What is your favorite set of string tension?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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Arash Ahmadi
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What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:05 pm

Happy holidays everyone,

It's a matter of personal taste (and purpose maybe), but I'm just curious to know what type is more popular for CG. I am not sure if we are allowed to name a brand but it would be more interesting if we could.

I have tried many string brands and tensions, mostly used normal tension though (EJ45 is my favorite). I think the hard tension impresses you (in terms of the volume mostly) at first, but when you spend some time with it, you will come to see the limitations.

Please share your thoughts and experience.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)
2012 Jeroen Hilhorst

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bacsidoan
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by bacsidoan » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:43 pm

Basses: Pyramid Sterling Silver Super Classic MT (medium tension)
Trebles:
- G-string: Seaguar Premier #80
- B-string: Seaguar Premier #60
- E-string: Daniel Mari 100p

tboinske
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by tboinske » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:16 pm

I think the hard tension impresses you (in terms of the volume mostly) at first, but when you spend some time with it, you will come to see the limitations.
What limitations associated with hard tension strings have you noticed?

Laudiesdad69
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:36 am

tboinske wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:16 pm
I think the hard tension impresses you (in terms of the volume mostly) at first, but when you spend some time with it, you will come to see the limitations.
What limitations associated with hard tension strings have you noticed?
I've noticed that Hard tension strings generally don't sing as well as normal or medium tension in most brands. The sustain is less. Hannabach med strings are really what most makers would call high tension, so if I buy Hannabach, I will go with the low tension, which are just a couple of pounds lighter than Ej45. Savarez 520R HT strings are 89 LBS of tension, which is just around 3lbs more tension that EJ45. You can't trust the manufacturers tension label.

Strings by mail has tension ratings for a lot of the brands that they sell. I check the tension numbers in determining whether it will have an effect on my set up. To high a tension, and I will wind up with raised action at the twelfth, and the neck relief will increase. Too low and you lose relief and action decreases.

When I had my guitar set up, I had it set up with Ramirez medium tension and action set up per my spec. I found a tension rating for the Ramirez strings at around 87lbs. Don't get me wrong, I tried the strings first and liked their sound. BUT I also figured that by using those strings for dialing in my action, I could also use EJ45, Savarez 520R, and 520B, Hannabach low tension, and any other strings that fall into a range of 84 to 90 lbs. All of the aforementioned strings are easy to get in the US, where I live. I use a middle of the road action on my guitar, and I can now use many different sets, and still have a really playable guitar. For other tensions of strings, I may have to make a new saddle.

In 2018, Strings by mail is going to test tensions themselves on every classical string, and many other strings, that they sell. They are going to use 650 mm scale for the testing.

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:24 am

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:36 am
tboinske wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:16 pm
I think the hard tension impresses you (in terms of the volume mostly) at first, but when you spend some time with it, you will come to see the limitations.
What limitations associated with hard tension strings have you noticed?
I've noticed that Hard tension strings generally don't sing as well as normal or medium tension in most brands. The sustain is less. Hannabach med strings are really what most makers would call high tension, so if I buy Hannabach, I will go with the low tension, which are just a couple of pounds lighter than Ej45. Savarez 520R HT strings are 89 LBS of tension, which is just around 3lbs more tension that EJ45. You can't trust the manufacturers tension label.

Strings by mail has tension ratings for a lot of the brands that they sell. I check the tension numbers in determining whether it will have an effect on my set up. To high a tension, and I will wind up with raised action at the twelfth, and the neck relief will increase. Too low and you lose relief and action decreases.

When I had my guitar set up, I had it set up with Ramirez medium tension and action set up per my spec. I found a tension rating for the Ramirez strings at around 87lbs. Don't get me wrong, I tried the strings first and liked their sound. BUT I also figured that by using those strings for dialing in my action, I could also use EJ45, Savarez 520R, and 520B, Hannabach low tension, and any other strings that fall into a range of 84 to 90 lbs. All of the aforementioned strings are easy to get in the US, where I live. I use a middle of the road action on my guitar, and I can now use many different sets, and still have a really playable guitar. For other tensions of strings, I may have to make a new saddle.

In 2018, Strings by mail is going to test tensions themselves on every classical string, and many other strings, that they sell. They are going to use 650 mm scale for the testing.
A can't agree more. Additionally, you would get more buzz on hard tension strings and have less colors. Hard tension might be a good choice for a concert/recital (without amps) if one wants more volume and projection. That seems like the only benefit to me.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)
2012 Jeroen Hilhorst

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joachim33
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by joachim33 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:13 am

Arash Ahmadi wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:24 am
Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:36 am
tboinske wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:16 pm


What limitations associated with hard tension strings have you noticed?
I've noticed that Hard tension strings generally don't sing as well as normal or medium tension in most brands. The sustain is less. Hannabach med strings are really what most makers would call high tension, so if I buy Hannabach, I will go with the low tension, which are just a couple of pounds lighter than Ej45. Savarez 520R HT strings are 89 LBS of tension, which is just around 3lbs more tension that EJ45. You can't trust the manufacturers tension label.

Strings by mail has tension ratings for a lot of the brands that they sell. I check the tension numbers in determining whether it will have an effect on my set up. To high a tension, and I will wind up with raised action at the twelfth, and the neck relief will increase. Too low and you lose relief and action decreases.

When I had my guitar set up, I had it set up with Ramirez medium tension and action set up per my spec. I found a tension rating for the Ramirez strings at around 87lbs. Don't get me wrong, I tried the strings first and liked their sound. BUT I also figured that by using those strings for dialing in my action, I could also use EJ45, Savarez 520R, and 520B, Hannabach low tension, and any other strings that fall into a range of 84 to 90 lbs. All of the aforementioned strings are easy to get in the US, where I live. I use a middle of the road action on my guitar, and I can now use many different sets, and still have a really playable guitar. For other tensions of strings, I may have to make a new saddle.

In 2018, Strings by mail is going to test tensions themselves on every classical string, and many other strings, that they sell. They are going to use 650 mm scale for the testing.
A can't agree more. Additionally, you would get more buzz on hard tension strings and have less colors. Hard tension might be a good choice for a concert/recital (without amps) if one wants more volume and projection. That seems like the only benefit to me.
Which buzz are you speaking about? I understand high tension strings do not oscillate as wide and are less likely to hit the frets (buzz) when played loudly.

I went back after to Savarez red (their normal, 510 CR & 540 CR) after 6 month on high tension (Savarez 510CJ & D’Addario exp46). A key concern is to relax my left hand/arm. I am a bit worried of repetitive strain as well and lower tension should help avoid this.
Last edited by joachim33 on Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Alvisa
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by Alvisa » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:39 am

My findings are that high tension seem to choke the resonance of the guitar and makes it sound dull. Going to low tension brings out much more colour but the increased flexibility of the strings makes the right hand a little more tricky and the volume is reduced. So after trying many types, I'm back to medium as the best of both worlds.
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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:06 pm

A can't agree more. Additionally, you would get more buzz on hard tension strings and have less colors. Hard tension might be a good choice for a concert/recital (without amps) if one wants more volume and projection. That seems like the only benefit to me.
[/quote]

Which buzz are you speaking about? I understand high tension strings do not oscillate as wide and are less likely to hit the frets (buzz) when played loudly.

I went back after to Savarez red (their normal, 510 CR & 540 CR) after 6 month on high tension (Savarez 510CJ & D’Addario exp46). A key concern is to relax my left hand/arm. I am a bit worried of repetitive strain as well and lower tension should help avoid this.
[/quote]

Could be but I notice more buzzes when I have a set of hard tension strings on, maybe it's my playing. I prefer normal or medium tension.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)
2012 Jeroen Hilhorst

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:08 pm

Which buzz are you speaking about? I understand high tension strings do not oscillate as wide and are less likely to hit the frets (buzz) when played loudly.

I went back after to Savarez red (their normal, 510 CR & 540 CR) after 6 month on high tension (Savarez 510CJ & D’Addario exp46). A key concern is to relax my left hand/arm. I am a bit worried of repetitive strain as well and lower tension should help avoid this.
[/quote]

Could be but I notice more buzz when I have a set of hard tension strings on, maybe it's my playing. I prefer normal or medium tension.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)
2012 Jeroen Hilhorst

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BugDog
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by BugDog » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:27 pm

I have one guitar that seems to respond well to EJ45s. A second guitar seems better with low tension EJ43 or Augustine black. Not needing the extra volume that higher tension strings might allow, I avoid them to make it a bit easier for the LH.

I'm having some doubts about rectified strings. I'm not exactly sure what they are. As I understand it, they're "reworked" strings. They seem to have different response depending where they are being fretted.
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joachim33
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by joachim33 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:57 pm

BugDog wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:27 pm
I have one guitar that seems to respond well to EJ45s. A second guitar seems better with low tension EJ43 or Augustine black. Not needing the extra volume that higher tension strings might allow, I avoid them to make it a bit easier for the LH.

I'm having some doubts about rectified strings. I'm not exactly sure what they are. As I understand it, they're "reworked" strings. They seem to have different response depending where they are being fretted.
Rectified strings are trebles which are extruded with a larger diameter than required. In a second step they are ground to the required diameter. They tend to have outstanding intonation, since their variations in diameter and shape (from perfectly round) are very small. Rectified strings are rough and as a result can be noisy when changing left hand position.

They come in different diameters (= string tension).

wlh-0028VS
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by wlh-0028VS » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:11 pm

Interesting discussion on strings and the response of the guitar from different string tensions. Now I understand a little bit as to why one has to try many different string arrangements to achieve an ideal response from a guitar. Think of it-------------the strings preload the soundboard and put it under tension via the bridge. The higher the string tension the more the soundboard is preloaded. Imagine a bongo drum with one hand pressing the skin down with one hand and the other playing the bongo. the harder the skin is pressed the duller the response. There is definitely a sweet spot the delivers the tone and volume desired.

Not unlike the bongo each guitar has it own unique sound characteristics governed by the bracing system, the species of wood use for the soundboard and sides and the amount of water content in the woods used at the time of playing.

So I guess what strings are used by others does not guarantee satisfaction to me and my unique set of circumstances. At best what someone else uses for strings would be a good base line to start with.
Last edited by wlh-0028VS on Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:18 am

Thank you all for your posts and happy new year! I have written another post that you might somehow find related to this one: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=117172
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)
2012 Jeroen Hilhorst

JRomano
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by JRomano » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:52 am

I am very fond of the Augustine black label "low" tension strings. They are easy to play, but have a wonderful, warm and clear tone. The first time I played them, I didn't know what they were, or the tension, and just thought they were terrific. I didn't think you could get such nice tone from low tension strings, but these are really great.

Intune
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Re: What is your favorite set of string tension?

Post by Intune » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:06 pm

D'Addario EJ45 normal tension-- they're affordable, easy to play, and sing nicely on a good guitar. Guitars with issues may need carbons or high tensions to compensate, but for me normal tension nylons function perfectly on a well balanced instrument. You'll also be doing your hands a favor in the long run, I believe.
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