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Author Topic: String Problems on my Larrivee  (Read 15914 times)
shag101
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« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2010, 01:50:53 AM »

Interesting....all those strings reviewed but i dont see Elixirs on your list anywhere (unless I'm blind...) I'd be interested in knowing where they rank in your opinion...particularly the Phosphor Bronze Nanos

I too would be interested!  My L-05 was shipped with daddario's so i never had the chance to try cleartones.  i just tried elixir PB nanos since i need coated as i have acid for sweat.  they sound tinny to my ears but thought if was just how coated strings sound since my ernie ball coated were the same but worst.  maybe i should pickup some cleartones...
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cantwellm
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« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2010, 01:59:34 AM »

OK - I'll add the elixir PB Nanos to my next order of strings and report back -  won't be for a few weeks though so stay tuned...
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Larrivee D-03 HH
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« Reply #42 on: August 24, 2010, 02:51:38 AM »

cantwellm I just want to say thanks for driving youself insane.I've been on the forum for a long time and your string reviews are fantastic and helping so many.So a big thanks for all your hard work.
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A REPAIRPERSON,Still Unclrob
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shag101
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« Reply #43 on: August 24, 2010, 12:25:05 PM »

Cool, thanks cantwellm

I have not been on the forum in a while and was pleasantly surprised seeing your post.  Great work, very informative.
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cantwellm
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« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2010, 02:50:05 PM »

Thanks for the sentiment unclrob & shag101. Good to know that others are finding this excercise useful and that I'm not just being self-indulgent.  Really - I'm just grateful that members reponded to my initial posting with their own string suggestions to help make my Larry (and I) sing again!  
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Larrivee D-03 HH
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Early 70's El Degas MT10
rocketman
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« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2010, 01:15:31 AM »

cantwellm I just want to say thanks for driving youself insane.I've been on the forum for a long time and your string reviews are fantastic and helping so many.So a big thanks for all your hard work.

Yeah I second that. I'm in the same boat as...well, a lot of ppl.. trying to find the right string and I'm following this thread and finding it very informative, and useful. Thanks again :)
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LV-03re, born in Vancouver on 1/12/2005
cantwellm
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« Reply #46 on: August 31, 2010, 02:24:10 AM »

Thanks Rocketman!

String Update #7: Before I begin, note that I've added a new variable to my tests which is probably going to screw up comparability: I've replaced the standard issue plastic pegs that have been part of my previous tests with John Pearce (brass) Kingpins. I know, I know, the test is no longer technically fair but I love the extra bass these beauties bring and I just dont want to take them off.  bowdown

So with that in mind, I've removed the highly ranked Curt Mangan's and have had on the Ernie Ball Earthwood 80/20 Bronze Medium/Light 12-54 for a couple of days.  The result? A very very nice flat-picking string if you dig a warm woodsy resonance with no tin/brassiness. With brass pegs I got tons of "boom" and maybe not so much "chick." Overall a mellow string which I do like....but..after a just a few days I'm feeling a bit of loss of resonance. Maybe getting a bit flat...not such a long-lived string?  And I don't feel there is any good reason to put up with such a short lifespan. So for that reason I'm likely going to be harsh and create another category and file these under "GOOD". On the bright side I will say they are probably the best sound for money string (albeit ephemeral) I've tried so far.

I'm going to wait another day or two before restringing to see if they truly are tailing off. In the meantime, if anyone has a preference for the order I try the next batch that I have on hand just let me know.  The choices are:
   1. GHS Cryogenic Laurence Juber Signature Bronze Medium
   2. Gibson Masterbuilt Premium PB Medium
   3. Martin Acoustic FX Flex Core (silk + phosphor)

That's it for now...stay tuned...
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Larrivee D-03 HH
1991 Marc Beneteau Dread
'70s Joodee YW40M
Early 70's El Degas MT10
shag101
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« Reply #47 on: September 03, 2010, 02:22:43 PM »

hey cantwellm,

I see you moved up to mediums after your original cleartone lights.  My l-05 came with d'addario lights for which i went to mediums and noticed a gain in volume.  I had mediums on for a year or so and recently went back to lights.  The volume decreased, but i noticed the body of the guitar vibrated a lot more and to my ears the tone was better.
I know a lot of members say mediums = more tone, but to my ears I got more volume but less tone.

Did you ever try lights again?   
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cantwellm
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« Reply #48 on: September 03, 2010, 03:32:50 PM »

shag101,
Good insight. I havent tried any lights since the original Cleartones though I have been meaning to do exactly that. However, I wanted to get through my medium strings assessement first since my git has been tweeked by the luthier for mediums.  I'll be winding down (pardon the pun) my medium trials soon and will be ordering Cleartone Lights (and maybe Curt Mangan's + DR Sunbeam lights) on my next batch to see how they fair. I'm even more curious to hear lights since I've installed brass pins which give that extra visceral oomph.
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Larrivee D-03 HH
1991 Marc Beneteau Dread
'70s Joodee YW40M
Early 70's El Degas MT10
shag101
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« Reply #49 on: September 03, 2010, 08:29:19 PM »

i tried brass pins once for a while and thought it took away from the woody sound of the guitar.  Made it more metallic.  What I would like to try is maybe using 2 brass on the low e and a just to give it more low end but not all em so it doesn't get too metallic. 
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Mr_LV19E
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« Reply #50 on: September 04, 2010, 04:12:40 PM »

shag101,
Good insight. I havent tried any lights since the original Cleartones though I have been meaning to do exactly that. However, I wanted to get through my medium strings assessement first since my git has been tweeked by the luthier for mediums.  I'll be winding down (pardon the pun) my medium trials soon and will be ordering Cleartone Lights (and maybe Curt Mangan's + DR Sunbeam lights) on my next batch to see how they fair. I'm even more curious to hear lights since I've installed brass pins which give that extra visceral oomph.

cantwellm, the Curt Mangen med/lights you tried are actually light gauge 12/54. If you thought they were good you need to try the true medium 13/56.  I like the 80/20's on my hog top OM and the PB's on my IS/Mahogany F-III.  The 80/20's on the hog top give it a nice low end growl but remain very balanced volume wise.
Thanks for all the info.

 
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Roger


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cantwellm
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« Reply #51 on: September 04, 2010, 08:22:22 PM »

Mr_LV19E,
Oh ya - I guess you're right! And ironically, I ranked the Mangen lights at the very top of my medium gauge taste test...mmmm....this blows open the whole notion of higher gauge giving more sonic everything. Now I'm really keen to try the lighter versions...

OK gang - the floor is open for discussion on experiences of light vs medium gauge...

    
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Larrivee D-03 HH
1991 Marc Beneteau Dread
'70s Joodee YW40M
Early 70's El Degas MT10
cantwellm
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« Reply #52 on: September 04, 2010, 09:24:46 PM »

String Update #8: Kept on the Ernie Ball Earthwood 80/20 Bronze Medium/Lightsfor a few days longer (see update #7) and they didn't cave in as I was thinking they might. So perhaps these strings are prone to lose a certain vibrancy on the higher strings after the first day or two of breaking-in which means this must be their "normal" state.  Ultimately I rank them as Good strings.
And for three days now I've had on Gibson Masterbuilt Premium PB Medium's. I must say this is yet another string that I like very much. It does have that new string twang to them but it is very modest and pleasing.  Playing Joni Mitchel's Big Yellow Taxi tuned to E B E Ab B E was great. All strings ring clear (certainly more than the higher strings of the Earthwood's) and the bass is just as rich. I like 'em better. I rank them as Very Good.

Running Summary:

Good Sounding Strings
1. John Pearse, 610LM Silk Phos Bronze, Light/Medium  ($8.99/set) (recommended by pennerblue/AZLiberty/kennyman)  
2. Clapton's Choice (13-56) ($5.99/set) (recommended by Bubblemaker)  
3. Ernie Ball Earthwood 80/20 Bronze Medium/Lights  ($4.99/set) (recommended by greysonj)
4. GHS Cryogenic Laurence Juber Signature Bronze LJ40M Medium's ($6.79)

Better Sounding Strings
1. Dean Markley Helix HD 80/20, Eliptical Wound, 13-56 ($6.95/set)
2. Newtone Master Class mediums custom ($12.95/set) (recommended by Michael T)    
3. DR Sunbeam RCA-12 Medium Strings ($6.79/set) (recommended by Michael T/Bltprf502)
4. Gibson Masterbuilt Premium PB Medium 13-56 ($6.99/set)
5. Elixir Nanoweb PB Mediums 13-56 ($13.95) as per (recommended by Rocketman/Kalbi/Z-Clay)

 
 bowdownBest Sounding Strings  
1. Cleartone EMP, Medium 13-56 (lights were great too) ($16.99/set ohmy) (recommended by Jean Larrivee!!?)
2. Curt Mangan Fusion Matched 80/20 Bronze Medium/Light 12-54 ($6.95/set) (recommended by Michael T/Bltprf502/ffinke)  


Honorable Mention
1. Martin Acoustic FX Flexible Core Silk and Phosphor Custom 11-47 ($2.99 bigrin): eeeaaassy playability. And the price!

Never Again on my Larrivee
1. Martin SP 80/20s ($5.89/set)
2. D'Addario EXP17 (mediums) ($10.49/set)
3. D'Addario EJ17 (medium PB) ($5.89set)

Stay tuned - more coming...
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Larrivee D-03 HH
1991 Marc Beneteau Dread
'70s Joodee YW40M
Early 70's El Degas MT10
cantwellm
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« Reply #53 on: September 16, 2010, 11:02:37 PM »

String Update #9. Howdy all. Have had on the GHS Cryogenic Laurence Juber Signature Bronze LJ40M Medium's for a week. They took forever to tune. Had a bit of jangly twang to them which has remained. Bass not as pronounced as the Earnies or Gibson. Highs sweet enough. Volume modest. Nothing wrong with them really...but...I just don't feel the love. I'm probably being too harsh but I'm only ranking them as "good" strings.

I've ordered another batch of strings to try out....including light versions of what I've already ranked...so...stay tuned!
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Larrivee D-03 HH
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'70s Joodee YW40M
Early 70's El Degas MT10
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« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2010, 02:22:19 AM »

Just to add to this I put a set of Martin with cleartone coating on them on a Taylor 110E and I gotta say they sounded dull and lifeless for a brand new set of strings.I hope this adds to your great and insane string journey oh this was a set of 12's.
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A REPAIRPERSON,Still Unclrob
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cantwellm
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« Reply #55 on: September 18, 2010, 03:24:25 AM »

String Update #10. Thanks unclrob. I'll take your word for it (though for fun I just may give them a go on my next mail order).
Ironically I have just put some Martin's on myself today. They are the Martin Acoustic FX Flexible Core Silk and Phosphor Custom (11-47). At first I hated them: made the mistake of going straight into drop tuning and they were flaccid and demur (I suppose they go together  blush). So i tuned up normally and after a few minutes I gotta say that they are actually a very good string for what they seem to be designed for: fingerpicking. Now I'm mostly a hack strummer but for a few of my soft Latin stand-by's and ballads they are the easiest strings I have ever played. Soft but with enough tension at normal tuning. I suppose they would be awesome on a parlor softly serenading yer sweety by the fire. Just don't drop tune. Now they probably wont grace my Dred again but I'll definitely be picking up some of the higher gauge versions to try.
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Larrivee D-03 HH
1991 Marc Beneteau Dread
'70s Joodee YW40M
Early 70's El Degas MT10
cantwellm
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« Reply #56 on: September 25, 2010, 04:56:53 PM »

String Update #11. Off with the Martin's yesterday which started to fade fairly quickly and on with Elixir Nanoweb PB mediums as per Rocketman/Kalbi/Z-Clay's suggestion. For a coated string they are  - unlike Cleartones- on the metallic side of town but depending on the song - pleasingly so. A hearty bass to them too. I'd describe them as nicely "crunchy." Joni Mitchel's Chelsea Morning sounds wonderful sans voice.  But they ain't a warm string and some tunes lost their groove (John Mayor's "Wonderland" was anything but).  I still have other string preferences (e.g., Cleartones, Mangan's), but my overall rating for the Elixir's is good to very good.

Stay tuned for more..
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Larrivee D-03 HH
1991 Marc Beneteau Dread
'70s Joodee YW40M
Early 70's El Degas MT10
shag101
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« Reply #57 on: September 25, 2010, 09:31:54 PM »

Yeah, the nano lights i got on my l-05 took a week of constant playing to break in and get ride of some of the metallic sound..i find the longer i keep em on the better they start to sound..
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« Reply #58 on: September 28, 2010, 02:23:18 PM »

For a coated string they are  - unlike Cleartones- on the metallic side of town but depending on the song - pleasingly so. [...] But the strings ain't what I'd say are a warm string and some tunes lost their groove (John Mayor's "Wonderland" was anything but).

Maybe you could try the Elixir Polyweb strings instead. According to their homepage these have the warm tone and feel of strings that are already well-played. I do not like the metallic sound of new strings either...
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cantwellm
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« Reply #59 on: October 14, 2010, 02:56:15 AM »

String Update #12. Over the last few weeks I've tried comparing different gauges of the string brands I've liked the most. I started with Curt Mangan's but as per Mr_LV19E insight this time I put on the real Curt Mangan 80/20 mediums (13-56). They had all the qualities of the 12-54's I reviewed but just a bit, well, louder. And that's when I realized that louder ain't necessarily better: maybe driving the soundboard that much harder actually overwhelms some of the more subtle qualities of the sound. Someone please confirm this observation or else its OK to tell me I'm full of s&*t.  

After that I put on the Cleartone lights for the first time since buying my git. I liked them very much but didn't have that "a-ha!" moment of rediscovering some long lost love: probably because I've tried so many equally good sounding strings since starting this review. But again, they seemed just a bit softer than the medium Cleartones in terms of volume which made them a bit more endearing.

Tonight I wipped off the Cleartone lights and put on Curt Mangan 80/20 light-medium's (12-54) again to do a one-right-after-the -other comparison and the verdict was the Curts win out. They got greater tonal resolution than Cleartones methinks while still being nicely toasty.

And so it seems that after all of these comparisons over the last few months I think I simply prefer light-mediums with the top strings being:

        Curt Mangan Fusion Matched 80/20 Bronze Medium/Light 12-54 ($6.95/set)

Thank-you everyone for your recommendations. It seems Michael T, Bltprf502, ffinke and I are now all on the same page.
 
And, through a serendipitous encounter, I just happened to be speaking with a Larrivee family member the other day and mentioned the Curt Mangan brand. He seemed quite interested to try them...

Anyway, now I gotta go and try lights and ultra lights of my favourite brands. But I think I'm going to give it a break for a while....or at least I'll leave my strings on till they die a natural death before trying something new to review..

So final(ish) summary:

Good Sounding Strings
1. John Pearse, 610LM Silk Phos Bronze, Light/Medium  ($8.99/set) (recommended by pennerblue/AZLiberty/kennyman)  
2. Clapton's Choice (13-56) ($5.99/set) (recommended by Bubblemaker)  
3. Ernie Ball Earthwood 80/20 Bronze Medium/Lights  ($4.99/set) (recommended by greysonj)
4. GHS Cryogenic Laurence Juber Signature Bronze LJ40M Medium's ($6.79)

Better Sounding Strings
1. Dean Markley Helix HD 80/20, Eliptical Wound, 13-56 ($6.95/set)
2. Newtone Master Class mediums custom ($12.95/set) (recommended by Michael T)    
3. DR Sunbeam RCA-12 Medium Strings ($6.79/set) (recommended by Michael T/Bltprf502)
4. Gibson Masterbuilt Premium PB Medium 13-56 ($6.99/set)
5. Elixir Nanoweb PB Mediums 13-56 ($13.95) as per (recommended by Rocketman/Kalbi/Z-Clay)

Great Sounding Strings  
1. Cleartone EMP, Medium 13-56 (lights were great too) ($16.99/set ) (recommended by Larrivee!!?)
2. Curt Mangan Fusion Matched 80/20 Bronze Medium 13-56 ($6.95/set) (recommended by Michael T/Bltprf502/ffinke)  

Best Sounding Strings
Curt Mangan Fusion Matched 80/20 Bronze Medium/Light 12-54 ($6.95/set)

Honorable Mention
1. Martin Acoustic FX Flexible Core Silk and Phosphor Custom 11-47 ($2.99 ): eeeaaassy playability. And the price!

Never Again on my Larrivee D-03 HH
1. Martin SP 80/20s ($5.89/set)
2. D'Addario EXP17 (mediums) ($10.49/set)
3. D'Addario EJ17 (medium PB) ($5.89set)
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Larrivee D-03 HH
1991 Marc Beneteau Dread
'70s Joodee YW40M
Early 70's El Degas MT10
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