What Strings Do You Like on Your Breedlove?

  1. Ed Goist
    Ed Goist
    Hi All:

    What strings (brand/model/gauge) do you like on your Breedlove?

    I have an '04 Quartz OO that I bought from a Cafe classified in early June, and the previous owner was generous enough to install new D'Addario J74 strings on her before shipping.

    When it first arrived, I was very much put-off by the brightness of the J74s, but it subsided substantially after a few weeks...Now after almost two months of pretty heavy playing (say 2+ hours per day), the J74s sound incredible...warm, clear, loud, and well-defined across all courses...

    I'm assuming that the J74s are at their 'sweet spot' now, and will soon begin the downhill quality slide...So, I'll need to change strings soon. I'd love to hear what strings other Breedlove owners like/use.

    Thanks in advance;
  2. Marcus CA
    Marcus CA
    Those are the only strings I've ever used on any mandolin. I like their brightness on my Quartz FF, and I liked it on my old Quartz OF, as well. Maybe it's just a matter of taste. Maybe I don't know any better. Maybe ignorance is still bliss.
  3. Ed Goist
    Ed Goist
    Hi Marcus: Thanks for the reply. Out of curiosity, how would you say your FF compares to your old OF? Thanks.
  4. Marcus CA
    Marcus CA
    To my ear, it has a slightly sharper attack all around, especially on the chop chords. Its tone is also slightly woodier, but that may be because I'm picking a little closer to the fingerboard than I used to. The OF had a little more sustain to it when I played melodies. All in all, I like the FF better, especially since I'm playing more bluegrass these days, but I wouldn't call it a major upgrade over an OF. I haven't played anything else in their price range that even comes close to those two.

    I've never played an OO. If you've played an OF, how would you compare those two?
  5. Ed Goist
    Ed Goist
    Hi Marcus: I have not played a Breedlove OF. However, I recently had the opportunity to 'test drive' this Breedlove Cascade. Fit, finish, hardware and attention to detail were top notch (maybe a little better than on my '04 Quartz OO), making the mandolin look and feel more expensive than my Quartz. Playability was very similar to my OO, but the tone was quite different...Lot's of bark and much less sustain. The tone was very clear and precise with a rapid decay. Very interesting, and quite different sounding from my OO.
  6. Marcus CA
    Marcus CA
    Looks nice! I see them advertised every so often, but I've never had the chance to play any of the Breedlove models above the Quartz. I've always wondered how great a difference there is in their tone, compared to the Quartz line.
  7. MandoSquirrel
    When I had a Quartz KO, I preferred flatwound strings, especially Thomastick-Infelds. My Cascade seems to work fine with GHS PF270's or Silk & Steel. I'm sure the D'Addario's would be fine.
    I tried an OF at Guitar Center a time or three, I preferred the oval hole sound of the KO, but it was a fine mando for the price. I sold the KO to buy the Cascade when i thought it was time for an upgrade. For an f hole rather than oval sound, the Cascade is definitely an excellent choice, and at the used price especially, a great value.
    I heard someone play an Oregon on stage, which is the O body version of the Cascade & it sounded awesome; loud & full.
    Playability is similar to the KO & OO, but the sound, while not as "round" & sustained as the KO, is loud, balanced, & full. maybe not the "woody" tone associated with F5's, but it still works well for Bluegrass or Jazz.
  8. Ladyfingerpicker
    I just bought a used Quartz FO, which arrived with corroded strings, and I decided to replace them with Elixir light-gauge strings. I'm not sure whether I like the result or not; the tone, particularly that of the G strings, seems dull to me rather than "warm". I do like the coated strings for sliding up and down the neck, though, so I'm thinking the Elixirs will work for swing music.

    On my Quartz OF, I recently put light-gauge Martin bronze 80/20's. Usually I use Dean Markley bronze strings and am extremely happy with them, but my local shop had run out of them. I can't hear much of a difference -- both brands sound nice and bright -- but time will tell as the Martins get broken in.
  9. mandobassman
    I have a Quartz OF from 2006. When I went to the store to audition it, it had the coated EXP 74's that it is shipped with. While it was very bright-sounding I could instantly appreciate the sound quality of this instrument. I have used Thomastik flatwound heavy gauge strings for many years now and I knew that those would settle down the brightness. I wasn't disappointed. The warmth of tone and smoothness of the strings have made it the best mandolin I have ever owned and I get wonderful compliments from listeners often. I have played several, much more expensive mandolins that I didn't like as much.
  10. DerTiefster
    Everyone has his/her preferences. I have an early production KO mandolin that I bought from an ebay seller about 2.5 yrs ago. It's a pleasure to play and hear. I put TI Mittels on it for several months and enjoyed it, but wanted more of the "brightness" than the flat-wound strings would support. I guess it's just taste, but I like the bit more volume they provide. Maybe the Starks (heavy gauge) provide more volume over the Mittels?
  11. celtolin
    I bought my OF last year and it came with Newtone's on it, along with two additional packs, but I gave the D'Addario Flatwounds a try and will have a hard time going back...at least for now
  12. mandobassman
    Celtolin, I'm now on board with the FW-74's. I have been a very longtime Thomastik user (14 years) but recently tried the FW-74's and really like them. They have been on for a few weeks now and I'm going to do my first live show with them this afternoon. The added brightness over the Thomastik's took a little getting used to but the mandolin (Quartz OF) is much more punchy and lively than it has ever been.
  13. greg_tsam
    I play a Quartz FF and use Elixir mediums. I love them. They seem to give a nice mellow sound with good bark and woody sounds and the best part is the A and E strings don't corrode when I pick them which is important here in humid Houston. I think my body chemistry accelerates the corrosion process when I use the bronze/phosper sets. I can't stand the grit that forms on most of them and used to carry aluminum foil in my case to tune up the strings before playing. With Elixirs, I never have that problem. Never tried Thomastik's before and sometimes wonder it they would perform similar to the Elixirs corrosion wise.
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