Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Laudiesdad69
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Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:08 pm

I was ordering some singles from SBM the other day. I've had one combination of strings that have worked for the most part, that another forum member had suggested. They were the Savarez Cantiga basses and Dogal Diamante trebles. Well I have one guitar which is a little finicky. The Dogal high E was quite piercing on that guitar, and the low E on it lacked depth. So I tweaked that combo with a Hannabach nylon high E, and replaced the Cantiga Low E with a Corum. It wasn't bad, price wise. About 17 bucks. Has anyone else done This? What have your results Been? I figured I would try this to see if it really makes a big difference or not.

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petermc61
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by petermc61 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:56 pm

I’ve built many a custom set, but I order so many strings I just mix and match them out of my stock. From the changes you made above I would have just ordered Ramirez medium tension with a carbon G....

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:04 pm

petermc61 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:56 pm
I’ve built many a custom set, but I order so many strings I just mix and match them out of my stock. From the changes you made above I would have just ordered Ramirez medium tension with a carbon G....
I have a set of those on hand, but I'm saving them for a certain guitar that I had set up with those. I ordered these in hard tension as that is what the guitar is set up with pretty much. I will try them out in a week or two, when it's time to change the Ramirez strings that are on it now. The custom set was the same price as the Ramirez HT strings. I just thought this would be cheap entertainment and a fun experiment.

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petermc61
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by petermc61 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:09 pm

It’s always good to experiment. I wouldn’t necessarily stick with high tension just because the guitar was originally set up with high tension strings. Rarely do I ever find guitars don’t benefit from lowering the string tension.

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:39 pm

Yeah Peter, I wanted to try high tension on this particular guitar, just for the extra volume. The guitar is my new camping guitar, a Lucero LC200S that I paid $179 for. I wouldn't have done it if it the guitar didn't have a truss rod. We shall see though, I may well try medium tension strings on it though. It just depends if I get adequate sustain out of the new set. I will try the medium tension before I make a new saddle though.

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petermc61
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by petermc61 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:43 pm

Don’t assume higher tension will give more volume. I don’t think there is any basis for making that conclusion.

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:51 pm

petermc61 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:43 pm
Don’t assume higher tension will give more volume. I don’t think there is any basis for making that conclusion.
Really, I did not know that. It just seemed to make sense to do it. It is a solid top guitar. Please explain further.

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petermc61
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by petermc61 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:28 am

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:51 pm
petermc61 wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:43 pm
Don’t assume higher tension will give more volume. I don’t think there is any basis for making that conclusion.
Really, I did not know that. It just seemed to make sense to do it. It is a solid top guitar. Please explain further.
I am not a luthier, and I doubt I can properly explain it clearly. In essence, the 'volume' of a guitar is how efficiently the top is set into vibration by vibrations of the string transferred through the saddle to the soundboard. The tension of the strings is a static thing - it pre-stresses the soundboard, with more pre-stressing of the wood with higher tension string sets. This seems to suit some guitars and not others (some end up sounding 'choked' with too much tension). All I am saying is that I am unaware of any evidence that the amount of vibration (i.e. volume) you get off the soundboard for a given amount of string vibration increases as the static loading on the soundboard goes up with higher string tension.

Peter

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:48 am

I see, thanks. Now that I think about it, the guitar came from the factory with EJ45. That is why I changed them the minute I got it out of the box, because the strings were wimpy sounding. I wonder if, being that it is such a cheap guitar, the top isn't a wee bit thick. Compared it side by side with my Ramirez, which has the Dogal Diamante trebles and Cantiga basses all in medium tension, and the Lucero with hard tension Ramirez strings as a result of this thread, and the volume was similar on both.

Oh well, that Lucero guitar like object is taking a trip to Washington in a week. Could see some camping action. I am going to wait to try the mix-n-match set until after the weekend as the Ramirez strings have settled, and I am going to play some guitar with my son.

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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:49 am

Double post.

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by Trevor Gore » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:54 am

petermc61 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:28 am
All I am saying is that I am unaware of any evidence that the amount of vibration (i.e. volume) you get off the soundboard for a given amount of string vibration increases as the static loading on the soundboard goes up with higher string tension.
The conventional argument goes like this:

The main drive to the guitar top are the transverse vibrations of the string that exert a force perpendicular to the soundboard. As the string oscillates, it changes angle as it approaches the "fixed" point at the saddle. The component "P" of the force perpendicular to the sound board is the tension "T" in the string multiplied by the sine of the change in angle from the rest position, "alpha". So P=T*sin(alpha). If the tension T in the string is doubled (for example) then the force causing the top to vibrate (P) also doubles. So the force driving the soundboard is proportional to the tension in the string.

However, what you hear depends on a whole stack of other things. A doubling of the drive force represents a 3dB change in sound level for the same pluck displacement, which is supposed to be a "just noticeable difference"*. However, with a string of a different tension and likely different diameter, the overtone structure of the string, and hence the harmonic structure of the drive force, will change; which may precipitate a difference in apparent** loudness due to the non-flat frequency response of the human ear. Further, if the increase in string tension precipitates a change in the geometry of the soundboard (for example, results in more soundboard doming) then the soundboard may end up looking structurally stiffer to small variations in drive force, resulting in less motion and less sound radiation.

So it's not simple. However, my guitars generally get perceptibly louder if I string with higher tension strings, but that's not the case for all guitars.

For those who want "Chapter and verse", Section 1.5 in "Design" (specifically Fig. 1.5-5 in Section 1.5.5) for those who have the books.

* I reckon I can reliably hear a lot less than 3dB change in loudness
** A small increase in high frequency content (for example) can come across as perceptibly louder although the total power in the in signal may be the same or less.

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petermc61
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by petermc61 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:12 am

Hi Trevor

Thanks for that explanation. I seem to understand you are saying ‘it depends’. I’d be curious as to the difference in tension between normal and high tension strings sets (eg EJ45 to EJ46) - maybe 5-10% at a guess? If that’s about right then the increase would be 0.2-0.4dB - probably irrelevant?

Cheers
Peter

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by Trevor Gore » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:22 am

Peter, for the sets you mention the tension difference is indeed small. However, looking at one of D'Addario's tension charts for individual strings, the range of tensions for high E's runs from 14.8lbs to 36.5lbs. This chart doesn't give string diameters ( :roll: ) so its not possible to pick realistic options from the code numbers they do give. For other makes, the difference between "standard" and "high tension" can be 20-25%. Low tension nylon to high tension fluorocarbon on the high E can be up to 40% tension difference. More than enough for me (at least!) to hear a volume difference on my guitars.

BTW, isn't it time you dropped in again for coffee and banjos? I have an interesting Fleta style instrument... :D

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petermc61
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by petermc61 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:30 am

Trevor Gore wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:22 am
Peter, for the sets you mention the tension difference is indeed small. However, looking at one of D'Addario's tension charts for individual strings, the range of tensions for high E's runs from 14.8lbs to 36.5lbs. This chart doesn't give string diameters ( :roll: ) so its not possible to pick realistic options from the code numbers they do give. For other makes, the difference between "standard" and "high tension" can be 20-25%. Low tension nylon to high tension fluorocarbon on the high E can be up to 40% tension difference. More than enough for me (at least!) to hear a volume difference on my guitars.

BTW, isn't it time you dropped in again for coffee and banjos? I have an interesting Fleta style instrument... :D
I wonder how much of the difference is possible due to different tonal balance of nylon vs carbon (presuming carbon has more HF overtones)?

Coffee sounds tempting. I'm still recovering from hearing the banjos floating down the valley from out of those hills..... :D

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Has anybody ordered custom sets from SBM?

Post by Trevor Gore » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:33 pm

petermc61 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:30 am
I wonder how much of the difference is possible due to different tonal balance of nylon vs carbon (presuming carbon has more HF overtones)?
The overtone content of strings depends on the bending stiffness and damping in the string. The lower the bending stiffness, the greater the potential for more harmonic content. The bending stiffness is proportional to the 4th power of diameter (and the first power of Young's modulus), and even light tension nylon is larger in diameter than high tension fluorocarbon, which is why fluorocarbon strings sound brighter and because of that can also be perceived as being louder. So it's difficult to do a direct comparison between nylon and fluorocarbon at the same bending stiffness. However, if a "flesh pluck" is made in the middle of the string's length, you don't excite too many harmonics, so can get an idea of relative loudness. On my guitars, a high tension fluorocarbon string sounds appreciably louder than a light tension nylon string.

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