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12850bd

 

Posts: 128
Joined: Nov. 9 2006
 

STRING TENSIONS 

Does anybody know where we an find a comparative table of string tensions and gauges in similar units. Manufacturers seem not to want to release this information and suppliers dont seem to want to either. I would like to to cpmpare labella 820b with luthier20/ savarez cristal red/ daddario EJ45.
This information you would think would be easily available much like when you buy a car or a TV ...you get all the specifications to make choosing easier.
Just saying light or medium tension is really useless.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2018 2:45:12
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1762
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to 12850bd

quote:

Does anybody know where we an find a comparative table of string tensions and gauges in similar units. Manufacturers seem not to want to release this information and suppliers dont seem to want to either. I would like to to cpmpare labella 820b with luthier20/ savarez cristal red/ daddario EJ45.


The tensions of EJ45s are printed on the packet. They are as follows:

1) 15.3 lbs. (6.94 kg)
2) 11.6 (5.26)
3) 12.1 (5.49)
4) 15.6 (7.08)
5) 15.0 (6.80)
6) 14.0 (6.35)

Hope this helps.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2018 2:54:24
 
12850bd

 

Posts: 128
Joined: Nov. 9 2006
 

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to 12850bd

Thanks Paul....yes that info is good. Also la bella post all the specs as well. However Saverez dont give any tensions except normal/high / luthier dont tell you anything at all for comparison and hannabach give measurements in non standard units...so again you cant make informed choices.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2018 3:45:04
 
kitarist

Posts: 1455
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to 12850bd

Just the diameter and tension info is not enough - you also need to know what the reference scale length used by each manufacturer was, for their listed tension measurements. For example, D'Addario posts string tensions applicable to a scale of 647.7 mm (25.5 inches); Hannabach posts string tensions applicable to a scale of 650mm; La Bella posts string tensions applicable to a scale of 655mm.

Tension at pitch is proportional to the square of the scale length, so tensions at different scales are not directly comparable.

Anyway, I just happened to have most of what you are asking about, in an excel sheet - what I am posting below is tension normalized to the same reference scale - in this case 650mm - and all is in the same units for proper comparison. I ordered five sets from left to right, by increasing total tension. I think most of what you ask about is in there:



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2018 4:34:15
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to 12850bd

12850bd, many string companies post string tensions on their websites and SBM does as well. As kitarist mentioned, you will have to do some simple math to convert the strings to a given standardized scale length.
As to Hannabach, as I recall they use or used Newtons as their unit of measurement. Newtons is a standard unit of measurement which you must then convert to pound or kg if you want standardization in either of those units. You can google to find the equation to convert Newtons to kg/pounds. As to other companies, many do not but that may change. Augustine, which for many years did not give numbers, now do so which might spur others to do so.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2018 10:21:25
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to 12850bd

I find that different materials also change the perception and the feel of a string.

For roughly the same given tension, the diameter and the "elastic properties" of each material will give a different result.

Clear nylon, black nylon, titanium, carbon, etc... I think experimenting with that would be useful to you. For example, if you had titanium trebles the same thickness of an extra heavy clear set, you probably would perceive them as softer/sluggish. If you had carbons at that same thickness, you would feel that you were playing rocks and that your guitar could implode at any second. As a result, for the same Kg value you would have a much thinner carbon string.

Just a thought.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2018 10:59:54
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13338
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to kitarist

Didn’t need the chart to feel those relative tension differences. However, the saverez G is surprisingly weak tension

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2018 16:23:43
 
kitarist

Posts: 1455
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

Didn’t need the chart to feel those relative tension differences. However, the saverez G is surprisingly weak tension


It might be that Savarez posted the wrong number. The chart assumes the original numbers are correct (except for obvious screwups which I have already fixed); however companies do make mistakes and print garbage data here or there. Apparently Savarez has a bit of reputation for that.

As to feeling the tension, we push/pull in a direction perpendicular to the string, whereas that posted tension is along the string. Two things that might make the sensation (which is what we care about when playing) different than that implied by along-string tension data: (1) some strings are just stiffer for the same along-string tension, and (2) thinner strings with the same tension will feel stiffer because the pressure on the fingertip is greater (smaller area).

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2018 17:59:41
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to kitarist

Those two points are fine if the guitar isn't being played and you're just measuring the properties of still strings.

Playing guitar is about getting those strings moving. How they resist your attempt to disrupt their peace and how they decay into silence is what make them what they are and that can't be entirely based on a Kg chart... That only works for the guitars you keep in the case and on display.

Looking at charts like that might help draw some ballpark conclusions but as soon as you really try them and experiment with different materials/brands/guitars you'll find that there's little correlation between that chart and real life conclusions (the playing).

Once you find some strings you like, if the trebles are flimsy, get the trebles from the next available tension from that brand. If the basses are hard and boomy, get the basses with the tension below from the same brand...etc etc.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2018 18:47:56
 
kitarist

Posts: 1455
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to Sr. Martins

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sr. Martins

For roughly the same given tension, the diameter and the "elastic properties" of each material will give a different result.



Yes; sorry I did not see this before I replied above.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2018 19:07:02
 
12850bd

 

Posts: 128
Joined: Nov. 9 2006
 

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to 12850bd

Thanks for the replies...I have an old guitar which requires light strings ....might go with the 820b and see what its sounds like.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 9 2018 0:17:43
 
Filip

 

Posts: 295
Joined: Apr. 23 2006
From: Paris

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to 12850bd

Can someone please explain shortly what are the effects of different tensions (is it the feeling when playing, the sound, something else etc.).
Once when asking in a guitar shop the guy told me the only difference would be in how loud the sound is, there's nothin in how it feels when playing.

Cheers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 10 2018 20:39:30
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13338
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to Filip

quote:

ORIGINAL: Filip

Can someone please explain shortly what are the effects of different tensions (is it the feeling when playing, the sound, something else etc.).
Once when asking in a guitar shop the guy told me the only difference would be in how loud the sound is, there's nothin in how it feels when playing.

Cheers

It depends how fast you play. Very hard tension strings can feel like higher action when really playing fast with left hand jumping a lot. Or if you have to hold down a bunch of barre chords for a long time it can get uncomfortable just like a higher action guitar.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 11 2018 2:26:04
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3219
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to Filip

From the time I bought it in 2000 until recently I kept Savarez 540R “red cards” on the ‘82 Arcangel Fernandez blanca. I had it appraised before I bought it, and since the appraiser was the U.S. distributor for Hannabach at the time, I asked him to put Hannabachs on it. I soon shifted to the 540R’s I had used on my ‘67 Ramirez blanca since it was new. They had a warmer sound.

On a suggestion from a guitar maker, I tried a set of the lower tension Savarez “yellow cards.” I like them much better. The total tension is about 3 pounds less than the red cards. The sound is a little warmer and sweeter, which the Arcangel could use, volume perception is the same, and they are easier to play—not that the red cards were hard to play.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 11 2018 9:19:53
 
Echi

 

Posts: 974
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to 12850bd

quote:

It depends how fast you play. Very hard tension strings can feel like higher action when really playing fast with left hand jumping a lot. Or if you have to hold down a bunch of barre chords for a long time it can get uncomfortable just like a higher action guitar.
This for the left hand.
The right hand feels a stiffer string, which means you can push it harder and usually (not always) get a slightly louder sound: ideal for noisy environments and dance classes.
This works quite well with guitars with thick tops, while light guitars can loose something in terms of articulation.
I have to say that some strings at equal tension feel more bendable than others: Savarez for instance feel softer than D’addario and Hannabach.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 11 2018 10:19:32
 
Filip

 

Posts: 295
Joined: Apr. 23 2006
From: Paris

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to 12850bd

Cool, thanks!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 11 2018 21:17:26
 
mecmachin

 

Posts: 104
Joined: Aug. 7 2010
 

RE: STRING TENSIONS (in reply to 12850bd

Ricardo Sanchis once said to me: "guitarra blanda, cuerda dura, guitarra dura, cuerda blanda, comprendes?"
In my understanding, a flamenco guitar is "blanda" (soft), for the thinner soundboard, compared to classical guitar.
Might also be a question of blanca and negra.

On the other hand I wonder if too hard tension can mess up a guitar over the time, especially a blanda...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 12 2018 11:30:24
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