An errant New Year’s resolution beckons. Caught up with hobbies as a gentleman plumber, waiting for varnish to cure with the luthier practice, my attention turns to dead strings of forgotten manufacture on Hugh’s mandolin.
Nine long months since refurbishment, these strings have since lost their zing. Yes, the mando still plays wonderfully, resonance issues unnoticed or politely ignored. The pairs of wound G & D strings especially call for help. Since borrowing this Collings, along with further research into violin and viola strings, my shop now installs D’Addario strings exclusively.
Pete’s bouzouki has them. My Guild D4 and Hugh’s Santa Cruz wear the Bluegrass EJ19, light tops and medium bottoms. D’Addario’s Orchestral String Social Media Specialist was instrumental 🙂 at a critical juncture, after we received a mini-viola which required Extra-Small scale length strings.
This mandolin is now back to factory specification, wearing new EJ74 strings as originally installed by Collings. Highs are brighter and resonate longer, more sweetly. Lows power their vibration through the flame maple back, into my ample belly. Wow, hard to figure why I waited so long to replace my strings!
D’Addario goes way back to the Old Country in the Italian province of Pescara. There you’ll find a baptismal form filled out by Donato D’Addario in 1680, his occupation stated simply “cordaro” – the Italian word for “string maker.” ∆ In the early 20th century, the family began making strings in America. The rest is their modern history. The entire D’Addario Brand History cannot be condensed; I invite you to their website to read the entire story!