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String Gauge Question For The Baritone Folks

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I need to figure out string gauges for an electric mandocello I am planning on building.

This is 8 strings, in pairs.

The typical acoustic mandocello is around 25" scale, tuned CC GG DD AA, with the low C's a fourth below a guitar's E string, gauged .074, .048, .034, .022.

I want to use a 26.25" scale, with octave strings, instead of unison.

For those of you into the baritones, what gauge seems to work best for a low C ( or B ) around that scale length.

Also, for the higher strings, do you want less tension than the lows?


Edited by orgmorg
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I'd try a string tension calculator :



I know there's more out there if you look around - I think one of the string companies publish these numbers as well - Since you know the typical set up of a mandocello, you could figure out the tension numbers, and try and calculate something that would give you comparable numbers based on your new scale length.

I'm really intrigued by this project!


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Ya, I've been playing around with that first one quite a bit. :D

Acoustic instruments usually use higher tension than their electric counterparts, so I didn't want to just adjust the standard mandocello guages to a longer scale.

Before I posted this,I had read thru a bunch of posts here about electric baritones, and there were a lot of different preferences for string gauges for a bunch of different scales and tunings. I was hoping someone had done one with a low C around 26.25" and had a string gauge they were happy with.

I was, however able to use the info I found to plug into the string calc and come up with what seems to be a reasonable equivalent for my application.

What I ended up with was 66-42-28-18 for the fundamentals, and 30-20-12-08 for the octave strings. Should be a good starting point, anyway. We'll see how it turns out. I will definitely post progress pics and such, as I get further into it.

Thanks for the reply. :D

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26.25" seems a bit short for a baritone (tuned B to B ), but may be okay for your mandocello.

I have two electric baritones and one acoustic.

On one electric (27" scale), I have 12, 16, 24p, 32, 44, 56, which is really noodley.

On the other (again, 27"), I'm using whatever came stock on it (just got it a couple of weeks ago -- an ESP LTD MHB-400. I think they need more letter-number combinations.)

On the acoustic, I use 16, 22, 29, 48, 60, 70 which is a bit tight

It sounds like an interesting project, keep us posted :D

Edited by DC Ross
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