I am not sure how to determine a proper weight of strings to put on my mandolin.

I typically research such things, then include them on my own web site as a help to others who are seeking similar information.


However, even the manufacturer does not specify this. I play a cheap mando--a Oscar Schmidt OM10E, and have used light strings - .010 - .034. I recently purchased some strings that are .012-.040.  My concern is the pull. The OS mandolin is a less-expensive instrument than say and Eastman, but I don't know if the heavier strings will produce too much tension on the neck and result in eventual damage. Although I would love to hear the tone of these larger strings, I fear what they may do to the instrument.


Anyone have any good reliable information on stringing--relative to string weight?


Joe - "TheGuitarMedic"

Tags: light, mandolin, medium, size, string, strings, weight

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If you find someone that has the same mandolin and already did the test, you will know. If not, I think there's no way to guess if it will cause a problem or not. By the way, from what I've seen, most of the time cheap instrument seem to be a bit overbuilt, so I would do the test.
I guess considering the price I paid, and its laminated construction (also it does seem to be built like a tank) I may just do this. Thanks. Actually, immediately after I posted the thread, I cut open the heavier string pack. I do appreciate you taking time to respond.
You're welcome.
I like the the fuller sound of the heavier sets.I can't vouch for the ability of your instrument to withstand a little more pull but it's never been a prob for me.You may have to tweek slots a bit if they don't settle in well.I'd go for it!
I've got a nice Washburn F5 lookalike to unload!!.It has virtually no taptone but is true and the action and fretboard are great.A p.u. works well on it.
I have gone as high as 042 on bass ....
Yes, the fuller sound is what I'm after also. I play guitar in a worship band, and am wanting to integrate the mandolin into that, but need the fuller sound. I also have considered (I didn't mention this) that the mandolin has a lifetime warranty, and the manufacturers site has no caution about string weight, nor did any of the information that accompanied the mando when I bought it. I guess I can't really lose here.

However, I still think it would be good to have a resource on the internet to discuss this from a technical perspective. I may put a page ony site once I've researched it thoroughly. I am currently doing this research for guitars and guitar strings, but am not there yet. Thanks for your input.
The heavier strings are now on the mandolin. Thyy are a brand name, identified as light, and are .011-.016-.026-.040. The competitor--also a name brand, and also identified as light, is .010-.014-.024-.034. The heavier "light" strings are nickel-plated steel versus the lighter "light" strings which are 80/20 Bronze. I can't tell a huge difference but there is some.

Still...I'd like to have input from an expert on this. Thanks to those who responded.

Figure around 20 lbs of tension as a balance between playability and neck tension. Scale length around 14 inches.

Figures in the calculator are for phosphor bronze, most common on acoustic instruments.

Slight adjustment required for nickel wound, which are designed mainly for their electrical compatibility with the pickups, but which sound duller acoustically.

try Elexar strings on that and you will love them!!



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