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Thread: .012 diameter E string on Stiver Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default .012 diameter E string on Stiver Mandolin

    I have an older Stiver A model mandolin and have been using D'Addario J74's
    (.040 - .011) strings. I love the sound of the 3 lower string courses, but would like a little better tone and volume on the high E string. I'm considering going to a .012 diameter string. Has anyone here done that, or do you think I'm risking damage to the mandolin going to that diameter?

    thanks
    Kelly

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Default Re: .012 diameter E string on Stiver Mandolin

    Shouldn't be a problem. Just make sure there's enough width in the nut and saddle slots for the larger strings. Also, the added tension (around 8 pounds or so according to D'addario's specs) might require a slight truss rod adjustment to keep the same amount of relief in the neck.

  3. #3
    Café habitué Paul Hostetter's Avatar
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    Default Re: .012 diameter E string on Stiver Mandolin

    I agree - no problem, but you might find the heavier string, even thought it's ever so slightly heavier, darkens the tone. So you might also want to try an .010. Or an altogether lighter set of strings. Or consider other things, such as bridge material, or mass, or string slots, or....?
    .
    ph

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  4. #4
    Registered User Kevin K's Avatar
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    Default Re: .012 diameter E string on Stiver Mandolin

    You can order 11 1/2 single from GHS and D'addario thru FQMS and others places. Might try that before going to a 12.
    "Can I have a little more talent in the monitors please?"

  5. #5

    Default Re: .012 diameter E string on Stiver Mandolin

    I ordered a half-dozen 0.0115" strings from Daddy-O and in combination with J74's (or same-gauge Elixirs) it really works a charm on my Mike Black A5. It can sound a little "plinky" to me with regular 0.011" E-strings but a 0.012" is uncomfortable to my fingers and darkens the tone up considerably. The "11 and a halfs" seems to sound and play just like 11's except fattening up the plinky.
    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

  6. #6
    Hester Mandolins Gail Hester's Avatar
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    Default Re: .012 diameter E string on Stiver Mandolin

    Or just try a set of J75s, my favorite.
    Gail Hester

  7. #7

    Default Re: .012 diameter E string on Stiver Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Gail Hester View Post
    Or just try a set of J75s, my favorite.
    The J75 set is, after all, why Daddy-O makes those 11-and-a-half loop enders in the first place!
    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

  8. #8

    Default Re: .012 diameter E string on Stiver Mandolin

    Thank you all for your responses to my question.
    I've ordered a few of the .0115 strings as well as a set of J75's to try out.

    Thanks
    Kelly

  9. #9

    Default Re: .012 diameter E string on Stiver Mandolin

    Just for the record, I put a pair of .012 strings on this mandolin and it made a substantial difference in the tone and sustain the E string pair. I've very pleased with the results....who'd have thought such a small difference on string gauge could make a large difference in the sound.
    Thanks to all of you and also to Steve at Acoustic Music Works and the ever gracious Mr. Lou Stiver for helping assure me that this was on OK thing to try.

    Kelly

  10. #10

    Default Re: .012 diameter E string on Stiver Mandolin

    That change from a pair of 0.011" to a pair of 0.012" strings bigger than you might think. The tension for the pair goes from about 46 pounds to near 54 pounds which is quite an increase. Not surprised it made a noticeable difference.
    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

  11. #11

    Default Re: .012 diameter E string on Stiver Mandolin

    The .012 E strings were just a little too dark for my tastes.

    Yesterday I re-strung the mando with a J75 string set. A perfect match for this instrument. I'm though monkeying around. I have the sound I was hoping to achieve.
    Thanks again for all the advice.

    Kelly

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