Are there any REALLY bright strings?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by atomheartmother, May 14, 2006.

  1. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    Are there any strings that add a lot of brightness to a guitar? I got my Seagull M6 yesterday and love everything about it expect I would like it to be a bit brighter, especially on the bass/wound strings. The low E is kind of dull and thuddy, especially. The treble strings could be brighter as well.
    I have a Taylor 110 coming in tomorrow and expect it to be much brighter. But overall, I do like the Seagull a bit better than the 110 that I played in the store other than I prefer the brighter tone of the Taylor. I can only keep one, so I'd like to get the best of both worlds.
    Could I bring in more brightness with different strings or other "accessories"?
    What would make the Taylor brighter than the Seagull? They are made with the same woods (except the fretboards...rosewood vs ebony).

    PS: The Seagull has light (12 gauge) Martin strings (not sure which model number exactly). I believe (although I'm not positive) that the 110 that I played in the store had Elixer strings (lights or mediums...not sure).
     
  2. edgarallanpoe

    edgarallanpoe Member

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  3. Da5Id

    Da5Id Member

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  4. gtrnstuff

    gtrnstuff Member

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    The Martin strings shipped with your Seagull may have already started to go dead from weather changes or...? (my body chemistry has killed strings in 15 minutes, if I'm sweating at all). Elixers sound pretty much the same through their lifetime.
    Tonewoods matter of course, but design and construction and individual variance between instruments seem to affect the tone just as much. Taylors are just bright, generally.
    Any good phosphor bronze string will start out plenty bright, IME. Elixers have a different type of high end that I'm not always crazy about. D'Addario EXP coated strings are a good comprimise for me.
     
  5. billv

    billv Member

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    If you are looking for bright, you should first try out 80/20 bronze strings, which tend toward the bright side. Phosphor Bronze strings tend to be on the warmer side. Look at D'Addario's web site for details on their tonal spectrum as an example:

    http://www.daddario.com/DADFAcoustic.aspx?ID=2

    Also, you may want try the GHS Bright Bronze strings, which are indeed bright.

    If you are looking for a coated string with longer life, the Elixir Nanowebs are pretty bright (too much for my Lowden). The new Elixir Phosphor Bronze strings are great, but are quite a bit warmer.
     
  6. gtr777

    gtr777 Supporting Member

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    80/20's are going to give you the brightest tone of acoustic strings. The downside is that they're more prone to tarnish
     
  7. HereIGoAgain

    HereIGoAgain Member

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    Hmmmm. I think I'm having deja vu. I remember vaguely seeing a thread like this at the AGF.

    Anyway.... The guys are correct. You need 80/20 bronze strings. When I played 80/20 bronze, I used Martin M150. They don't make those anymore, but the closest thing is the Martin Marquis series.

    Yes, in the store, the Taylor 110 would have Elixir Nanowebs on it. The Polywebs are brighter slightly. However, on my 110, I prefer phosphor bronze strings.
     
  8. THROBAK

    THROBAK Vendor

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    I don't know if they are the brightest but I think Martin SP strings are the most balanced sounding strings.
     
  9. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd rank the Elixirs from dullest to brightest: Polyweb, Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze, Nanoweb.

    My personal favorite are the Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze, as they don't have the strident character of the normal Nanos. They are expensive, but I use them on all of my acoustics.

    Bryan
     
  10. Evan Gluck

    Evan Gluck Member

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    Try brass strings, very bright, not the longest life though. D'aquisto makes a variety of sets.
    Evan
     
  11. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I don't recommend coated strings for any reason, just 'cause I don't think they sound as good as uncoated strings, brighter or not.

    80/20s are bright strings. It's questionable whether any string will "add a lot of brightness" to a guitar with a "dark and thuddy" low end. Strings compliment a guitar's tone but they don't change its character a whole lot. But it's certainly worth trying.
     
  12. THROBAK

    THROBAK Vendor

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    I used to use brass wound. They are bright but they don't stay that way for long. The Martin SP strings hold up pretty well for non coated strings.
     

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