a little shorter than most octave mandos, so it will accommodate both CGDA and GDAE tunings pretty well. Most tenor guitars are ~23" but that's at the upper limit of tension for the A string in CGDA. Your shorter scale will give you no such problems. As for GDAE, I believe that's the scale that Jonathan Mann uses on his electric octaves.

    What's the nut width?

  7. #6
    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies, but what I’m really looking for is whether a 19 inch scale suits either CGDA or GDAE tuning best. From reply above, answer seems to be will suit either?

    Given that, what string gauges should I seek for either option.

    Regards,
    Last edited by mandrian; Feb-04-2020 at 5:55am.

  8. #7
    Registered User bbcee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    Yea, the answer is that either tuning will work, as long as you have the correct string gauges. Use a string calculator to figure out what you'll need for each tuning-I use Cafe member Graham McDonald's calculator (http://www.mcdonaldstrings.com/stringxxiii.html), and generally buy bulk strings from emando.com - NFI.

    An electric is fun to experiment with not only for different tunings, but also for string type - I quickly found I liked flatwounds on my electric tenor.

    Have lots of fun, looks like a good purchase!

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  10. #8
    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    Hi,

    Received the instrument and everything seems good. Somebody asked what the nut width was, it’s 1 1/8 inches.

    The seller told me that in terms of the previous strings, they were shot, so he measured them with a micrometer and they were 13, 26, 36, 46. He replaced them with those gauges again (Ernie Ball Regular Slinky) and tuned it GDAE. Seems to make sense with what I read on Martin’s EMando site.

    Regards,

  11. #9

    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    I've seen that scale length described as a baritone mandolin. I don't know if that helps but I believe that some stores will sell a set of strings under that moniker.

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    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    I have a Hathway octave mandolin with a 19" scale. I tune it GDAE, an octave lower than a mando. D'Addario make an octave mandolin set with 12's as the top e. Works for me.

    Daniel

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    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Nestlerode View Post
    I have a Hathway octave mandolin with a 19" scale. I tune it GDAE, an octave lower than a mando. D'Addario make an octave mandolin set with 12's as the top e. Works for me.

    Daniel
    Hi,

    Looks like these strings are phosphor bronze. I’ve always presumed I need nickel strings for an electric instrument, but at least it gives an indication of the GDAE gauges (12, 22, 32, 46).

    Thanks.

  16. #12
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    Nice. I have a 19" acoustic octave mandolin and actually use heavier gauges for GDAE ... but if this set works on an electric, I don't think it's a problem.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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  18. #13
    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by mandrian View Post
    Hi,

    Looks like these strings are phosphor bronze. I’ve always presumed I need nickel strings for an electric instrument, but at least it gives an indication of the GDAE gauges (12, 22, 32, 46).

    Thanks.
    I meant that 12's should work for you, not that you should use phosphor bronze.

    D

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    Registered User vwfye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    My octave acoustic is 19" scale. The e strings are 12s.
    2020 SRC Electric Octave Mandolin
    Crafter Acoustic/Electric Mandolin
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  22. #15
    Registered User MellowHoly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by mandrian View Post
    Hi,

    Picked this up on EBay, still to receive it.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	B18B4240-1341-4212-B58B-0C5E26693247.jpeg 
Views:	132 
Size:	294.2 KB 
ID:	183370

    It was described as a mandolin, but is it a mandolin or a tenor guitar? The scale is 19 inches. Made by English builder Alan Brason mid-90’s. I don’t suppose what you call it really matters, but wondered what the consensus was.

    Given the scale I was wondering whether CGDA or GDAE tuning would be best and then what gauge strings to go for.

    Thanks for your help.

    Regards,
    How much was that, if not a secret? I mean, I am looking for an electric one, too, and all of them are like $1000. Electric violins for beginners, for comparison (I saw the list of violins https://primesound.org/best-electric-violin/), are all about $200

  23. #16
    Registered User mandrian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by MellowHoly View Post
    How much was that, if not a secret? I mean, I am looking for an electric one, too, and all of them are like $1000. Electric violins for beginners, for comparison (I saw the list of violins https://primesound.org/best-electric-violin/), are all about $200
    Hi,

    It was £350 or about 450USD. When I was researching it, I found out that it had been purchased by the seller from an auction house for £185 ( plus 20% commission) a few weeks previous. Nevertheless, I am delighted with it, as I expect was the seller!

    Regards,

  24. #17
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some Questions on New Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by mandrian View Post
    Hi,

    It was £350 or about 450USD. When I was researching it, I found out that it had been purchased by the seller from an auction house for £185 ( plus 20% commission) a few weeks previous. Nevertheless, I am delighted with it, as I expect was the seller!

    Regards,
    That’s really cool! How does it sound?

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