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12850bd

Posts: 149
Joined: Nov. 9 2006
From: australia

Third String Difference 

I have been using EJ45 for years on my old Conde. Good overall string but as many have said on the forum they are a bit inert in the trebles and the G string is shocking. Last year I tried using the composite G string which improved the sound a bit.
Last month I ran out of composites so in desperation I substituted a Labella 2001 medium tension 3rd string and the result was amazing.
All of the trebles now ring like bells and the volume of the first string has increased noticeably.
Even playing rasqueado across all 6 strings the guitar sounds alive and better balanced.
Does anyone know why or how the different sound of one string can affect the sound and volume of others....a good question for the Luthiers
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 3 2024 23:23:12
 
itoprover

Posts: 346
Joined: Jan. 3 2006
 

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to 12850bd

2nd and 3rd strings from EJ45 set are too loose, La Bella 2001 M and MH trebles are thicker and higher tension. I personally find La Bella 2001 trebles more sonorous and "singing", but their tension is little bit higher which can be an obstacle for some. Scale length matters too.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2024 14:48:33
 
Ricardo

Posts: 15028
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to 12850bd

The harmonic overtones can add up or stack and reinforce the overall sound. More noticeable when the bass strings are good. A guitar with brand new trebles can sound dull at first because of stretching, the harmonics are going off constantly. So one explanation could be the G string you replaced settled very quickly.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2024 17:09:43
 
12850bd

Posts: 149
Joined: Nov. 9 2006
From: australia

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to itoprover

I agree that the 2 and 3 strings of EJ45 are loose. But the 2001 medium tension is actually lower than the Ej45 not higher.
According to their data from strings by mail

EJ45 string 3 is 11.80 lbs

2001 med string 3 is 11.44 lbs
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 4 2024 23:37:41
 
itoprover

Posts: 346
Joined: Jan. 3 2006
 

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to 12850bd

Seems like something is off with these tension measurements you mentioned, here is what I am looking at(same website):

Labella 2001 MT
https://www.stringsbymail.com/la-bella-2001-classical-mt-classical-guitar-strings-full-set-3654.html
3rd string
Diameter in: 0.041
Tension lbs: 12.32


DAddario EJ45
https://www.stringsbymail.com/daddario-ej45-pro-arte-nt-classical-guitar-strings-full-set-10.html
3rd string
Diameter in: 0.0403
Tension lbs: 11.880

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2024 16:12:56
 
kitarist

Posts: 1721
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to itoprover

They are identical in tension when tension is normalized to the same scale length (i.e. when compared on the same guitar).

The two companies use different reference length scales for calculating the listed tensions: D'Addario uses 647.7mm reference scale tension (25.5 in); La Bella uses 655mm.

Additionally, D'Addario's 11.88 is not believable; probably a typo - it should be nominal 12.10 lb if its diameter data is to be believed. La Bella's tension is correct at 12.32 lb for the listed diameter.

When normalized (converted) to the same length scale (for example 650 mm), the tensions are 12.19 and 12.13 for D'Addario and La Bella, respectively. This is identical given variability in actual individual string diameters and potential errors in the listed data.

It is the same material. Same diameter in mm (1.04mm most likely; 41 mils). Same tension on the same guitar. But maybe two different manufacturers of the extruded nylon. How likely is that the global plastics giants would offer products at 1.02 or 1.03 vs. 1.04 mm - not very likely given the demand is some small fraction of 1% of the total (the bulk demand for these is for bristles for paint and toothbrushes, I believe) and 1.02 and 1,03 mm would be in between 40 and 41 mils).



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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2024 18:01:52
 
itoprover

Posts: 346
Joined: Jan. 3 2006
 

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to 12850bd

I agree the measurements seem off even on the SBM website and the tensions are likely measured against different scales, plus I am not sure 12850bd uses the same set as I linked. I know that EJ45 1st and 2nd feel loose compared to La Bella 2001 Classical as I tried these 2 strings back to back on the same guitar. Not completely sure about the 3rd as I use Savarez Alliance for the 3rd.

Konstantin, what is this excel? Can you share?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2024 18:14:46
 
12850bd

Posts: 149
Joined: Nov. 9 2006
From: australia

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to itoprover

Makes sense...I was using the Labella 2001 flamenco strings MT and you were using the 2001 classical strings MT.

cheers peter
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2024 21:05:23
 
12850bd

Posts: 149
Joined: Nov. 9 2006
From: australia

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to kitarist

Interesting about the extruded plastic and strings. There definitely seems to be a difference in the composition of the plastics. When I change Ej45 strings they are very soft and flexible when tying knots etc. When I tie Any Labella black strings they are stiff and spring back into place.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 5 2024 21:12:58
 
kitarist

Posts: 1721
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to itoprover

quote:

Konstantin, what is this excel? Can you share?


This is just something I started putting together more than 10 years ago when I was trying to understand the seemingly contradictory or inconsistent tension and other values. I haven't really put a lot more work into it past the initial burst; in part because it is near impossible to find reference length scale values used by companies - only a couple provide this info - thus exact comparisons cannot be made in most cases.

Also, back then I thought the published diameters, tension, are measurements and treated them as such to an extent. Putting in one place whatever I could find from several different companies, I started noticing impossibilities, like same diameter, same material, same open-string tuning, but very different tensions - thus realizing there are a lot of typos in published values.

Since then, I learned a few facts which obviate the need for an exhaustive database of materials, diameters, reference length scales, and tensions - especially about treble strings; I focus on nylon trebles below as these are the vast majority of strings offered on the classical/flamenco guitar string market:

1. The tension values are not measurements, but calculated ideal values (string NOT tensioned on guitar) given the physical relationship between material density, diameter, length scale, and desired reference open-string frequency.

2. The diameters are also not measured, but are specs passed along from the actual manufacturers - giant plastics companies (Dupont, Toray) for whom making a batch of guitar strings is a rounding error compared to what they extrude these monofilaments for.

3. Consequently, the guitar companies order the trebles and do not get to freely choose diameters - there are only a few diameters available to choose from. Like around 0.711 mm; 0.813 mm; 1.016 mm for the lower tier tension set, and 0.736; 0.838; 1.041 mm for the higher tension tier. (Note also that any diameters given in mm are derived from the original mil (1/1000 inch) specs, or vice versa if extrusion plant equipment settings are in mm, so these are prone to typos/mistakes from conversion on top of any typos when listing the factory diameters).

4. There are only two types of nylon that can be/are used for musical strings: PA 6-12 (regular nylon guitar strings) and PA12 (Savarez's Cristal/New Cristal). PA = polyamide.

5. Coloured nylon is regular nylon (PA 6-12) with colour dye added being less than 2% of the total mass. Does not change the density or tensile stiffness, apparently, but perhaps can change a bit the shear stiffness so pushing a black string across its length axis as we do in sound generation on guitar may feel a bit different.

So that's a lot of constraints.

For example, listing a nylon G string as 1.027mm and 1.041 mm probably means the actual specs are 1.041 mm for both (40 mils is 1.016mm; 41 mils is 1.0414; there are no finer offerings between whole mil numbers).

Also a diameter and material implies density, and there are only a couple possibilities - PA 6-12 is around 1.06 g/cm3, and PA12 is a bit less dense, at 1.01 g/cm3. (Nylon absorbs moisture so values vary a bit depending on that). And this in turn implies tension at a given open-string tuning and reference length scale.

The actual, on-the-guitar, tensioned string, stabilized tension is different from the listed one - it is lower, and it declines more for the B and E trebles than the G string as they stretch more. As a result, the three trebles stabilized on the guitar have a lot more uniform tension profile than what the listed tension look like.

The actual diameters (before stringing) are not identical to the listed one (which is the spec one, effectively the mean one) but have some Gaussian distribution around that mean because of micro-variations in extrusion temperature etc. for the same batch.

All of this made me realize that there is a lot of smoke and mirrors to sell us essentially the same two wines repackaged with different fancy labels and claimed unique characteristics. Which made having an exhaustive strings database less important than what I initially thought - the system is hugely over-determined and only a few points of data are needed.

(then we have PVDF = "carbon"; PEEK = D'Addario composite and some others; and alot more from Aquila which is totally unique in that it has its own extrusion plant and actively makes new string materials).

But here is my excel file anyway:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OVEVU5eUy2XFrs5TmCyibEt5umynWLq8

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2024 1:55:53
 
Ricardo

Posts: 15028
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to kitarist

Also, there can be the case of “bad batches”, where defects occur. I have had multiple sets of brand X Y or Z, that had warbling strings, or ones that break suddenly, or won’t intonate, etc. It will give false impressions to the consumer that the BRAND is at fault, when as you say, these are all the same plastic things essentially in a different colored package. I remember when Labella were “bad” at it was probably some large batch, and the company come on foro here offering everybody free sets to try again, with a new shiny sticker on there.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2024 11:34:36
 
AndresK

Posts: 333
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
From: Patras, Greece

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to kitarist

Thank you for the very interesting file. I too have read this same nylon for all brands thing from Mr Mimmo, but I am not really sure this is the whole story. For some reason, even though there are generalisations on "traditional" nylon strings and cristal type strings, still there are timbre differences between brands for the exact same diameters.

So Augustine classic nylon is different than la bella 427 different than Knobloch an different than d Addario pro arte trebles, all supposed to be the same type of nylon. The same goes for Savarez new cristal, luthier, RC Recital, solera and Knobloch qz trebles, all different feel of stiffness, projection, sound details...

Is there some ingredient percentage that differs between them? I am no chemist of course and speak entirely on my experience.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2024 15:20:19
 
itoprover

Posts: 346
Joined: Jan. 3 2006
 

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to 12850bd

Thank you for the file Konstantin, great calculations there, I too wish there was some kind of universal breakdown of tension measurements that has all popular brands and takes all kinds of materials into account. Still there seems to be something off in LaBella 2001 classical trebles vs EJ45 comparison, as EJ45 trebles are very noticeably more loose than LaBella 2001 classical trebles.. I will look more into how it is calculated.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2024 16:38:22
 
kitarist

Posts: 1721
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to AndresK

quote:

not really sure this is the whole story


I think I was careful not to imply that it is a complete story. It is not. For example, apart from the giant plastics companies others also can extrude nylon strings, and guitar string companies can order from these "second-tier' ones sometimes, I imagine. These extruders would, in general, have older-generation equipment with less ability for control of the extrusion process. This is one way how one can get more bad batches or large inconsistencies within the same batch (larger standard deviation around the mean of actual string diameters, for example).

D'Addario gets their trebles from Japanese materials manufacturer Toray, which has exceptionally consistent quality control and process and using the most modern extrusion plants. D'Daddario gets all the credit, but if other guitar strings companies ordered from Toray, their PA6-12 trebles would have exactly the same sound and consistency. D'Addario likely has an exclusive deal with Toray preventing that.

Yes, if we knew which string companies get their nylon trebles from which manufacturers and got the manufacturer's specs for all, we would have much more objective certainty based upon which to make choices.

Also note that both humidity and temperature affect string stiffness, and separately for the same humidity and temperature, PA6-12 and PA12 would have different stiffness (PA12 less stiff).

String stiffness varies by a factor of up to 2 within the plausible ranges that a guitar can experience for humidity and temperature during its life:






As to percentages - not how it works, I believe. PA6-12 is a single chemical, C18H36N2O3, gets polymerized to make long chains and gets extruded into a string. PA12 is C12H23NO, gets polymerized, etc. They are not classes of nylon materials but specific species.




PA12 has similar properties to do with humidity/temperature effects and similarly more resistant to water absorption, just is a bit less dense so sounds more 'mellow' on guitar. However, apparently it is more expensive to produce, which is likely the main reason the nylon guitar string market is dominated by PA6-12.


quote:

will look more into how it is calculated


Here is the formula :



where rho is material/volume density, d is string diameter, L is reference length scale, f is reference pitch (of the open-string tuned string), T is tension at the reference pitch. L and d are in meters; f in Hertz; rho in kg/cubic metre (PA612 rho = 1060.0; PA12 rho = 1010.0);

1 (E) 329.63 Hz
2 (B) 246.94 Hz
3 (G) 196.00 Hz
4 (D) 146.83 Hz
5 (A) 110.00 Hz
6 (E) 82.41 Hz

Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (4)

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2024 18:28:30
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3435
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to kitarist

quote:

ORIGINAL: kitarist

D'Addario gets their trebles from Japanese materials manufacturer Toray, which has exceptionally consistent quality control and process and using the most modern extrusion plants. D'Daddario gets all the credit, but if other guitar strings companies ordered from Toray, their PA6-12 trebles would have exactly the same sound and consistency. D'Addario likely has an exclusive deal with Toray preventing that.


i have read (but not verified) claims of additional quality control tecniques employed by guitar string companies.

These include measuring string diameter and rejecting those which deviate from the string maker's specifcations, either for the whole string, or varying too much in diameter along the length of the string.

For decades i have used Savarez "red cards" on my Ramirez blanca. These strings have an unusual surface texture. They are not as shiny as other trebles. They are not as slick to touch. I have read statements by Savarez claiming this texture is achieved by "grinding" the strings to guarantee uniform diameter.

Either of these techniques might possibly contribute to differences in sound from the raw product of the nylon manufacturer.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2024 4:05:04
 
kitarist

Posts: 1721
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:


For decades i have used Savarez "red cards" on my Ramirez blanca. These strings have an unusual surface texture. They are not as shiny as other trebles. They are not as slick to touch. I have read statements by Savarez claiming this texture is achieved by "grinding" the strings to guarantee uniform diameter.


Yes, 'rectified nylon' strings, as they are known. Apart from the consistency in diameter (at the expense of a slightly rougher surface which a lot of classical guitarists didn't like), in theory they could have produced strings of any diameter that way. Maybe it was too costly to do (string by string ground by centerless grinding).

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2024 17:02:32
 
12850bd

Posts: 149
Joined: Nov. 9 2006
From: australia

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to kitarist

Interesting explanation but there are some things I cant get my head around. If you compare Labella 820b and labella 2001 medium flamenco. Plastic is plastic from the same source and the manufacturer is the same....and yet..

2001 string 1 diam 0.711 tension 14.3 / string 3 diam 1.016 tension 11.44

820b string 1 diam 0.711 tension 15.4 / string 3 diam 1,016 tension 12.32

added to this the sound is very different
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 21 2024 0:13:42
 
kitarist

Posts: 1721
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to 12850bd

quote:

ORIGINAL: 12850bd

Interesting explanation but there are some things I cant get my head around. If you compare Labella 820b and labella 2001 medium flamenco. Plastic is plastic from the same source and the manufacturer is the same....and yet..

2001 string 1 diam 0.711 tension 14.3 / string 3 diam 1.016 tension 11.44

820b string 1 diam 0.711 tension 15.4 / string 3 diam 1,016 tension 12.32

added to this the sound is very different


They make mistakes in posting numbers (for diameters; for tensions..)

2001M flamenco trebles are the same material as 2001M classical trebles, something La Bela calls "nylon 202". For 2001M classical trebles they post the same exact higher tension you see posted for the 820B black flamenco medium trebles, as you can see on the string by mail website here(*):
https://www.stringsbymail.com/la-bella-2001-classical-mt-classical-guitar-strings-full-set-3654.html

The 2001M flamenco trebles are just a bit thinner, thus lower tension.

The diameters in mm that look to you the same as for the 2001FM are listed incorrect for the 820b, though the diameters in inches are correctly listed as slightly larger, same as for the 2001M classical. So for 820B they listed the wrong thinner diameters in mm (but correct in inches(**)), and listed the correct tensions corresponding to the diameter values in inches.

Bottom line, 2001FM are supposed to be slightly thinner trebles than 820B; this means the 820B trebles have slightly greater tension at the same pitches. You perceive this as the 820Bs having different sound (they are likely a bit louder).

(*) strings by mail just passes along the la bella numbers, so I am quoting them for convenience.

(**) https://www.stringsbymail.com/la-bella-820b-elite-flamenco-with-black-trebles-med-tension-full-set-758.html

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 21 2024 1:16:25
 
AndresK

Posts: 333
Joined: Jan. 4 2019
From: Patras, Greece

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to 12850bd

Hello. The 2001 and the 820b are indeed very different. Different nylon, different stiffness, different sound. I have also asked la Bella about this in the past. The 427,820, 820b share the same "older" version of nylon. The 2001 and 2001 black trebles are supposed to have the same newer 202 nylon. Although the added black dye changes the sound quite much to my ears.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 21 2024 5:08:14
 
kitarist

Posts: 1721
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Third String Difference (in reply to AndresK

quote:

ORIGINAL: AndresK

Hello. The 2001 and the 820b are indeed very different. Different nylon, different stiffness, different sound. I have also asked la Bella about this in the past. The 427,820, 820b share the same "older" version of nylon. The 2001 and 2001 black trebles are supposed to have the same newer 202 nylon. Although the added black dye changes the sound quite much to my ears.


Update: Yes, turns out "nylon 202" is PA6, and presumably the 427, 820, etc. are normal PA 6-12 nylon. Though I wouldn't call PA6 the newer one - more like the other way around (PA6 was one of the first two 'nylons' produced approximately around the same time - PA6-6 in USA and PA6 in Germany, in the mid to late 1930s)..

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2024 2:05:54
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