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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:02 am 
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Ok I am wanting to clarify somthing in my mind . Which , as you all know may take a while laughing6-hehe

Example : Lets say I have a Mandolin that has Top thickness of .115 and back thickness approx the same . Sides approx .110 .

I know there is a WORLD of other issues that come into play here , but for the sake of simplicity im wanting some basic directional advice .

IF I am thinking right duh The THICKER WOODS would respond better to med/ heavy strings , and the thinner you go the better it would respond to lighter weight strings .

Is this directional thinking correct ?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:25 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Maybe. This is where experience comes into play. Forget the sides. They just don't contribute much of anything to the tonal qualities of the instrument.
There is a point at which a given guage of strings drives the top perfectly, the tension is just right and the load on the top is perfect. Lighter strings will not drive the top and heavier will overload it. As a general principle you might say that thicker tops need heavier strings, thinner lighter.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:07 am 
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up to a point, yes you're right.

go too light and the strings won't drive anything, regardless of how light the top is. too heavy and the tension will collapse the instrument.

I made a octave mandolin with a 500mm scale.

regular mando gauge strings (11-40) just flopped and it sounded awful.

mandola strings (14 - 49) were SO much better and the instrument really came to life.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:17 pm 
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Koa
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To extend this discussion one more step, what thickness should a spruce top be for mando-cello strings.

My original top was 0.085" and it lasted less than three months. The replacement top will have X bracing, maple bridge-plate and thicker spruce.

I am joining the plates at 0.125" and any opinions would be appreciated. ( 0.085" is heavyis for ukuleles)

Bob idunno


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:57 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Bob, I'd be thinking in the .170-.180" range if it's a mandocello. My 12 string guitars are in that range and tuned down to B or C. We're talking some poundage of pull here not ukes with nylon strings...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:25 pm 
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Koa
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Haans:
Those thicknesses sound awfully heavy. Can you get some reasonable sound from something that thick?

Today I cut out the top in 0.125" sitka and decided to use X- bracing at 0.60X0.38". My bridge-plate will be 0.070 maple 2.5" wide. The bouzouki is 13.5" dia with maple back and sides.
If this one doesn't work I will have to do it your way.

Thank-you for the information. I should have asked for help sooner.

Bob :ugeek:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:46 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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My twelve strings are really FAT sounding. Strings are .070-.015...try that on yer Martin! laughing6-hehe
Mandocello strings are pretty hefty, and that's why I mentioned my 12's. My mandolas are around .062 on the bottom end (carved top), and while I haven't made a cello (don't feel like carving a dugout canoe), I can only imagine the strings on it!
Good luck at .125 and hope it works for you. [:Y:]


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