D’Addario has introduced two new strings sets for mandolinists, using the monel alloy wrap that is favored by many fans of the vintage tone. Monel is a nickel/copper alloy that looks like nickel, and is used to wrap the plain steel cores of the 3rd and 4th pairs. It was quite popular in the past, but many companies stopped using it when brass and bronze became the wrap of choice. Recent demand for strings that sounded like the old ones has seen a resurgence in interest for this wrap formulation, which many people mistakenly call “monel steel” because the color resembles that of the plain steel strings.
These are offered in a medium gauge (EJM75C), and a medium plus (EJM74) with a heavier fourth. Both sets are based on the string sets preferred by Sam Bush, and the medium plus is said to be the gauge he uses.
The medium set contains the following: .011/.011, 015/.015, Monel Wound .026/.026, .040/.040. For the medium plus, there is a lighter 2nd and 3rd, and a heavier 4th: 011/.011, 014/.014, Monel Wound .025/.025, .041/.041.
Both sets use loop ends and are color coded for easy installation. They are made in the USA like the greatest bulk of D’Addario products.
They carry a retail price of $18.50, but are expected to sell in music stores for roughly $12.00. They are available from the more than 3,000 D’Addario dealers worldwide, or from their online store.
D’Addario has a long history of support for bluegrass pickers, and for most every folk and string music style all around the world. You can see their full line of strings and accessories online.