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Thread: Mandola owners

  1. #1
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Mandola owners

    Frustrated with 164 Thomastik strings being too short for your CGDA mandola?
    Tell Thomastik!

    Info@thomastik-infield.com

    (I sent copies of Cafe threads on this subject to them)
    With a little initiative we may be able to convince them to add another inch of string between the ends.
    Stiver A style (A DREAMED FOR KEEPER)
    Kentucky KM-950
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool)
    Cozart (unplugged emando silence for my usually tolerant wife)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mandola owners

    I use the 174W Thomastiks on my Girouard mandola and have ample length. Here's a link http://www.juststrings.com/toi-174w.html
    if you're interested in them.

  3. #3
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Yes 174's are long enough for my Collings.

    Right now I'm trying some nickel flat wound strings from emando.com and I love them. I think they are from D'Addario and they are individual strings that he sells. The website is a bit confusing but I managed to select loop end strings to make a set. Perfect tension and diameter. And about half the cost of Thomastik strings. $28 U.S.

    http://emando.com/shop/strings8.htm
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    I've tried Thomastiks a few times and ... they seemed to start out dead and got worse. I couldn't get anything like life out of them, changed picks a few times, changed attack and position and even tried to change my attitude (okay, I tried at least). I finally noticed I had a set of Elixer lights in one of my instrument cases and just had to get a low C ... found Elixers at Elderly and it was a world or maybe a galaxy of a difference. My Spira Mandola is played regularly and the strings are now about five years old, they probably need a change but, there's still life in them. All my other Mandolas and four out of five Tenor Guitars all use Elixers and even in the crap humidity of Chicago and the midwest, they seem to be imitating the energizer bunny. They just keep going.
    Mandola fever is permanent.

  5. #5
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Well, I like them, a lot... so much that all my mando-kin instruments have TIs on them, except the one that's too big to fit them. Instruments I thought I'd not keep when first receiving them with harsh, twangy sounding roundwound strings (buying them all sound-unheard, because of the total lack of any in my area) changed my mind once I switched them to flatwound TIs. The adjectives "rich, pure, warm, mellow", etc. are what I'd use to describe the TIs difference, but never "dead". And I play on them for 3 or 4 years before changing them.

    That's the reason I started the "Yet another Thomastic thread" below... which isn't getting many replies (ahem)... I am really wanting to get an octave mandolin, but only if I can be certain TI 174s will fit on it. Otherwise, I'll just keep waiting... or maybe we can contact TI and ask them to add some extra inches to the 174 set, as well. Somehow I'm not holding my breath, though, as Europeans have different ideas about what constitutes a mandola or an octave (mandola) than we do on this side of the pond. ;-)

    bratsche
    "There are two refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

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  7. #6

    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Thanks for this recommendation. I have been looking for flat wounds for my Eastman Mandola and have been struggling to decide about Thomastiks. Just ordered a set from Emando - the lights. We'll see.

  8. #7
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    I did tell them in the same manner as you have. They eventually responded. They don't care!
    Stiver A style (A DREAMED FOR KEEPER)
    Kentucky KM-950
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool)
    Cozart (unplugged emando silence for my usually tolerant wife)

  9. #8
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Quake City View Post
    Thanks for this recommendation. I have been looking for flat wounds for my Eastman Mandola and have been struggling to decide about Thomastiks. Just ordered a set from Emando - the lights. We'll see.
    I eventually wound up with TIs on my Eastman mandola as well. I like them a lot. To my ear, the Eastman was a bit "brassy" with round-wound strings (I tried a couple of different sets), and the TIs take the "edge off" and are just about perfect.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Did you go with the 174 Tis?

  11. #10

    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Quote Originally Posted by meow-n-dolin View Post
    I eventually wound up with TIs on my Eastman mandola as well. I like them a lot. To my ear, the Eastman was a bit "brassy" with round-wound strings (I tried a couple of different sets), and the TIs take the "edge off" and are just about perfect.
    Did you go with the 174 TI's?

  12. #11

    Default Re: Mandola owners

    I use Daddario Chrome Flatwounds electric guitar strings that I buy individually in Mandola and OM sizes... Much cheaper than TI's. I also use the wound courses from EFW74 sets on mandolas and add Chromes for the low C's.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Today put the flat wounds from emando on the Eastman mandola. What a difference! The instrument retains it's projection without the brassy sound of the phosphor bronze. I also note that the chords are much clearer with these strings. I found chords to be a bit muddy with phosphor bronze. I went with the light gauge this time. While I am very happy with the sound, I plan to use the heavy gauge on the next go around to get a little more oomph from the C and G.
    I like Dacraw54's idea of using Daddario Chrome Flatwound electric guitar strings - may give that a try at some point.
    Bottom line: I am sold on flat wounds - never going back to phosphor bronze.

  14. #13

    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Dacraw54 View Post
    I use Daddario Chrome Flatwounds electric guitar strings that I buy individually in Mandola and OM sizes... Much cheaper than TI's. I also use the wound courses from EFW74 sets on mandolas and add Chromes for the low C's.
    Can you get loop end chrome flat wound strings from the Daddario web site? Could not find any reference to loop end vs ball end.

  15. #14

    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Ball-end strings work on Eastman Tailpieces - the ball fits between the tines and stays in place under tension. You can also -carefully - clip the balls with a pair of snips if you prefer.

  16. #15

    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Dacraw54 View Post
    Ball-end strings work on Eastman Tailpieces - the ball fits between the tines and stays in place under tension. You can also -carefully - clip the balls with a pair of snips if you prefer.
    Brilliant! Thanks.

  17. #16
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Quake City View Post
    Today put the flat wounds from emando on the Eastman mandola. What a difference! The instrument retains it's projection without the brassy sound of the phosphor bronze. I also note that the chords are much clearer with these strings. I found chords to be a bit muddy with phosphor bronze. I went with the light gauge this time. While I am very happy with the sound, I plan to use the heavy gauge on the next go around to get a little more oomph from the C and G.
    I like Dacraw54's idea of using Daddario Chrome Flatwound electric guitar strings - may give that a try at some point.
    Bottom line: I am sold on flat wounds - never going back to phosphor bronze.
    I'm now using flatwounds from EMando on my Weber mandola and Daddario mediums on My Coleman mandola. Interesting that I liked John Pearse mediums better than Daddario on my Weber prior to using the flatwounds. i may revisit this at some point to see if my impression has changed.
    I think my preference for strings is subjective to my current whims and perhaps my music of choice in a particular time and place.Also humidity plays a factor. My lifestyle dictates that I am always fighting humidity between high and higher. This results in more significant changes in tone than the strings I am using.
    Stiver A style (A DREAMED FOR KEEPER)
    Kentucky KM-950
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool)
    Cozart (unplugged emando silence for my usually tolerant wife)

  18. #17
    Registered User Toycona's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    I alternate between J72s and J76s on my Girouard mandola. I noodle between the brightness and thuddieness....
    ma dh'fheumas tu tarraing, dčan sin gu socair



    Instruments

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    Girouard Mandola - 2013
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  19. #18
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    I believe I am using the 164 set.

  20. #19

    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Sorry to post in an old thread but this seemed the most relevant and not terribly long ago.

    I also have an Eastman MDA815 and I'm trying to figure out if the Thomastik 164 set or the light 174 set are best used for CGDA tuning. Does anyone know if the 164 set fits?

  21. #20
    Registered User Strabo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Agreed. The 174w strings work well for Bach on my Eastman mandola -- much better than anything else.

  22. #21
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Reynolds View Post
    Sorry to post in an old thread but this seemed the most relevant and not terribly long ago.

    I also have an Eastman MDA815 and I'm trying to figure out if the Thomastik 164 set or the light 174 set are best used for CGDA tuning. Does anyone know if the 164 set fits?
    The strings in the Thomastik 164 set have a bit more than 51 cm between the wrapping at both ends of each string.

  23. #22
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    I started using Curt Mangan "FusionMatched" phosphor bronze strings last year on mandolin, mandocello, (Martin HD-28) guitar and mandola.

    Best sounding strings I've ever tried (but I've never tried Thomastik). The Mangan's have better volume, sustain and tone as compared to d'addario, Newtone, Labella, straight up, DR, silk and steel, Earthwound, and any others I've tried and forgot.

    And they're plenty long for my 17" 10 string 'dola.

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  25. #23
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Quote Originally Posted by dougc View Post
    yes 174's are long enough for my collings.

    Right now i'm trying some nickel flat wound strings from emando.com and i love them. I think they are from d'addario and they are individual strings that he sells. The website is a bit confusing but i managed to select loop end strings to make a set. Perfect tension and diameter. And about half the cost of thomastik strings. $28 u.s.

    http://emando.com/shop/strings8.htm
    ditto.

  26. #24
    Registered User Bob Visentin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandola owners

    I use Mapes mandolin strings. I order 15,25,35,52 gauges and they are plenty long for my Collings Mandola. They come in 80/20 Bronze, Stainless, Nickle plated steel or Phosphor Bronze. Your choose. $6.00 a set.

  27. #25

    Default Re: Mandola owners

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    Yes 174's are long enough for my Collings.

    Right now I'm trying some nickel flat wound strings from emando.com and I love them. I think they are from D'Addario and they are individual strings that he sells. The website is a bit confusing but I managed to select loop end strings to make a set. Perfect tension and diameter. And about half the cost of Thomastik strings. $28 U.S.

    http://emando.com/shop/strings8.htm

    I've use emando flat wounds for several years now on my 815 Eastman mandola. Love the sound and smooth feel. Especially good for jazzy stuff.
    They tend to last a long time so really not much more expensive than standard strings.
    As mentioned above, be sure to specify loop ends.
    They also have flat wounds for octave mandos.

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