Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Question on string tenision

OK I was given a Octave Mandolin how much Tension should be on the strings of an Octave ???
Should they be under about the same tension as a Mandolin or way less, the reason I asked I replaced the strings that were on it with new strings because I did not know how old the strings were that was on the Octave I used D’Addario EJ76 Mandola Strings which I was told would work on an octave by someone at our local Guitar Center, changed the strings one at a time so as to not move the bridge from where it sits once I finished changing all strings I proceeded to tune I have a Peterson Strobo Clip on Tuner and have it set to Mandolin Sweetener which is the same setting I use when tuning my Mandolin got all strings on the Octave tuned but it just sounds flat to me is that normal for an octave I do realize it is going to be a different sound from a mandolin.
it is a 20 inch scale TKD Octave Mandolin found that out by looking up TKDs made in Florida seems to have pretty good tuning machines
it is tuned GG,DD,AA and,EE going low strings to high top to bottom

Do I need to just keep turning each tuner machine an put more tension on the strings ???
if I do keep turning will it come back around the scale to get each string back to where it is supposed to be or what ???

Thanks for any and all help

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I know nothing about octave mandolins.
That said, I have a TKD F5 mandolin (it’s been a great mando) and Kyle at “The Mando Shop” - Tallahassee FL (TKD is his brand) is very knowledgeable (& helpful) about his TKD’s and their particular specs. Perhaps give him a call? The # is on his website and I think Facebook as well. If you have to leave a msg, he’s real good about returning calls.


Thank you Simone I did look at his web site and called his number but it is Saturday so I left a message this TKD Octave is a beautiful Instrument.
I also emailed him and asked if he had any Mandolins because he does not have anything showing on his site other than an A style with a clearance price on it

Does he have vary many models or different models in the F5
The Octave he is showing on his site looks to be a different color from the one I have I love the look of the one on his site the one I have is more of a brown color F5 Style
If he does have different models available which one do you have

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Mandola strings are quite a bit heavier gauge than octave mandolin strings are.
An OM has a longer scale than a manola.
chances are you have a lot of tension on the instrument with those strings if tuned to the correct pitch.

You should end up with the G string tuned to the lowest G (6th string 1rd fret) on the guitar…the D should match open 4th string on guitar…etc.

I’d suggest getting the correct strings and trying it again. they are quit affordable at Sweetwater or strings-By- mail…


Well I think you are rite Fiddle_wood although it does not seem like there is a lot of tension on the strings I put on

I have listened to different sound bites of Octaves on the web, mine the way it is tuned sounds pretty close to what I have listened to, just a different sound altogether from a Mandolin, which I just cannot get used to don’t think Octave Mandolin is my cup of Tea LOL just to close to a guitar sound for my liking guess it has its place though I just need to find that place for me.

I do not see myself picking this octave up and ever playing it much

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The 2x we were driving thru Tallahassee area & went there, he still had ALOT of mandolin brands & models. I have the TKD F5 Falcon model. It’s in my tiny thumbnail pic , but here it is bigger:


@Simone that is a beautiful mandolin the octave i have looks just like that except for quite a bit larger judging by my F5 Mandolins I have and it is a different color but has a similar binding as your F5

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Thank you @Don_Smith!
I really like that tortoise looking binding. Bet yours looks pretty as well! I’m sure you’ll find a use for the octave eventually… :grin:

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