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Thread: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

  1. #1

    Default Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    Beginner here. Just bought an Eastman gold top. LOVE it. Curious what strings everyone has liked or disliked on mahogany back mandolins. They have a sweet warm tone but could use a little punch. I would think 80/20 strings, as would work on a mahogany back guitar, but doesnít seem to be a ton of love for 80/20ís on mandolins. Thnx.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    You might try GHS pure nickel strings, I don't have a mahogany backed mandolin, but like these strings a lot.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    What do you like about them pops?

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    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    They make my mandolin sound great, much better than phosphor bronze, and they last a lot longer with the same tone without going dead.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    I assume you don't like the sound of the strings that are on it? Are they PB? I am not a fan of PBs so I would also go for monel or D'Addario NBs (my favorite) but that is just my opinion. You say you want more punch but I am afraid that the mahogany might not give you that punch as would a maple backed mandolin. Then again, no problem trying out other strings, inciuding 80-20s, if you are so inclined.
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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    I had a mahogany back and sides mandolin (Weber Gallatin F) and loved it's sweet sound - as Jim mentioned above, not sure you'll have luck getting maple style punch out of it, but my vote would be for monels as I really like the combination of monels and mahogany.
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  8. #7

    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    Oh no I do like the PBís. I guess I should clarify that rather than trying to make it sound like a maple back, I would just like to add a sprinkle of punch and volume to what I have, but I donít feel lacking at all. Can you describe what NBís sound like to you? On YouTube(the one video I found) they sound a tad quieter than PBís. Is that your experience, Jim?

  9. #8

    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    Can you expound on the marriage of monels and mahogany? Iíve played monels on guitar but never on mandolin.

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    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    I had a Mahogany Gibson A40,
    I don't remember being so worried about best strings ,
    I just got what I could buy in the music store.. usually bronze wound,,


    buy a variety of strings various windings on G & D strings .. , change them, form an opinion.


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    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    I have an all mahogany mandolin, back, sides, and top. I use EJ74s, because that is what I had, and I love the sound.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    I like the NBs on my mandolins and guitars. My first choice was Monels (Gibson Sam Bush at that time, no longer made) but now there are Martins and Curt Mangan and a few other brands. I liked the Monels: it was hard to describe but they seemed to allow the woodiness of the mandolin instead of adding the brash metallic tone of the PBs. When the NBs came out I felt they added a bit more warmth to the tone then the Monels. Pretty much that is all I use these days on all my carved top mandolins and cared and flattop guitars.
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  13. #12

    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    I had a Mahogany Gibson A40,
    I don't remember being so worried about best strings ,
    I just got what I could buy in the music store.. usually bronze wound,,


    buy a variety of strings various windings on G & D strings .. , change them, form an opinion.


    ..
    Sound advice. Tone chasing is fun though. And inexpensive. Figuratively.

  14. #13
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    My band mate uses 80/20 on his mandolins. He prefers that sound. No reason not to try them on your gold top.

    Otherwise will join the chorus and say try monel and see how they sound.
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  15. #14

    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    Precisely. I ordered a set of CM monels. I will try out a few other sets. More than likely, I will eventually circle back to good oleí Dadds. I always do.

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    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    I really liked the Straight Up Strings when I had an older Weber Bitterroot with mahogany back and sides. Gave it a bit more presence than the EJ74's. That mando also benefitted greatly from a ToneGard, so that's something else you might want to try.
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  17. #16

    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    Put on some CM monels yesterday. Whew boy I hope they play in better than they sound new. Thin and lifeless out of the pack. I know on guitars, monels have an insanely long break in time. I hope itís the case on mandolins as well.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    It always depends on three things. Your instrument and your taste in tone and feel. Start with the different available alloys. Then try the favored from different manufacturers. Then try the different gauges if they are available. Enjoy your search. D'Addario and Curt Magnan are two reputable string manufacturers. Check out what is available on the Just Strings website http://Juststrings.com R/
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  19. #18

    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    Very sound advice. I would like to try Elixers, 80/20ís, and Daddí NBís and maybe that will be enough to decide what the instrument loves. Ultimately, itís really the choice of the mandolin, right?

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    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    Quote Originally Posted by Parmejohn View Post
    Very sound advice. I would like to try Elixers, 80/20’s, and Dadd’ NB’s and maybe that will be enough to decide what the instrument loves. Ultimately, it’s really the choice of the mandolin, right?
    I would say the mandolin will be comfortable with many types of strings, ultimately it is the choice of your ear.
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  21. #20

    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    Touchť pops. After a day of stretching em, Iím sure loving the CM monels.

  22. #21
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    It might also be your expectations, not used to Monels. I sort of feel like PBs add their own sound on top of the sound of the actual instrument whereas Monels and NBs are a bit more subtle.
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  23. #22

    Default Re: Strings For Mahogany Back Mandolins

    I would have to agree.

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