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Thread: How Long do your J74Strings last?

  1. #1

    Default How Long do your J74Strings last?

    Just curious,

    I recently bought a new mandolin and have had it for a month. Sounded great! A and E strings sounded dead the last couple of days. Put a new set of J74ís on and back to normal. Been playing a couple hours a day for the last month. Is it normal to ware out strings in my time frame? Just curious.

    Thanks, Doug

  2. #2
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    It all really depends on so many things, how often and hard you play, how you play, your skin chemistry, your mandolin's set up, etc.

    My EJ74s last about three or four months with daily playing. By hard I mean not quietly or gently. Musical hard, perhaps, not maniacally hard.

    But that is me.

    My rule is to change the strings as soon as I suspect I need to change the strings, or four months, which ever comes first.
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    I use J74s as well and go through a set every two weeks when I am playing a lot. The exps last longer but do not sound or feel as good to me so I change a lot of strings. You will get to where you can do it very quickly.
    It doesn't matter . . . I'm going to WINFIELD!!!!!

  4. #4
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    I do string changes every three months (four times per year) or sooner if need be, which isn't often. I like the sound of broken in strings though.

  5. #5
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    I just refretted my mandolin. I wanted to make new nut and some other adjustments to bridge, so I decided to put back the old strings (I'm certain they are j-74s) so I won't have to loosen new strings repeatedly for nut slotting (I like to cut slow and try out depth tuning up to pitch few times till I get it where I want it). I wiped the old strings with naphtha and WD40 and when I was finished I just left them on as they still sound good and intonate properly. I remember I haven't changed strings on the mandolin since my first son was born (he's 12) and probably they were on a few years before that... I admit I don't play too much, perhaps one hour a week since kids came, and my sweat doesn't seem to cause corrosion at all. The D and G strings have flat spots at fret positions so I made sure I restrung the strings exactly like they were before so the flat spots are facing the frets again.
    Adrian

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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    Yeah ... I'd say quarterly on the mandolin I usually play. Once a year on several others. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  7. #7

    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    I change every three months. I play about an hour a day.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    I'd say at 2 hours a day you got your money's worth.

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  10. #9
    Registered User mandolin breeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    My experience is 2 - 3 hrs/day you get a good month. Cleaning helps a lot I think. But let's be honest, that beautiful ring and tone from a fresh set ain't lasting that long. At some point, it's slowly downhill until you decide to get off . . . hopefully before you have flat spots on the D & G

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  12. #10
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    It really depends upon your individual body chemistry.

    I get about a month of great tone from them & then it very gradually goes downhill for the next three months. I regularly get shop visitors who will destroy a set in 10 minutes. Dead. Toneless. Almost blackened...always happens right after I put on a new set too. The old formula EXP strings with the very light coating worked pretty well for a reasonable price and definitely lasted longer. 'Never been a fan of the overly thick teflon coated elixer style strings or their price, but I don't need them.

    I had a student in the shop a few years back. We were carving mandolin tops. After about an hour and a half, every one of my very expensive hand and finger planes that had shined for years were almost black with corrosion and it took me about a half day to polish it all off them. He lost his shop privileges....

  13. #11
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    It really depends upon your individual body chemistry.
    I had a student in the shop a few years back. We were carving mandolin tops. After about an hour and a half, every one of my very expensive hand and finger planes that had shined for years were almost black with corrosion and it took me about a half day to polish it all off them. He lost his shop privileges....
    I know one such guy. One tune and e/a strings go black. Amazing!
    I'm the lucky one and my sweat doesn't seem to do anything bad to strings. All I can hear/see is the change due to tension and mechanical wear against frets. I'm not very fnd of the ring of fresh strings so older set is OK with me. I wipe the strings with Fast fret or WD40 once in a while and that refreshens them and removes any dust/dirt. I can use the strings till I wear them through the windings.
    Adrian

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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    For me it depends on the brand ! Curt Mangan strings last the longest and sound the best on my mandolins. GHS A270's are very good also. As everyone stated above, it depends on many factors.
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Chu Dat Frawg Eric C.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    For me it depends on the brand ! Curt Mangan strings last the longest and sound the best on my mandolins. GHS A270's are very good also. As everyone stated above, it depends on many factors.
    Why would it depend on the brand when he is asking about J74 strings?

  16. #14
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    About 3-4 months for me, but I havenít been playing as much or as hard lately because no gigs since Early March. A couple of gigs playing hard for four sets can kill them.

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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    Iím blessed to have several instruments that I play, and, though I rotate through the them, all two mandolins and one guitar get the most play, and at least one of the mandos gets played daily. I change my EJ-74s every six-nine months or so since weíve not been playing in church due to COVID-19. Back then Iíd change every 3-4 months on average, but sooner if needed. But, I donít have the aforementioned corrosive body chemistry. My P-bass strings have been on for probably 7 years and still intimate/sound good.

    That said, when I get a new instrument and play it an hour or two a day for the honeymoon period, I usually change them 4-6 weeks in. A month isnít bad if youíre really wailing on it for 2 hours a day.

    Elixirs and EXP last longer, but do feel and sound differently, and monels seem to last longer for me as well...

  18. #16
    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    I change them (J74s) when they break, which is almost never, or when the G or D string where's through.
    I play 1/2-1 hour per day, I can go years before changing a string.
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    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    A month+ of 1-2 hr a day or two 3-4hr gigs. It seems to go that way no matter which brand of strings I use.

    My long time guitar/mando playing buddy can corrode strings in minutes, I always have to let him know which mando I need to re-string so he can play that one
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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  21. #18
    Registered User Aaron Bohnen's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    For me it depends on the brand ! Curt Mangan strings last the longest and sound the best on my mandolins. GHS A270's are very good also. As everyone stated above, it depends on many factors.
    I know this thread is about J74s, but I have to agree with the Curt Mangan strings' longevity, particularly the Monels.

    It's worth mentioning if anyone with corrosive body chemistry is looking for something that might last longer. For that matter the Monels sound good too, albeit different from J74s of course, but good in their own less-brassy way.

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Aaron Bohnen; Nov-20-2020 at 8:23pm.
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    Iíve gone a year at times!

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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    They last me for ages but it’s entirely a matter of opinion as to when you think your instrument would sound better with a new set.

  24. #21
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    If playing a lot, 2 to 3 months. Sometimes it will be up to a year. On my Gibson oval hole, I prefer a deader sounding string, so won't change until they look ugly or are hard to keep in tune. Not a fan of the sound when first put on, but after a few hours my ears adjust.

    Strange for the OP that it's the A and E strings going dead first. Many folks find the G and D to go dead first (or any wound string). Maybe buy some spare A and E strings, which are always good to have around anyway, and just switch them and see how the instrument sounds.

    FWIW I have changed J74 in about a month, but had a number of gigs and band practices during that time.
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  25. #22

    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    Quote Originally Posted by J Mangio View Post
    I change them (J74s) when they break, which is almost never, or when the G or D string where's through.
    I play 1/2-1 hour per day, I can go years before changing a string.
    But eventually they will all break right? Thought immediately of Dawg On A String


  26. #23
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    All of the above plus do you use your mandolin as a substitute snare drum for percussion?
    Last edited by Pittsburgh Bill; Nov-23-2020 at 1:17pm.
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  27. #24
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    I play a few hours a day and change monthly.They sound pretty dead by then.

  28. #25
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    Default Re: How Long do your J74Strings last?

    I play a lot and 2-4 weeks depending on how much guitar playing I’m doing. After I get the new ones up to tension and play a bit I’m happy that I took the time to change them out.
    It doesn't matter . . . I'm going to WINFIELD!!!!!

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