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Thread: Question for flat top players

  1. #1
    Registered User Chris W.'s Avatar
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    Default Question for flat top players

    Hey. I recently acquired a Sawchyn Beavertail. I have light strings (.38-.10) on now with pretty low action. I would like to move up to a medium set (.40-.11). Any thoughts about that?
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    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    I like 80/20 bronze strings on oval hole mandolins. I used to run EXP77s (.11-.40) on my Parsons flat top. Despite it having massive X-braces, I did get a partial brace separation at one point after many years. After I got that re-glued, I switched to EJ62s (.10-.34). I think they are more playable, have better tone and volume. Heavier is not always better.

    If the question is will the Beavertail handle the heavier strings, you should ask Sawchyn. As far as whether you like them better, try them and see. But I doubt they will sound better. But that is ultimately up to your ear.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    Yep, ask Sawchyn. It really depends on how they are built. The old Gibson army navy's are notorious for top sinkage so light strings only, but the Beavertail is X braced so is different. Mine are light strings only. They may take medium for a while, but long term is risky.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    Pretty trivial differences between .40/.38, .10/.11. It’s a modern build by an experienced luthier. Personally I’d just try it. YMMV.
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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    J74s have 180.7 lbs of tension
    J73s have 155.8 lbs of tension

    My Waterloo mandolin was built for J74s. I’m having another flattop built at the moment and specifically requested it be built for medium strings. I’d touch base with Sawchyn and see what he says.

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    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    I've been very satisfied with the the volume, tone and playability of my flat-top Weber Aspen mandolin set up with light gauge .010 > .038 (per luthier recommendation). I use medium gauge .011 > .040 on my arch-top mandolins.. On my flat-top Flatiron 2M mandola I use use medium gauge octave mandolin strings (.012 > .046) which equate to a light set for a flat-top mandola when tuned CGDA. Conversely, I found my 90s flat-top Trinity College octave mandolin sounds and feels best with light gauge mandola strings (.014 > .049).
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    Registered User Brian560's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    Here is a thread that might help:
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...-light-strings

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    My Flat top is a Hodson D'jangolin, never felt a desire to put on thicker strings.
    like this: http://www.emando.com/builders_inactive/Hodson.htm
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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrity View Post
    Im having another flattop built at the moment and specifically requested it be built for medium strings.
    Well I for one am intrigued . . .
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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Well I for one am intrigued . . .
    Lawrence Nyberg is building be a "Celtic" flattop. 11.5" wide and 2.75" deep, flamed claro walnut with a cedar top. Definitely different from the rest of the stable. Looking forward to watching it come together.

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    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    I bought a Beavertail directly from Peter Sawchyn in June and it came with GHS A260 medium/light 11-16-24-38. I asked him if I were to go to mediums would I need to do anything and he said maybe a slight tweak to the truss rod. I've been happy with these strings so that's what I'll keep on them.

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  15. #12

    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    On all my Army Navy / pancake mandolins (JBouvier, Flatiron, Cripple Creek), I use GHS A240 Ultra Light strings (.009 .013 .020 .032). I play the full fretboard.

    Quote Originally Posted by robw95 View Post
    I bought a Beavertail directly from Peter lSawchyn in June and it came with GHS A260 medium/light 11-16-24-38. I asked him if I were to go to mediums would I need to do anything and he said maybe a slight tweak to the truss rod. I've been happy with these strings so that's what I'll keep on them.
    Interestingly, on all my mandolas (four Flatirons and a few others), I use almost the same string gauges (.011 .015 .024 .038) for CGDA tuning at the longer mandola scale length. After the initial low action set-up, it makes full chords and chord melody playing attainable all the way up even above the 12th fret.

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    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    Quote Originally Posted by robw95 View Post
    I bought a Beavertail directly from Peter Sawchyn in June and it came with GHS A260 medium/light 11-16-24-38. I asked him if I were to go to mediums would I need to do anything and he said maybe a slight tweak to the truss rod. I've been happy with these strings so that's what I'll keep on them.

    Rob
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    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    I used to have a Flatiron 1N. From what I read about that particular instrument, it was made for light strings, so I used the GHS light strings on it. Fast forward to now when I am in the process of my first build, using plans From Terry at Crystal Forrest mandolins to build a pancake mando of the same likeness and I am building it to use light strings... and by that, all I mean is that all the nut slots are cut to fit the sizing listed on the GHS package, I'm not sure how well or how NOT well the structure would handle medium gauge strings as that is outside of my knowledge base.

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    Default Re: Question for flat top players

    My flat tops, mandolin & mandolas alike (incl. Sawchyn) are all strung with Thomastiks; but what else is new? They should pay me for all my endorsements on here.

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