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Reference string   You are logged in as Guest
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f.j.w.

 

Posts: 20
Joined: Aug. 20 2016
 

Reference string 

Hi

What string do you use if you want to evaluate a guitar? It is useful to have a reference string that you always use for this purpose. It has be a neutral sounding string, and it has to be a fairly well known string.

For violins I use Obligatos, Larsen for cellos and Spirocore for double basses. Violas,,,,, always a problem with strings, Larsen A, Helicore D, Spirocore G and C.

For guitars I have never really had a reference string. I am a violin maker, and I have only just begun to work with guitars seriouIy. I have always used D'Addario Pro Arte J45, just out of habit. Recently I have begun to dislike them more and more. I have, on my teacher's recommendation tried Savarez Red Card, and I like them much more.

So what do you guys use for a reference string? A reference string is not necessarily your favourite string, or the string that works best with your favourite guitar. Do you use the same reference string for flamencos and classicals, or do you use different reference strings?


Frank JW
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 22 2017 11:06:15
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 894
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Reference string (in reply to f.j.w.

I really like Royal Classics Sonata strings. I've put them on the last 180 - 190 guitars so I think that's a pretty good reference. However I will still test an idea on 10 guitars before I can an accurate picture of what the idea has done to the sound.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 22 2017 11:55:25
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Reference string (in reply to f.j.w.

Most people use D'Addario for evaluating because they are not super shiny or strident. If your guitar sounds good with those it will sound better with the strings that suit the player. If your teacher likes playing Savarez bear in mind Savarez has a strong brand sound.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 22 2017 13:25:23
 
etta

 

Posts: 314
Joined: Jan. 20 2010
 

RE: Reference string (in reply to f.j.w.

Savarez Corum Alliance 500 AJ High Tension
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 22 2017 14:49:17
 
krichards

Posts: 597
Joined: Jan. 14 2007
From: York, England

RE: Reference string (in reply to f.j.w.

You have always used D'addario EJ45, so that's your reference string.
Mine too. I put them on all my new guitars because they absolutely reliable and consistent.
However for the guitars that I play myself I prefer Royal Classics, Sonata and sometimes the black flamenco version

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 22 2017 16:29:03
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Reference string (in reply to f.j.w.

Daddario J 45 or 46
Reason. They are relatively cheap, a lot of players use them and most important, consistancy is the best that I have tried. The last one is actually the most important in a reference string.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 22 2017 18:34:48
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 727
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Reference string (in reply to f.j.w.

I agree with Anders for all the reasons stated – normal tension D’Addario for me.

I do use High Tension Savarez Corum Alliance for some guitars but only if I detect some benefit.

Strings are made in factories, not by wizened old workers sitting on stools in candlelit attics. Before you spend your life trying different brands, see if you can find an online video of a guitar string factory with the name of your chosen brand. You will find a video of the huge D’Addario factory where they make seven hundred thousand strings per day. If you can’t find a factory for your chosen brand you might want to consider the possible reasons.

I presume variation in wound strings comes partly from the thickness and composition of the component materials and their coatings. It also depends on the quality of the winding.

As for treble strings, are the brands extruding their own strings? Don’t the plain trebles just come on large drums from external suppliers? D’Addario claim that theirs are laser selected for consistent diameter – a good idea. The surfaces can be lightly abraded (rectified trebles). I have yet to be convinced that plain nylon strings of a given diameter vary much from maker to maker.

Perhaps we could go to Alibaba and bulk buy strings for a new "Foro FLamenco" brand!

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 22 2017 21:55:45
 
Njål Bendixen

 

Posts: 65
Joined: Aug. 25 2016
 

RE: Reference string (in reply to f.j.w.

Tom Neitzert once told me that he knew that most American string makers use nylon produced in America, thus most American strings will have some common characteristics. The same goes for European string manufacturers, tend to use nylon produced in Europe. I imagine that there are very few factories that produce raw nylon, so there could be some truth to this.


Njål
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 23 2017 10:00:31
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 727
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Reference string (in reply to Njål Bendixen

But who uses Chinese nylon?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 23 2017 12:47:54
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1488
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Reference string (in reply to f.j.w.

That's a good question and it's interesting to see the various answers.

For flamenco guitars, I use Luthier Popular Supreme 20--both as reference and favorite. They have Paco de Lucia's picture on the back and his endorsement on them somewhere, so they must be good. They also seem to break in quickly and last long, and the trebles are not too smooth and shiny. And they're reasonably priced. I get them from Stringsbymail.com.

I'm still figuring out what to use for classicals.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 23 2017 12:56:41
 
kitarist

Posts: 1287
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Reference string (in reply to Njål Bendixen

quote:

ORIGINAL: Njål Bendixen

Tom Neitzert once told me that he knew that most American string makers use nylon produced in America, thus most American strings will have some common characteristics. The same goes for European string manufacturers, tend to use nylon produced in Europe. I imagine that there are very few factories that produce raw nylon, so there could be some truth to this.

Njål


If we are talking about 'raw' nylon, there are only a few kinds of it - of polyamide (PA), which is what nylon is: PA6, PA66, PA11, PA12, and one or two more. Likely only a subset of these are actually used for guitar strings as the others would not have suitable properties. However, you can mix these in any combination and in any proportion - so it is still possible that guitar strings from different brands are actually slightly different recipes, even if their main ingredient is PA6, say.

To an extent, one can infer the recipe (or at least if two recipes are likely the same) if accurate data on string diameter and tension for a given pitch (and tensioned string length) is given. If it is the same diameter and tension for the same pitch for the same string length, the string material is of the same density. It might be likely (but not certain) that this means the same recipe for the nylon mixture.

Unfortunately, most companies seem to guard part or all of that info and/or it is not clear how accurate the tension or diameter data is that they publish. So someone should just get a makeshift tensiometer and a caliper and generate the data. Then at least we should be able to weed out the identical-density material across brand names.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 23 2017 16:32:21
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3130
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Reference string (in reply to kitarist

Right on, Kitarist.

The issue is further clouded by some string manufacturers using slightly different scale lengths to measure tension. This info is even harder to come by than the gauges and tensions.

But I have tried different manufacturers who publish very similar gauge and tension data, and found different feel and sound to the strings. In particular, some trebles take much longer to stabilize as they stretch than trebles by other manufacturers. This may happen even within the same manufacturer's nylon string sets that go by different names.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 23 2017 23:44:14
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Reference string (in reply to f.j.w.

I've heard that if you know what you're talking about you can get the the string engineers at D'Addario on the horn and ask them questions. Some of my violin maker buddies have spoken to them.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 24 2017 5:40:40
 
Ricardo

Posts: 12994
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Reference string (in reply to f.j.w.

quote:

What string do you use if you want to evaluate a guitar?


The same exact strings you have on the guitar you love.....of course.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 24 2017 6:14:46
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Reference string (in reply to f.j.w.

But what if you love them all and they all have different strings on.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 24 2017 17:25:44
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Reference string (in reply to f.j.w.

How about fishing line? Just use fishing line.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 25 2017 16:04:40
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