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Chord Req: heavy strings

GUEST,plonkers 25 Jan 10 - 01:23 PM
michaelr 25 Jan 10 - 01:34 PM
Leadfingers 25 Jan 10 - 01:57 PM
Richard Bridge 25 Jan 10 - 03:18 PM
Smokey. 25 Jan 10 - 07:52 PM
Smokey. 25 Jan 10 - 08:11 PM
GUEST 25 Jan 10 - 08:27 PM
Crowhugger 25 Jan 10 - 11:41 PM
olddude 25 Jan 10 - 11:49 PM
theleveller 26 Jan 10 - 08:44 AM
Bernard 26 Jan 10 - 08:56 AM
Richard Bridge 26 Jan 10 - 09:20 AM
Stower 26 Jan 10 - 09:28 AM
Ian Hendrie 26 Jan 10 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Ray 26 Jan 10 - 10:56 AM
Richard Bridge 26 Jan 10 - 11:26 AM
Smokey. 26 Jan 10 - 03:31 PM
olddude 26 Jan 10 - 04:29 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Jan 10 - 06:34 PM
olddude 26 Jan 10 - 09:32 PM
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Subject: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: GUEST,plonkers
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 01:23 PM

Can any guitarist tell me !what difference in sound will i get fitting a set of strings with a 13 top E instead of my normal 10 gauge


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 01:34 PM

It will be louder and more midranghey, and you will have a much harder time bending notes.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 01:57 PM

And unless its a well made guitar you stand every chance of playing havoc with the neck setting


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 03:18 PM

If you have a decent acoustic guitar you will get the top working properly and it will sound like a musical instrument. But if you've been playing 10s try 12s before you go to 13s, and you will likely need a number of adjustments to the instrument


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: Smokey.
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 07:52 PM

As RB says above, the top will work as it is designed to. 13s are generally sold as 'medium' gauge for good reason. You'll also get more sustain to the notes, a fuller tone, and more volume/dynamic range. It takes a bit of effort to gain the extra strength, but it's well worth it. Changing string gauge will probably alter the intonation though.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: Smokey.
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 08:11 PM

... And you'll spend less money on strings, as they won't break as easily and will retain their tonal characteristics for longer.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 08:27 PM

A lot depends on the style of music. For intimate fingerpicking, med is not the best.
Light mediums to light are best. For heavy strumming, then med gauge is best.
A lot depends here on the balance of your strings. A dreadnaught shape of guitar will tend to sound bassy and thumpy if strummed heavily with med. gauge strings. If you play something
like a Taylor or Larivee, with finger picking I don't think medium gauge will be suitable.
If you strum loud then Guild or some Martins will work.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: Crowhugger
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 11:41 PM

The cautions & generalities already given are a very good guide to where you might start to try out meatier strings but since each guitar is different and each player's "heavy strumming" is a little different, certainly experiment to find what you like. You'll find what suits your repertoire & instrument and your own tastes. There's no need to be strictly tied to the array of strings that come in a set. If one or two strings give you a more thud or zing than you want you can vary the gauge just on those. If you're not sure what you're hearing, change half the strings at a time, (highest 3 or lowest 3), to test the sound. This will really highlight the difference, because part of the sound will still be what you're used to, part will be quite different.

I'd recommend recording yourself with the different strings because I find that things sound so different when one isn't busy playing.

CH.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: olddude
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 11:49 PM

on a martin d28 medium gage strings is recommended by martin company. i finger pick and i love the sound on my 40 year old d-28


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: theleveller
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 08:44 AM

On my big Lowden I always use 13-56 D'Addarios but it is usually tuned to CGCGCD. Light strings wouldn't work in this tuning, nor would I get the depth of tone that is the beauty of this instrument or the tension to achieve the fast hammer-on/pull-offs.

On my new Avalon, with a smaller body, which is usually played in standard tuning, I use 12-54 Newtones. Basically, as Crowhugger says, there is no simple answer - you need to experiment to find the right make and gauge for the instrument, style of playing and tone you want to achieve.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: Bernard
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 08:56 AM

I've always been happy with 11's as an all-round compromise (by 11's I mean a set with an 11 top 'E', more specifically D'Aquisto DQ720 'Brass Masters' 11-50 in recent years) - especially as I sometimes go from quiet fingerpicking to hard strumming and back in the same song! They also cope with open tunings without going too floppy!

I've often puzzled about people who regularly break strings, as I can count on one hand the number of times I've had a string break in over 40 years' playing! I'm not exactly known for holding back, either!

The only exception was my old Eko Ranger 12-string (new in 1968, 'retired' in 1970 when I bought my Yamaha FG260) which went through a phase of breaking the high G (3rd) string with annoying regularity from new, until I sussed that there was a sharp edge on the hole through the pin on the machine head. I filed it smooth and that was an end to the problem!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 09:20 AM

D'Aquisto also do a set in the Bronze Master range - 13/58s. I used to get a lovely big boom with those on my Mugen THE78 but the top did not like them (I had not realised that the Mugen THE 78 was specifically designed to use lights - ie 12/53s) and despite returning to lights I had to get a bridge doctor fitted.

On most modern guitars I find 12/56s the best compromise but I love a big bass boom and rarely finger pick.

On the other hand my Hagstrom J-45s hated Newtones. The one that belonged to my late wife preferred (she told me) the 1960s Black Diamond or Red Diamond strings. The flexibility of the core on the would strings will alter the proportion of harmonics.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: Stower
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 09:28 AM

GUEST,plonkers, you don't say if you're an acoustic or electric player. A 10 on top sounds about right for electric, but a 10 top for acoustic would mean you're either getting a thin sound at the moment or you have a shorter than standard scale length.

Overall, your instrument needs to sound balanced, so if you're using a standard set of strings and are in standard tuning, I can't see why you would take the huge leap from 10 to 13 on top. If you're used to super-light 10s, I would guess the 13 would make the top string pretty much unplayable for you, as well as putting the neck out over time. If you have a particular reason for changing the gauge of one string, do as Richard suggested and go up, I'd say, a thou at a time. You may be surprised by the difference a single thou can make to your playing and to the sound of the guitar.

Hope this helps.

Stower


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 10:26 AM

I've read the previous postings with interest but I am a little confused about what way I should move with my Breedlove Passport C25T guitar which has a 19.1" string scale and is usually tuned to A. The top notes sound fine to me (as indeed do the lower ones with a capo) bit the bottom string sounds very dull or dead when played open. I don't think this is due to the age of the strings. Should I be trying a lighter string.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 10:56 AM

You should bear in mind that fitting heavier strings on some guitars, rather than getting the top moving and increasing volume, can have the opposite effect, producing too much tension and stopping the top moving effectively. The only way to find out is to try them.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 11:26 AM

Of course it does depend on the guitar.

Graham, the luthier with the guitar fixing shop under Andy's in Denmark Street also builds acoustic guitars and he told me once he had built a standard scale-length (Gibson scale, 24 7/8) acoustic for a chap with a disability - I forget if it was arthritis or a variant of tennis elbow or what - intended to be played using 7s(!).   He said it was essential to handle the guitar by the neck as picking it up with a hand grip around the body risked putting fingers through the top, and he had had to build in an armrest for a similar reason. Personally I'd have thought that it would have been easier to leave out the bracing and use a bridge doctor, but that would change the type of vibration in the top. Pegbridges wiggle the top, tailpiece guitars use it as a piston and the bridge doctor allows free pistoning but less wiggling, so can make a guitar sound less flappy.

Once the top gets too thing it gets to sound sort of banjo-ey, a short loud plunk and then merciful silence.

Many modern guitars are built for 12s not 13s.

Conversely, even plank players back in the days of the Shadows used to play 11s or sometimes 12s, and I used to use Blue Circle flatwound 888s - 13s on the top - on my 1964 Futurama 3 deluxe (like Bowie played, the Kent Hagstrom rebranded) which gave me a very big and even round sound but no use for widdling.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: Smokey.
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 03:31 PM

Guitars (acoustic) built for sale through a shop tend to be set up for 12s - it sells more guitars. 13s generally require some experience and a certain amount of determination, and most people trying a shop guitar with 13s on would just assume it was a hard guitar to play. They certainly don't suit everyone.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: olddude
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 04:29 PM

no one knows more than richard bridge about such. I guess I just always used 13s for 40 years. I just don't get the rich sound on lights although 12 are fine also ...


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 06:34 PM

?


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: heavy strings
From: olddude
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 09:32 PM

Richard you know more about the guitar its construction and repair than anyone I know ... that a fact. You have guided me through a lot of questions I had over the years

Dan


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