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Thread: Mandola Flatwounds for Eastman MDA315

  1. #1

    Default Mandola Flatwounds for Eastman MDA315


    I am looking for the right set of flatwounds for my new Eastman MDA315 Mandola. It has a scale length of 406 mm or 16'', and is tuned CGDA.

    It seems like a lot of people use Thomastik 174w, but others report, that these are not long enough for certain mandolas.

    1) Anyone who can confirm, that the 174w will indeed fit the Eastman?

    2) The mandola is going to be used for jazz mainly. Has anybody gone with a flatwound A-string on their mandola?

    3) Does the MDA315 tailpiece accommodate ball-end strings?
    Last edited by BessieM; Oct-06-2021 at 4:18am.

  2. #2
    Registered User Eldon Dennis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Sequim, WA

    Default Re: Mandola Flatwounds for Eastman MDA315

    I know you're seeking flat wounds, but I found that (D'Addario EFT76 Flat Tops Mandola Strings Medium 16-53) sounded very good on my Collings MT mandolin. They might be an alternative if you can't find flat wounds. I ordered them from "Strings and Beyond".
    1992 Flatiron F5 Master model
    2009 Weber A model Fern
    2011 Collings MT mandola
    1985 Flatiron 2M

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mandola Flatwounds for Eastman MDA315

    I recently got a set of TI mandola flats but haven’t put them on yet and they are currently 1000 miles from me so I can’t check the lengths. But I did notice that the TI mandolin flats are the exact length required and no longer (with binding on each end.)

    As for the wound A, they are wrapped exceedingly fine; even after I had played them a few days I didn’t realize that was a wound A until I ran my fingernail along it.

    Eastmans are conventionally specced instruments and with a 16” scale there’s no way they won’t fit—if they won’t fit that, they won’t fit any mandola, which ain’t a good look for $90Cdn strings.

    No it won’t take ball-ends. If you have them, you must carefully crush each one by grabbing the side of it with small pliers. Presto—loop ends. Better: don’t get ball-ends.

    I very much like the TI’s but they are a high end habit and you need spares. The first set I got, none broke in 11 months (too long by about 5 months); when I changed them, I broke an E two days later.

    You might start with dAddario flats, at 1/3 the cost of the TI’s they are good value. If you like them you will really like the TI’s. They last longer.
    2009 Eastman 505
    2011 Collings MTO GT
    2008 Toyota Sienna
    Stihl MS261C

    Mandoline or Mandolin: Similar to the lute, but much less artistically valuable....for people who wish to play simple music without much trouble —The Oxford Companion to Music

  4. #4
    Registered User Sevelos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Tel Aviv, Israel

    Default Re: Mandola Flatwounds for Eastman MDA315

    The 174's are long enough for my 17" mandola, so there should not be a problem to put them on yours.

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