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  #16  
Old 05-14-2024, 01:32 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Originally Posted by KarenB View Post
How easy is it get strings for these instruments? Do you need do mail order?
It’s a rare music shop in the US that carries CBOM strings.

My 10 stringers came with cast Allen tailpieces that accept ball or loop end strings. I buy single guitar strings for the E’s and octave pairs (like a 12 string - one “normal” string and one an octave higher).

I’ve found I really like Curt Mangan’s mandola and light mandocello strings (these come loop end) as is traditional. Of course these have only 8 strings, so I buy single plain steel .010” strings for the E’s.

Curt Mangan octave mandolin strings sound very good to me. My F4 Cricket Fiddle OM tailpiece only takes ball end strings though, so I buy single guitar strings.
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  #17  
Old 05-14-2024, 02:14 PM
Maryc-k Maryc-k is offline
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Curt Mangan and other strings dealers sell single strings. You can select the gauges that you need and or prefer.

As for builders in the US, Lyn Hardy who is in Woodstock (formerly married to Jay Unger the fiddler) New York has made guitar bodied octaves, etc. and is also a phenomenal repair person. I have owned citterns (including a Sobell or two) and octaves, as well as bozoukis from a variety of makers. Some are more expensive than others. The Eastman 305 octave is a great place to start you "big mandolin" adventure. Look around. You can find them used sometimes.
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  #18  
Old 05-14-2024, 03:13 PM
PineMarten PineMarten is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenB View Post
How easy is it get strings for these instruments? Do you need do mail order?
I've generally ordered custom sets online. In the UK there's Newtone and Eagle Music who are used to doing custom gauge sets for folk instruments. Mine has a ball end tailpiece which can help with finding stock of the gauges I need (I have a 0.060" on the bottom, which not everyone carries)
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  #19  
Old 05-14-2024, 04:05 PM
JCook1 JCook1 is offline
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D'Addario makes octave mandolin string sets, and I get them from Strings By Mail.

jack
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  #20  
Old 05-15-2024, 11:37 AM
Melt in the Sun Melt in the Sun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenB View Post
How easy is it get strings for these instruments? Do you need do mail order?
I also have a couple GBOMs, a northfield archtop and a KR strings octolindo (selling this one soon). I play it more than any other instrument, though it is sometime awkward to fit into a group. I'm getting better at using it, but you can't really play it like a guitar or like a mandolin...it's kind of its own thing.

For strings, yes mail order is the way to go. Pre-packaged sets will be very limited, so I've taken to ordering single strings from stringsbymail. You can try different string materials, flatwounds, coated strings, etc. this way.

Depending on what kind of tailpiece you have, you might need to cut out the string balls (http://frets.com/FretsPages/Musician...ops/loops.html). I have done this probably 100 times over the last year and haven't nicked a loop yet.
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  #21  
Old 05-15-2024, 12:46 PM
catt catt is offline
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Those little "ball ends" are easily crushed with small pliers.
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  #22  
Old 05-15-2024, 02:25 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenB View Post
How easy is it get strings for these instruments? Do you need do mail order?
Probably need to order from a string specialist.
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  #23  
Old 05-15-2024, 03:05 PM
Maryc-k Maryc-k is offline
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Many octave mandolins use ball end strings (like the ones used on acoustic guitars). Northfield actually sells strings for their octaves.
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  #24  
Old 05-16-2024, 11:49 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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I bought an old Hofner archtop and had it converted to an octave mandolin.
25" scale was just a little long for comfort but the sound was fantastic.

Tuned just like a standard mando and using standard mando strings (11-40).

I finally put it on ebay and it sold very quickly!

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  #25  
Old 05-16-2024, 12:01 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Another good source for CBOM strings is Martin at emando.
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  #26  
Old 05-16-2024, 09:00 PM
Pine Cone Pine Cone is offline
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Last July I bought an Eastman MDO305E-SB octave mandolin from The Acoustic Shoppe and I really like it. Great tone, loud and long sustain if you want it, came with a K&K pickup which sounds great plugged in.

I have been performing a few songs with mine since January. Mostly I play guitar and banjo, but I love singing while playing the octave mandolin. Yesterday I was jamming with some old friends in Washington and their reaction to my octave mandolin was very positive.

I now live in eastern Idaho where music store options are limited. I buy strings online for other instruments so I just add some octave mandolin strings to my order.

Octave mandolin scale lengths are shorter than most guitars and banjos. As long as you don't want to play bluegrass mandolin chop chords the scale length should not be an issue on the OM.
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