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Thread: Another good reason to own more than one mando - string compares!

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    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Another good reason to own more than one mando - string compares!

    I went a few years with little to no mando (or guitar or piano) playing, but am back into the mando with a passion. Of course I'm going through the whole "which string set is best for me" issue. One problem with analyzing strings is that I generally don't want to put on a set and then pull it right off to try a different set, so I play a set for 3 or 4 weeks and then change when intonation gets iffy. At that point, though, I'm comparing the old set with a new different set, so not exactly a fair comparison.

    NOW, I have two mandos and am changing strings on both mandolins at the same time. For instance, I just put some D'Addario flatwounds (EFW74) on the MD315 and D'Addario coated strings (EXP74) on the MD505. So far so good!

    I do think the string comparisons would be even better with three or four mandolins. Haven't tried this justification to the wife about why I really need another mandolin or two.
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315, some guitars, banjos, and fiddles

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    Default Re: Another good reason to own more than one mando - string compa

    There’s no such thing as to many instruments. And if your going to be in the dog house might as well fill it with things you’ll enjoy during your stay. As for strings I use 3 different brands just depending on the sound and feel I want at that time.
    I use the D’Addario j74 , GHS silk and steel, and elixir mediums for my coated preference( there a little bright at first but they mellow out very quickly(at least for me). And sometimes I’ll get crazy and mix and match sets.
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

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    Default Re: Another good reason to own more than one mando - string compa

    Your test may be valid, but I see no value in comparing strings on my Gibson A-1 and Arches kit. Far too different from each other, but two similar instruments could be a useful comparison.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

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    AHoyle 

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    Default Re: Another good reason to own more than one mando - string compa

    True Br1ck, or maybe flatpicknut has a case of MAS(which is totally fine). You know one way you could justify acquiring more mandos to your wife would be to make them a “we” gift so one would be “hers” and the other yours wink wink.
    Or the tried and true method and my personal favorite. The sneak: sneak one in and bring it out very seldom. The key is make sure the colors of the mandos are similar as not to cause alarm and when she asks if it’s new. Just say naw I’ve had this old thing for years.
    Unless she knows anything about instruments at all (in which case remember that doghouse I mentioned) btw this is just a joke.
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

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    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another good reason to own more than one mando - string compa

    Quote Originally Posted by AHoyle View Post
    or maybe flatpicknut has a case of MAS(which is totally fine).
    I'm really kidding about having another mandolin or two for string comparisons. It is definitely better than having one mandolin, but I'm in no hurry to buy another mandolin.

    I've spent years owning a single mandolin at a time and just now have the luxury of having two. I still end up playing most of the time on a single mandolin (the MD315). Reading about all these great mandolins on this forum has the almost inevitable consequence of making me wonder how much better those $3k and $6k and $10k and $22k mandolins play and sound! I've read enough postings over the past few months that I am getting more comfortable with the idea of spending in the $3k to $6k range sometime in the not-too-distant future. A trip to Nashville to compare a wide range of mandos would likely come before a higher priced mando enters my home.
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315, some guitars, banjos, and fiddles

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    Default Re: Another good reason to own more than one mando - string compa

    I’m in the same boat brother I’m actually in the process of buying my 3rd mandolin but it will be my first custom made one if everything works out with the builder. Trust me it’s definitely worth it when I started looking I didn’t realize what $6000 could get you new and used but the more I played the the mandos at the 6k level they just blew my Eastman out of the water. And I love my Eastman. At 6k it’s take your pick of mandolins basically so many to choose from. And this is the best place to get advice for all things mando.
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

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    Default Re: Another good reason to own more than one mando - string compa

    I would think that the variation in sounds of even two of the same model of mandolin would make comparison difficult, let alone different makes and/or models.
    David Hopkins

    2001 Gibson F-5L
    Breedlove Legacy FF; Breedlove Quartz FF
    Gibson F-4, (1916); Blevins Octave Mandolin, 2018
    McCormick Oval Sound Hole "Reinhardt"
    McCormick Solid Body F-Style Electric; Slingerland Songster Guitar (c. 1939)

    The older I get, the less tolerant I am of political correctness, incompetence and stupidity.

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    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another good reason to own more than one mando - string compa

    Quote Originally Posted by DHopkins View Post
    I would think that the variation in sounds of even two of the same model of mandolin would make comparison difficult, let alone different makes and/or models.
    That's very true, but I have zero interest in having two of the same model (and even as you note, two of the same model won't be identical).

    The two mandos I have are pretty similar. I still think it is giving me a better comparison than going from a worn out set to a new set and trying to remember what the old set was like. I can play for a bit on one mando, then play for a bit on the other mando, and moving back and forth lets me get a better feel about tone, volume, tension, playability, etc. At the moment I'm deciding among three different sets - the long life D'Addarios (long life and close to J74 characteristics), the flatwounds (long life and smoother for finger movement) or the Monels, which I haven't tried yet but have heard lots of good things about.
    Doug Brock
    2018 Kimble 2 point (#259), 2019 Silverangel Econo A (#446), Eastman MD315, 2020 Morris Oval Flattop A, Eastman MDA315, some guitars, banjos, and fiddles

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    Default Re: Another good reason to own more than one mando - string compa

    Well, if it works for you, then it's right.
    David Hopkins

    2001 Gibson F-5L
    Breedlove Legacy FF; Breedlove Quartz FF
    Gibson F-4, (1916); Blevins Octave Mandolin, 2018
    McCormick Oval Sound Hole "Reinhardt"
    McCormick Solid Body F-Style Electric; Slingerland Songster Guitar (c. 1939)

    The older I get, the less tolerant I am of political correctness, incompetence and stupidity.

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    Default Re: Another good reason to own more than one mando - string compa

    I love the monel sound but with my skins chemistry they just don’t last. Really nothing lasts me more than a week except elixirs.
    But you know what you like and what you want your mandolins to sound like. just keep trying them since there a relatively inexpensive until you find what set or group of sets you prefer. I can’t settle on just one set I use 3 different brands because I may prefer one set this week and another set next week. But strings are totally subjective to each individuals preference. As stated above if it works for you it’s right.
    Hardwick Bluetone banjo, old Washburn b16 with an rb250 tone ring
    Custom Martin D28, and D45
    Tyler White #12, Eastman MD 815cs, Austin AU657 beater mandolin
    Several violins, eletric guitars, piano, Suzuki bluesmaster harmonica set, and my Dads old trombone from high school.

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