Snake Oils once more

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by buddastrat, Sep 23, 2005.


  1. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I got a set of Snake Oil .010-.046 "rock" set. I usually use Daddarios or Ernie Balls, same gauge for years on my Nocaster relic. The Snakes are snappier, and punchy, but just a little thinner sounding. They don't seem to have as deep of a tone. Lighter and more articulate is how I'd describe them sounding. Extremely clear sounding.

    I did notice that the neck did not have as much tension on it tuned to 440 and the action was quite a bit lower as a result. I didn't touch the truss rod, but the neck had less relief. Tension feels the same though when bending. But the actual diameter feels thinner on my fingertips, or more compressed and tightly wound. They feel very classy and smoother on the winds, though.

    I'm gonna slap a set of Ernies on for comparison again. I kinda miss that extra thump on the wound strings. Would the all nickel Snakes give more of that? Maybe bumping up a gauge?
     
  2. jda

    jda Member

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    You might want to email Dean (PinkStrat) - he is good at making recommendations in situations like yours.
     
  3. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    How old are they?

    I like to let them settle in for a few days.
     
  4. 908SSP

    908SSP Member

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    I liked the Classic all nickel set as it is warmer darker works better with my naturally bright Parker.
     
  5. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Oh he was great for recommendations. I might like a set that's just a tad heavier. I'm not sure the all nickel is gonna work. Some say it's almost a flatwound sound. On my tele, Ernies or Daddarios are not too bright. They are full but have that bright snap. I don't want a warm guitar all the time.

    The thing that really attracted me to the Snakes is having them last longer. I go through strings fast. Don't break them, but the intonation goes pretty quick and I hate changing strings. So it might be a matterof finding the right gauge/wrap. thanx!
     
  6. PlexiBreath

    PlexiBreath Member

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    Nothing could be further from the truth. They are very bold but have a very nice high end, not muted at all like flatwounds. I consider them more rock than anything else. One string, (not Snake Oil), that does sound sort of like flatwounds is the D'addario nickel rockers, they sound dead to my ears, but this is not the case with the nickel 'oils. After some experimenting I found I like the nickel SOB strings in this guage set:
    10, 13, 17, 28, 38, 48.
     
  7. michael.e

    michael.e Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, here goes...........

    I had picked up four sets of SOS's for my guitars. At this point, I am going to go back to my Thomastik's. The T's sound deeper and richer with a beautiful top end that seems so elastic and very natural. Punchy is most definately part of the picture.

    The SOS's seem to have a sonic stopping point at the upper mid and low end.......
    Maybe it is the compound in the Scalar Vintage strings, I don't know. They do have a very nice quality to them when they are new but I found that it goes away rather quickly. There is a rather harsh, unnatural top end to these strings that I do not like. The top end sounds very abrupt and bright and I am not just talking about fundamental notes on the G, B and E strings, I am talking about the brighter overtones on the wound strings as well.

    On top of that, I am finding that these strings do not stay in tune at all, on any of my guitars. I have an Historic Gibson Les Paul Jr. that has been set up and has never had any tuning issues. I have a Fender Japan "Ritchie Kotzen" Strat that I have had set up as well, I am re-tuning every few riffs and again, I have never had tuning issues. My daughter's '61 reissue SG has been set up as well, again never any tuning issues. Finally I have a one off Zemaitis copy that was handbuilt by a Luthier named Peter Sawchyn, I just had that guitar outfitted with Stainless Steel frets and it has been Plek'ed as well. I cannot keep it in tune with these strings. I purchased a Custom set of 11's for the Sawchyn and custom sets of 10's for the Strat and Jr. A regular set of 10's for the SG and a set of 9's for a buddy to try out [I have not heard his opinion yet]. Sorry this is so close to home, but these are my honest findings regarding these strings. There is a very nice brassy quality to them, but like I said, that goes away quickly and what is left is a string that is not thud dull, but rather metalic and harsh and a real frustration to keep in tune. M.E.
     
  8. sabbath90

    sabbath90 Member

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    i think the snake oils sound FANTASTIC. however they last about as long as my regular ernie balls, for me anyway. i simply can't spend that kind much more on strings that don't last longer. they sound much better than the ball's though.
     
  9. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

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    Snake Oils may not be for everybody,
    That being said, It sounds like maybe (this is not a knock on you) they were not properly stretched when put on? It seems odd that you would have tuning issues with them. Hmmm.
    I find them very stable and remain in tune nicely.
    For me they remain warm and articulate for weeks of playing on them, even sound better as they age.
    Still, it seems like they may not be for you.;)
    Cant say you didnt try.
     
  10. PinkStrat

    PinkStrat Member

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    Hey M.E.,

    I thought we were going to try another test set for your Les Paul Jr.? Well, four people out of four thousand (plus) customers we have on our list haven't liked our strings. Oh well, you cannot please everyone right? But, that said, this kind of percentage is so tiny it proves that the strings aren't to blame. There are some people that have a dry skin acid that is just as bad as the moist kind of sweat. I know because I am one of those people (with the dry acid that is)! I leave my guitars out of the stands 24/7 down here in the humidity of Florida and I still change them on an average of twice a YEAR tops. Haven't had any tuning issues or anything other than great tone for a long long time & most everyone here has had the same experiences. This is not a conspiracy you know?:) BTW, I do not like those stainless steel frets at all but that's me.
     
  11. 908SSP

    908SSP Member

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    Yea got say my experience has been the direct opposite in every way. I love the vintage strings with stainless frets. :dude
     
  12. PlexiBreath

    PlexiBreath Member

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    Well, I'm a string snob and have tried everything. I'm also somewhat of a mojo buster, players come out with glowing reviews of a product, I try it and most often don't like it and will say so. So when I tried the Snake Oils I was prepared to not like them, in fact I was pretty sure I wouldn't like them. Well, I put them on my Strat with an arrogant air of "so show me". Part of that is I didn't want to become addicted to strings I couldn't just run out to the local music store to get replacements. Now, the psycology behind anticipating something to be bad makes it a lot more difficult to give something a fair shake, it's already at a dissadvantage going in, something has to be significantly better than it would have had to have been for even a luke warm reception.
    So on the Strat they went, tuned it up, then played some close interval chord and let it ring, I was just awestruck, I realized instantly that this wasn't hype, they really are all that. Another thing, I don't have any tuning problems whatsoever. None. Nada. And I shake the **** out of my strings with excessive string bends, I'm always on the wammy bar, these strings always stay in tune. Not just my ear telling me so, but my Peterson strobe tuna agrees.

    Regarding Stainless Steel frets. I absolutely, unabashedly, enthusiasticly love them! This is one of the three new technologies for guitar that have come out that absolutely blow my mind. I love the way SS frets feel a hell of a lot more than "nickel/silver". I also love that they are so resistant to wear. Very cool stuff. My only complaint about them is they aren't made yet in the smaller size like the stock old Fenders used. The closest to that you can get is the tall narrow, which IIRC is the 6105 size.
     
  13. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I think the SOB strings have a very silky,more compressed feel on the windings. I like the feel, actually running your hand up and down them. I found them to stay in tune as good as anything.

    They do seem to have less tension than the Daddarios I previously had on. But I like experimenting and the strings feel really good. They seemed to last only as long as the Daddarios/Ernies I've used for a long time. I play this guitar a lot everyday. I teach daily with my Nocaster and after about a week and half they are dead. Now they feel really smooth but the tone lost it's snap.

    I would suggest if you like your current string, but want to try the snakes maybe try a little bit higher gauge. But I'm only going by this one set so far.
     
  14. PinkStrat

    PinkStrat Member

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    Kelley,

    I think that the guitar I first played on the SS frets didn't have too great of a set-up either so maybe I need to wait and try them again when things get more standardized (& on another guitar with a good set-up)? I'll give them another shot sure thing!

    Thanks,
    Dean
     
  15. PlexiBreath

    PlexiBreath Member

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    Yeah, check them out. They do feel different, when bending a string it's like moving the string across glass. If I hold on to my more traditional mindset I might not like that, for one reason, if you are doing finger vibrato on traditional frets you can keep the string sustaining because of the violin like effect of the rougher surface of the fret. It still does that to a degree with the SS frets but not as much. But to me I like the feel so much more I can live with that.

    As much as I'm lovin' the oils on my Strat and Michael Lewis archtop, it underscores that my other guitars need to get oiled in a snakish way. Especially now that I've played around with the many different guage sets and finally settled on the 10 to 48 set. I'll email you about it soon.
     
  16. michael.e

    michael.e Silver Supporting Member

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    Everybody!

    Jeez, I knew this was going to happen.....

    "Properly Stretching strings"??

    After whacking away on my guitar for some 25+ years, I cannot figure out how to install my strings? I have read the instructions here in the past, that these are to be treated differently etc.. Like I said, I have had NO tuning problems with any of my guitars period. I have had them all professionally set up and stablized. I can wang away on the Kotzen Strat and stay in tune. I can chunk away on the Jr. and keep in tune as well. The gauges have stayed the same since the changeover as well.

    Dean,
    I was planning on waiting until I used up all of the strings that I ordered before I order any more. I also wanted to give them a fair shot on all of my guitars before making a determination. I am sorry that you feel the need to qualify your strings and to point out the fact that I am one of 4 finding that they are not working for me [must be something wrong with us?].

    I would say this....

    With regard to all the other standard strings out there, D'Addarios, Markleys, EB's etc...... The SOS's piss all over them IMO. They sound richer and brighter. Do they last any longer than other strings? I will put it this way, they do not sound like mud after a month, but they do sonically change and I do not find them to sound better after a month than when I first installed them. They DO sound spankier than standard strings in that time frame, but as far as the original snap, richness and quality of overtone, it has changed/subsided.

    About 2 years ago, I started using only Thomastik-Infield and I feel that the materal and quality of those strings are a better match for me. They sound bigger, richer, snappier and punchier than anything that I have ever used. The tone is so alive and elastic, yet focused and firm. Prior to that I used Ducks Deluxe for about a year. Also a very nice string.

    For me, the SOS's do not have the liveliness, bounce and shimmer of the Thomastik's. The T's sound very natural to my ears. Am I saying that the SOS's have no bounce and shimmer? No.

    My ears......
    I like to believe that I have pretty sophistocated taste when it comes to tone and music. I love listening to music such as Carmina Burana and attending Opera as much as listening to the Sex Pistols and Jeff Buckley. In all the years of being a musician, I have never abused my ears and my hearing is perfect. I hear a tonal difference by plugging into just one high end, true bypass box, as opposed to plugging straight in. I never did fall for that "new" acoustic tone that has been popularized by Taylor's and the like. With the scooped midrange and grand piano on your knee tone. I have always preferred acoustics with a pronounced mid-range and woody tone.

    Why do I say all of this? I feel the need to qualify myself and what it is that I hear as it certainly seems like the tide in this thread is moving towards "there must be something wrong with you and/or what you are doing".

    My hands/sweat are not overly acidic or corrosive. My strings generally last as long as most other folks.

    SS frets- Gary Brauer has the latest generation in SS fret material. It was developed and is sold by the same folks that created the Plek Machine. I could feel the difference between an older Warmoth neck with SS frets and my guitar with this newer material/compound. This materal is very stable and sounds/feels incredible. I highly recommend them, but then again........Nevermind.

    My .02 guys.... M.E.
     
  17. tommyg

    tommyg Member

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    I can't find Snake Oil Strings anywhere on the net. Anyone have a link?
     
  18. 908SSP

    908SSP Member

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    Hey Pink I need some XL acoustic strings, how long do I have to wait? :confused:
     
  19. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Michael,
    I wasnt coming down on you or anything and apologise if it sounded that way. Its just that of all the things you mentioned didnt work for you with the SOS strings, the tuning issue seemed to have something to do with the way they were put on or stretched. It was just a thought.;)

    Richard
     
  20. michael.e

    michael.e Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey no worries Richard. I appreciate the communication. :) M.E.
     

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