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September 20, 2005 | Electric Five-Strings
Electric Five-String Mando Options: String Selection
If you've recently acquired a Five String Mandolin, it won't be long you're going to be thinking about replacement strings. We are a very small market, so there really isn't much choice out there outside of custom sets.
This isn't a huge problem in that there is not a lot of consensus what is "standard" in gauging, so you might end up purchasing single electric guitar strings (assuming ball end) and making your own set.
However, there is a cheaper option. Consider starting out with a six-string pack of electric strings, throw away the G-string, and your going to come pretty close. At the "economy of scale" of a larger market (electric guitar players) and it is well worth throwing away one of the strings out of the six to come up with a decent compromise. (Your unwound strings are the cheapest ones, anyway, or you could use it to slice cheese...)
For example, our favorite solution is a set of JS-110 Thomastik Electric Guitar Flatwound:
.018w (throw away...)
Nice warm tone, dig the smooth flatwound feel. Good harmonic fundamental in the low side. Sounds great on our Mann Electric 5-string, but we tend to favor flatwounds on all our mandos, including the acoustics.
Head to the store and try your own. Want a beefier C string? No problem, move up in gauging on the whole set, or just buy a single. Either way, this will get you started toward the perfect string set-up for you!
Posted by Ted at September 20, 2005 2:26 PM
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