Same strings, different feel on 2 guitars

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
SteveL123
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Same strings, different feel on 2 guitars

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:07 am

I just bought another guitar (A) and put new strings on it (EJ46 FF carbon high tension). My old guitar (B) has the same strings. Side by side tests while rolling a chord, I can feel with my right hand fingers, that guitar A has less tension than guitar B.

I was very surprised I could feel the difference.

A has a slightly longer (660) scale length than B (656)

Both are solid cedar top

A top thickness is 2.7 mm, B is 3.2 mm

Action on both are very close to each other, A has slightly higher action than B.

A is ladder braced, B is fan braced

Body dimension of both are very close to each other, with B slightly bigger than A

Question is, what is the main contributor to the different feel? Differences in top thickness ? Scale length? Something else?

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Kent
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Re: Same strings, different feel on 2 guitars

Post by Kent » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:10 pm

Just wondering, why did you gravitate to high tension strings, especially on longer scale guitars?

SteveL123
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Re: Same strings, different feel on 2 guitars

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:29 pm

Kent wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:10 pm
Just wondering, why did you gravitate to high tension strings, especially on longer scale guitars?
I wouldn't call it "gravitate" since I have not tried many different strings yet. The strings on my old guitar were new old stock but made 20 years ago (Augustine black label with no tension stated). They had poor intonation which were not corrected with saddle compensation. I've read that carbon strings has better intonation so bought 2 sets each of the Daddario hard tension carbon (EJ46FF) and normal tension carbon (EJ45FF) . I have not tried the normal tension EJ45FF yet but the high tension carbon EJ46FF fixed the intonation issues immediately.

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Section_10
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Re: Same strings, different feel on 2 guitars

Post by Section_10 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:46 pm

There's one factor that's not listed here and it's a very important one, stiffness. Just because A is ladder braced we don't know the thickness of the bracing, same with the fan braced. The fan braced is a thicker top and the fans, if 7 of them, are likely more spread out than the ladder braced. Scale length definitely matters but less so since they're both close.
There's a few contradictions as to why A isn't 'tighter' feeling:
Thinner top
Longer scale
Higher action.

But this may go to show you that the missing factors matter more. Density of the woods, we don't know. Overall stiffness it was built with. The stiffer you build a top the less relaxed it will feel. I think this aspect matters more than the listed ones.

SteveL123
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Re: Same strings, different feel on 2 guitars

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:56 pm

I'll take a look with a mirror at the braces of both guitars and see if I can tell which is more heavily braced. The top thickness measurements are within 0.1 to 0.2 mm accurate. I am not sure if I can measure the brace thicknesses with the Hacklinger gauge. I'd need to try it with a mirror to see if I can position the magnet on the brace.

As for contradictions in guitar A. Shouldn't a thinner top feel less tight?

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Section_10
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Re: Same strings, different feel on 2 guitars

Post by Section_10 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:22 pm

You said guitar B felt higher tension and that Guitar A was thinner? This would be consistent but all held things constant and we knew the density and stiffness of the wood. Stiffer wood can be thinner.

John higgon
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Re: Same strings, different feel on 2 guitars

Post by John higgon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:48 pm

I read in the Gore and Gilet book that the distance between the nut and the tuner can also have an effect. The longer the distance, the 'easier' the string is to fret, apparently.

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guitarseller345645
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Re: Same strings, different feel on 2 guitars

Post by guitarseller345645 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:41 am

John higgon wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:48 pm
I read in the Gore and Gilet book that the distance between the nut and the tuner can also have an effect. The longer the distance, the 'easier' the string is to fret, apparently.
Yes - I read that somewhere too (ie a headstock that was bent further back) and brought it up here, but no one could give any idea as to why it was so...
Kremona Fiesta FC

SteveL123
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Re: Same strings, different feel on 2 guitars

Post by SteveL123 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:09 pm

guitarseller345645 wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:41 am
John higgon wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:48 pm
I read in the Gore and Gilet book that the distance between the nut and the tuner can also have an effect. The longer the distance, the 'easier' the string is to fret, apparently.
Yes - I read that somewhere too (ie a headstock that was bent further back) and brought it up here, but no one could give any idea as to why it was so...
Can you find the thread with that discussion and post a link?

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souldier
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Re: Same strings, different feel on 2 guitars

Post by souldier » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:23 pm

I've been perplexed by this same phenomenon. You can have two guitars that are set up exactly the same with same strings, yet one would feel stiffer than the other for bot the left and right hand. I think one of the main contributing factors is "top compliance" which has been discussed here in this forum. I currently play on a 660 scale guitar, yet it feels softer and easier to play than a 630 scale guitar that I recently tried which is counter intuitive.

See this thread: viewtopic.php?t=78065

Take note of Alan Carruths posts in particular.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

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guitarseller345645
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Re: Same strings, different feel on 2 guitars

Post by guitarseller345645 » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:35 am

Cannot find my post but this should make interesting reading:

viewtopic.php?t=111130
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