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Thread: Petersen Octave Mandolin

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    Default Petersen Octave Mandolin

    Anybody have a Petersen OM? searched the forums but decided to make my own thread.

    I have had a Petersen Octave Mandolin 22 inch scale for a while now and have never been happy with the strings. When I originally got it it was set up for ball end strings, but I switched it out to take loop end because I thought I had more choices.

    Currently I have some medium flat wounds I got at emando.com. I’m trying as a any styles an gauges I can see. I hope I don’t hurt my mando.

    So what strings are people using? Any recommendations? Are mediums too heavy for this instrument?

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    Last edited by Jacksml; Oct-05-2021 at 5:30pm.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Petersen Octave Mandolin

    I had a couple Petersens. I loved em! I think they are one of the best value flat top octaves you can find. Look great and sound great.

    Without knowing scale length it's hard top recommend a string gauge. I think the EJ80s work pretty good for 22 inch scale length. 20 inch scale benefits from heavier strings. 23+ lighter strings sound great.

    I don't know how flat vs round effects tension.
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    Default Re: Petersen Octave Mandolin

    Oh, yeah, forgot. It’s 22 inch scale. It’s level 2 if that makes a difference, but I think that is the decoration level. Good to know about heavier strings. I prefer heavier strings on my guitars and banjo, so I’m happy to hear that recommendation.

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    Default Re: Petersen Octave Mandolin

    I had a Petersen 10 string cittern - but tuned it CGDAE, turned out to not be my thing, but it had very strong tone, anyway can't say enough about Curt Mangan's they are PB, but I pretty much use them exclusively now.

    they have an octave and an octave light I believe,
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Petersen Octave Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacksml View Post
    Oh, yeah, forgot. It’s 22 inch scale. It’s level 2 if that makes a difference, but I think that is the decoration level. Good to know about heavier strings. I prefer heavier strings on my guitars and banjo, so I’m happy to hear that recommendation.
    Heavier strings for the 20 inch shorter scale. For a 22 inch I would start with something like 012 020 032 046.

    I like this string tension calculator:
    https://www.mcdonaldstrings.com/stringxxiii.html
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    Default Re: Petersen Octave Mandolin

    Mine is a Level 3 with a 22.5Ē scale length built in 2006. Iíve only used EJ80ís on it because Iíve always been thrilled by their tone on all four courses.

    As for the levels, they definitely indicate the level of ornamentation, but I think Bill also used better quality tonewoods on his higher level instruments, but Iím not positive about that. I did play a new Level 1 side-by-side with this one when I bought it used at Gryphon, and the wood on the Level 3 seemed significantly nicer.
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    Default Re: Petersen Octave Mandolin

    I own a Petersen level 2 (22.5’ scale length) that I purchased new from Gryphon around 2008. I spent some time working out what strings to use and ultimately used the gauges that were on it when I first received it which were 46w 32w 20w 12p (w=wound, p=plain steel). I did increase the 12p to 13p because I tune my OMs GDAD.

    I do have a note that Bill Petersen weighed in this on this forum some years ago. He recommended 46w 32w. 22w 12p.

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    Default Re: Petersen Octave Mandolin

    Also, I settled on phosphor bronze for the wound strings.
    Rob

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    Default Re: Petersen Octave Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Meyer View Post
    I do have a note that Bill Petersen weighed in this on this forum some years ago. He recommended 46w 32w. 22w 12p.
    All four of those match the gauges of the EJ80 set, so there you go!
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    Default Re: Petersen Octave Mandolin

    I have a 2012 Level 1 I bought used from Bernunzio's a couple of years ago. Scale is about 22". I use the GHS phos bronze octave mando set which runs 12/22/32/44.
    I use it pretty exclusively for playing Irish Trad melody at home...it seems to get lost in the shuffle among other instruments. I like the instrument, though I'm not nuts about the fingerboard profile, which is narrow and flat. It seems to loose a lot if you capo up the neck, which kind of surprised me. I had some level of designs on using it as a shorter scale zouk from time to time, but I enjoy it as is. Build quality is very good.
    Steve

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    Default Re: Petersen Octave Mandolin

    Have a 1995 2.5 with koa purchased new from Gryphon. Octaves on the G & D. It still sings!
    Use round wound; prefer phosphor bronze over brass (bright bronze).
    Never tried flat wound on it; like these on solid body electrics.

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