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Thread: Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

  1. #1

    Default Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

    Howdy everyone,
    So I'm wondering what brand of strings you all use that seem to last the longest. I have a struggle with my strings wearing out very fast. I can literally wear out a set of strings in a matter of hours because I sweat so bad when I play. I have been trying to use D'Addario phosphor bronze mediums but they literally last me about a day and then they are ruined. The G and D strings wear out more quickly than the A and E strings do. They loose all their pop very quickly. I have a Northfield F5S that is a hoss so it's definitely not the mandolin. It sounds great right after new strings are put on it. Does anyone else struggle with sweaty hands and if so, what strings do you use and how do you mitigate the problem?? I'm desperate for any suggestions to relieve this issue. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

    Monel is an alloy that doesn't rust like phosphor bronze, so you might give that a try. Stainless steel might be worth a shot also.
    Mitch Russell

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

    Also the Pure Nickel from GHS will not corrode like phosphor bronze.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

    Something I can weigh in on! I have the same problem. I can wreck a set of strings in the time it takes to play a couple fiddle tunes if I'm not careful. I've used coated strings, and they seem to last longer, but the tone is different, too.

    Ultimately, I've found that I just have to be hyper-vigilant about cleaning my strings after I play. I keep a small vial of rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth in my case, and wipe the strings down before I put the mando away. Make sure you also wipe under the strings to get the crud off the bottom. If that stuff sits there it'll murder the strings. Seems to help them last, but if I forget this process even once, they die.

    It's partly that, and I've also just had to become pretty good at dragging tone out of semi-dead strings. Sometimes I just accept that it's part of my tone and work to overcome it with right-hand technique.

    Anyway, my sympathies. The curse of the acid sweat is not an easy one to overcome!

    By the way, I usually just use regular old J74s and fight the good fight as best I can.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

    Thomastiks.

  6. #6
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

    Any coated string should work fine, provided that you regularly clean them. Even the D'Addario phosphor bonze ones -- getting the coated versions, that is (EXP, XS, or XT). Or Monel, if you like the sound of these (I'm not a big fan). Or nickel (GHS) or nickel-bronze (D'Addario) can work. And yes, Thomastik Starks will also tend to corrode less, but they cost a small fortune. But regular string cleaning is the real answer.

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  8. #7
    🎶 Play Pretty 🎶 Greg Connor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

    Yes, as mentioned above. Coated strings like Elixers might help. They are also expensive and, as mentioned above, they sound different. Maybe the solution is to buy a motorized string winder and buy your strings in bulk.

    I use a motorized string winder on my 5 mandolins and countless guitars & banjos. It’s the only way to keep my sanity.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

    I’d recommend coated strings like elixir or maybe the new daddario coated strings might be worth a try, it’s just my 2 cents but I hope it helps.
    -Ross

  10. #9
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

    Non Ferrous, Bronze + O2 'oxidizing' etc. is corrosion , only Iron & steel "Rust"..

    High nickel alloys like monel are corrosion resistant wrapped around a steel core wire ,

    it will still Rust, though the winding wont..


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  11. #10

    Default Re: Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

    The coating keeps the sweat and grime from going through the windings on the wound strings and helps some with the plain strings. Here in Florida it is a real issue, with the salt air and outdoor gigs. I have had the best luck with Thomastiks, though the Elixirs are pretty good. Currently using Curt Mangan Monels and they are holding up. Just got rained out of an outdoor festival gig yesterday. Just having the instrument on the stand outdoors in Florida is a level of exposure that eats strings.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

    Mapes is a string maker in Tennessee. They make OEM strings for Steinway, Bösendorfer and many others. They are probably the suppliers for many other string makers who relabel as their own brand. Their mandolin strings are coated, though they won’t say with what. These are the best, longest lasting strings I’ve ever used. They beat the pants off all the usual suspects. And you can order custom gauges at no extra cost, they’re cheaper at $6 per set than all other premium strings and the customer service and shipping are excellent. NFI.

    https://www.mapesstrings.com/product/mandolin-strings/
    Last edited by Brian B; Apr-13-2021 at 9:09pm.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Need Help with String Choice for Sweaty Hands

    I once had that issue as ateen
    Wash hands.
    Coated strings
    Flatwounds or tape wounds.
    Frequent string changes.
    Wipe strings after playing.

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