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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Posts: 126
I'm looking for insight into what strings I might try on my new builds now that they are up and running. For years I have been playing my L'arrivée D-09 using D'Addario phosphor bronze lights (I mostly play noodly finger style . . . ) I had a Martin 000-15 12 fret mahogany, and used the same strings on it, but also tried D'Addario phosphor bronze "bluegrass" strings to boost the bass a little. My two first builds are OM body guitars with 12 fret short scale necks, slotted pegheads, and I strung them with my old standby D'Addarios (they're familiar, available, and affordable.) I'm coming to understand what I have read about short-scale guitars like this having a "loose" feel, and though I still play mostly finger style, I am finding it more difficult to get clean unwavering notes, particularly on the top two strings. The guitars have been strung now for four months (my, time flies . . . ) So maybe it is a function of scale length, maybe the strings need replacing, maybe different strings would help? I am taking one of these guitars (at great expense) to Ireland to sing at my son's wedding, and would appreciate any suggestions before I invest in new strings, which I certainly plan to buy anyway.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5765
Location: Hegins, Pa
I get strings from out sponsor Strings by mail and CF Martin
I like the life spans as they last a lot longer than standard strings. I set up most dred on Mediums and smaller ones on lights.
I like the john pearse for blue grass people
80 20 for finger pickers
and phose bronze for all else

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:56 am
Posts: 104
I don't currently have an acoustic guitar, only electric, but my latest string set is Elixir Nanoweb. These are coated strings, and they sound like they're two weeks old straight out of the package, never possessing that "new string twang". However, the trade-off is that they stay in this state for a long time, even if you don't wipe them down when you're done playing. If you buy at the right time and place, they're only marginally more expensive than ordinary strings -- the difference is sometimes as little as $2 a set.

Do be aware that these are probably not a good choice if you're a heavy string bender, such as if you are a blues player, as this tends to damage the coating where string meets fret, and then you end up with little flakes of coating dangling off the string where it can cause buzzing. This is particularly true of the third (G) string on acoustics. But if that's not your playing style, then the coating is good protection against corrosion.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:06 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1720
I like thomastik, optima, and Martin Silk and Steel.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Posts: 126
If I understand things correctly, shorter scales result in strings having less tension. I think I am seeing this in that my strings seem to bend too easily, i.e. when trying to play a "straight" fretted note. I read also about strings that are "low tension". Would that feature just exacerbate the problem on a short scale guitar? If so, is there an opposite feature in strings to increase the tension (or apparent tension) on shorter scales? I am reluctant to go to heavier strings, but does anyone have any experience on the difference between string sets that have (for example) a .012 high E as opposed to a .013 high E? I realize that might mean adjustments to nut slots. Lastly, Diane, you gave a solid endorsement in another post to Newtone strings. I probably can't get them soon enough for my immediate needs, but would you still recommend them?

Thanks to all for input - Bruce.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
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Stray Feathers wrote:
If I understand things correctly, shorter scales result in strings having less tension. I think I am seeing this in that my strings seem to bend too easily, i.e. when trying to play a "straight" fretted note. I read also about strings that are "low tension". Would that feature just exacerbate the problem on a short scale guitar? If so, is there an opposite feature in strings to increase the tension (or apparent tension) on shorter scales? I am reluctant to go to heavier strings, but does anyone have any experience on the difference between string sets that have (for example) a .012 high E as opposed to a .013 high E? I realize that might mean adjustments to nut slots. Lastly, Diane, you gave a solid endorsement in another post to Newtone strings. I probably can't get them soon enough for my immediate needs, but would you still recommend them?

Thanks to all for input - Bruce.

Bruce, I have problems with my hands. I've had surgery on both of my hands and wrists within the past 2 years. All I string with are light and low tension strings. I prefer a short scale, 12 feet guitar. I own 2 and I'm building a third. I also tune down to "B" , on the bass E string, and down 1/2 to a whole note on the others for one particular song. I've not had any problem with buzzing or any problems with the very low tension at all, while using these strings.

Newtone Master class strings are beautiful sounding light strings with normal tension.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm
Posts: 1125
We can make suggestions, but the only way to find out what you like, on your guitar., is to try a bunch. I did that a while ago on my guitar (see viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7511 ) and my personal choice was GHS light gauge Signature Bronze. They sounded significantly better -- to my ear -- than any of the others I tried. Whether it would be be same for you, on your guitar, who knows. Might be wroth trying a set though.

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Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Posts: 126
I spoke to others close to home and all share your view - try lots until, as one put it, the guitar says, "That's the one!" I received lots of recommendations, some completely opposed to others. But my luthier mentor, and a guitar shop owner who has been a tech for many famous names in Canadian music, both agreed that I should try medium gauge strings. I have used them in the past on other guitars and found them more difficult to play so was trying to avoid that. But on my two short-scale builds, it was exactly what was needed, to tighten up the "flabbiness" in the light gauge strings. What had not clicked in my mind was that on a short scale guitar, medium gauge strings have a lower tension than on a longer scale, so they are easier to play. The guitar shop owner tried one of my guitars, and while he sells mostly D'Addario Phosphor Bronze, he recommended I try Thomastik-Infeld Spectrum .013 - .057, and also Veritas DR Medium .013 - .056, which are much less expensive than Thomastik. I bought both, and installed the Veritas, and they are good. They are clear and bell-like, but perhaps not quite as initially bright as the D'Addario. They are supposed to last several times as long as others (endorsed by Stefan Grossman) so I will see how they last. I will try them also when I get back on the other (cherry) guitar, and will at some point try the Thomastik on one of them. Yet another learning experience for me.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1720
Every guitar has a favorite string. Yes, I meant guitar. Any given set of strings can sound beautiful on one instrument, only to sound mediocre on another guitar. Add the player to the equation, and everyone will have their favorite strings, and configuration. Even within the realm of one manufacturer, I've tried different strings of the same diameter, yet I've found marked differences in tension and sound. So one set of mediums made by Martin, may feel totally different than medium Martin Strings, of a different make, for instance FX vs. SP. So, you have to check out different makes from a single manufacturer.

The best strings for any guitar, are those that make the player want to play more often.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:50 am
Posts: 603
Location: Chadds Ford, PA
Diane Kauffmds wrote:
The best strings for any guitar, are those that make the player want to play more often.
No truer words written!


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