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Dec 6, 2021 - 9:39:11 AM
4 posts since 12/6/2021

New guy here. I've played guitar for over 60 years. I also play Tenor Ukulele and Electric Bass. A while back I bought a '67 Vega Wonder Plectrum Banjo, and being a guitarist, tuned it Chicago style (DGBE). But then I got a Mandola (CGDA) and subsequently a Tenor Banjo (Goldtone IT250R set up for CGDA). I'm enjoying 5ths tuning! So now I'm thinking I want to set up my Plectrum as an Irish Tenor tuned GDAE when capoed at the 3rd fret.

The Plectrum has 22 frets and a 27" scale. So if I tune it open at E B F# C#, It would be G D A E capoed @ the 3rd fret. If I capo it at the 3rd fret, that leaves 19 frets and a 22.75" scale.

So, could anyone recommend a proper set of string gauges to accomplish this? I'm thinking maybe .012p .016p .024w .036w might do it.

Thanks, and oh - glad to be here!
Tom Karol

Dec 6, 2021 - 1:43:18 PM

4 posts since 12/6/2021

Wait - that's exactly the gauges of the D'Addario EJ63i Irish Tenor set!
Assuming they're long enough, if I tune them down a minor 3rd in open position (@ 27" as proposed above) the tension should be OK!
They're not expensive; I'll include them in my next string order.
And I'll post my results in this thread.
Still glad to be here, and still accepting any and all sugesstions.
~ Tom

Dec 13, 2021 - 11:45:39 AM

4 posts since 12/6/2021

Good News/Bad News:

They're plenty long enough, and the action, intonation, and tension is good. They sound good and are very playable.

But ...

I had to tune them to G D A E in OPEN position or else they were too loose/floppy. So, now I guess I have a "Long Neck Irish Tenor."

If I want to follow my original plan and have it tuned G D A E when capoed at the 3rd fret, I'll need to go up to AT LEAST .014p .018p .026w & .038w. I'd probably use phosphor bronze for the wound strings in that case.

I'm still happy with the results, but it appears that I'm not yet done experimenting.

Dec 15, 2021 - 12:41:06 PM

4 posts since 12/6/2021

I went with .014p .022w .032w .042w (the wound strings are phosphor bronze), and it worked. GHS makes a set called Custom Stainless Steel Celtic Tenor (.014 .024w .032w .042w) available for $6.99 @ Elderly Instruments – so I could go with those – but it sounded better with the D'Addario EJ63i Irish Tenor set tuned normally, so I’m sticking with the "Long Neck Irish Tenor/Octave Bandolin” iteration!

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