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Thread: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

  1. #51

    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by killntime View Post
    I put a set of the Thomasticks on a few days ago per all of the recommendations. Biggest pro for me is that they are very easy on the fingers. I have only been playing a few months so my fingers we’re getting torn up pretty bad. The sound is good, however I’m not sure that I like all of the volume that I lost. I guess I didn’t get Wowed as much as I thought I would for the price.

    FYI, this was on a Pava Pro A model.
    Don't mistake brightness for volume. They have a darker tone than many other strings.

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  3. #52

    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    I'm about to splurge on a set of viola strings (cheaper than my last set, but more than my Helicore standby). I might go for it and finally give these a try for my mandolin. They're less than a cheap (but not painful) set of viola strings so YOLO, right? My question is... I JUST switched to an oval hole. It came with the same strings my starter mandolin came with, but I discovered and fell in love with the D'addario nickel-bronze strings on my previous f-hole instrument. Should I try strings I'm used to first to gauge how the string translates to the new instrument, or just go for it while I'm online ordering the viola strings?

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  5. #53
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    "Does TI make any strings for an octave with a 22" scale? I know they make mandola strings but haven't seen any octaves listed."


    Rdeane - I believe the top four strings of this $100 (yep, that's right!) lute string set will work with that 22" scale length. Quite the price though.

    https://m.juststrings.com/thomastik-infeldlute.html
    Last edited by Tim Logan; Oct-17-2020 at 9:53pm.

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  7. #54
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Rdeane View Post
    Does TI make any strings for an octave with a 22" scale? I know they make mandola strings but haven't seen any octaves listed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Logan View Post
    Rdeane - I believe the top four strings of this $100 (yep, that's right!) lute string set will work with that 22" scale length. Quite the price though.
    https://m.juststrings.com/thomastik-infeldlute.html
    Just Strings is a little confused. Those Liuto strings are for the 5 course mandocello invented and played and composed for by Raffaele Calace not for a lute. You may be correct, Tim, that the top 4 string pairs would work but to be real sure I would contact Thomastik directly and see what they suggest. That Juststrings set looks like it was a custom one but we don't know what scale length they were meant for. Besides you are also paying for that C course which are probably the most expensive strings in the set. They do make a mandola set for European mandola tuned octave GDAE but that is for 45cm/17-3/4" scale. You also have to make sure that the strings are long enough for your scale length. I would contact them to see what they recommend: info@thomastik-infeld.com

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  9. #55
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    RDeane/Jim - maybe scroll way down to Margoro's response on this thread- re the liuto strings - that's where I got his response when I asked about a 23" scale.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...homastik+liuto

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  11. #56

    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Logan View Post
    "Does TI make any strings for an octave with a 22" scale? I know they make mandola strings but haven't seen any octaves listed."


    Rdeane - I believe the top four strings of this $100 (yep, that's right!) lute string set will work with that 22" scale length. Quite the price though.

    https://m.juststrings.com/thomastik-infeldlute.html
    Yikes! That's expensive. I appreciate your feedback. I have since sold the octave to someone who will play it more than I will.

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  13. #57
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by lflngpicker View Post
    I would hope if my Collings is typically strung with mediums that the medium strings will suit it. The diameter seemed appropriate. Do you think I made the right call? Thanks!
    The TI Starks are actually a bit lighter tension than round wound mediums. I would go with the heavy for a Collings.
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  15. #58

    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    I get the impression that most posters are comparing TI flats to Daddario round 74s without getting involved in the Daddario flats,which are good strings at a much less flabbergasting price than the TIís. It so happens that today was the day I decided to put on the TI Mediums I splurged on awhile ago out of curiosity, having used the Daddario flatwounds for years. Since the Daddarios on my MTO were still pretty good, I decided to experiment a bit while comparing. I put the TIís on G, A and E and left the old Dadd D course on for awhile so I could compare them up close.

    First thing I noticed about the TIís was the cool wrappings at both ends of the G D and A. Thatís gotta be a good sign for gripping, and indeed they were easy to put on and tune up. Second thing different was only discovered by reading the wrapper: the TIís have a wound A, while the Dadds are plain A and E. The winding on the Aís is so fine that I did not believe for some time that this was for realóthey just seem like plain steel! Iím sure a microscope would show the winding, I was eventually satisfied by close flashlight and reading-glasses examination. Plus running my thumbnail along them gives it away.

    So in playing some tunes and exercises using the G and D a lot, I got a feel for the difference. The TIís have a more complex sound, overtones I guess, while the Dadds (about 3 months old, still in good shape) have a more unified tone that is starting to get thuddy, certainly in comparison. Volume is about even. Physically, giving the old fingernail-test, and visually, you can tell that the TIís are more fine-wound and more reductive of string squeak.

    I also found I immediately was getting some buzzing on the TI E and A which had not been there before, and had to raise the action at the bridgeófrom about .05 to .07 at 12th. May not be done fussing with it yet. I think itís weird that despite all the info on the TI packaging, it doesnít state the string gauges which is pretty darn basic.

    I will have to play the TIís for awhile before I form a full opinion. I think itís quite possible I might just stay with the Daddarios for my less expensive mandos and keep the TIís on the Collings.

    Itís fun to obsess over this exceedingly nerdy topic with my fellow enthusiasts. Cheers.
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    Mandoline or Mandolin: Similar to the lute, but much less artistically valuable....for people who wish to play simple music without much trouble óThe Oxford Companion to Music

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  17. #59
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    I finally splurged on a set yesterday. Be interested to see how I like them.

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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    I’m hoping to get a set of heavies for my MT from Santa this year. I’ve just about settled on La Bella as my favorite string, but I still want to try some TIs and some Straight Ups at some point.
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  21. #61

    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    Hope not wrong to bump an old thread, but have just popped some TI M154 strings on my Eastman MD505 - initial impressions are WOW! Sound really sweet (in at least two senses of the word) so not immediately regretting the outlay. They replaced a set of Newtone strings.

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  23. #62
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    I liked the Mittels on several of my instruments but the extra cost of the wound A strings wasn't worth it for similar sound, feel and longevity with the D'Addario Flat Tops.

    Jamie
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  25. #63
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    "Hope not wrong to bump an old thread, but have just popped some TI M154 strings on my Eastman MD505..."

    There are so many threads on TI strings here that I don't think you need to worry about that.

    I have used TI's on every mandolin I have owned, including an F12 and a R. L. Givens A6. In some cases, the D'Addarios were the clear winners -- as on the F12 and on my oval-hole Eastman 314. I picked up an Eastman 915 about six months ago and wore out a couple of sets of D'Addarios, wanting to give them a thorough "road test." I found, to my wallet's disappointment, that the TIs were the clear winner -- the woody, rich tone, most notable on the G and D strings, was an unmistakable improvement (to my ears).

    That being said, I seldom play in a "bluegrass environment," and I seldom have to "compete" with a dobro or banjo. The D'Addarios do seem to cut through a bit better in those situations.

  26. #64

    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    Well, at least itís not another thread added to the mix 😁
    Iím a home player, and folkie/Celtic tunes, so I think flattops might actually be perfect for me. Will be interested to see what their lifespan is like - the Newtones werenít holding tune, which prompted this test (they had been on a bit too long).

    Will add the DíAddadarios to the list for when these swap out for comparison- thanks Jamie.

  27. #65
    Registered User meow-n-dolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by danjec View Post
    Well, at least it’s not another thread added to the mix ��
    I’m a home player, and folkie/Celtic tunes, so I think flattops might actually be perfect for me. Will be interested to see what their lifespan is like - the Newtones weren’t holding tune, which prompted this test (they had been on a bit too long).

    Will add the D’Addadarios to the list for when these swap out for comparison- thanks Jamie.
    The TIs should last you the better part of a year, depending on the particulars, of course. A set of D'Addarios might might last me two months. The TIs "seem" to stay in tune better, as well, though I have never really put that "feeling" to a proper "test."

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  29. #66
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    Have TI Stark on the Coombe and D'Addario FW on the Strad-O-Lin. Obviously different instruments. Will still compare them. The D'Addario are not as flexible as the TI, and obviously don't have the silk wrapping. The latter is nice as it gives the strings more grip on the tuner post and makes it less likely to slip, IMO. I think the TI are a bit more full sounding. But not enough to get worried about. And wouldn't hesitate to put D'Addario on the Coombe.

    As for longevity, don't know. One friend has had the same set of D'Addario flatwound on his Clark mandolin for a number of years. So they can last, too. Will hopefully report back when it's time to change strings on either of these instruments.
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  31. #67
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    I've had TI Starks on my F4 copy for the better part of 18 months. They're just perfect on it.

    I just changed them, and as I didn't have any Starks laying around I used a GHS Silk & Bronze set. They're good - less full, less complex, but something of the woody character appeared with these. I'm enjoying the difference, but I know with my acidic sweat, these will be dead in a few weeks, and then back to TIs.

  32. #68
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    I swapped to TI Starks on my Nouveau a few months back, and have been greatly enjoying the sound and feel. They're quieter than D'Addario PB for sure, but the tone is worth the slight drop in volume. I play with an upright bassist, guitarist, singer, keyboardist, and fiddler and have no trouble cutting through them and projecting. Our fiddler and guitarist both commented on how much nicer the TI Starks are to play, as well as how much better they sound. Highly recommended!
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  33. #69
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    I've used T-I's a lot. Starks for arch-top and Mediums for flat-top. If you find the gauges, you'll see that the Starks are less gauge than the J-74's.

    I'm still seeking the answer for my octave mandolin (21-in scale). The mandolin set are long enough, but it seems you'd have to monkey with the wrapping?

    I've tried to write to T-I, my no return to date.

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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    I haven't tried the TIs yet, but if the flat top mandolin I'm building is a success, it might get a set. I've got Galli flatwounds on the old Harmony I'm playing most at the moment, which are sold as electric mandolin strings but actually work well acoustically.

  35. #71
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    I love the Thomastiks and use them on all my mandolins for 35 years now. Much better than other flat-wounds - less buzzing and crackling, strong balanced sound, keep for a long time and even bring back to life old so-so instruments.

  36. #72
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    I posted this on a separate thread - but then realized it might be more helpful to others to include it in this long-standing thread:

    "I recently put TI flat wound guitar strings on my Burgin 23" scale Shanghai octave mandolin (.012, .024, .033, .044). I use TI's on my Lyon & Healy, for which they are perfect, and I was curious (although hesitant) about them for my OM. It was a fortunate experiment because they are SUPERB.
    There have been lots of threads about TI's on standard size mandolins, but I haven't seen much regarding OM's. Folks seem to love them or hate them. I play only classical music, no Bluegrass, and for that purpose and my taste these TI's are tremendous. They are called Plectrums and the product number is AC112. Bit pricey because you have to buy two sets to get the string pairs - but like other TI's I suspect they will last 3-4 times longer than most traditional round wounds."

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  37. #73
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    Tim: I wonder if the mandola set that TI makes would give you those same gauges. The confusing part is the nomenclature for mandola in Europe vs. North America. Generally mandolas over there are tuned as our OMs. TI makes strings for both tunings but you may have to check. Their octave tuned set might be for a shorter scale—I am it sure. You could write to them to see what they recommend.

    I just checked and the scale length the make their mandola strings is 17.75”. Heavier gauge than what you are using.

    Actually I just checked here and they describe these as being flatwound bronze which is interesting. Are the mandolin strings bronze?

    http://www.juststrings.com/toi-ac112.html
    Last edited by Jim Garber; Nov-16-2021 at 8:30am.
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  39. #74
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    Jim, there are perhaps other TI strings that might work - but I have had no luck trying to get TI to respond to my inquiries. A double set of TI AC112 guitar strings totals to $52 which is about the same as the TI mittels cost for my L&H. The guitar strings are plentiful, easy to locate, and will last longer than standard rounds. But most importantly I REALLY, REALLY love how these sound and feel. I couldn't be more pleased with them - so at this point my search is over. Again though , a caveat to any who are scratching their head over TI's: they have their own unique sound which many have found they do not like. Experimenters will likely either love them or hate them!

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  41. #75
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    Default Re: Thomastik-Infeld Strings

    As I mentioned last year in this thread, I tried TI Starks on my mandolin in the early years I started playing it, but eventually found I needed more "bite" to be heard in bands and Irish trad sessions. So I settled on GHS Silk and Bronze mediums. I always said that if I played alone at home I'd probably go back to TI strings.

    That's not quite the situation yet, but I've been moving most of my faster Irish dance tune repertoire onto "Irish" flute, and slower tunes I only play at home are moving more to the octave mandolin these days. I still bring the mandolin to sessions but it's more of a backup for tunes I haven't transferred to flute, or tunes that makes heavy use of the fiddle G string (can't get that on the flute).

    So... I decided to take the leap and try TI Starks on my mandolin again.

    Egad! The price is so much higher now, and they weren't cheap before. Anyway, I put 'em on a couple days ago. The finger feel is very nice like I remembered. The volume loss was noticeable at first, and they sounded a bit too tubby (for lack of a better word). But it wasn't the strings it was the setup. I raised the bridge a little for higher action and the strings suddenly came alive with decent volume and a nice warm tone. The strings needed a little more room to move than the stiffer GHS mediums.

    I'll still have to answer two questions before going to these full time. First, how long can they last before a string change? I'm very picky about intonation, and intonation always goes out with fret wear and stretching, usually before you hear the strings go too dull in tone. I change my GHS Silk and Bronze strings about once a month. If I can get three months out of these TI's before changing strings, I *think* I could probably afford $57 every time, but we'll see.

    The second question is whether they can still be heard in a small to medium sized Irish trad session, or do I really need a brighter string like the GHS Silk and Bronze set? The acid test will be tomorrow at a session in a local brew pub, where there will be one set of Scottish smallpipes, one whistle, a guitar, and probably 5 or 6 fiddles. If I can at least hear myself and manage to lead off a set, I'll call that a success.

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