Wound G String Vs. Unwound

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Enjoyer, Jul 20, 2006.


  1. Enjoyer

    Enjoyer Member

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    Interested in hearing your thoughts and experiences comparing wound G strings to unwound. Specifically as it relates to tone and playability.
    Thanks,
    E

    pinkstrat, feel free to jump in here. Curious as to your thoughts on this.
     
  2. Wakarusa

    Wakarusa Member

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    For pocket change you can just score some wound 3rds and try 'em. Pinkstrat can hook you up.
     
  3. Enjoyer

    Enjoyer Member

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    Well understood and experimented with.
    Just wanted others opinions on this.
    Thanks
     
  4. D.G.

    D.G. Member

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    12's with a wound 3rd on acoustic always

    11's with unwound 3rd on electric always

    In fact, I always prefer an even mix of wound and unwound strings except for acoustic steel strings. All my electric steels use an even mix, 3/3 on my lap steel and 5/5 on my pedal steel.
     
  5. Wakarusa

    Wakarusa Member

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    Fair enough. I run a wound 3rd on my ES175 jazz box pretty much always. Sometimes on my 335 and occasionally on an LP with P90s.
     
  6. Enjoyer

    Enjoyer Member

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    Thanks, Wakarusa.
    I guess I did a damn poor job of framing my question.

    I have been playing unwound 3rd stings on solid body, single coil p/u guitars Jazzmaster and Tele's primarily) for 35+ years. I recently replaced my 12's on my Jazzmaster with a set of SOBs that came with a wound 3rd. Quite a difference for this old dog, both in tonality and playability. Not a bad thing - just different.

    This is why I solicited other folks experiences, thoughts, rationale on this.

    Wondering if I should stick it out a bit more or revert to my old, comfort zone. That's all.
     
  7. cpsdawg

    cpsdawg Member

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    wound G strings are a beautiful thing on the right body or hanging around the "right" neck. :crazyguy In my opinion though the guitar body or neck is not one. I like bending strings even on acoustic. regardless of brand on acoustics, the frets will wear through the winding and the string then rips your fingers apart. They also have to be bent furthur than a plain string for the same pitch. The pitch issue is the main reason on all my guitars electric or acoustic have plain g's. I've never seen acoustic strings without a wound g so i bought a bunch of plain ones and throw the wound ones away. just my .02.
     
  8. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I use them on my 175. The give a much fuller, rounder sound, and without the annoying warble that you get with plains. On the other hand, they are a bitch to bend, and you will not get whole-step bends easily, if at all.

    It forces you to play differently.

    Not better, not worse, just differently.
     
  9. eknapier

    eknapier Member

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    i use a very light gauge wound 3rd string for the best of both worlds - more note definition for jazz stuff and very bendable for rock stuff. Thomastik-Inkfeld (or however you spell) uses .19 gauge wound G in their .11 gauge "swing series" sets. I usually mix these strings up with their .10 gauge set which includes an .18 gauge wound 3rd. I think these are the lightest gauge wound 3rds available. Wish you could buy them seperately...
     
  10. soulohio

    soulohio Member

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    i have an old ibanez iceman that i tuned down to B so i thought a wound G was in order...didn't seem to make much difference...in fact, although the guitar seemed to have a more balanced chord voice when strummed, i kinda missed the brightness of the plain G..and yes, it took a bit more effort to bend to pitch...
     
  11. Tweeker

    Tweeker Supporting Member

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    Over my 35 years, I've gone from plain to wound and back again many times. I've ended up using wound on certain guitars (low tuned and hollowbody) and plain on solid bodies tuned to pitch. Playing style and bending aside, the main thing for me is string output and intonation. The wound G didn't work for me with pickups without adjustable pole pieces. Sometimes a new nut needs to be cut to accomodate the wound G and of course, reintonating for each is necessary.
    If you like the sounds your getting with wound, then stick it out a while longer and see where it goes. You may find you expand your comfort zone.
     
  12. duende

    duende Member

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    Hey there....

    I'm a big proponent of wound g's! Especially for Jazzmasters. I play a '62 and have been using the same custom set of D'darrios forever it seems now. Got rid of all my bridge issues... STAYS in tune and sustains wonderfully. It also makes play 4 note jazz chords on the bottom 4 strings sound very sweet and warm with the rhythm circuit engauged.

    Bassically I started using wound g's once I got my Country Gentleman Gretsch. It has a longer length of string length from nut to bridge than normal (just like the jazz). In fact many of these "boutique" strings won't work because they come cut too short.

    Anyways... the wound g kept that one in tune so I figured it would work well on the Jazz as well.


    I do miss doing crazy bends on the G sometimes.. but that's not something I do very often anyways.
     
  13. Enjoyer

    Enjoyer Member

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  14. Curt

    Curt Member

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    I tried a few wound third strings on as strat with stainless frets.
    They didn't stay wound very long.
     
  15. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    I went through a period years ago when all I used on electrics was a set with a wound third, specifically Gibson Sonomatic Lights with an .019 wound third.This was as a result of setting up a used Melody Maker for slide and just loving the tone and feel of the Sonomatics.

    If you play a fair amount of acoustic guitar with regular light strings a wound third in the range of .018-.020 should be "pushable" for most players.Faux pedal steel licks probably are a little too tough.Wound thirds work great on guitars with older style bar bridges with the 4 and 2 ladder pattern as you pretty much need a wound third for intonation.They also work fine on strats with an old fashion magnet stagger where the g pole sticks up the highest.On flat pole pickups a wound G tends to disappear.
     

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