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Thread: vinyl grommets

  1. #1
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    Default vinyl grommets

    I found some vinyl grommets at Radio Shack (now simply the Shack). Are these ok tonally speaking? Are other materials better?
    Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    Lost my boots in transit terzinator's Avatar
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    Order them from me. My custom-chosen mandolin grommets look exactly like the Radio Shack ones, and you cannot tell them apart from the Radio Shack ones. Mine cost $25 each, but they're awesome because I hand-select them.



    www.mandolingrommetshack.com

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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    I'll sell them to you for half that price and mine were hand picked by fairies.
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    All kidding aside, they will work just fine. Although I paid $250 each for mine. They were signed by Lloyd Loar.

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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    I intertwine the hoof trimmings of unicorns made by gnome farriers between my strings. My Chop chords ring out and rainbows sprout from the soundholes. I can't tell you what it cost but lets say I used to have two children.

    Tonally, those grommets are supposed to stop all tones between the bridge and tailpiece. Anything that mutes the string is fine. Everything from the grommets which pop out, to a bit of leather lace or strip, to the fancy Weber wood nymph. Paths are many, rainbows from soundholes only come from unicorn hoof trimmings.

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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    Simply Fascinating!

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    Registered User G7MOF's Avatar
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    I presume from the replies, you don't think they do the intended job!!!
    I never fail at anything, I just succeed at doing things that never work....


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    In The Van Ben Milne's Avatar
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    Radioshack ones are fine for some, but the best tone-grommets are handmade by skilled craftsmen using the knee ligaments of champion boxing kangaroos taken during knee replacement surgery...
    A win-win for the both kangaroos and mandolinists.
    Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    Of course THE best ones are those forged from Orc bones,deep in the heart of Mt.Doom,in the realm of the Dark Lord,Sauron. If you stick one of those up your nose,you'll disappear up your own sound hole 'precious'. But if you can't get them,the vinyl ones will be ok,
    Ivan
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    Hopefully, the topic will be exhaustively addressed in the forthcoming book. Or will we need a follow-up title: "Grommets For Dummies"?
    - Ed

    "What our group lacks in musicianship is offset by our willingness to humiliate ourselves." - David Hochman

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    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    The temptation to add to the whimsy of this thread is overwhelming, but I will resist. As was said, anything that mutes the strings is fine. Having just started the online mandolin course at the Academy of Bluegrass, I was interested to learn that Mike Marshall recommends not only muting the tail strings, but also the head strings. He puts a little strip of foam rubber under the strings just forward of the nut.

    For the tail strings, Radio Shack grommets are great, although they can go flying when you change strings. Leather laces are good, although they have string change issues also. I have also seen people using velcro, which I may try myself. You take matching strips of the "hook" and "pile" velcro and sandwich the strings between them. Seems to work well.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    My favorite method is to cram a bit of tissue between the strings and the tailpiece cover. I use a pick to scrunch it under there so nothing sticks out or shows.

    Since you used the term Vinyl in your post, perhaps you were thinking of other things you'd read here about the aspects of Vinyl. It can have a deleterious effect on finishes in other applications (like instrument stands and straps), but it has nothing to do with tone and grommets don't touch the finish, so they're OK.
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    Registered User jake-mando's Avatar
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    Wow all the harassment over a little question. Glad I didn't ask it. I have the gromments between the bridge and tailpiece on my Dorado. I do a fair amount of playing. Jammin, practise, and some performing. Never had one go flying out! They don't fly out on string changes either. You simply remove them and installnon the new strings after. I changed strings now 5 times and had no trouble. There is a differance in tone with and with out. They do there job as far as I'm concerned. Simple and inexpensive.
    To play or not to play? Well that's a silly question.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    Hey Jake, good answer, but check your signature line. Something's gone wrong with your settings.
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    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    Quote Originally Posted by jake-mando View Post
    Wow all the harassment over a little question. Glad I didn't ask it. I have the gromments between the bridge and tailpiece on my Dorado. I do a fair amount of playing. Jammin, practise, and some performing. Never had one go flying out! They don't fly out on string changes either. You simply remove them and installnon the new strings after. I changed strings now 5 times and had no trouble. There is a differance in tone with and with out. They do there job as far as I'm concerned. Simple and inexpensive.
    5 times?!??!!! Holy cow, you've been playing for 50 years?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    Quote Originally Posted by jake-mando View Post
    Wow all the harassment over a little question. Glad I didn't ask it.
    You think this is harassment, Eh? Maybe there's a different sense of humor in Canada but it's all meant in fun. Besides, have you tried my new and improved faerie harvested, kid tested and mother approved harmonic stabilizers? They're the bee's knees!
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Seale View Post
    5 times?!??!!! Holy cow, you've been playing for 50 years?


    They *do* go a-flyin' when yer strings break by the tailpiece area. No biggie, just slap on another.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    That's why they sell them by the bagful.
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    I don`t use them because I put a thin piece of foam under the tailpiece cover....I have tried the gromments but never seen any difference....But everyone to their own choices....

    Willie

  20. #20
    Registered User John L's Avatar
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    I've learned something, I have been putting them between the nut and bridge and found it really deadens the sound...

    (and Greg, we have a great sense of humour in Canada - many comics you may think are Americans are actually Canucks!)
    Johneeaaddgg

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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    I fold up dollar bills and wedge them between the strings. I can sell them to you for five bucks a pop. An incredible deal compared to the offers above.
    Bobby Bill

  22. #22
    Registered User jake-mando's Avatar
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    Okay harassment might have been to strong a word. Maybe I should have said ribbing? We have to have a good sence of humour in Canada. 75% of the year is frozen over in snow. If the wife and I couldn't laugh it would get pretty boring in the igloo!

    5 sets of strings? I've been trying differant strings to find the set that has the sound I am looking for. 1 set was only a few weeks old and I had to change them out because I replaced the stamp tail piece with an Allan cast one and they were to short. I've settled for now on GHS silk & bronze.

    I suppose if you were breaking strings they would go flying. Never really thought of that one. So far, knock on wood I have not broken any strings. I'd better be careful. If one of them goes flying off and hits a groupie. It could take out an eye! (see sense of humour)
    To play or not to play? Well that's a silly question.

    2009 J.Bovier F5 Dorado
    2012 Eastwood Mandocaster
    2013 J.Bovier A5 (prototype)
    1984 K.Yairi AR352
    1980 Ovation Custom Ballader
    2012 Martin HD28

  23. #23

    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flynn View Post
    ...I was interested to learn that Mike Marshall recommends not only muting the tail strings, but also the head strings. He puts a little strip of foam rubber under the strings just forward of the nut.
    If you look at the better Italian classical mandolins, they have been glueing on a thick strip of felt above the nut and the tailpiece since something over a hundred years now. Usually red or green.

  24. #24

    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    The master seventeenth century Italian luthier, Fibonacci, used a special type of Cremona varnish on his vinyl grommets.

    I have some available for trade - four (an adequate number) for a Nugget, Monteleone, or 1924 Lloyd Loar F-5 mandolin.

    You will be THRILLED by the sound enhancement that the Cremona finish adds to the vinyl.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: vinyl grommets

    I have to admit, a guy with six years' membership probably shouldn't have used the word "tonally" in a post about rubber baby buggy bumpers, but it was only his 12th post after all.
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