Heavy strings on Fylde Octavious mandola?
Hi y’all. I’ve just bought another instrument - running out of wall space to hang them all - and this time it’s a Fylde Octavious mandola, quite a nice looking instrument in excellent condition. The problem is that the strings are really heavy - almost cello strings - with a thread winding that goes from the looped end right up over the bridge and almost to the sound hole on the two bottom pairs (unison strung bronze wound). I want to replace them but the guide on Roger Bucknall’s Fylde website shows the recommended strings as 52 / 36 / 24 / 13.
All my other instruments have a heaviest string of 46 or 47, being Octave mandolas and bouzoukis and so having longer scales. I find a string of .52 very difficult to tune and very awkward to play especially higher up the neck, it seems to go out of tune or distort very easily. Probably the cloth winding lower down is affecting the sound, muffling it as it crosses the bridge, but I’m having second thoughts about keeping to such a heavy string.
Anyone else play one of these here, and what’s your recommendations on the strings?