15 Best Mandolin String Reviews 2019 (Best Mandolin String Brands)

Best Mandolin Strings & Best Mandolin String Brands

Best Mandolin Strings & Best Mandolin String Brands

The mandolin is a fascinating string instrument, which is capable of producing unique sounds. But, in order for it to play its music, it needs to be equipped with strings. Part of the same musical instruments family as the lute, the traditional mandolin presents 8 strings, more precisely 4 sets of double metal strings. But, there are other mandolin versions as well, which can have 10 or 12 strings.

In order to play the mandolin, you will have to pluck its strings, with a special pick or plectrum. Still, just how important it is to choose the right strings for a mandolin?

Well, depending on the string it is equipped with, the mandolin will produce a variety of sounds. This is why it is worth doing some research before choosing a set of strings for your instrument, to be sure that they will have the desired resistance and features, and will provide the best performance as well.

What are the Best Mandolin Strings to Buy?

2) D’Addario J74 Mandolin Strings

  • Loopend construction for universal fit
  • Phosphor Bronze for long lasting
  • Warm and bright tone
  • Made in the U.S.A

1) Elixir Strings Mandolin Strings

  • Wrapped with bronze wire
  • Bright Sound
  • Ultra-thin NANOWEB Coating
  • Uncoated Feel

3) Martin M400 Mandolin Strings

  • Made out of bronze
  • Clear and bright tone
  • Light touch to provide beautiful music
  • High Quality

Is it necessary to change the strings of the mandolin periodically? Yes, it is, as the strings installed on an instrument can accumulate dust and dirt in time and will gradually begin failing to provide the clear and beautiful sounds that are so specific to this type of instrument.

There isn’t a specific period in which you need to change the strings, as it depends on how much you play the instrument, but you will notice that your mandolin is not performing that great after a while. When looking for a new set of strings for your mandolin, you will have to pay attention to the gauge of the strings, which is the diameter of the string or its thickness.

Thus, there are light, medium, and heavy gauge strings. It is also possible to find medium-heavy gauge strings, which are somewhere in between medium and heavy, for a slightly different sound and performance.

The materials from which the strings are made are also important, as they will influence the sounds produced by the mandolin. Because this process can be rather tricky, we came up with a list of mandolin strings, all of them reviewed so that you will find it easier to choose the desired strings.

15 Best Mandolin String Reviews and the Best Mandolin String Brands

1) Elixir Strings Mandolin Strings w NANOWEB Coating, Medium (.011-.040)

This is another affordable set of mandolin strings with a medium gauge. They are made out of copper in a proportion of 80% and out of zinc in a proportion of 20%. They are also wrapped with bronze wire, for an outstanding sound every time you play your mandolin. But, there are chances that you won’t feel the coating under your fingers.

This is due to the fact that the manufacturer uses a “nano-coating” procedure, which means that they are coated but having a very fine finish at the same time. The sounds they will produce are bright, pretty much like a bell, so your mandolin playing sessions will definitely become more pleasant.

2) D’Addario J74 Mandolin Strings, Phosphor Bronze, Medium, 11-40

No one can deny the fact that D’Addario is a brand that knows its way around mandolin strings. Made out of phosphorus bronze, you can be sure that you’ll be able to play these strings for a very long time until they will stop delivering the desired results. It is also worth mentioning that they have a looped end, so they can easily fit almost any kind of mandolin.

They will be able to provide a bright and clear tone, even warm in some cases, defending the reputation of the brand. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or you already have mandolin-playing skills, as these strings will always be a pleasant surprise.

3) Martin M400 Mandolin Strings, Light

This is a set of light mandolin strings made out of bronze, so if you are searching strings in this category, you just found a set that won’t cost you too much either. The bronze winding of these strings is meant to give them depth when hitting bass notes and clearness and brightness in case of treble.

If this is the kind of sounds you want to produce with your mandolin, then you just came across a set that will deliver what you need. Needing just a light touch to provide beautiful music, this set of mandolin strings is suitable for those in love with the soft Celtic or traditional Irish music.

4) D’Addario EXP74CM Coated Phosphor Bronze Mandolin Strings, Custom Medium, 11.5-40

Made in the USA, this is the kind of strings set you can rely on. According to the statement of the manufacturer, these strings are made with a custom gauge, so that they are capable of providing a consistent and balanced performance.

Thus, regardless of which string you will pluck your instrument will sound great each time. Still, even if it is a custom gauge, it is still in the medium gauge area, so this is something you need to have in mind.

Featuring a looped construction, these strings will fit on any type of mandolin. So, there are high chances that you will find just what you need if you decide to go for this set.

5) D’Addario EXP74 Coated Phosphor Bronze Mandolin Strings, Medium, 11-40

Another amazing set of mandolin strings from D’Addario. They are made out of bronze and are coated with a layer of phosphorus so that they are resistant and reliable. Once you get a string set from this brand, you won’t have to buy another one for quite a while.

They will withstand wear and tear amazingly well and won’t lose their properties fast. You will love how your mandolin performs while being equipped with these strings, as they provide bright and clear notes while maintaining a certain degree of warmth. There are high chances that you will not be disappointed by the choice you made if you opt for this set.

6) GHS Strings A240 Phosphor Bronze Mandolin Strings, Loop End, Ultra Light (.009-032)

If you are looking for ultra-light mandolin strings, then this set will give you precisely this kind of strings. Made out of bronze and covered in phosphorus, they are packed with care so that they will not suffer any kind of changes until they are installed on your mandolin.

You will love the brightness of the sounds they produce, requiring minimal effort from your side when playing your instrument. They have looped ends, so you will have no troubles fitting them on your mandolin. Still, if you know that your instrument needs ball-end strings, do know that these ones may not help you. So, always check before making a purchase.

7) D’Addario EJ73 Phosphor Bronze Mandolin Strings, Light, 10-38

Are you looking for light gauge strings for your mandolin? Then you need to take this strings set into account. D’Addario is a well-known brand in the musical industry, creating strings for a wide range of instruments, so it has what it takes to make high-quality strings, without a doubt.

These strings feature a loop end, which makes them an easy fit regardless of the size of your instrument. Made out of phosphor bronze, they will be very resistant in time and capable of providing a clear, full, and beautiful sound. For the price you will pay for this set, you will indeed receive great quality.

8) Ernie Ball Earthwood Mandolin Light 80/20 Bronze Loop End Set, .009 – .034

Featuring a loop end, these strings are made to suit a bigger number of mandolins, so they may very well be more than suitable for yours. The sounds they produce are crisp and the alloy from which they are made is a reliable one, which will last very well in time.

The price tag of this set is more than accessible, so you could give them a try, even if you’ll just use them to rehearse and practice your skills. The strings have a high carbon core and are tin-plated, which explains the low price and great resistance. In other words, they are great for beginners.

9) Thomastik-Infeld 154 Mandolin Set E, A, D, G

Are you looking for great-quality medium-gauge mandolin strings? Then you need to find out that these Thomastik-Infeld strings may be just what you need. The mandolin strings made by this brand are manufactured in Wien, Austria, so their quality is indeed exceptional. They will surprise you from the first moment you will touch them, due to their elastic alloy and soft touch.

The secret lies in the manufacturing process, something that always enabled this company to deliver exceptional strings. They will not present any metallic sound, as the sounds they will produce are bright and warm at the same time. It will be a pleasure to play your instrument.

10) D’Addario EFW74 Phosphor Bronze Flatwound Mandolin Strings, Medium, 11-36

With a looped end that will allow them to fit on almost any mandolin, these strings are flat wound. This means that they will feel rather soft when playing your instrument, in comparison with the regular winding. It doesn’t matter what your mandolin playing skills are and what kind of music you prefer when you play your instrument, as these strings will serve you well in every scenario.

Due to its exceptional quality, this brand is trusted by reputable and highly experienced mandolin players, so you have no reasons not to do the same. Allow these strings to show you what a mandolin can really do.

11) D’Addario EJ70 Phosphor Bronze Mandolin Strings, Ball End, Medium/Light, 11-38

This is a great set of mandolin strings, but, you should remember that they are made for those mandolins that work best with ball-end strings. So, if your instrument requires loop-end strings, this particular set will not help you. In case your mandolin works with ball-end strings, this set will provide medium-light strings for a bright sound.

Like all D’Addario strings, these ones are also made in the USA, so you can be sure that quality is a must. This can be easily seen in the type of packages the brand uses, specially made to protect the strings from any factors that could trigger corrosion, so that they will reach you in an intact shape.

12) Dunlop DMP1140 Mandolin Strings, Phosphor Bronze, Medium.010–.040, 4 Strings/Set

In case you need mandolin strings capable of producing clear but rich sounds, this string set provided by Dunlop may just have the characteristics you are looking to find. They are made of wire of the best quality and manufactured with the desire to produce reliable strings that will enhance the performance of every player.

With their help, your mandolin will be able to provide clear sounds, even in the upper mids, while still maintaining beautiful warmth throughout the entire performance. The songs you will play with these strings will always be very expressive and display a great dynamic. It is definitely a set that is worth considering.

13) DR Strings Mandolin: 12, 16, 28, 41

In case you are a mandolin player that prefers the bluegrass style, then you must know that this particular set of strings was made just for you. Made out of phosphor bronze, these are strings that have what it takes to make your instrument sound amazing.

They are very affordable as well, so they are recommended in case you don’t have a budget that is too generous dedicated to buying mandolin strings. But, don’t be fooled by the low price, as these strings are capable of producing clear sounds for an impressive performance.

14) Thomastik-Infeld 150 Mandolin (By Two) Tin-Plated Steel E

At a more than accessible price and capable of delivering a great performance, this set of mandolin strings are recommended by a high number of teachers. This is due to the fact that the quality provided by Thomastik-Infeld is known by all the professionals in the music industry.

Teachers know what these mandolin strings can provide and out of the desire to get their students accustomed to the pristine sound of this instrument, they will recommend this set of strings. They are well aware that in the case of a string instrument, the used strings can make or break a performance.

15) Dunlop DMP1034 Mandolin Strings, Phosphor Bronze, Light, .010–.034, 4 Strings/Set

This is a set of 8 strings for mandolin, which means that it is suitable for the traditional 8-string mandolin. When it comes to their gauze, these strings will be part of the light category. So, only if you are looking for light gauge strings you should check these out.

Of course, choosing the right gauze depends on the type of music you are looking to play with your mandolin and if the selected gauze type will help you deliver the right kind of sounds. Thus, for sounds with a high pitch, the light gauze is a better selection.

Choosing the Best Mandolin Strings

Even if at first it didn’t seem so complicated to choose a set of strings for your mandolin, as you can see, it is not simple either. You need to decide what kind of music you want to play with your instrument, if you need a light, medium, or heavy gauge, strings with a ball or loop end, and other details of the kind. In other words, you need to know your instrument a little and what you plan to do with it.

2) D’Addario J74 Mandolin Strings

  • Loopend construction for universal fit
  • Phosphor Bronze for long lasting
  • Warm and bright tone
  • Made in the U.S.A

1) Elixir Strings Mandolin Strings

  • Wrapped with bronze wire
  • Bright Sound
  • Ultra-thin NANOWEB Coating
  • Uncoated Feel

3) Martin M400 Mandolin Strings

  • Made out of bronze
  • Clear and bright tone
  • Light touch to provide beautiful music
  • High Quality

Of course, if you are talking mandolin lessons, your teacher may provide some guidance in this sector. But, even so, we hope that our small guide will make this part easier for you and will help you choose the right kind of strings for your mandolin.