String Tension, Diameter and Nail Contour/Size

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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Beowulf
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String Tension, Diameter and Nail Contour/Size

Post by Beowulf » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:56 pm

I have now decided after much playing that the D'Addario EJ46 HT strings are just not for me. Even at 662mm scale (1971 Yamaha GC-10), they are too floppy for my playing style (action: 5mm & 4mm). At 650mm (which I will have with my Yamaha GC82S) they would be even worse. Apart from playing tension preference, I have now realized that the string diameter is also important. I tried some carbon trebles a few years ago and did not like the smaller diameter. Now, I have discovered that it may also have a bit to do with the natural contours and size of my nails, which have a small contact surface...a larger diameter string is better as it increases the time from string contact to release. Result: better tone and greater playing stability and control for the right hand.

Does anyone else have thoughts/experience on this matter.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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Michael.N.
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Re: String Tension, Diameter and Nail Contour/Size

Post by Michael.N. » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:10 am

You really do like your high string tension. A 662 scale will add around 0.3 Kg per string, that's on top of the EJ46 HT.
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Jack Douglas
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Re: String Tension, Diameter and Nail Contour/Size

Post by Jack Douglas » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:56 am

I'm not a string expert, but have played a number of brands of strings. A couple of strings I've tried might fit your requirement. Try Augustine Regal blue which are High Tension bass and treble. For a completely different feel and tone try Aquila Alabastro superior tension. These are nylgut strings and be forewarned they take a good week to fully settle in. The last ones you might like are Hannabach 815 High Tension. They make a super High Tension string, but with a 662 scale you might damage your guitar. Like I said, I'm not an expert, but I wouldn't put on a set of super high tension strings. Hannabach strings have some of the highest tensions of any strings I've used.
When you say you have a small contact point on your nails do you mean they're filed to create a small contact point or that you have small fingers with an exaggerated end point?
For what it's worth D'Addario is not a favorite string choice of mine.
Good luck.
Hauser III 2014!

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Beowulf
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Re: String Tension, Diameter and Nail Contour/Size

Post by Beowulf » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:59 am

Michael.N. wrote:You really do like your high string tension. A 662 scale will add around 0.3 Kg per string, that's on top of the EJ46 HT.
Yes, I have been playing on D'Addario EJ44C(EHT) strings for 20 years now and really like them. I guess I have a bit of the heavy attack style of Angel Romero...at least that was my impression when I watched his Youtube video playing and describing a 1958 Hauser II. He wants a fast response/recovery from the strings as this allows precise articulation. Now, of course I cannot play in any way at the level he does, but that may be one of the characteristics behind my preference.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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Beowulf
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Re: String Tension, Diameter and Nail Contour/Size

Post by Beowulf » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:12 am

Jack Douglas wrote:I'm not a string expert, but have played a number of brands of strings. A couple of strings I've tried might fit your requirement. Try Augustine Regal blue which are High Tension bass and treble. For a completely different feel and tone try Aquila Alabastro superior tension. These are nylgut strings and be forewarned they take a good week to fully settle in. The last ones you might like are Hannabach 815 High Tension. They make a super High Tension string, but with a 662 scale you might damage your guitar. Like I said, I'm not an expert, but I wouldn't put on a set of super high tension strings. Hannabach strings have some of the highest tensions of any strings I've used.
When you say you have a small contact point on your nails do you mean they're filed to create a small contact point or that you have small fingers with an exaggerated end point?
For what it's worth D'Addario is not a favorite string choice of mine.
Good luck.
Ahh...Augustine Regal/Blue...as far as I can ascertain, those are the strings that will come on my Yamaha GC82S from Japan. I have a set and will try them on my GC-10 in preparation. They will be a little higher tension than the D'Addario EJ44Cs that I am used to...and once I have the GC82S, the tension will be a bit less. Thanks for the suggestion of the Hannabach 815 HT...I will try them on the GC82S; but not I think on my GC-10, as that tension would be a bit over the top at 662mm scale. I will also look into the Aquila Alabastro ST.

I file my nails to create as wide a contact area as possible...fairly flat across the tip as ramps do not work well for me; my nails do not have an exaggerated end point, rather they are small and curve down at the edges.

Thanks for the suggestions!
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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