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Thread: Nylon String Mandolin?

  1. #26
    Registered User shiloh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    Hi Bratsche (I love violas, by the way!) - When you tune a tenor to 5ths, what strings are you using?

    All - I've tried nylon fluorocarbon fishing line (a Cafe member gave me the tension and diameter to use) and the E strings broke immediately. I just got some Aquila Reds, made for mandolin, so we'll see. I heard that the E's break on these too. I'll try it on my 13" Lyon & Healy (which I hate to do, but otherwise it is not going to get played).

    Jill
    Jill G
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  2. #27

    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    I am a classical guitar maker who has also made some ukuleles so I know a thing or two about nylon or fluorocarbon. I ended up with a nylon E string for my nylon mando. I just recorded two clips of the song I'm working on. Let's hear some chord melody and arpeggio of this rare member of mandolin family.

    1004ciaccona-theme
    1004ciaccona-arpeggio

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  4. #28
    Registered User shiloh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephen451 View Post
    Thanks for responding-- much appreciated!
    Stephen, I've been trying to touch base with you - in case you see this post again! Thanks! Jill Geary
    Jill G
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  5. #29
    Registered User shiloh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    You can tune a soprano ukulele like a mandolin. It doesn't have the typical double string sound, but it seems better than giving up completely. I like mine and see it as a nice alternative to a real mandolin.
    Aquila makes a set of strings to tune a ukulele GDAE
    Hello Crisscross - Do you still play this 'ukulele in mandolin tuning? Have you pursued any other nylon-string mandolins?
    Jill G
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  7. #30

    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    Recent experiment, following advice here, is a concert uke with Aquila strings for CGDA. Really love it, and plays like the strings aren’t even there. The uke is a cheapish Oscar Schmidt/Washburn and it’s happy in the lower tuning. This also means the high string isn’t too stressed. When my fingers start to hurt, or I want to play late at night, it’s pleasant. But it does sound more like a nylon string guitar than a mandolin. I use a regular (homebrew) pick, which hasn’t chewed up the strings yet.

  8. #31
    Registered User shiloh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    Recent experiment, following advice here, is a concert uke with Aquila strings for CGDA. Really love it, and plays like the strings aren’t even there. The uke is a cheapish Oscar Schmidt/Washburn and it’s happy in the lower tuning. This also means the high string isn’t too stressed. When my fingers start to hurt, or I want to play late at night, it’s pleasant. But it does sound more like a nylon string guitar than a mandolin. I use a regular (homebrew) pick, which hasn’t chewed up the strings yet.
    Thanks! I'll keep this in mind. I wish I could play steel-strings but just can't do it. I think I'd like to keep the GDAE tuning if possible though.
    Jill G
    Weber Bridger F
    Weber Aspen 2

  9. #32

    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    That sounds amazing! I also have joint pain in my fingers and want to keep playing as long as possible.

  10. #33
    Curious Observer MB-Octo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    I’m using a concert uke tuned GDAE with LaBella 900 Series Gold Nylon Polished Classical guitar strings. For this tuning, I use strings 6,4,2, & 1, which are .042w, .032w, .031p, & .028p. Bends and vibrato are particularly nice! I’ve become so fond of “nylon 5ths” that I have two baritone ukes strung & tuned in CGDA & GDAE (octave down). Like Richard mentioned: it doesn’t sound like a mandolin, (or mandola/octave) but it’s equally satisfying.
    Monte

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  11. #34
    Registered User shiloh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWLiu View Post
    I am a classical guitar maker who has also made some ukuleles so I know a thing or two about nylon or fluorocarbon. I ended up with a nylon E string for my nylon mando. I just recorded two clips of the song I'm working on. Let's hear some chord melody and arpeggio of this rare member of mandolin family.

    1004ciaccona-theme
    1004ciaccona-arpeggio
    Have you built/played more on your nylon-string mandolin? Enjoyed hearing your pieces.
    Jill G
    Weber Bridger F
    Weber Aspen 2

  12. #35
    Registered User shiloh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    Hello CW - is it possible to get an MP3 of the theme and the arpeggio? I wold love love love to have a nylon-string mandolin that has the tonal quality of these recordings! Any pictures? Did you build these mandolins? Thank you very much! Jill
    Jill G
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  13. #36

    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    Lucas Sobieranski sometimes uses nylon/nylgut strings on the vintage mandolins he restores. Here is a video that you might find helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uivniw6pP1g

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  15. #37
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    https://www.amazon.com/Aquila-AQ-30-...s%2C307&sr=8-5

    -Aquila AQ-30 GDAe strings.
    I put them on a 377mm. scale length ukulele and they’re definitely more comfortable than a mando but of course they sound a bit different. It did find my timing suffered because the action was higher and the string tends to bend easily, but it’s practice that’s needed.

    May try them on a smaller scale length banjo.
    They’ll be a bit slacker I guess, but there’s no rule to say that I can’t tune it say AEBf#, play by finger position instead of absolute notes, or by ear, and get the accompaniment to capo up two frets.

    It’s a quick and very cheap way to get into playing in fifths, especially if you use a quality solid top ukulele, which are still cheap.
    It actually sounds (to my ears) better than the cheapest, badly set up mandolin imports.

    The pick you use will probably be different.
    Maybe a thin hard felt pick?

    God luck with your choice.

  16. #38
    Registered User shiloh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by ukcarrie View Post
    Lucas Sobieranski sometimes uses nylon/nylgut strings on the vintage mandolins he restores. Here is a video that you might find helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uivniw6pP1g
    I enjoyed the video! Thanks for posting the link.
    Jill G
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    Weber Aspen 2

  17. #39
    Registered User shiloh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    Thanks Simon!
    Jill G
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  18. #40
    Pataphysician Joe Bartl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    I was given what I take to be a 1950s Kay. I put on new strings and had it set up by my luthier, but, really, there is so much relief in the neck that the steel strings are too painful ... and so the machine is in extended rest mode.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nylon strings (or fluorocarbon?) might be just the thing. What strings would you knowledgeable folks recommend? I'm willing to do the nut and bridge filing described in Sobieranski's wonderfully instructive video (wish I had seen this last year when I was trying to figure out how to knot synth strings for my Vinaccia).

    Thanks for your help.

  19. #41
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: Nylon String Mandolin?

    I , 5th tuned my spruce headed banjo uke, with Aquilla's 1M mandolin set .. 1 of each ..

    14" scale.. it is tuned E B F#C# ..

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    is like dancing,
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