Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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Oleo
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Location: Vigo, Galicia (Spain)

Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by Oleo » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:16 pm

I need advice from the "strings gurus" before falling into an endless spiral of continuous tests... And I can't!.

Furthermore, in a month or so I began studio recordings. I have to make decisions now.!


-- First, the background:


1- I've always liked the 520R strings ( :shock: ... I know). My reasons:

a) Feel ("touch"): It's nice and I really like. Yes, I'm speaking about that rectified trebles!
b) Tone: Warm and definitely organic.
c) Attack: Rectified nylon, even noisier, produces a dry attack sweeeter than "normal" nylon. It adds a vintage flavor to a "flamenca blanca", IMO.

So, I use 520Rs in all my 650mm guitars.


Other strings that I tested: D'addario J45, J46, etc ... And more nylons from other Spanish brands (Gato Negro, for example) that i don't remember.. All of them had a rough surface & edges that I find highly uncomfortable.

... Carbons that I tested (a looong time ago) seemed excessive thin and hard; I didn't like them, either.

And I never tested new Savarez stuff like Alliance trebles, New Crystal, etc. Well... I've been very busy and comfortable with 520Rs!


-- Now, the facts:

2- I've recently acquired a traditional concert "flamenca negra" guitar (Brazilian rosewood & German spruce, 660mm) and comes with Knobloch Actives Q.Z. Medium-Hard Tension. What I have discovered:

a) I like the tension of these strings ... The strings have a quick response, are comfortable and expand my dynamic range (and 660mm is "the perfect match" for me, but that's another story)

b) They are "crystal type", but I don't dislike the feel of these trebles. The surface of the material seems softer than the crystal I knew.

c) Now, I find 520R a bit Light Tension in my 650mm guitars... (but I was especially interested in a "flamenca blanca")

-- Finally, the questions:

Taking into consideration the background and facts,


1) Knobloch strings are expensive and hard to find: I like tension and feel, but the sound just seemed right. Personally, I prefer basses not so "squeaky" in the attack, although I love the speed of response and subsequent resonance. So:

What set you can suggest me to replace the Knobloch strings in my 660mm guitar?

2) Do Savarez New Crystals have the same feel (touch) that Knobloch QZ trebles? What about Hannabach trebles?

3) What is the Savarez tension equivalent to Knobloch Active QZ MHT? MHT Mixed ones..? Maybe 520R trebles have the same tension in 660mm that the QZs MHTs?

4) What about Hannabach? MT? I read here that 825MT basses (Gold) are darker than Silver ones.... Well I want to reduce the bright attack of that Silver Basses. 825 are darker in the attack than Silvers? They have a quick response? Round and full-bodied sound?

5) Any other suggestions to consider? Note that I need strings that you can easily get fast through Amazon.

And last,

6) What suggestions can you give me for a "flamenca blanca" 650mm with 520Rs to which I would like to raise the tension a bit?

520J seems too much on the table ... I take care of my fingers & nails & guitars!

... What do you think?


Thanks for your time and help!

Greetings,

jnbrown
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by jnbrown » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:09 pm

I am no Guru but have tried a lot strings lately on my Flamenco blanca.
It seems you are preferring nylon strings over carbon.
It also seems you like the Knobloch strings so why not use those? You can easily find them online.
Currently I have Knobloch Actives C.X. on the bass and B strings. These are carbon strings but not as harsh as some.
I find the basses to be really nice.
I have also use in the past Savarez new cristal and alliance but its hard to compare since it was a while ago.
I still have an Alliance on the G string. For the high E am using a Dogal Diamante and find it very good for a nylon string.
I think I like it better than the Savarez Alliance and New Cristal.
I took off the Dogal B string because it is just too dull and not responsive especially when playing tremolo.
I think a prefer carbon for G and B and possibly nylon for the High E. Still have to try the Knobloch C.X. on the high E and then I will know the answer.
Why do you need to get strings through Amazon? There are better places to order from.
A lot of people seem to like Hannabach, I have not tried them but probably will at some point.
Be aware the tension of Hannabach is much higher than other brands, so you might need LT or SLT and they are not cheap.
Nobody can tell you how you and your guitar will like a string, unfortunately experimenting is the only way and even then you can find yourself undecided between strings. So in the end you have to choose and get on with playing.

Good Luck

Matthew22
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by Matthew22 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:33 pm

Over years of trying strings I've learn a lot, but the most important lesson is "stick with what works for you". So, if you are happy with the Knobloch just check out strings by mail . com and order some.

The only reason to change brand is really if you cannot afford the strings or are looking to alter something.

Have you tried Luthier brand of strings? used by paco de lucia

LaBella make very nice rectified trebles and you can buy them as set or by gauge which will allow you to assemble the perfect tension for you.

Jack Douglas
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by Jack Douglas » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:51 pm

Knobloch is hard to beat. Yes, they are expensive. There are two low cost alternatives. One is Luthier, as was mentioned previously and the other is Augustine. A combination I'm getting ready to try is Luthier Dark Silver 45 basses (hard tension but feels more like medium) paired with Augustine Red Regal (medium tension) nylon trebles.if you find the red Regals too soft, switch to Regal purple (hard tension).
In the same price range as Knobloch is Pyramid Double Silver.
Personally, I believe you can get quite good strings for under $10 per set.
Here's my last treble combination. G and b Savarez Alliance HT and a D'Addario J-46 e. Hard to beat.
Have fun discovering.
Jack
Hauser III 2014!

astro64
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by astro64 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:47 pm

Jack Douglas wrote:Knobloch is hard to beat. Yes, they are expensive. There are two low cost alternatives. One is Luthier, as was mentioned previously and the other is Augustine. A combination I'm getting ready to try is Luthier Dark Silver 45 basses (hard tension but feels more like medium) paired with Augustine Red Regal (medium tension) nylon trebles.if you find the red Regals too soft, switch to Regal purple (hard tension).
In the same price range as Knobloch is Pyramid Double Silver.
Personally, I believe you can get quite good strings for under $10 per set.
Here's my last treble combination. G and b Savarez Alliance HT and a D'Addario J-46 e. Hard to beat.
Have fun discovering.
Jack
Sorry Jack, we went through this a while ago. All regal trebles are high tension. The labeling that Augustine employs is very confusing. There is no such thing as a red regal string.

Kintla
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by Kintla » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:00 pm

Oleo: I've found the same thing with Savarez 520's, the tension isn't high, in fact seems low. I may try LaBella rectifieds in the future looking for a slightly higher tension. Otherwise they're good strings imo.

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Oleo
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by Oleo » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:37 pm

Thank you all for your valuable advice. I'll try to answer all the questions:
Matthew22 wrote:Over years of trying strings I've learn a lot, but the most important lesson is "stick with what works for you". So, if you are happy with the Knobloch just check out strings by mail . com and order some.
- Yes, you're right. I've always thought the same, and that is why I used the 520R all this time!

The fact is that if I decide to stay with Knobloch, I will order a full pallet to SBM. Well.... Before that, I wanted to try another alternative!

Why I prefer Amazon is because - if you have the app on your phone - you buy the strings now with one click, and you have them at home tomorrow, in the morning. Without shipping charges.


... That is unbeatable. :mrgreen:


-----------------------
Jack Douglas wrote: One is Luthier, as was mentioned previously and the other is Augustine. A combination I'm getting ready to try is Luthier Dark Silver 45 basses (hard tension but feels more like medium) paired with Augustine Red Regal (medium tension) nylon trebles.if you find the red Regals too soft, switch to Regal purple (hard tension).
In the same price range as Knobloch is Pyramid Double Silver.
Get the idea. I'll try it.
Jack Douglas wrote:Here's my last treble combination. G and b Savarez Alliance HT and a D'Addario J-46 e. Hard to beat.
jnbrown wrote:I think a prefer carbon for G and B and possibly nylon for the High E.
It seems that Alliance trebles with E nylon is a common suggestion. Easy to check ... I'll order an Alliance treble set.

What basses work best with Alliance trebles? Corum or Cantiga?

Matthew22 wrote:LaBella make very nice rectified trebles and you can buy them as set or by gauge which will allow you to assemble the perfect tension for you.
Kintla wrote:I may try LaBella rectifieds in the future looking for a slightly higher tension. Otherwise they're good strings imo.
Another common suggestion. I'll put them on the cart... :)


- Also someone has tested 520J's? Is there much difference with the 520R's?
- Someone who has tested Hannabach 825 strings? What to Expect compared with Savarez HT basses or Knobloch Double Silver Active Basses?

A lot of thanks,

Greetings

Jack Douglas
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by Jack Douglas » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:47 am

astro64 wrote:
Jack Douglas wrote:Knobloch is hard to beat. Yes, they are expensive. There are two low cost alternatives. One is Luthier, as was mentioned previously and the other is Augustine. A combination I'm getting ready to try is Luthier Dark Silver 45 basses (hard tension but feels more like medium) paired with Augustine Red Regal (medium tension) nylon trebles.if you find the red Regals too soft, switch to Regal purple (hard tension).
In the same price range as Knobloch is Pyramid Double Silver.
Personally, I believe you can get quite good strings for under $10 per set.
Here's my last treble combination. G and b Savarez Alliance HT and a D'Addario J-46 e. Hard to beat.
Have fun discovering.
Jack
Sorry Jack, we went through this a while ago. All regal trebles are high tension. The labeling that Augustine employs is very confusing. There is no such thing as a red regal string.
Hi Astro,
Thanks for the clarification. SBM offers a combination bass and treble pack labeled as Red Regals. They describe the strings as Hard tension bass and medium tension treble. However, in terms of trebles, there is no Regal Red. It is perplexing and thank you again for jumping in.
Jack
Hauser III 2014!

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petermc61
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by petermc61 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:08 am

Oleo

From what you have said at the start of this post about the LAST treble strings I would try would be the Alliance trebles. Good luck!!

I think you need some sweetness in the treble strings and sensible tension. Maybe try Hannabach 815LT or the Aquila Alabastro normal tension. Neither will feel the same as rectified strings but I think both feel nice for both left and right hand.

Choosing strings is really important - buy from SBM. They will have a better range and good delivery times. The choice is too important to rule strings in or out based solely whether you can click through them on an app.

Regards
Peter

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Oleo
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by Oleo » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:41 pm

petermc61 wrote:Oleo

From what you have said at the start of this post about the LAST treble strings I would try would be the Alliance trebles. Good luck!!
Hi Peter, thank for your time!

... Ah, now I see your point: Alliances are "carbon" type. Maybe too thin and hard...?

What about New Cristals?
petermc61 wrote: think you need some sweetness in the treble strings and sensible tension. Maybe try Hannabach 815LT or the Aquila Alabastro normal tension. Neither will feel the same as rectified strings but I think both feel nice for both left and right hand.
Yes, you're are right! I prefer sensitive trebles. And basses with really fast response... And not very squeaky... :roll:

- So I'll try the Hannabach, then... But LT? Wow...They are soooo hard?
- Alabastro strings seem very interesting! And Aquila sets are available with one click - like Hannabach - as well... :mrgreen:
petermc61 wrote:Choosing strings is really important - buy from SBM. They will have a better range and good delivery times. The choice is too important to rule strings in or out based solely whether you can click through them on an app.
... I know, I know. But there're always people to whom everything happens at the last moment, running, late, wrong and dragged .... :bye:

Greetings,

astro64
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by astro64 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:04 pm

Jack, SBM presents it confusing too. Augustine basses: black = LT, red = MT, blue = HT. Augustine trebles: classic = MT or LT (comparable to J45), imperial is MT/HT, regal is highest tension, HT. So...colors refers only to bass strings, "names" only to trebles. Very confusing.

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petermc61
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by petermc61 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:12 pm

Oleo

Alliance are quite thin and hard feeling and just about the brightest of all treble strings. They work sometimes as a G string for me but never as a b/e.

Hannabach are known to be probably the highest overall tension of a string maker. Their LT is everybody else's MT or for some MHT. Don't even contemplate HT with them. If you are happy with higher tensions then maybe you could give their MT a go....

Regards
Peter

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Oleo
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by Oleo » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:04 pm

Ok. Hanna LT for now.

- The Alabastro Strings are already here: They're next on my favorite "flamenca blanca". :D

Have you tried any other Aquila set? Perla, for example? What are the differences? It seems an interesting brand...

Another question I have is about polished basses; they are expensive,.. Do they deserve it?

A set of strings has a maximum time span of about two months, in my experience. Do these basses endure longer or the same thing happens?

Greetings,

MessyTendon
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by MessyTendon » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:40 pm

GHS makes a smoothwound nickel set of strings that is less costly than the other brands of strings, look at the Vanguard classics label. They are the least expensive semi smooth wound string on the classical market.

The GHS niceklwrap is more resilient than regular silver copper. I think the trebles are fine too...they are simply like other nylon trebles. Alabastro trebles have a feel and sound of their own.

Perla and Alabastro are not comparable. The Perla trebles are more neutral and focussed like a set of D Addario EJ45...However they to my hands have a firmer feel to them, a tightness, some describe as plastic and don't like them...But if you play with a heavy hand you might like the extra firm feel of the materials. Normal tension feels medium hard. Hard tension will be firm if that's what you enjoy.

The Zaffiro strings are also nice...really a nice softer feel on the hands and a very bright powerful sound.

Jack Douglas
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Re: Concrete advice and suggestions from "Strings Gurus"

Post by Jack Douglas » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:56 pm

Aquila 'Alabastro' are quite good. But unless you like very firm strings I would stick with normal tension. Be forewarned that they stretch and stretch and In my opinion you can't really evaluate them until about day 4 after installing them. I prefer Hannabach 815's or Augustine, but the finger feel of the Alabastro is very hard to beat.
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