Best light gauge mandolin strings

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Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby fergmaun » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:18 am

What is the best light gauge strings and brand.

I have a secondhand Kentucky KM-172 mandolin I got from hobgoblin music shop that came with light gauge strings.

I would go for 80/20 Bronze wound or phosphor bronze wound. Any different.

Cheers

Fergus
Last edited by fergmaun on Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby Dave Hanson » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:44 am

phosphor bronze strings tend to sound ' warmer ' than bright bronze or nickel.

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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby Ray(T) » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:14 pm

The usual advice would be to start with d'Addario EJ73 or 74 (light or medium) and see how you like them. Personally, I've never found much meed to use anything else for the last decade and a half.
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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby fergmaun » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:47 am

I would go for D'Addario Phosphor Bronze EJ73 10- 38 gauge.

I use Newtone strings Phosphor Bronze on my David Freshwater Irish Bouzouki http://www.eaglemusicshop.com

On website https://www.newtonestrings.com/shop/mandolin-strings/ list different gauge sizes, core type.

What is the different round core vs hex core strings and what core usually strings like D'Addario come set up with.

different sting gauge size
8-30
9-35
10-37
11-39

Cheers

Ferg
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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby Ray(T) » Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:02 pm

Hi Ferg,
Regarding Newtone strings, they come in different guagues from Eagle music 'cos that's they way they ordered them but if you ask them nicely they will do custom sets. You'll find "standard" sets on the Newtone website but they will make you up sets with whatever guauges/cores/ends you want and you'll have them in a little over a week. The last time I checked it was slightly cheaper ordering direct.

I had exactly the same question with respect to the difference between hex and round cores and, to quote Neil Silverman (who runs Newtone) - "Round cores do feel slightly lighter due to a slightly lower tension, this gives a warmer 'played in' tone."

I ordered a few sets of mandola strings with hex. cores last time but I intend to try the round cores when I order some more. I also use them on my OM as nobody makes a standard set and it needs ball ends.
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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby colirv » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:30 am

I use EJ74s on all my mandolins. Not found better.
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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby Daniel » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:24 am

I gig with two mandolins.
- a Gary Vessel F5 with an Englemann spruce top and English maple body gets D'Addario EJ-74s (11-40)
- a Mix F5 made of carbon fibre gets Elixir lights (10 to 34)

I'm a bit of a tone purist, so I mentally prefer mediums. But I have learned that you can overload carbon fibre which will strangle the tone (I tried mediums on a Rainsong OM-1000 guitar, yuck!). I also tend to gig most with the cf as it's a bit more robust, and the lighter strings are a touch easier to play fast. Might be 10bpm difference in the same amount of effort. So expediency is forcing me to yield up my purist tendencies!

best,
Daniel
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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby fergmaun » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:41 am

My mandolin is not the Kentucky KM-171 but the Kentucky KM-172 model.

Still has the strings that came on it and the gauge looks like 11-40 as used digital vernier caliper ruler to measure the diameter of strings.

So light or medium gauged strings.

Cheers Fergus
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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby Dave Hanson » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:16 am

11-40 is a medium gauge set, I would go for D'Addario EJ74 or Eagle medium set or Newtone medium, but there are a few more good string sets available.

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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby Ray(T) » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:31 am

It should be OK with the J74s - I use them on everything - but check and make a note of the neck relief now and a couple of months after you've changed them.

Heavier strings can induce an increased bow in the neck and you might need to [u]tighten[/u] the truss rod slightly. This isn't a difficult job. Just don't overdo it. A quarter turn at a time is all you should give it. Unlike guitars, the neck needs to be more or less dead straight. If it's not an allen key, the hardest bit can be finding the right sized tool for the job!
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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby fergmaun » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 pm

I have one set of Mandolin 8-String Phosphor Bronze Light 10, 14, 23, 32 Strings costed around £3.95.

Anyone used these strings before.

I got this set of strings when I had a cheap Blue Moon BM-05 Mandolin.

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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby Dave Hanson » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:38 pm

Not heard of this brand but at that price I'd give them a go if I could get the right gauge.

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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby Ray(T) » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:40 pm

Not heard of or seen them but I've heard of Stagg before. They sell a range of, largely PacRim sourced, musical accessories. I doubt whether they actually make them and, consequently, I'd expect them to be lower quality than the usual suspects and nowhere near as consistent.

Stick-em on and tell us what you think!
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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby fergmaun » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:40 pm

I began to restring my Kentucky KM-172 mandolin with the Stagg strings set.

Started at G strings then D then A until the 2 E string was tuned up to D sharp and when getting near to E the both strings broke.

I will order a better brand strings like D'Addario set.

.
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Re: Best light gauge mandolin strings

Postby Dave Hanson » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:18 pm

nuff said.

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