High Tension strings (Full Version)

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Escribano -> High Tension strings (Feb. 16 2004 21:37:22)

Guys, what is the bottom line with Extra High Tension strings? Are they going to rip a guitar apart over time?

I've made the typical Spanish foot joint; it's a lot of surface area for glueing but not much aparent stiffening in the body-neck direction, is it down to the grain of the back and soundboard. I'm back on regulars but what's your advice?

Billyboy -> RE: High Tension strings (Feb. 16 2004 21:45:03)

I dont think there is a lot of difference in poundage tension between regulars and high tension, not too sure though.

Patrick -> RE: High Tension strings (Feb. 16 2004 21:58:54)


I agree with Dave. I think Tom W has the info on various stings tensions. I know the difference from High to Extra High is not all that great with most strings.

Escribano -> RE: High Tension strings (Feb. 16 2004 22:05:59)

Just something Stephen Hill said about Savarez Corum Alliance strings a while ago.

Thomas Whiteley -> RE: High Tension strings (Feb. 16 2004 23:48:09)


Everything in Flamenco is controversial so if you do not agree with me I will understand.

I have guitar strings that are unopened from companies long out of business. During the last 45 years I have used just about all types of strings. It is not unusual to find two packages of strings from the same manufacturer that are “different”. However, the exception I have found to that is D’Addario. I do not believe that any other guitar string manufacturer actually prints the tension of each string on the package.

If you want real inconsistency try Augustine strings. I once had a set of Imperials (blue) that was perhaps the best set of strings I have ever used! However, that was the exception rather than the rule. Remember the story about the worlds first nylon strings – created for Segovia, by none other than Augustine, from Dupont nylon fish line. Well, the Augustine strings of today will not stand up to the average fish!

Mariano Cordoba has used low-tension strings for the last 45 years that I have known him. He uses D’Addario by the way. Some people are concerned about string tension. If I had a 1920 Santos I might be concerned about such matters.

My 1951 Manual de La Chica guitar has for the last 34 years used Extra High Tension strings. I tend to like Extra High Tension to accompany. It allows me more “punch” as far as I am concerned. I also use the same tension on my other guitars.

Sometimes I will change tensions or manufacturer but quickly go back to the D’Addario’s. Occasionally I will put a new set of some other type of string on one of my guitars and take them off after five minutes of playing. If I do not like the feel or sound then I will not use them! Some strings are too thin for my style of playing (some of the newer Savarez strings as an example) and I do not like the feel at all.

This is a very subjective topic but the reality as I see it is that there is no damage to worry about using Extra High Tension strings on the typical guitar.

Here is some data that I have published previously:

D’Addario strings - Value of tension is in pounds.

Light EJ 43
E - 14.8
B - 11.2
G - 11.7
D - 14.8
A - 12.5
E - 13.2

Total = 78.2

Normal EJ 45
E - 15.3
B - 11.6
G - 12.1
D - 15.6
A - 13.9
E - 14.0

Total = 82.5

Hard EJ 46
E - 15.8
B - 12.0
G - 12.4
D - 16.3
A - 15.9
E - 14.5

Total = 86.9

Extra Hard EJ 44

E - 16.4
B - 12.5
G - 12.9
D - 16.3
A - 15.9
E - 15.7

Total = 89.7


Light tension = 78.2

Medium (normal) tension = 82.5

High tension = 86.9

Extra high tension = 89.7

Not a lot of difference, but then I am not a guitar! [:D]

gerundino63 -> RE: High Tension strings (Feb. 17 2004 8:11:02)

Hi Tom!

You have a long time experience, So I really like your oppinion on the EJ 46 C
greetings, Peter.

Jim Opfer -> RE: High Tension strings (Feb. 17 2004 12:12:20)

That was very interesting to read.
Personally, I prefer Savarez Corum Alliance and I realise that you don't like the 'feel' of the trebles. For me, they just seem to be more open and with more sound than the rest. D'Addario's have that 'lumpy' 3rd and the composite alternative is a bit too much like a piece of wire, however, I hear what you say and I'll give them another go.
Thanks again.

Thomas Whiteley -> RE: High Tension strings (Feb. 18 2004 0:55:50)


I truely dislike the composites!

Billyboy -> RE: High Tension strings (Feb. 18 2004 7:35:40)

One thing worth mentioning is higher tension strings are harder and thinner which dig into your fingers, and make them sore

gerundino63 -> RE: High Tension strings (Feb. 18 2004 9:33:45)

Thanks Tom!

I like clear answers!! hahahaha

greetings, Peter.

Thomas Whiteley -> RE: High Tension strings (Feb. 18 2004 23:24:49)


Another statement about D'Addario - they also spec the diameter of thir strings. I cannot speak for other strings but as you increase tension of D'Addario strings, the diameter increases.

You had better have good finger nails and "well seasoned" finger tips to use higher tension strings. [:D]

rickm -> RE: High Tension strings (Feb. 19 2004 1:38:38)

anyone have any info on Hannabach's ??

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