Strings... Low-Medium-Hard?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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joachim33
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Re: Strings... Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by joachim33 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:16 pm

boguz wrote:Would you say the "High-Tension" from one grand is comparable to the "High Tension" from another brand?
Is the "tension" something standard that goes across all brands, or each brand has it own?
Each brand has it's own. Hannabach 815 medium tension have a total set tension of 41.8 kg. In their standard Pro Arte range D'Addario doesn't do anything as high. Their "extra hard" EJ44 come in at 41.6kg (ok, this difference is negligible :wink: ). So if your guitar can stand Hannabach medium, it can stand D'Addario extra hard.

It is a real shame that many brands do not state their tension in an easily accessible form on the website.

boguz
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Re: Strings... Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by boguz » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:58 am

You are right.
At the time i tried the Hannabach because my teacher said they were good. I liked them, so i kept using them.

But now that i am in the mood for trying new strings i am finding it hard to believe that there isn't a "standardized" tension scale between the different brands. I think that would be quite useful!

Vasco Passeira
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Re: Strings... Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by Vasco Passeira » Thu May 11, 2017 3:55 pm

I read all the posts in this thread and could only find one person saying he uses low tension strings, so here go my two cents.
My main guitar is a concert one and has a larger-than-usual neck width and the scale is a bit on the high side.
Originally it came with hard tension strings which caused me a lot of problems to adapt, so I quickly switched to medium tension strings.
Still, it wasn't working for me.
So recently I tried stringing it with low tension strings (in the case, Augustine, which were the only ones I could find where I live). Boy, was my left hand happy!
Not just I immediately could do things I couldn't do before, but all the fatigue was gone and I can now study and play for twice the time I used to. With this came a whole new range of pieces that before were simply out of reach.
Yes, there are downsides: the guitar lost some projection, but this didn't worry me much, as the guitar by itself it pretty loud. The sound became mellower and darker, but this doesn't upset me a bit, as it reflects my preferences.
The RH required some adaptation, but nothing too serious.
The only real trouble are pieces that require you to tune the 6th string to C, because the string sounds dead. But I can only remember a handful of those, so the until this moment I can live with the trade-off.
Anyone else with a similar experience?

ddray
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Re: Strings... Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by ddray » Sat May 13, 2017 7:41 pm

Vasco Passeira wrote:
Thu May 11, 2017 3:55 pm
I read all the posts in this thread and could only find one person saying he uses low tension strings, so here go my two cents.
My main guitar is a concert one and has a larger-than-usual neck width and the scale is a bit on the high side.
Originally it came with hard tension strings which caused me a lot of problems to adapt, so I quickly switched to medium tension strings.
Still, it wasn't working for me.
So recently I tried stringing it with low tension strings (in the case, Augustine, which were the only ones I could find where I live). Boy, was my left hand happy!
Not just I immediately could do things I couldn't do before, but all the fatigue was gone and I can now study and play for twice the time I used to. With this came a whole new range of pieces that before were simply out of reach.
Yes, there are downsides: the guitar lost some projection, but this didn't worry me much, as the guitar by itself it pretty loud. The sound became mellower and darker, but this doesn't upset me a bit, as it reflects my preferences.
The RH required some adaptation, but nothing too serious.
The only real trouble are pieces that require you to tune the 6th string to C, because the string sounds dead. But I can only remember a handful of those, so the until this moment I can live with the trade-off.
Anyone else with a similar experience?
I use j43's and really do enjoy the increased comfort, and don't feel that a whole lot has been lost in volume. There is one problem with them though, and that is that the D-string is more difficult than usual to tune just right. I guess it's just the length of the string. I think I'll try Savarez "White Card" strings next.

jnbrown
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Re:

Post by jnbrown » Tue May 16, 2017 1:19 am

MarkJ wrote:
Sun Nov 06, 2005 12:23 am
I have found that a good way to decide what strings and tension sound best on your particular instrument is to compare them together at the same time. For example, put one of each trebele E on and compare, check the sound at 7th and higher frets is also important. Then check both B, G etc. Keep notes, as sometimes the G on one type will sound better than the other being compared , but the E and B are not as good, so you have to decide overall which is best. Do the same for the Bass strings. It sounds a bit tedious, but trying to compare the sound of a new set of strings of a different tension with how you rember the sond of the old set you just removed has inherent bias because the old strings are scratchy, dead, stretched...

I thought I liked Galli Titanium untill I played them string for string against Hannabach super carbon - the Hannabach won hands down
I can't believe I have not done this yet. I play one string for a while switch to another and try to decide. Then I do it again some time later and make the opposite choice.

Laudiesdad69
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Re: Strings... Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Tue May 16, 2017 2:54 am

Low tension strings may actually feel like mediums on an extended scale guitar. I was trying to make up my mind about whether or not to buy a 664mm scale Ramirez 1A. The owner of the shop had just took it in and it needed strings. I provided him with a set of Augustine classic red (which he does not sell) as up to this point these strings were the best sounding of all the sets I tried on my Ramirez which was 650 mm scale. When they finally set in after four days of me playing them, they felt like hard tension strings, due to the extra length of the strings increased tension. So I would imagine that low tension might feel more like medium tension on a longer scale guitar.

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Beowulf
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Re: Strings... Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by Beowulf » Tue May 16, 2017 2:58 pm

I've been playing on D'Addario EJ44C EHT strings for years on my 662mm scale guitar. Recently I dropped the action from 5mm/4mm to 4mm/3.5mm and tried a set of Augustine Regal/Blue HT strings and found the action much easier and the sound harmonically richer. The "feel" was lighter for my right hand and took some getting used to as my control was not as good with less string resistance to work against. I then went back to the EJ44C strings and so far do not like them as I had before I dropped the action. Particularly, I notice more "sloppiness" in my right hand finger action on the top strings.

How to explain this? Well, the D'Addario EJ44Cs have average strings tension at 662mm of 16.02 lbs, the Augustine Regal/Blues: 16.38 lbs. However, if the strings are compared only for the top three strings, the average tensions are:

D'Addario: 14.71 lbs
Augustine Regal/Blue: 16.15 lbs.

That is a difference of 1.44 lbs which is very evident to my right hand in playing.

The three bass strings are also different, but the right hand "feel" change is not as marked. This is also evident in the string tension differences:

D'Addario: 17.33 lbs
Augustine Regal/Blue: 16.61

With the bass strings the difference is .72 lbs higher with the D'Addarios...half as much as the treble difference.

Also, I noted that the D'Addarios have a much greater difference between trebles and basses (2.62 lbs) compared to the Augustines (.46 lbs).

Further comparisons could be made, but so far I can conclude that action height significantly affects the "felt" string tension (nothing new there of course); different action heights will alter the guitar's response and may call for a change of strings; the Augustine Regal/Blues have a much more consistent string tension when comparing trebles to basses than the D'Addario EJ44Cs
1971 Yamaha GC-10

Flawiler63
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Re: Strings... Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by Flawiler63 » Tue May 16, 2017 5:03 pm

Very informative topic, thanks for all the info. I have always liked Hannabach strong tension. I did not even know about the various tension scale and agree that some sort of standard would be extremely helpful.

Golfgnome
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Re: Strings..an be a little harde Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by Golfgnome » Tue May 16, 2017 11:48 pm

I just bought a Cordoba C7 cedar and it comes with Savarez New Cristal Corum high tension (clear nylon trebles, corum basses). They also threw in an extra set. I had been playing D'Addario EJ45 normal tension on my old Yamaha. I'm kind of new at this so I don't really know what to expect. My instructor was very impressed with the C7 and thought it was a great value. He said high tension could be a bit more difficult to fret until you get used to it. I told him one thing I noticed was that the C7 required cleaner more precise fingering. If I was slightly back from the fret I got a buzz but on the Yamaha I seemed to get away with a little more indifferent (sloppy) fingering. He thought that was most likely the difference between high tension (Cordoba) strings and normal tension (Yamaha) and not the difference in the guitars.

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joachim33
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Re: Strings..an be a little harde Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by joachim33 » Wed May 17, 2017 8:14 am

Golfgnome wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 11:48 pm
I just bought a Cordoba C7 cedar and it comes with Savarez New Cristal Corum high tension (clear nylon trebles, corum basses). They also threw in an extra set. I had been playing D'Addario EJ45 normal tension on my old Yamaha. I'm kind of new at this so I don't really know what to expect. My instructor was very impressed with the C7 and thought it was a great value. He said high tension could be a bit more difficult to fret until you get used to it. I told him one thing I noticed was that the C7 required cleaner more precise fingering. If I was slightly back from the fret I got a buzz but on the Yamaha I seemed to get away with a little more indifferent (sloppy) fingering. He thought that was most likely the difference between high tension (Cordoba) strings and normal tension (Yamaha) and not the difference in the guitars.
I had issues with the D-string (4th string) buzzing when not being fretted precisely. I noticed matters improve (Savarez Corum Alliance normal tension and Cantiga New Cristal normal tension) when I reduce finger pressure while fretting. I was applying way to much pressure.

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georgemarousi
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Re: Strings..an be a little harde Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by georgemarousi » Wed May 17, 2017 9:10 am

joachim33 wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 8:14 am

I had issues with the D-string (4th string) buzzing when not being fretted precisely. I noticed matters improve (Savarez Corum Alliance normal tension and Cantiga New Cristal normal tension) when I reduce finger pressure while fretting. I was applying way to much pressure.
hmm.. quite strange that buzz. It could be a problem of bad your guitars setup, particularly your nut setup. Can you check if your nut is set up properly? ( by fretting the 3rd position, there should be a very thin gap between the string and the first fret )
--Classicals--
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student again since 2015, to my degree @..? - God bless!

nmshu1
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Re: Strings... Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by nmshu1 » Wed May 17, 2017 7:08 pm

I totally agree with Julian Bream (not to use high tension strings).

I used various strings from D'Addario, Labella, Augustine, Savarez, Hannabach...
I always try to use the lowest tension strings if possible...
I prefer to D'Addario EXP45, La Bella 2001 medium tension and light tension as well as pure silver green medium tension.

I also prefer to small scale guitars such as 640/630.

The only problem is: can not play very quickly sometimes. At such situation, sometimes I have to use high tension strings for very special repertoire...
Otto Vowinkel Concert 650, Juan Hernandez Torres 640,
German V. Rubio Concert 635, Kenny Hill Performance 630
German V. Rubio Estudio 635, Córdoba C9 650, Sweet Tone 640

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Re: Strings... Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by rojarosguitar » Wed May 17, 2017 9:19 pm

This has been discussed a lot here on the forum, and I think there is no simple answer. Depends on so many factors, with the guitar being by no means the least important... Best thing is to invest a few bucks in some different sets (preferably of same brand to exclude too many variables, like the very good and affordable Labella 2001 professionals being available in a palette of tensions) and see for yourself what you like and dislike about different tensions.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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joachim33
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Re: Strings..an be a little harde Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by joachim33 » Wed May 17, 2017 9:41 pm

georgemarousi wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 9:10 am
joachim33 wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 8:14 am

I had issues with the D-string (4th string) buzzing when not being fretted precisely. I noticed matters improve (Savarez Corum Alliance normal tension and Cantiga New Cristal normal tension) when I reduce finger pressure while fretting. I was applying way to much pressure.
hmm.. quite strange that buzz. It could be a problem of bad your guitars setup, particularly your nut setup. Can you check if your nut is set up properly? ( by fretting the 3rd position, there should be a very thin gap between the string and the first fret )
There is such a gap. Thanks for your suggestion, I didn't check that before.

J.

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Beowulf
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Re: Strings... Low-Medium-Hard?

Post by Beowulf » Thu May 18, 2017 1:22 am

nmshu1 wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 7:08 pm
I totally agree with Julian Bream (not to use high tension strings).

I used various strings from D'Addario, Labella, Augustine, Savarez, Hannabach...
I always try to use the lowest tension strings if possible...
I prefer to D'Addario EXP45, La Bella 2001 medium tension and light tension as well as pure silver green medium tension.

I also prefer to small scale guitars such as 640/630.

The only problem is: can not play very quickly sometimes. At such situation, sometimes I have to use high tension strings for very special repertoire...
It does depend on the action height and the soundboard response of your guitar. Some soundboards are not driven well with low or high tension strings. As well the higher string tension will recover more quickly from a playing impulse and return to "base" more rapidly. This might account for your experience when playing at higher speeds. I have noted the same in my playing.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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