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Author Topic: Strings, an opinion?  (Read 1353 times)
strawintogold
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« on: December 10, 2008, 06:15:02 PM »

We all know how hard those are to elicit around there...

Anyhow. John Pearse (RIP) strings Light (53)and Medium (56). L 03 Silver Oak. Any recommendations of one over the other and why? I've only used light because we'll that's what was always recommended.

holly
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 06:26:26 PM »

I wouldn't use mediums(13-56) on a guitar I played fingerstyle on(unless it was a really short scale). If the guitar was for like 90% flatpicking I might would go with mediums. In my opinion if you have to use mediums to get a good sound out of a guitar you use for fingerstyle then that guitar is lame, but everyone has their preferences.
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strawintogold
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 06:31:52 PM »

So it's a volume sort of thing? i got a set simply because I'd never used them but it doesn't sound like I need to. Don't some folks use them on Parlors?

holly
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RoundLakeDT
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 06:49:14 PM »

So it's a volume sort of thing? i got a set simply because I'd never used them but it doesn't sound like I need to. Don't some folks use them on Parlors?
Yeah, I found that the mediums are practically required to get a good tone out of the Parlors.  Wasn't a volume thing so much as basic tone quality, plus Mediums improved the Parlor's intonation on the higher frets (mine had some intonation issues there with Lights, dunno why)

However the Parlors do have a very short scale, so Mediums on the Parlor felt like Lights would feel on an L, OM or D.  I've been using only light's on my OM as well as the LSV (even though the LSV is semi-short scale, but I don't need to make my instruments any harder to play by adding string tension unless I have a good reason)

Ya asked for opinions, yep we got 'em.  - Dave
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RoundLakeDT
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 07:09:51 PM »

By the way if you're curious how much the difference in string tension is, somebody put together a neat little app that estimates this based on your scale length and the type of strings.  If I remember my physics, it's based on a few simple assumptions and equations behind the scenes.

http://www.kennaquhair.com/ustc.htm

I threw some numbers into this a while back, and here's what it spit out.  I saved the results in a spreadsheet based on the guitars I had at the time.  Read up and down to see the effect of different strings on the same guitar, and left and right for different guitars using the same strings.  For what it's worth...
   -Dave
_______________________________________________________________
Effect of scale length and string choice on overall string tension         
%'s indicate the change in overall tension versus a standard scale guitar using Lights         
         
Scale length                                            25.5"                           24.75"              24"
                                                      Standard Larrivee scale   Larrivee LSV-11   Larrivee Parlor
Tension change using Extralights (11's)       -8.0%                        -13.4%           -18.5%
Tension change using Lights (12's)              0% ("Normal")             -5.8%           -11.4%
Tension change using Mediums (13's)         +13.0%                      +6.4%           +0.1%
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PortHueneme
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2008, 07:40:06 PM »

This may sound a little contrarian.
I have found mediums to be better for finger picking as well.
I believe I can play smoother and faster as I don't have to pick hard to get a great tone and volume.
I also enjoy finger picking the SD or my old Gibson Jumbo.
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2008, 07:59:54 PM »

So it's a volume sort of thing? i got a set simply because I'd never used them but it doesn't sound like I need to. Don't some folks use them on Parlors?

holly

Not necessarily but the guitars do seem to need a certain amount of tension and energy to drive the top to it's full potential. Generally the larger the top the more tension/energy is required to move it. So it's more about getting the best tone out of the guitar but there's no need to conduct a research study, just put them on and see if you like them.
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flatlander
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2008, 08:03:18 PM »

I think you should experiment yourself and check it out. Each guitar can be different let alone your preference. Maybe even experiment with a hybred set. Then in 6 mths or a year experiment again after guitar and you have broken in.
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strawintogold
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2008, 09:38:16 PM »

Ah, c'mon, you guys are way more fun than 'eeeny, minny, mo' . I put the lights on, I like them. I have to ask, does ANYONE like the Cleartones? They rip up my fingers and that's the most positive thing I can say about them.

holly
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2008, 09:52:48 PM »

I have to ask, does ANYONE like the Cleartones? They rip up my fingers and that's the most positive thing I can say about them.

holly

No, they are the worst strings ever. They feel and sound terrible. It feels like they're coated in sandpaper.
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hadden
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2008, 12:56:03 AM »

12s sound lame to me compared to 13s. I'd say always use 13s unless the guitar looks like it's an imploder.

Even so I'd make it suffer for sound. Tough luck little git -- the fatter the better for good tone.

Like the late great SRV using 13s or bigger on his Strats, (which is hard to get my head around with the big bending).
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Dale_I
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2008, 04:54:09 AM »

Like the late great SRV using 13s or bigger on his Strats, (which is hard to get my head around with the big bending).

He tuned down a whole step, so it probably wasn't the "normal" tensions you would regularly find.
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flatlander
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2008, 05:12:10 AM »

He tuned down a whole step, so it probably wasn't the "normal" tensions you would regularly find.
FYI,  Point still good, but it was half step down that he tuned, at least towards the end and when he did
Guitar player magizine interview.
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Novalis
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2008, 06:20:21 AM »

We all know how hard those are to elicit around there...

Anyhow. John Pearse (RIP) strings Light (53)and Medium (56). L 03 Silver Oak. Any recommendations of one over the other and why? I've only used light because we'll that's what was always recommended.

holly

John Pearse mediums sound best to my ears for standard tuning.
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2008, 07:04:19 AM »

Hey Holly
just throwing out something no one else has mentioned.    I don't know your skill level or degree of finger toughness but going from light strings to med's (or of course real heavy gauge ) can be absloutely brutal on your fingers for a while.  What you gain in tone or volume you are going to pay for wth some real sore fingers for a while and you may find it more difficult to make nice clean chords as well.   You will get used to it but don't under-estimate the impact this change will have on your comfort level.  I say play what sounds and "feels" the best to you regardless of what the numbers are.  Experiment and find out what fits you and your guitar best.


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KenS
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« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2008, 02:19:47 PM »

I've played for 40 years and gone back and forth between lights and mediums.  I finally settled on a 12-54 set for my OMs - the largest size guitar I play with any regularity.  I primarily use strings from the UK (first NewTones and now RotoSounds) and in their nomenclature, 12-54 is "medium-light."  Look at the gauges not the nominal classification, btw.  If you really want to get down to brass tacks, look at the tension; contrary to popular belief, there is variation between manufacturers of wound strings: meaning that one's 54 is not necessary the same tension as anothers.  So forget those internet tension calculators that give a result based on the gauge.

You may want to experiment with heavier strings if you use open or altered tunings - I don't find it necessary myself.  Assuming reasonable action (3/32" at the 12th fret) 12-54 works for CGDGAD which is as slack as I go on the bottom.  As far as brands go - the JP's are good; I would get some Curt Mangams, some NewTones, and some RotoSounds and see what works for you.  I've never played a coated string that I liked, but there are a lot of great guitarists who use them (Richard Thompson for example).

Ken
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Mantula
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« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2008, 04:02:49 PM »

I took the advice from this forum and put Mediums on my P-05, great result.
My OMV-03 is mostly in open C, and the Elixir MediumLights are superb IMHO.
I do not like Cleartones, at all.
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Dale_I
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« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2008, 07:16:46 PM »

It's been said in other threads, but might be worth repeating here as well...

Be slightly careful if you are comparing different companies definitions of what is medium, light, medium/light, etc. There is not an industry standard as to what a set consists of and some will use one companies "Lights" and label them "Medium/light". Case in point, Newtone Masterclass vr D'Addario. I ordered Medium/light Newtone's and they would compare to Light D'Addario.
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hadden
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2008, 12:48:24 AM »

He tuned down a whole step, so it probably wasn't the "normal" tensions you would regularly find.



He would use heavier than those as well. I was aware of the step down tuning (I though it was 1/2 step, actually). Even with the 13s that's still pretty deadly.
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