Strings: brands & gagues

eric102673

Member
Messages
689
I'm getting back into acoustic playing and finally bought one after 3 years of going without. My first guitar was an import cheapo acoustic 12 string with action so high I could stand under the strings. :)

After years of playing electrics i bought myself a lowden O-32 and used it occasionally. I'd started stringing it up with Elixer strings when they first came out because I'd heard they lasted longer, and indeed tey did but were kinda dead sounding. When Elixer brought out the updated "nanoweb" coaings I tried those and they were better, but in a bonehead move I sold the 0-32 and used the money to buy a guitar I don't even have anymore. :rolleyes: In my defense I do think the 0-32 was a pretty big beastie for a short guy like me. :)

So I recently got around to buying a great Breedlove SC-25. Back when I was checking out Lowdens I was also checking out Breedloves, but didn't find one that I liked for the $$. While I had no acoustic I still regularly went into music stores to check them out in case I could find one that I loved. Now that that has finally happened I'm back to shoppig for strings. Thing is while I'm very familiar with electric string brands and gagues, I'm acoustically defficient when searching for strings for the Breedlove.

I tend to like 10s with a wound G on my electrics. Tend to lean towards the nickle Pyramids, though I've spent some time with the snake oils. Not sure gague wise where to head or what brands have what characteristics. Took me years to get around to the Pyramids.

Suggestions?

-e.
 

RL in Fla

Member
Messages
3,198
I'm interested in brands/characteristics as well . Use D'Addario's now , but open to change , and I like 11 - 52 (wound 3rd) on acoustics , mo' betta sound but not as much difference swapping from 9.5/10's on electrics . Anybody got any feedback on "Blue Steels"? Also are there any semi-flat or flat-wound bronze out there to cut down on fretting noise ?
 

CAFeathers

Member
Messages
630
A friend of mine started me using Electric Strings on my Acoustic guitars. I now use the plain strings from a Dean Markley Blue Steel set and the wound strings from a Dean Markley Flatwound set. This way too I can go with lighter guage strings on my Acoustic. My only remaining Acoustic has such a set on it in 9-46 guage.
 

RL in Fla

Member
Messages
3,198
Thanks OT ! the GL 1150's look like perzackly it , keep the character ,
just lose a little finger noise on the low 3 :AOK .
I'm guessing the slightly smaller difference in wound gauges
on their sets is due to the rolling , si ?

Chet , do the BlueSteels stay "live" longer like the reviews claim ?
(asking now about electrics )
 

CAFeathers

Member
Messages
630
Originally posted by RL in Fla
Thanks OT ! the GL 1150's look like perzackly it , keep the character ,
just lose a little finger noise on the low 3 :AOK .
I'm guessing the slightly smaller difference in wound gauges
on their sets is due to the rolling , si ?

Chet , do the BlueSteels stay "live" longer like the reviews claim ?
(asking now about electrics )
Although I do not play every guitar every day I can get a set of Blue Steels to last several months.
 

Buffalosix

Member
Messages
77
Martin SP Phosphor Bronze Custom Light - .11 - .52.

Great sound, plus heavy enough to make the top of my super jumbo move, but light enough that it makes the jump back and forth between my electrics easier.
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,501
SOB - they really are exceptional.

I use .12's on my Variax acoustic and .13's on my Tacoma DR-38R.

Was a D'Addario PB guy before.
 

RL in Fla

Member
Messages
3,198
Thanks OT . The SIT's oughta do it , I'm reeealy loving the Little Martin (other post) , and always been "acoustic-rooted" , fingerpicking , etc , so just knocking the edge off the "slip-slide" noises is about it , I wanta keep the brightness in the mix . I sold my Ovation awhile back , somewhere along the line the neck got too narrow to suit me . :confused:

Much as I like the LM I'll prob'ly try a K&K TwinSpot in it
and run it thru an EQ pedal .
 

Avenger

Member
Messages
557
I play much more accoustic than electric. 9 or 10 sets would be way too thin for me. Not enough volume and ringing sustain, I would think. I've used DR 12s on my Taylor 410-K for years. They last forever. They start out a bit bright for me but after a day or two they settle into the sound I like. I hate Elixer strings BTW. They are too bright for my taste.

Recently I've tried some John Pearse Phospher Bronze Lights (.12s). They seem to be lasting quite well, and I have to say the sound seems slightly superior to the DRs. I may be switching to the John Pearse strings. Here is a link to the John Pearse web site. http://www.jpstrings.com/brstring.htm

In the end, like so much guitar stuff, it is going to boil down to personal taste, playing style, the guitar, and what you are trying to achieve. You'll probably get a few ideas or where to start, but in the end trial and error will be your solution.
 

Chiba

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,832
I bought an acoustic from a guy that uses those relatively new Dear Markley 'Alchemy' strings. The first weekend I had the guitar I did some recording with it, it sounded great.

I didn't have time to change the strings before the session, I just went right in. Later I found out the strings had been on the guitar for about 3 months.

I switched to the Alchemy strings on all my acoustics and haven't looked back since. Super tone, excellent feel, and obviously superb life!

--chiba
 

Terry Hayes

Member
Messages
2,960
Breedlove ships their guitars with D'Addario EXP 80/20 strings. I like them on my SC20/R. They sound great and the last set lasted a long time.

I use the EXP13 set (11-52).

Terry
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
I use D'addario PB, Light. I tried EXP and Elixir and felt the PB sounded better by far. Plus, the coating starts to wear off and they look ugly faster than PB. So where is this "longer life?"
 

Terry Hayes

Member
Messages
2,960
Originally posted by MichaelK
I use D'addario PB, Light. I tried EXP and Elixir and felt the PB sounded better by far. Plus, the coating starts to wear off and they look ugly faster than PB. So where is this "longer life?"
The "longer life" is that they lasted longer than other strings I have used! Pretty simple. You experienced otherwise. Fine.

For me, after a few months of use, a set of EXP's still sounded quite good. As to the appearance of the strings, I wasn't too concerned about that.

Terry
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
Originally posted by Terry Hayes
The "longer life" is that they lasted longer than other strings I have used!
OK, I misrepresented what happened.

It may be that you're right and they last longer overall. But when the coating started coming off I changed them because I missed the tone of the Phosphor Bronze besides. Just my experience and personal taste.
 

olectric

Member
Messages
538
I've been using DR Sunbeams 11-50 on my Collings C-10 Deluxe. Sounds simply amazing when I fingerpick (I actually don't ever use a pick with my acoustic). However, I've heard that a lot of people do not like DR strings at all. Any of you here? Why would that be? Sound prefs? Inconsistency? I've had a completely dead string before in a package or two, but out of 50 or so packs, I think that's an acceptable problem.

I really like the Sunbeams because they are round-core, which, to my ears, does a lot in the sustain department because the strings are heavier than standard hex-core 11s (round wrap on a hex-core leaves six little gaps running down the length of each string).
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,595
I like the sound of phosphor bronze best, either Martin or Pearse. The problem is that they do tend to corrode a bit earlier and definitely catch more on the fingers for us lazy electric players. Still, I think I'll stay with them, at least for the Gibson B45 (which is pretty warm and could use the extra sparkle). My Taylor (410, very early 80s) on the other hand, I'm not happy with. It seems thin with the phosphor bronze. Any suggestions to fill out the bass and mids a bit?
 

forestryguy

Member
Messages
810
I like Elixir Nanoweb 12's on my Martin D-28. The "slick" feel took a little getting used to, but they sound great and last a long time for me. Longevity probably will vary with your body chemistry.
 

Avenger

Member
Messages
557
Originally posted by drbob1
I like the sound of phosphor bronze best, either Martin or Pearse. The problem is that they do tend to corrode a bit earlier and definitely catch more on the fingers for us lazy electric players. Still, I think I'll stay with them, at least for the Gibson B45 (which is pretty warm and could use the extra sparkle). My Taylor (410, very early 80s) on the other hand, I'm not happy with. It seems thin with the phosphor bronze. Any suggestions to fill out the bass and mids a bit?
I haven't tried them, but Pearse Phospher Bronze Silks might fit the bill. They say they sound like a worn in set of Phospher Bronzes, which would probably mean more bass. I will probably try a set on my Taylor 410-K since I like strings better after they lose that new string brightness. Here is a link:
http://www.jpstrings.com/brstring.htm#Silks

Terry
 




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