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Thread: Narrowing my string search....

  1. #1
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    Default Narrowing my string search....

    Iíve been searching the archives here, YouTube videos, music store websites, and Iím still wondering a couple of things...
    Itís still not easy to go into our local music store and learn much in these times, so Iíve been trying to search myself.

    Any day now, I should be getting my oval hole. (Man, itís been a tough wail lol) and I am wondering about strings. I do know that they donít cost a ton, and the best thing to do is to buy a bunch and try them out, but Iím just looking for a little more specific detail, to narrow things a little further.

    I believe, based on as many reviews, opinions, threads I have been able to find, that Iíve narrowed down to GHS Pure Nickel, DíAddario Nickel Bronze, or Curt Mangan Monels.

    A side note about me... I whipped cancer (Praise the Lord) but it has left itís mark on me. I played a little mandolin before, and a lot of banjo, and never battled my fingertips so much as I do now. I still have some neuropathy from the chemo, so I guess thatís why.

    So, what Iím wondering is, what are the physical properties of these 3 strings like? I have seen some pics, randomly, of some mandolins with all 8 strings looking smooth and gray. Is that the Monels, Nickels, both?

    Thatís what I am looking for. I like the ďfeelĒ of the GHS silk, and not sure which of the 3 would feel similar....

    From what I gather,I believe either of these would sound great on an oval hole. You can voice an opinion about that as well

    I primarily play solo, all types of music. Thank you all for your time in advance..

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    you can have a look at Straight Up also, low tension and the medium set is nice gauges https://straightupstrings.com/pages/...s-for-mandolin

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    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    the nice thing about Thomastik strings is they last forever.

    The bad think is that they are expensive.

    That said, you may like them?

    f-d
    °papŠ gordo ainít no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    I use the GHS pure nickel 11-41 on one mandolin and 11-39 on another and I can't tell the difference. I have my action set very low. Heavier strings can have lower action and actually play quite easily. You will need a good set up tho. Otherwise maybe a 10-36 go start as they would have less tension.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    What are the properties of the 3? Are nickel and Monel strings all gray/silver?
    Are they smooth, like electric guitar strings, or do they still fell like phosphor bronze?

  6. #6
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    I can’t answer your last question, but I can recommend GHS Silk and Bronze. I used them for years, then started a search for strings I might like better. So far, I haven’t found them.

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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    I gotten hooked on Elixir Nano Web medium gauge. They sound good and seem to last a long time.

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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    Quote Originally Posted by Medley12 View Post
    What are the properties of the 3? Are nickel and Monel strings all gray/silver?
    Are they smooth, like electric guitar strings, or do they still fell like phosphor bronze?
    No they are not smooth like electric strings, they are like phosphor bronze, except a different alloy.

    I used to use silk and bronze for a long time too, but now use the pure nickel.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    So, itís sounds like silk are the only ďsmoothĒ stings out there? Thank you everybody for helping....

  10. #10
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    umm, no?

    Thomastik strings are smooth as silk and the A set is flat wound as well. A set of their heavy gauge strings is less than typical mediums and their mediums are like lights.

    I have no bones about silk and anything. But if you want smooth strings, give Thomastik's a go. They are expensive; however.
    °papŠ gordo ainít no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  11. #11

    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    I found Thomastik strings a bit quiet compared to standard round wound.

    Dave H
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    2001 Paul Shippey oval hole

  12. #12

    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    Medley, Congratulations on beating cancer!!!

    None of the three strings you mentioned are going to feel like silk and steel strings. To spare your fingertips, you want lower tension (light gauge?) and smooth wound. Considering your needs, Fatt Dad's advice is the best. Thomastic strings will cost you 3x as much up front but will last at least a year. Most importantly, they will be the most comfortable of any string on your fingertips. Play in good health- RB

  13. #13
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    I personally don’t like Thomastiks on my Gibson A but do use them on my Lyon & Healy. I am a fan of NB mediums on all my other carved mandolins. Prior to that I liked Gibson Sam Bush Monels (Now discontinued) but actually like the warmth of the NB better. I also tried pure nickels but they were a little too pure. In any case before all those I used PBs and prefer NBs over those. Physically they all feel the same but I am talking tone.
    Jim

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    Registered User LKN2MYIS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    I'm a recent convert to 'Straight Up Strings'. Can't say enough about them.
    VERY balanced to my ear, which is what I am looking for. Full and not overly bright.
    John
    Long Island, New York

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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    Thanks to everybody, especially Rob Roy. You just saved me a lot of time, money, and aggravation. I was just going to order all of them, and go through the process. Turns out, none of them would have worked.

    So, it sounds like I need either Silk and Steel, Silk and Bronze, or Thomastiks. Not necessarily a bad thing, it is what it is. I need to focus in that direction...

    I am going to go start browsing the archives about these.... Iíll check back here

  16. #16
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    Exclamation Re: Narrowing my string search....

    2 kinds of 'smooth' strings flat ribbon wound, and round wound, ground flat, Aka 'half round' ...

    silk and steel are still round wound, but using a silver coated copper winding

    same winding wire is on the 3 wound strings of classical guitar string sets ,,

    just core wire is steel rather than nylon ..




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    Default Re: Narrowing my string search....

    Quote Originally Posted by Medley12 View Post
    Thanks to everybody, especially Rob Roy. You just saved me a lot of time, money, and aggravation. I was just going to order all of them, and go through the process. Turns out, none of them would have worked.

    So, it sounds like I need either Silk and Steel, Silk and Bronze, or Thomastiks. Not necessarily a bad thing, it is what it is. I need to focus in that direction...

    I am going to go start browsing the archives about these.... I’ll check back here
    Silk and Bronze has way more tension than silk and steel. It is like phosphor bronze in tension. I would think about 10-36 gauge if you want lower tension and don't like the sound of silk and steel, and I don't.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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