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Thread: C G D A tuned electric mandolin

  1. #1
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default C G D A tuned electric mandolin

    After reading the posts about the 5 string mando I strung my 4 string with D Daddrio flatwounds G D A and a GHS burnished guitar 46 for the C and am really liking it.
    Somebody has probably done this but it’s new for me.

  2. #2
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: C G D A tuned electric mandolin

    Introducing Johnny Gimble!
    http://www.emando.com/players/Gimble.htm
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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  3. #3

    Default Re: C G D A tuned electric mandolin

    Interesting - no buzz or floppiness in the C string, notwithstanding the shorter length of the mando neck? Did you have to enlarge the nut slot to fit the C string? I might want to try this if I don't have to tamper with the nut...

  4. #4
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: C G D A tuned electric mandolin

    C string is ok and I had to widen the nut on C and G.I am gonna try a Thomastik flatwound .050 that I found.That’s what I just read about Johnny Gimble and I had to try it.Really like it for jazz.You learn something every day.

  5. #5
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: C G D A tuned electric mandolin

    I bought a new nut and saved the old one.

  6. #6
    Mandol'Aisne Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: C G D A tuned electric mandolin

    I got an Epi mandobird some years ago from an online retailer selling them cheap. It was the end of the run and the gold sparkly ones were not selling as well as the tobacco burst or the black.

    The 'fix' I found for the weak e string was going CGDA. It required a new nut, as you already know, and I trimmed the set screw on the C string to get the intonation right. Other than that it's stock.

    Works just fine. Kinda fun to cruise around the mandola range in a mandolin scale.

    Daniel

  7. #7
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: C G D A tuned electric mandolin

    Watching Johnny Gamble videos and read some info by his friend Buddy Mc Peters and he used 052 and .050 on the C.He used Gibson mandola strings while they were available.Did he tune them an octave higher?

  8. #8
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
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    Default Re: C G D A tuned electric mandolin

    No, the C is a fifth below the G.

    Mandola tuning works fine on mandolin-scale instruments, and I prefer it because I can reach more useful chords. On my Ryder 5-string I used a .056 for the C. I recently converted it to 10-string and it is happy with lighter strings, so I use .048. (It's really only a backup instrument, my main electric is an Almuse with a 1/4" longer scale, on which I use that gauge.)

    If using single strings I would recommend .052 or higher for the C. (I buy in bulk from JustStrings.) I like .040 for the G, .024 for the D, and .015 and for A. If doubled, I drop to .048, .034, .022, and .014.

    For comparison, most actual violas have scales between 14.25" and 14.50". No viola has a 17" scale.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: C G D A tuned electric mandolin

    That's why I use a 14.5" scale. You can tune CGDA or GDAE without issue.

  10. #10
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: C G D A tuned electric mandolin

    I did this with a reissue mandocaster, using a 5 string set from Emando. The hardest thing was setting intonation, not very hard, and I did file the nut a little. But i went back to mandolin tuning. The C was just a little floppy, and i never got comfortable with it. I would want a slightly longer scale, although it can work.

  11. #11
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: C G D A tuned electric mandolin

    Bought an EM 150* already set up like that.. .050 C .

    *actually an A 50, luthier modified ..
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