Optimized Sets of Strings?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by dorfmeister, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    Does anyone use optimized sets of strings that they have purchased from a manufacturer or put together themselves?

    Is there anything to this idea of optimized string sets?

    http://www.roterguitars.com/strings.htm

    This is an explanation from the Roter page.

    Roter Custom Guitars Optimized Strings Sets

    [SIZE=-1]by Sebastian Bukowski[/SIZE]



    If you reading this text, we believe you're not only average guitar player, but person who really cares about his guitar/bass tone. Read this carefully and you will never back to your previous strings.


    But first we have to talk about strings you can buy in every music store. Do you think those strings are the best strings possible?? When it comes to something as basic as strings we trust the experts to provide us with the proper string sets. We would never even think that they would not provide a fully researched product, scientifically optimized for its intended use. Strings today are made with the highest technology available. So what's wrong with those sets?

    The answer is very simple, but first...
    Do you ever noticed, when playing guitar and bending strings, that not every string are playable and bendable the same way?? Especially the B and the low E. And I'm not talking about that B is plain steel and E is wound. Do you still don't know what I'm talking about??

    The answer is TENSION.

    Let's look at the very popular 9-42 and 10-46 sets and string tension:

    E .009 13,1 lbs. .010 16,2 lbs.
    B .011 11,0 lbs. .013 15,5 lbs.
    G .016 14,7 lbs. .017 16,6 lbs.
    D .024 15,8 lbs. .026 18,4 lbs.
    A .032 15,8 lbs. .036 19,5 lbs.
    E .042 14,8 lbs. .046 17,4 lbs.

    Do you see any logic in that tension, any pattern? Why the high E is so tight, when B is much lighter and why low E is lighter in tension than G or A? Do you know that answer? I don't. Simply because there is no correct answer. The only answer is that those 9-42 or 10-46 sets you can buy are bunch of junk. Don't waste you money buying this. You can ask why string companies are selling those sets? Simply - for money. But why those sets aren't correct in tension? Simply because someone in the past completed those sets and no one really cares what next. It's simple law: demand-supply.

    Another questions. Are there somewhere correct sets we can buy in music stores? Who's making them. The answer is yes and no in the same time. Why? Because you can buy not correct or better word - optimized string sets, but only slightly optimized. What I'm talking about? Do you ever seen artists signature sets? Like Yngwie Malmsteen Set or Zakk Wylde Sets? We can call those sets corrected top-corrected bottom simply because those sets not optimized correctly. Those sets have only heavier bottom, because those great guitar players noticed that their bottom strings are much to floppy. But for string company it's another reason to earn more money - Signature Sets.

    Someone can tell - we have those LTHB sets (light top, heavy bottom). Those have to be correct. We also have the jazz sets with thick strings. Answer is: NO again.
    Lets look at the LTHB set and Jazz Medium set:

    E .010 16,2 lbs. .013 27,4 lbs.
    B .013 15,4 lbs. .017 26,3 lbs.
    G .017 16,6 lbs. .026 32,4 lbs.
    D .030 25,0 lbs. .036 34,1 lbs.
    A .042 26,3 lbs. .046 30,5 lbs.
    E .052 22.0 lbs. .056 25,4 lbs.

    Can you see. Those Jazz sets are even worst then other sets. The low E is lighter than high E, it's the lightest string in set. Tell me why? If you don't believe me, check any string company and you will tell who's right. There's only one correct answer.

    What about 7-string guitar players, what about sets for them. Are they right? The answer is NO again, because there is no other answer. The 7-string players are treated like dying species, everybody knows about, but nobody really cares. After growing popularity of 7-string guitars when Steve Vai started to play one, strings companies started to make 7-string sets, but who really use those sets? As we know almost every 7-string player buys the lowest string separately. Why? Check the tension of 7-string sets. Then you will never ask why.

    E .009 13,1 lbs. .010 16,2 lbs.
    B .011 11,0 lbs. .013 15,5 lbs.
    G .016 14,7 lbs. .017 16,6 lbs.
    D .024 15,8 lbs. .026 18,4 lbs.
    A .032 15,8 lbs. .036 19,5 lbs.
    E .042 14,8 lbs. .046 17,4 lbs.
    B .054 13.8 lbs. .056 14.8 lbs.

    Really interesting think. Can you see they only added lowest strings to mentioned before 9-42 and 10-46 sets. Strings companies really cares about 7-string players. They added almost the lightest in tension string in the set as the lowest. Where's the trick. How we can have great tone from that sets. It's impossible.

    There is also a growing popularity of extended range guitar (ERG) players. They use 8-string, 9-string, 10-string guitars, even 13-string guitars. What about strings for them. The answer. Strings for ERG are virtually no existent. The is one mass production 8-string guitar offered by Ibanez, but you can't buy any set for this guitar, you have to buy strings separately. But after reading previous sections, do you really want to buy any other mass production set? I don't think so.

    What about bass players?
    They are using so thick, heavy strings and pay at least few times more then we - the guitar players. Their sets have to be correct. Bassists use them much longer than we, so those sets have to be correct. The answer is NO again. Bassist have strings even worst then we have. Let's check why? I analyzed tension of available and most popular bass sets for 4, 5 and 6-string 34" basses.

    4 string set 5 string set 6 string set

    C .032 41.9 lbs.
    G .045 41,9 lbs. .045 41.9 lbs. .045 41,9 lbs.
    D .065 47,3 lbs. .065 47,3 lbs. .065 47,3 lbs.
    A .080 40,5 lbs. .080 40,5 lbs. .080 40,5 lbs.
    E .100 34,4 lbs. .100 34,4 lbs. .100 34,4 lbs.
    B .130 31,7 lbs. .130 31,7 lbs.

    Now you know what I'm talking about. Look at those sets. The D string is the hardest in tension, but why? Why strings going to be lighter in tension when strings going to be thicker? The low B is only slightly bigger in tension than A string from guitar jazz set.

    So what we can do with that?
    We have to optimize those sets in two steps:
    1. Determine what gauges are needed to make all strings the same tension when tuned to pitch.
    2. Increase the tension as the strings go lower in pitch.

    So how it goes (two examples - 6 string guitars and 4-string bass):

    WRONG
    RIGHT

    E .009 13,1 lbs. 13,1 lbs.
    B .011 11,0 lbs. 13,1 lbs.
    G .016 14,7 lbs. 14,4 lbs.
    D .024 15,8 lbs. 15,8 lbs.
    A .032 15,8 lbs. 17,6 lbs.
    E .042 14,8 lbs. 18,9 lbs.

    WRONG RIGHT
    G .045 41,9 lbs. 41,9 lbs.
    D .065 47,3 lbs. 42,9 lbs.
    A .080 40,5 lbs. 48,4 lbs.
    E .100 34,4 lbs. 50,8 lbs.


    Now you know the answer and you have the tool for great tone. Of course you can buy single strings at the music store and make your own set, but in near future we will offer Roter Custom Guitars Optimized Strings Sets to every customer. For now those strings are only available with our product. Those strings are not the same single strings you can buy in a store. We have them specially custom wound for us and those strings are not available on the market.

    Zachary Guitars also provides optimized string sets.


    http://www.zacharyguitars.com/Strings.htm

    Does anyone know of any other sources for Optimized string sets?

    Does anyone know of any resources to help one put an optimized set together from individual strings?
     
  2. SittinIdol

    SittinIdol Member

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    I read through the Zachary guitars page a bit. This guy is hilarious! Insulting pretty much everybody under the sun including his customers..."You 7 string players are treated as total Idiots by the string manufacturers. You have been ****ed up the ass for so long and don't even know it. Are you really the stupidest of all guitar players? That is so bad, its not even funny. I sure feel sorry for you.
    Maybe you are Idiots and deserve to get the under-tensioned, grossly unbalanced, whacked out strings that string companies give you. Do you like you low string. Do you like the way it feels like a limp noodle? You stupid moron, get a brain or take up another hobby. Guitar is not for you. "


    Is this guy a real business man??
    Anyways, I found the concept interesting but he only lists the tension of his strings and not the guages...
     
  3. JackButler

    JackButler Supporting Member

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    I'll stick with the cheap brands that have worked for years.
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Even though I'm not sure that the tensions have to be exactly equal (or rise towards the bass as that site suggests), I totally agree that some of the standard sets are WAY wrong.

    9s for the most obvious... why is the B string an 11 when simply looking at the plain numbers - even not the tensions - it's clear that it should be at least a 12 (and the G needs to be a 15, in fact). There are five semitones between the E and B and only four between the B and G, so why two gauges between the E and B and five between the B and G?! :confused:

    No surprise, the B feels like a banjo string.


    Then look at acoustic sets...

    A typical set of 10s: 10/14/23W/30W/39W/47W. A typical set of 12s: 12/16/24W/32W/42W/53W. But a typical set of 11s - 11/15/22W/32W/42W/52W. So the G is lighter than that in a set of 10s (and feels and sounds weak and thin) and the D and A are the same as those in a set of 12s!! WTF?! :rolleyes:

    So if I want a set of 11s for my acoustic, I buy a set - then buy a set of 10s as well, swap the Gs, and replace the 10 with an 11 in the 10s... which gives me a slightly lightly set for my acoustic-electric too, but only works because I own both guitars.

    What's even more ridiculous is that the strings I use most are D'Addarios, and they go to the trouble of printing the tensions right on the string packet, clearly ignoring the huge differences between strings.
     
  5. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    EB skinny top heavy bottoms.


    nothing better.
     
  6. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    So I guess these guys don't tell you the gauges they're using, because we'll just go out and make up our own 'proper' sets.

    I just switched to... 10-13-17-28-38-48, but for an optimized set it would most likely be... 10-14-17-26-36-48, right?
     
  7. einstein

    einstein Member

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    That dadario site is outragious, way to much information. You know ted green ran very heavy strings on his tele for jazz tone. You guys all love teles and danny gatton but you should check out the tele ted modified. Humbucker in neck, lots of toggle switches, natural finish. He has one benchmark ALBUM! vinyl
     
  8. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    He actually said, progressive tension, not equal tension.

    It's an easy and worthwhile experiment, so I just ordered a couple of custom sets from D'Addario, for $1 each string (not bad)...

    10 - 16.2
    13.5 - 16.6
    17 - 16.6
    26 - 18.4
    36 - 19.5
    49 - 19.7

    I will report back next week.
     
  9. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    Anybody know the cheapest place to get individual d'addario strings?


     
  10. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    I got them all for $1 each on the D'Addario site - much cheaper than Just Strings. They have every string available to make up your own custom sets. Very cool.
     
  11. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Not on the D'Addario site - I got the wound strings for $1 too!

    Qty Part# Name Total
    2 NW026 Single Nickel Wound 026 $2.00
    2 NW036 Single Nickel Wound 036 $2.00
    2 NW049 Single Nickel Wound 049 $2.00
    4 PL010 Single Plain Steel 010 $4.00
    4 PL0135 Single Plain Steel 0135 $4.00
    4 PL017 Single Plain Steel 017 $4.00

    Estimated Shipping & Handling $6.00
     
  12. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    Just ordered from the Zachary site. The i dea of optimized string tensions make sense. I hope the quality of the strings are decent (I have heard they are d'addarios so that would be fine.) The price was reasonable $5 per set + 6.50 for shipping and paypal fees.

    I'd like to try this with Snake Oil strings. I wonder if he could put together a set with a .0135 B string?
     
  13. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    My thoughts exactly! I'm going to eMail Dean today about that. He also doesn't have a .49 E string in any of his sets, but he does have a .50, which, according to the D'Addario tension chart, is 20.1 lbs, which is actually a perfect graduation of the low strings, although it's not the tension in the Zacharcy E string, which is most likely a .49.

    This would be the SOB set with a .50, assuming the tensions are the same as D'Addario, which means Dean only has to provide a .135 for the B...

    0.10 - 16.2
    0.135 - 16.6
    0.17 - 16.6
    0.26 - 18.4
    0.36 - 19.5
    0.50 - 20.1
     
  14. edwarddavis

    edwarddavis Supporting Member

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    Its easier just getting a regular set .
     
  15. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    I hope he says he can do it because that could be an ideal set of strings.

     
  16. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    So why should ease be the deciding factor in which strings to choose?

    It's also easier to buy a cheap DS-1 at guitar center than to search for your ideal and flip many pedals searching for that elusive sound.

    I don't think ease is what the gearpage is about.:BEER
     
  17. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean?


    A regular set of what?


    I think Zachary is using D'Addarios too, because, after the .49, there's only a .52, which is a bit too much and no .50, which would have been better according to his theory (20.1), ie: stair stepped lows re tensions.
     
  18. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Music is a right brain + left brain thing. It has lots going on on both sides, and many people love to explore both sides simultaneously, because they are integrated, and you get immediate results with your experiments.

    It's all about refining one's tools to further express one's guitar voices.
     

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