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Thread: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    I've had my Collings for a few years now and have yet to find a set of strings that I feel are absolutely perfect. Some come close, like the GHS Bobby Osborne set of med-lights. I've been using those most of all.

    But I'd like to hear from people who have actually used the Thomastiks on their Collings. What were the results in feel, volume, tone?
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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Seek and you shall find... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHtZ5Tn3TPM

    Went to YT and found an exact comparison. Leave it to good old Fiddler's Green (where I actually bought my Collings). I think I like the sound of the Thomastiks, and I'm sure the feel is better, less tension, etc. I will probably be giving them a try on my next string change.
    ...

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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Caleb, just wanted to give you an idea of what I've tried on my MT2V torrefied. I put some of the new Martin monel strings on and simply love the tone and feel. If you are experimenting with strings, at about $5, you may want to see how they sound on your Collings. They are my string of choice for my MT2V.

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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Quote Originally Posted by KMaynard View Post
    Caleb, just wanted to give you an idea of what I've tried on my MT2V torrefied. I put some of the new Martin monel strings on and simply love the tone and feel. If you are experimenting with strings, at about $5, you may want to see how they sound on your Collings. They are my string of choice for my MT2V.
    How is the tension of the monels compared to a standard string like a J74, etc.? I tend to like a bit less tension than standard mediums, hence my use of the Osborne med-lights, any my interest in the mittles.
    ...

  6. #5

    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    I think the string gauges are the same as J74's but tension about the same.

    Martin Monel's:
    Gauges: 11-15-26-40
    Tension: 186.9

    D'Addario's:
    Gauges: 11-15-26-40
    Tension: 180.7

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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    I have a Collings MT as well as a custom MT2 for a number of years and I, like most players, have tried strings other than what came on the mandolin.

    Light strings offer a quicker and more expressive sound than mediums. (Sure you can get what you want from medium and heavy strings but you have to try harder.) And I often play beautiful music more than rhythmic chop chords at hi volume.

    Round wound strings from GHS, LSB250, and D'Addario J74's seem to be the better than the others. IMHO

    I prefer the feel of flat wound strings and nothing matches Thomastik 154 light strings. I like them so much that I have never tried mediums.

    When I can't afford Thomasks, or I want a more 'percussive sound' for chords, I'll get a set of D'Addario EFW74.

    I think you really do 'get what you pay for'.
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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    And I often play beautiful music more than rhythmic chop chords at hi volume.
    Same here. I don't play BG, don't attend "jams," and mostly just play solo. When I play traditional mediums I often feel like I'm wrestling with the mandolin, so I've gone for a lighter feel.

    I tried some Thomastik's back when I began mandolin in 2007. I had a Kentucky and was just getting my toes in the pool. Didn't care for the sound at all, but I think I'd like the more mellow sound now.
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    But I'd like to hear from people who have actually used the Thomastiks on their Collings. What were the results in feel, volume, tone?
    I tried a set of the T-I Starks on my MT and liked them. For one thing, they added another voice to my arsenal which included an additional A5 (a Pava) at the time. But they also darkened the tone of the Collings, which could be bright for solo play, while being a little more comfortable on the fingertips and a lot longer lasting between string changes, albeit at a significantly higher price.
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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    I tried a set of the T-I Starks on my MT and liked them. For one thing, they added another voice to my arsenal which included an additional A5 (a Pava) at the time. But they also darkened the tone of the Collings, which could be bright for solo play, while being a little more comfortable on the fingertips and a lot longer lasting between string changes, albeit at a significantly higher price.
    Thanks. The Starks probably *feel* a bit more like traditional strings, right? Due to them being heavier?
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    Thanks. The Starks probably *feel* a bit more like traditional strings, right? Due to them being heavier?
    They felt noticeably different, although I don’t know how much of that to attribute to texture versus tension. And truthfully, reducing string load was not one of my goals. I have generally used Starks on instruments that I would otherwise string with mediums (like my National RM-1) and Mittels in lieu of medium-lights on flattops (such as my old Gypsy). I can’t imagine using the Weichs unless I at some point decide to buy a bowlback.
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Love the stark TI's on my Collings MTO. When I had my MT, they were my preferred string also. They just feel great, are a joy to put on (the silk windings), and last a long time.

    The heavy set gauges are 11 15 21 34, compared to an EJ74 set 11 15 26 40. I am not sure I'd want mediums on an MT, 9 14 20 31, the tension would be really low.
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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Leonard View Post
    Love the stark TI's on my Collings MTO. When I had my MT, they were my preferred string also. They just feel great, are a joy to put on (the silk windings), and last a long time.

    The heavy set gauges are 11 15 21 34, compared to an EJ74 set 11 15 26 40. I am not sure I'd want mediums on an MT, 9 14 20 31, the tension would be really low.
    Very helpful information here - thank you.
    ...

  16. #13

    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    I tried the TI Starks on my MT and was not thrilled, though I love TIs on my A2 oval hole. Every once in a while I try different strings but always go back to Daddario J74s. I once tried Daddario FlatTops on the MT and liked them a lot; FlatTops or Flatwound may be less expensive strings to try.

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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Thomastiks heavy strings compare with D'Addario mediums. But they do get pretty thick and you may need to adjust the nut and bridge.

    Keep in mind that a more sensitive (i.e. expensive) instrument will respond better to less pressure. Mostly because the wood is carved thinner in the right places.
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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    I’m pretty unclear on which set to buy now.
    ...

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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    I’m pretty unclear on which set to buy now.
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    I’m pretty unclear on which set to buy now.
    Try a set of D'Addario Monel. I and others feel the strings are just a bit more pliable if not lower tension for a similar Phosphor Bronze string. Of course the unwound feel about the same as any equivalent, but the wound monels feel slinkier. And their tone is quite pure.
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Caleb - What genre of music do you play ?. I ask because a friend of mine & fellow UK Cafe member, who owns a beautiful Heiden "A" style used to use Thomastik strings on it. He plays mostly Folk music,but when i first heard his Heiden,it sounded very underpowered.
    He changed over to D'Addario J74s (now EJ74's) & it sounded very much better. However,after i'd 'discovered' DR strings,i mentioned them to him, & he put a set of DR MD11s (medium gauge as per EJ74s) on it,& it really came to life.

    I used to use DR MD11's on my own Ellis "A" style,but decided to try out a set of Tom Ellis's recomended strings - GHS A270's on it & they sound really sweet toned,even when played hard,
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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    Caleb - What genre of music do you play ?. I ask because a friend of mine & fellow UK Cafe member, who owns a beautiful Heiden "A" style used to use Thomastik strings on it. He plays mostly Folk music,but when i first heard his Heiden,it sounded very underpowered.
    He changed over to D'Addario J74s (now EJ74's) & it sounded very much better. However,after i'd 'discovered' DR strings,i mentioned them to him, & he put a set of DR MD11s (medium gauge as per EJ74s) on it,& it really came to life.

    I used to use DR MD11's on my own Ellis "A" style,but decided to try out a set of Tom Ellis's recomended strings - GHS A270's on it & they sound really sweet toned,even when played hard,
    Ivan
    I play mostly folk styles, no BG at all. I used to use DR11s on my old Eastman, but they don’t work well on the Collings.
    ...

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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    From Caleb - "....but they don’t work well on the Collings. ". No surprise there Caleb !. Not all mandolins will sound 'good' using the same string brand / gauge. You might care to try a set of GHS A270's - same gauges as EJ74s except for the .016" A strings instead of .015". They feel very smooth under the fingers & certainly on my Ellis,they sound very sweet indeed. It's always worth trying out another reputable string brand - you never know,they just might sound terrific !,
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    Default Re: Thomastiks on a Collings MT?

    I recently purchased a Collings MT2-V. During the purchase process I played the same instrument with both TI's and EJ74's. I am a very big fan of TI flat wound strings. I preferred them on a Flatiron I owned. Much to my surprise I did not like them at all on the Collings. Every mandolin is different. You have to hold and play it to get most answers, Hope this helps anyone contemplating TI's - great, great strings - but EVERY mandolin is different.

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