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Optimised string gauges

Richard Bridge 07 Apr 09 - 06:09 AM
Will Fly 07 Apr 09 - 06:55 AM
Zen 07 Apr 09 - 07:23 AM
Bernard 07 Apr 09 - 07:35 AM
Bill D 07 Apr 09 - 11:25 AM
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Subject: Optimised string gauges
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 06:09 AM

Well the website reads like he is a total nutter, but the idea MIGHT be right: -

And there is a less profane competitor with very similar thoughts here: -

However, there are two things that bother me about the design philosopy: -

1.        As one moves towards the bass strings, the fingers are playing at a longer "lever" - that is to say to depress a string at the same tension when it is on the bass side of the guitar requires more muscle effort than the same string on the treble side - it's simple mechanics (the law of the lever). I know some arthritus sufferers who are going in the opposite direction, playing light bottoms for exactly that reason.

2.        Acoustic balance. One of the big problems even with good acoustic guitars is the overloud B string, and I'm currently working on mods to my Martin OM1 for precisely that reason. OK, a heavier B string will sound less "honky" but surely it will be louder - same displacement, more mass and more tension = more radiated energy, no?

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Subject: RE: Optimised string gauges
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 06:55 AM

Interesting website and attitude from No. 1. The one thing that resonated with me (no pun intended) was the comment on the difficulty in tuning the 6th string on Gibson guitars. I've had this problem with every Gibson I've played - including a Les Paul of my own. I've always put it down to the Tune-O-Matic bridge but I've no proof that that's the cause.

However, dumb piece of shit I may be, but I just can't be bothered to change my string make and style as what I'm using on the guitars I play at the moment suits what I play. So - good try, Alex at Zachary...

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Subject: RE: Optimised string gauges
From: Zen
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 07:23 AM

Nothing new in this for those of us who use custom gauges to achieve a balanced set. I've been doing this for some 30 years.


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Subject: RE: Optimised string gauges
From: Bernard
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 07:35 AM

'Light bottoms'... erm, isn't that what blokes do when they get drunk?

String guages are very personal. What suits one player rarely suits another, because the actual music played as well as the playing style make so much difference.

People often wonder why I prefer rather heavy strings... I just do, so there! Seriously, though, it's because I rarely play amplified, and I have a loud voice!

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Subject: RE: Optimised string gauges
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 11:25 AM

For those who are interested, this program 'might' help work out some things.


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