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Thread: Which strings for a 1915 bowlback?

  1. #1

    Default Which strings for a 1915 bowlback?

    Hi,

    What strings should I use that would be safe for a circa 1915 bowlback? I suppose its Rosewood cause of the inscription "bandolim especial".

    I have easy access to these brands:
    D'addario
    Giannini
    Rouxinol
    Elixir
    Melodia
    São Gonçalo
    Ernie Ball
    Nig
    Magma

    Also, I would like to ask which kind of "capotraste" could I use safely?
    Is there a recommended kind of pick?

    Theres one tuning peg missing, is there some good practice about this to do at home? Perhaps some tool to help tunning or even a way to fix?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Which strings for a 1915 bowlback?

    Any brand, just as long as the strings are light gauge. Like 9-32 would be a good gauge. By all means not 11-40 that modern mandolins use.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Which strings for a 1915 bowlback?

    Thanks,
    What would be a good brand from those?
    For guitar i know D'addario is considered good, i found D'addario 10-34, would it be too much? From Giannini I found a 10-30, but no 9

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Which strings for a 1915 bowlback?

    Not on your list but GHS A240 ultra light are a good choice. They are 9-32 as pops1 suggests. Heavier strings can damage a bowlback and render it unplayable.
    Pava S/N 21
    Calace Bowlback

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  7. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which strings for a 1915 bowlback?

    Siruiz: By the strings available I would guess you are in Brazil? This Giannini set might be fine, a little heavier overall than GHS 240 but I think they may be fine.

    Do you know who made your mandolin?
    Jim

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  8. #6

    Default Re: Which strings for a 1915 bowlback?

    I know, but theres not much information about It. I guess ill get a set of Giannini and import the ghs to use later. Ill probably try to tune the missing peg string with a pliers.
    Thank you, mandolins are amazing 😊

  9. #7

    Default Re: Which strings for a 1915 bowlback?

    You can get the GHS Ultra Light strings from Strings & Beyond in North Carolina by mail. If you are overseas, then from time to time, they do free international shipping. Their price for the strings is the lowest I have seen anywhere. In fact in the UK, nobody sells these strings so I have to get them from overseas.

  10. #8

    Default Re: Which strings for a 1915 bowlback?

    Thank you, i wouldnt know where to buy those strings.

    It just came today, its made by "Lo Turco Vicente", its written also "Factory of special mandolins and guitars" and an address. all I could find about this brand is that they won a Silver Medal in the Turin international Expo in 1911, probably with my Mandolin 😊

    I liked It a lot, playing around with the old strings, a lovely instrument, and came to change to new strings,

    Im with an issue, the metal thing close to the end of the Mandolin, i believe its called the "Nut", has only 4 carved entries on the metal, not 8.
    In fact, this Mandolin was being used as decoration, and It came with 4 very old strings on It. Its possible to see some near carving in other parts of the nut, but only 4 full carved, and of irregular sizes
    I could remove the strings and im trying to put New ones starting with low G, but they dont stay cause theres only one entry for two strings. The two G strings keep competing for the same position and dont stay side by side.
    Last edited by Siruiz; Jul-03-2020 at 10:36pm.

  11. #9

    Default Re: Which strings for a 1915 bowlback?

    I just realized my Mandolin came without a Nut, those slots shouldnt be on the metal part, but on a Nut (I looked at my guitar and it has it lol)
    So, I guess I need a Nut. 🙄

  12. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which strings for a 1915 bowlback?

    Siruiz: it would help us to help you if you posted some photos of your mandolin here. Some older instruments have tailpieces with only 4 posts but you can put two strings on each post. Also you can sometimes replace a tuner button or possibly replace all the tuners. Photos will help.
    Last edited by Jim Garber; Jul-04-2020 at 9:11am.
    Jim

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    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

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