Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 41

Thread: Attention Silverangel owners

  1. #1

    Default Attention Silverangel owners

    After almost four years of ownership, I finally got around to stringing my Silverangel up with J75s, even though I moved to J 75s on my Arches a while ago, and even though I was aware that Ken Ratliff makes them with heavier strings in mind. It is like Iím playing a different instrument. The mandolin gained punch and the high strings came alive, especially in the upper registers.

    Everything is a compromise. Some resonance is lost, and itís a bit harder to play, but not excessively so. But the up side is a mandolin much better suited to bluegrass and loud enough to hang in jams. I canít recall a string change being this dramatic. My SA has a redwood top.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Br1ck For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    KC MO
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Isn't it great when an instrument you already have displays nice unexpected characteristics?

    I'm surprised there would be that much volume difference between the J74's and J75's. It will be interesting if you can tolerate the heavier strings long-term. As you know, some folks go lighter than 74's as they get older. It will also be interesting to see if your impression of volume bears out at your next jam.

    I was worried about the heavier J75's when I got my new Silverangel last fall, but after a day or two I stopped noticing the difference. I was already halfway to J75's because I had been using EXP74CM strings on my Eastman MD315 and those strings have the heavy E and A strings.

    Even with J75's, my SA just didn't have much volume and there were some issues with weak trebles. A couple of weeks ago, as a last ditch effort to get some use out of this mandolin, I put on a new Cumberland Acoustic bridge and the difference was astonishing to me. Like a whole different instrument. I do plan to try it at the next jam and see if the guys can hear it any better than the last time I tried it (they said my MD315 cut through a lot better).
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315
    Pisgah Wonder open back banjo, cheap old German fiddle, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

  4. #3
    Registered User bbcee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Spain
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    That's super interesting. I've been chicken to try J75s, although I know they're built for them, and the exaggerated arching of the top & back should support the greater tension just fine.

    I will try them at my nest string change (just put a set of Mangan Monels on, which I like a ton). Thanks for the info, @Br1ck!

  5. #4

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    I've gone the opposite direction as I age. At sixty nine, my hands ache a lot. This tends to go away as I get warmed up. My D 35 I bought from Brian Kimsey came with .013s and I'm playing the heck out of them. But I don't give my hands a break either. Retired, I play three hours a day minimum. My carpal surgery has left a constant sore spot on my palm. I'm going to go down strings twanging, then play slide guitar and dobro.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  6. The following members say thank you to Br1ck for this post:


  7. #5
    Registered User wildpikr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    678

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    After almost four years of ownership, I finally got around to stringing my Silverangel up with J75s, even though I moved to J 75s on my Arches a while ago, and even though I was aware that Ken Ratliff makes them with heavier strings in mind. It is like Iím playing a different instrument. The mandolin gained punch and the high strings came alive, especially in the upper registers.

    Everything is a compromise. Some resonance is lost, and itís a bit harder to play, but not excessively so. But the up side is a mandolin much better suited to bluegrass and loud enough to hang in jams. I canít recall a string change being this dramatic. My SA has a redwood top.
    I own two Silverangel F's and changed to Straight Up Strings mediums on both...I like 'em. Just my two cents worth...

    I also own a D35 and use Straight Up Strings guitar lights on it...two more cents, I guess...
    Mike

    Those who think they should think, like they think others think they should think, need to think out their thinking, I think.

    No envejecemos, maduramos. -Pablo Picasso

  8. The following members say thank you to wildpikr for this post:

    bbcee 

  9. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    I agree with you Br1ck. I tried the EJ75s after I found out that was what Ken had in mind. The mando loved them, but I couldn't adjust.

    No matter what strings I put on it, my silverangel always sounds like a better instrument than I am player.

  10. #7

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Not every day you get a four cent answer. Thanks.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  11. #8

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    I've gone the opposite direction as I age. At sixty nine, my hands ache a lot. This tends to go away as I get warmed up. My D 35 I bought from Brian Kimsey came with .013s and I'm playing the heck out of them. But I don't give my hands a break either. Retired, I play three hours a day minimum. My carpal surgery has left a constant sore spot on my palm. I'm going to go down strings twanging, then play slide guitar and dobro.
    Try acupuncture from a certified acupuncturist. My mother was cured of sciatic nerve pain, my wife of a pinched nerve that left her arm useless, I was cured of a problem of soreness that limited my motion after breaking my shoulder. I am going next month to have her do my hands, which are still suffering pain and stiffness from the same accident (motorcycle).
    Loar LM-370

    ďThe music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.Ē ― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  12. #9

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    A year and a half with J75s did wonders for my Stiver F. Played her heavy and hard, and she really opened up. If I played in a band or in jams a lot, I'd probably use this string exclusively. Have switched to GHS A270s - and, while I feel that I've lost a little in the E course, the volume and punch are still there, with the added benefit of easier play and more rounded tone. I think I'll probably use the 75's every third string change just to change it up.

  13. #10
    Registered User Mike Scott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bend, OR
    Posts
    681

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    I've gone the opposite direction as I age. At sixty nine, my hands ache a lot. This tends to go away as I get warmed up. My D 35 I bought from Brian Kimsey came with .013s and I'm playing the heck out of them. But I don't give my hands a break either. Retired, I play three hours a day minimum. My carpal surgery has left a constant sore spot on my palm. I'm going to go down strings twanging, then play slide guitar and dobro.
    Well, good luck with that plan. I thought the same thing, but a couple of years on the dobro and my left hand would cramp badly on the bar. Stretching, strengthening, etc, did not bear any fruit, so, sold all the dobros and related stuff. Hopefully you won’t suffer the same fate. Guitar, mandolin, ukulele-not much of a problem. Concertina rapidly becoming my main instrument. Small, portable and no routine tuning!
    Thanks

    Silverangel F5
    Big Muddy MW-O
    Eastman 305

  14. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,444

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    I am curious, when you put on heavier strings do you lower your action? The heavier the string the lower the action can be. I use 11-16-27-41 and can't play anything that plays hard. I have my action very low and can actually play the heavier strings longer and easier than the 9-32's on an old cant top that has higher action.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  15. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    412

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I am curious, when you put on heavier strings do you lower your action? The heavier the string the lower the action can be. I use 11-16-27-41 and can't play anything that plays hard. I have my action very low and can actually play the heavier strings longer and easier than the 9-32's on an old cant top that has higher action.
    I have always used 11.5 or 12 - 40 or 41 and have had higher actions. Recently after laying off for a bit I decided to lower my action to as low as it will go. Just last night my wife was commenting on how loud the instrument was. It sure plays easier and it sounds great and is loud. Sometimes you just get set in your head that it has to be a certain way. As of now I can't see any reason to play at the heights on the strings as I used to.

  16. #13
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    KC MO
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Quote Originally Posted by John Adrihan View Post
    I have always used 11.5 or 12 - 40 or 41 and have had higher actions. Recently after laying off for a bit I decided to lower my action to as low as it will go. Just last night my wife was commenting on how loud the instrument was. It sure plays easier and it sounds great and is loud. Sometimes you just get set in your head that it has to be a certain way. As of now I can't see any reason to play at the heights on the strings as I used to.
    How low did you go? I just changed my bridge on my Silverangel and last night was wondering if my action was too high. I lowered it to about 0.050 on G and 0.045 on E and was disappointed in the decrease in volume and tone. Going to raise it a bit tonight.
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315
    Pisgah Wonder open back banjo, cheap old German fiddle, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

  17. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    I received my SA from Ken about a year ago. Based on his recommendation I strung it with J75s and was blown away by the volume. It didn’t take me long to acclimate to the heavier strings.

    My Eastman has plenty of response with J74s which were recommended by an Eastman rep. So maybe you get the best sound by going with the builder’s specs.
    Silverangel A
    Eastman 615-tweaked

  18. #15
    ScottRucker
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ashland KY USA
    Posts
    199

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Ken gives me a hard time about not using 75s every time he sees my mandolins. My SA F5 has a tall bridge with a steep break angle at the bridge so it already feels "tight" to me. I should probably try J75s on my SA A style since it has a pretty standard bridge height with a lower angle on the strings there.
    Scott Rucker
    SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/scott-rucker-202243268
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_R...e_polymer=true
    Silverangel F5
    Silverangel A5
    Breedlove Olympic (for sale) https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/150935#150935
    Eastman 504 CS

  19. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,444

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Brock View Post
    How low did you go? I just changed my bridge on my Silverangel and last night was wondering if my action was too high. I lowered it to about 0.050 on G and 0.045 on E and was disappointed in the decrease in volume and tone. Going to raise it a bit tonight.
    When you change height you also need to intonate the mandolin.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  20. The following members say thank you to pops1 for this post:

    Cobalt 

  21. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    412

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    When you change height you also need to intonate the mandolin.
    I'll measure it tonight and let you know what the numbers are. I have not checked the intonation for a quite a bit, probably needs some adjustment.

  22. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,444

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    My numbers are similar to Doug's, G-0.50 E-0.40
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  23. The following members say thank you to pops1 for this post:


  24. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    3,856

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    My SA Econo always sounded best with EJ-75s as well, but it really didnít suffer much with 74s. I usually used whichever set I had on hand, which was based on which local shop I went to latest (one tended to have 74s, the other 75s). If I knew I was going to be playing it in church Iíd make sure it had 75s on board, but that didnít always happen, and I never had any complaints. Thankfully the heavier gauges didnít bother me much.

    I traded mine in on an OM after I bought my Kelley A, but I could have been happy with the SA forever had funds so dictated. His mandolins remains one of the best values in professional grade mandolins available, IMHO.

  25. #20

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Thanks for mentioning string height. I haven't done anything to that, but it plays ok. I'm reluctant to go low because of buzz, and I'm convinced my 69 year old hearing curve can't pick up tone degradation in that zone between nicely clean and buzzing.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  26. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,444

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    I too am 69, and need low action. I can play hard with no buzzing. A good fret level is important to get a low action.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  27. #22

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    I too am 69, and need low action. I can play hard with no buzzing. A good fret level is important to get a low action.
    I have learned to level and crown frets. Not perfect yet but improving. You are very correct. I have a luthier who will not do a setup without a fret level. I first thought he was nuts, but have come to realize he is correct. Want your instrument to play it's best? Level your frets.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  28. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    412

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    My numbers are similar to Doug's, G-0.50 E-0.40
    I am at .50 and .30ish and I am flat on intonation at the 12th.

  29. #24
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    KC MO
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    Quote Originally Posted by John Adrihan View Post
    I am at .50 and .30ish and I am flat on intonation at the 12th.
    30’ish? Wow, that’s low! Last night I moved my action on my Silverangel back up from 0.040” to 0.060” and my ears were much happier. It’s so interesting how wide a range there is in player preferences.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by John Adrihan View Post
    I am at .50 and .30ish and I am flat on intonation at the 12th.
    30íish? Wow, thatís low! Last night I moved my action on my Silverangel back up from 0.040Ē to 0.060Ē and my ears were much happier. Itís so interesting how wide a range there is in player preferences.
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315
    Pisgah Wonder open back banjo, cheap old German fiddle, Martin HD28, Martin D18GE, CA Guitars Bluegrass Performer

  30. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    412

    Default Re: Attention Silverangel owners

    That's the E the G is .50

Posting Permissions

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