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9/9/2007

New strings, same evil tailpiece

I’m testing out some new mandolin strings made by a Canadian company called Fire Wire. I strung up my resonator mandolin with them for a two-set show tonight.

The wound strings are a little darker than the nickel strings I’m presently using. The gauges run from .010 to .036. I sometimes like to use a slightly gauges on the wound strings (.026 and .038), but that’s not that big a deal.

The strings settled in very quickly. Like DR’s, the Fire Wire strings are ‘pre-stretched’, so they stay in tune well right out of the package. They have a reputation for long life, though I won’t be able to verify that immediately, obviously.

So far, I’ve had none of the freaky problems I was having with Ernie Ball strings.

I still haven’t done anything to replace the tailpiece on my mandolin. My initial impression of it is that it was designed by sadists. After using the mando for the better part of eight months, and restringing it many times, I’ve found nothing to contradict that. It’s a brutal design. See my earlier post for more info. I’ve been using a cheap paperclip to hold the loop end on while I bring the string to tension, and that’s helped somewhat. I think the ideal solution is to buy a large quantity of cheap rubber washers with a very small inner hole and slide those over each of the pegs.

More mandoblog posts:
The Mandoblog