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Thread: flatwound strings for Gibson Mandobass

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    Default flatwound strings for Gibson Mandobass

    Hi
    Does anyone have experience with flatwound strings for a Gibson mandobass. I have a set of D'Addario's which are okay, but get a lot of squeak from the left hand.
    not sure where to start looking for flat wounds
    anyone tried double bass strings?
    thanks for any input
    Stefan

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    Default Re: flatwound strings for Gibson Mandobass

    I don't have any recommendations but would suggest that you use a string tension calculator if you are looking at different kinds of strings. F lat wound strings frequently are of a higher tension. Upright bass strings are very expensive.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: flatwound strings for Gibson Mandobass

    The main problem is the string length needed. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the scale length for a Gibson mandobass is 42" so using a set meant for an acoustic bass guitar would come up short. You may have to go with double bass strings. Looks like Supersensitive are the least expensive.
    Jim

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    Default Re: flatwound strings for Gibson Mandobass

    Hi Jim
    You are right, the scale length for the Gibson Mandobass is about 42,5 inches long. I think that double bass strings will be the way to go. Do you know whether there are differences between strings for mainly bowing (classical orchestra playing) vs plucking like a jazz bass?
    thanks

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: flatwound strings for Gibson Mandobass

    Yes, I believe so. These La Bella Supernil caught my eye: nylon wound on nylon core. Only one downside according a reviewer: "They take a long time to "stretch out" but they sound great and are friendly on the finger."

    I guess you switched from the consummate mandocellist as I recall to mandobass. I owned one years ago but the back kept splitting in the winter heating of my New York City apartment.
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    Default Re: flatwound strings for Gibson Mandobass

    Quote Originally Posted by mildini mandolini View Post
    Do you know whether there are differences between strings for mainly bowing (classical orchestra playing) vs plucking like a jazz bass?
    thanks
    There definitely are. Upright bass players discuss this all the time. I suggest you go to the website called Talkbass, go to the section for upright bass players (as distinguished from bass guitar), and search for some of the threads about strings. All upright bass strings can be bowed and played pizzicato, but some are better for one rather than the other. You can even just google "best upright best strings for pizzicato" and see what you find.
    Collings MT O
    Collings MF5 0
    Weber Gallatin Mandola
    Weber Bitterroot Mandola
    Weber Sage Octave

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    Default Re: flatwound strings for Gibson Mandobass

    cuck3 beat me to it. I would suggest joining and starting a thread to ask.
    As for the suggestion of Labella Supernil, like most nylon core strings, these are intended to give something of the experience of playing gut strings and may not be suitable. Didario Helicore are a decent range of strings at not too outrageous a price. I have them on my upright bass.

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    Default Re: flatwound strings for Gibson Mandobass

    Didario Helicore are a decent range of strings at not too outrageous a price. I have them on my upright bass.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the suggestion
    I looked at the D'Addario website for the Helicore's and saw that they seem to offer them only for the 3/4 scale and smaller. My mandobass is closer to the full scale (4/4 42.5 inches) what scale size is your bass?

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: flatwound strings for Gibson Mandobass

    Quote Originally Posted by mildini mandolini View Post
    I looked at the D'Addario website for the Helicore's and saw that they seem to offer them only for the 3/4 scale and smaller. My mandobass is closer to the full scale (4/4 42.5 inches) what scale size is your bass?
    Full Size basses are pretty rare and usually only played in classical orchestras. Most basses are 3/4 and have a scale close to the 42.5 of your mandobass. It is strange but 3/4 is the most common bass size.
    Jim

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    Default Re: flatwound strings for Gibson Mandobass

    Quote Originally Posted by mildini mandolini View Post
    Didario Helicore are a decent range of strings at not too outrageous a price. I have them on my upright bass.
    Thanks for the suggestion
    I looked at the D'Addario website for the Helicore's and saw that they seem to offer them only for the 3/4 scale and smaller. My mandobass is closer to the full scale (4/4 42.5 inches) what scale size is your bass?[/QUOTE]

    As Jim said 4/4basses are rare. Your scale length fits within the normal range for a 3/4 bass. My bass has a scale length of 41.5". I have way more than 1" of extra string wound on the pegs. I would try and get an idea of the total string length needed as the geometry of an upright is a bit different than a mandobass.

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