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Thread: Flatwounds on an Eastman MD315

  1. #1
    Registered User TonyEarth's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Flatwounds on an Eastman MD315

    I just had some EFW74s put on my MD315 during a set up just to give them a try and my goodness, I might just keep these on just for the left hand feel. It's incredible. I'm not even super convinced about the sound yet, though I still have to properly break them in and get used to them. I'm still 50/50, maybe I end up deciding they're not my sound on this mandolin. Or maybe I'll stick with them.

    But they're so smooth...

    I wish all strings felt like this. Can you tell I'm a violinist? Heh.
    Last edited by TonyEarth; Sep-06-2021 at 9:05pm.

    Eastman MD315
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    Ivan Dunov VL402 Violin

  2. #2
    Registered User BoxCarJoe's Avatar
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    Jul 2018
    Brooklyn, NY

    Default Re: Flatwounds on an Eastman MD315

    As a former cellist I feel in love with the feel of flats also.

    Your instrument will have the last say though.

    Mine sounded very dull. Just string and pick. No wood.
    After a few weeks I just couldn't take it and went back to rounds.

    They sure did feel good though.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Flatwounds on an Eastman MD315

    I have used Elixir Nanoweb strings and thought they felt good under the fingers as well. The do have a coating on the G and D strings that will eventually wear off but they last a long time. Might be worth a try if the flatwounds are lacking in tone.

  4. #4
    Playing on the porch
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    Apr 2021
    A Hilltop in Central Texas

    Default Re: Flatwounds on an Eastman MD315

    I have Thomastik Infeld M154 flat wound on my Eastman 515. They are not inexpensive, but neither were my violin strings. I have been happy with their sound and feel.
    2017 Eastman MD515 mandolin
    1928 Roth (Amati) violin
    1907 Foltz (Strad) violin

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Flatwounds on an Eastman MD315

    I have the TI 54s on an Eastman 404 and am very happy with it. With a nylon pick, talk about bell like tone. Not very loud though but fine for playing by myself.

  7. #6
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.

    Default Re: Flatwounds on an Eastman MD315

    Have D'Addario FW on my Lebeda Jazzica, F, .. I just splurged on a Stainless steel re fret ..

    I don't own an Eastman. (Well, I have one of their fiberglass cases) .. mandolin..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  8. #7
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    North Bend OR

    Default Re: Flatwounds on an Eastman MD315

    I have used TKs on every mandolin-family instrument I have owned, including five Eastmans. I initially like the smooth feel and the reduction in pick-noise. After playing them for a while, the TKs sound great on the 415, where I still use them. They sounded great on the f-hole 'cello, but not on the oval-hole cello. The others definitely seem to sound best with round-wounds. But, what does "great" or "not-so-great" mean?

    HINT: the flatwound D'Addario sets sold at, sound-wise, IMHO. are a bit "brighter than the TKs," but are still easy on the fingers.

    Have fun experimenting
    Eastman 915 B Mando
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  9. #8
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Oct 2002

    Default Re: Flatwounds on an Eastman MD315

    TI here as well on my Oldwave A, bit expensive but after looking at the tension I opted for the Start strings which were still less tension than what came on it. It is less tension than either j74 or j75 strings which seem commonly used. Or is it ej now?
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  10. #9
    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    So Cal
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    Default Re: Flatwounds on an Eastman MD315

    Thomastik Infelds are marvelous. I have them on my Teens Gibson A oval. Feel and tone are excellent.
    2020 Pava Pro A5 Torrefied Varnish
    1930's Stradolin A5
    1912 Gibson A Oval

  11. #10

    Default Re: Flatwounds on an Eastman MD315

    When I got my mandolin (not an Eastman MD315) I tried Elixir Nanos and Thomastik Infeld "Starks" and if I never tried the flatwounds I'd have been happy enough playing the Elixirs. They sounded fine and felt OK. But after just a few minutes with the Thomastiks I'd not be willing to put anything else on my instrument.

    They do have the easy on the fingers feel everyone is mentioning but mostly they just have a round, full, smooth tone that I love. I'm tempted to say they sound as smooth and easy to play as they feel. And they don't ever seem to wear out, the last longer than Elixirs or anything else.

    But I think that smooth, round tone is something not everyone is looking for from a mandolin. They're probably not going to bark or chop aggressively for something like bluegrass rhythm playing. It's a very refined, melodic tone.
    The first man who whistled
    thought he had a wren in his mouth.
    He went around all day
    with his lips puckered,
    afraid to swallow.

    --"The First" by Wendell Berry

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  13. #11
    Registered User
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    Nov 2020
    St. Louis, MO area

    Default Re: Flatwounds on an Eastman MD315

    I am ruined for life, and will live happily ever after…

    I tried Thomastik on my Eastman 314 oval, and this mandolin will never hold another string, no doubt about it!
    (Ok, if things ever get really tight, I could do the D’Addario flatwounds, they are definitely 2nd place for me and I like them, but the TI won from hello)

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