String gauge calculator

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Re: String gauge calculator

Post by Wonks »

What about making a set from single loop-ended banjo strings?

https://www.eaglemusicshop.com/prod/ban ... le-Strings

You could make a set of those up up for around £11. More than a single set of octave mandolin strings, but if you stray away from the normal tunings you do end up paying more for custom selections.
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Re: String gauge calculator

Post by shufflebeat »

Wonks wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:32 pm I'd suggest a set of 10, 13, 17 and 26w, which should give you a pretty much equal 12lbs tension per string. Not too much, but still enough snap for plectrum picking. That's pretty much the top 4 strings from an electric set of 10s.

I've got a 22" scale tenor guitar with a 0.010" E4. The 2nd fret is roughly at 20", and dropping that string down a tone the tension still feels OK and not too floppy.

However, with my selection you may find it hard to find wound 3rds.

If you didn't need loop ended strings, it would be fairly easy to make up a set from guitar strings.

String calc

F4 - 15 kg - 0.010 - 2@ £1.10
C4 - 15 kg - 0.014 - 2@ £1.10
G3 - 15 kg - 0.020 - 2@ £1.50
C3 - 15 kg - 0.030 - 2@ £1.75

Total - £10.90

These are the numbers I'll be going with when I next go trialling, based on previous experience and a few minutes with the abacus.

The mandola takes ball ends so regular strings are fine. In the past I used a mag pickup which necessitated the use of nickel strings. When I swapped to an SBT (K&K Twin Spot) I took the opportunity to move to phosphor bronze but found them to be not so nice so I'll be going back to the nickels for now which I think will suit the K&K - more note, less thump.
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Re: String gauge calculator

Post by Sam Spoons »

BigRedX wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:48 pm
Wonks wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:32 pmIf you didn't need loop ended strings, it would be fairly easy to make up a set from guitar strings.

I've always made loop-ended strings by twisting the end of the string to release the "ball".

I believe it's easy to remove the 'balls' from ball ended strings by placing the ball on a hard surface and giving it a sharp crack with a hammer. If done right that breaks it in two through the groove and, thus, you don't have to disturb the twist lock. Haven't tried it for years but will go and dig out a couple of old strings to remind myself which orientation to place the ball.
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Re: String gauge calculator

Post by Wonks »

Could you make a video of you placing your balls on a hard surface and giving them a sharp blow with a big hammer? It could be quite entertaining, if rather eye watering.
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Re: String gauge calculator

Post by Sam Spoons »

:bouncy::bouncy::bouncy:

I'll let you know...

BTW I believe there are certain ladies who will accommodate such prediliciions for a small consideration...
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Re: String gauge calculator

Post by shufflebeat »

Have we changed the subject?

Just checkin'.
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Re: String gauge calculator

Post by shufflebeat »

I called to my local (almost) neighbourhood purveyor of strings, balled and ball-less (nice guys) and made up a set.

I did stumble a bit on the plain/wound question and needed to adapt my gauge selection towards the heavier end to include a wound C4. This was to maintain some tonal balance on the assumption that a plain C4 would protrude, sonically speaking, but as 0.018 was the finest wound available I needed to nudge the others a little heavier to maintain the differences

I'll be sticking them on tonight and will report back in case anyone is interested.

Carry on hammering your balls.

[Edit]

Do not Google "light wound" "G string"!
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Re: String gauge calculator

Post by shufflebeat »

I've just spent a very pleasant hour twiddling tunes and sweeping a few chords to sing along to (Song to the Siren, She Moved Through The Fair).

The mandola (for the record, I call it Nelson) sounds exactly like it used to before I put the PBs on it. There's a lovely harmonious midrange and a twinkly top end that has recently sounded harsh until the PBs lost their freshness, then it just sounded dull.

I'm looking forward to sparking up an amp in the cold light of day and hearing how these strings balance through the pickup but acoustically they sound perfect.

There is a tiny bit of something clashing because the saddle is so near the bridge pin holes the winding on one of the strings encroaches onto the back of the saddle but I can live with that for now.

There was a hint of Clang on first twiddle but either that has settled down or my ears are becoming accustomed to it, either way it's not bothering me now.

Thanks all for the chat, nonsense and wisdom.

I ended up with D'Addario:

10p x2
18w x2
24w x2
34w x2
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Re: String gauge calculator

Post by Wonks »

That’s good to hear, plus Sam Spoons can now be the lead singer in the Yes tribute band he’s always aspired to. A great result all round!
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Re: String gauge calculator

Post by Sam Spoons »

Wonks wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 9:17 am That’s good to hear,

Yes indeed

plus Sam Spoons can now be the lead singer in the Yes tribute band he’s always aspired to. A great result all round!

I'm not sure even repeated percussive engineering of my remaining... err, one veg... would result in my achieving such a feat...
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Re: String gauge calculator

Post by Wonks »

Looks like we’re going to need a bigger hammer….
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Re: String gauge calculator

Post by Sam Spoons »

:bouncy::bouncy::bouncy:
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