What strings produce sweet sound?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Nikos_Greek
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What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by Nikos_Greek » Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:37 pm

Hello everybody!

I have a question concerning strings. I have a Bernabe M 50 cedar top/Madagascar rosewood back and sides. I also have a Bernabe M5 Cedar/IR. I have put D'Addario EJ 45 normal Tension on them. The M5 produces a more acceptable, pleasant to me sound, somewhat sweet and mellow. The M 50 on the other Hand has a somewhat metalic, a guy here recently has described as processed. Of Course, the two guitars are not in the same league, still I would like the M 50 to have a sweeter, mellower sound. The only string comparison I have made is with the original Bernabe strings both guitars came with. I definitely prefer the more neutral, flat, nylon D'addario. Any suggestions on strings producing a sweet sound would be more than welcome. The music I play is mainly Spanish Composers, Tarrega, Sor, Sanz, and Carcassi.
Thank you in advance for your help.

Nikos

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rojarosguitar
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by rojarosguitar » Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:48 pm

Why everybody is going for 'sweet' sound and nobody wants sour sound or bitter sound? :lol:
Just joking, there is a parallel thread just about that started recently... see here viewtopic.php?f=43&t=116220
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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DLMJ-1234
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by DLMJ-1234 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:54 pm

Aquila Nylgut are lovely for nail and flesh players - really sweet

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:59 pm

rojarosguitar wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:48 pm
Why everybody is going for 'sweet' sound and nobody wants sour sound or bitter sound? :lol:
Just joking, there is a parallel thread just about that started recently... see here viewtopic.php?f=43&t=116220
umami sound is the best
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

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Peter Frary
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by Peter Frary » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:26 pm

Are you referring to the trebles or the basses? Generally speaking, the EJ45 are about as mellow and dark as it gets. The EXP variant have slightly more mellow bass due to the coating but there is isn't much difference from the EJ45 after a few days of playing. You might consider changing the saddle on the M50 if you really need to roll off the treble response. Back in the day I had a "luthier" made Yamaha that was a real screamer but the bright treble strings made me cringe. I mellowed them out by filing arches in the saddle exactly in-between the string positions. Didn't lose much volume but it rolled off the aggressive highs. Another possibility is use of a saddle made of softer and more porous material, i.e., wood.
I play a Cordoba Mini so I look taller on stage!

Nikos_Greek
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by Nikos_Greek » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:09 pm

@ Peter,
I think the problem lies in the basses rather than the trebles. I understand that my not so advanced technique (what a euphemism!) also accentuates the problem. The sheer idea now that I should interfere with the saddle gives me headache (I*m joking). The other thing is I have recently started using flesh and nail on the right hand. That definitely produces a fuller, sweeter sound, but there is much to be improved there. I may have to wait for a while until my technique improves more I guess.

powderedtoastman
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by powderedtoastman » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:18 pm

DLMJ-1234 wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:54 pm
Aquila Nylgut are lovely for nail and flesh players - really sweet
Agreed! I used to use them on my Rodriguez copy but I wanted a little fatter tone on that one so I switched to Augustine.

I ordered a set of Aquila Ambra 2000 to try out soon though, as a curiosity, because Ambra 800 are working nicely for my romantic guitar. The one thing I'm a little iffy about is that they're rectified and have a rough texture. They do sound good though!

I will try the Ambra 2000 when I get them and maybe report back!

es335
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by es335 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:21 pm

Peter Frary wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:26 pm
...The EXP variant have slightly more mellow bass due to the coating but there is isn't much difference from the EJ45 after a few days of playing...
EXP basses are actually coated Composite basses, which means their core is from Zylex rather than Nylon and their tension pattern across the strings is different. So IMHO the are a bit more different to the original Pro Arte basses, warmer with more weight and less ring. :wink:

SteveL123
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by SteveL123 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:22 pm

Peter Frary wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:26 pm
Are you referring to the trebles or the basses? Generally speaking, the EJ45 are about as mellow and dark as it gets. The EXP variant have slightly more mellow bass due to the coating but there is isn't much difference from the EJ45 after a few days of playing. You might consider changing the saddle on the M50 if you really need to roll off the treble response. Back in the day I had a "luthier" made Yamaha that was a real screamer but the bright treble strings made me cringe. I mellowed them out by filing arches in the saddle exactly in-between the string positions. Didn't lose much volume but it rolled off the aggressive highs. Another possibility is use of a saddle made of softer and more porous material, i.e., wood.
Hi Peter,

By filing arches between strings in the bone saddle, you were able to roll off the treble response. Does this work by lowering the weight of the saddle? Did you file arches between every string or only between the treble strings? How deep of an arch? Did it make a big difference?

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Peter Frary
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by Peter Frary » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:41 pm

Yes, as I indicated in my above post mellowed out the bright treble and I liked the Yamaha much more. The arches were about 1/8" into the saddle.

John Gilbert put new frets and finger board on my beater Ramirez in the early 1970s and he made a saddle like that, stating it would improve the tone. I preferred the solid bone saddle on that Ramirez—it was naturally dark and sweet—and the arch cut saddle rolled it off too much so I cut a new solid saddle. But the solution was perfect for that super bright Yamaha.
I play a Cordoba Mini so I look taller on stage!

Nikos_Greek
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by Nikos_Greek » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:57 pm

I have been using the last week Micro Mesh 12000 for polishing the nails and the results are amazing. I can produce now a much more mellow and sweet sound with the same strings D`Addario normal tension ej45. And this is the sound I love in a cedar guitar!

Laudiesdad69
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:45 am

I think you might like Ramirez med tension with Carbon G. Clear, bell like, and yet sweet sounding. Good basses too. These have sounded good on every guitar I have put them on. Round sounding, warm and clear also.

Nikos_Greek
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by Nikos_Greek » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:01 am

Thanks Laudiesdad, I will give them a try as well!

celestemcc
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by celestemcc » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:31 pm

Hannabachs tend to be very dark, a sound I associate with "sweet". Not cheap, but the Silver 200s are absolutely gorgeous.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

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eno
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Re: What strings produce sweet sound?

Post by eno » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:14 pm

I had similar problem with my Bernabe and I settled with Ramirez strings, check out this thread
Bernabes are very sensitive guitars and they do tend to produce a little metallic sound, it's the way they are and I actually like it. But there are a few things you can do to make it a bit mellower so it would sound more "ethereal" rather than "metallic". Strings is one of them. The other is saddle, I replaced mine with TUSK and it made the sound a bit softer and more pleasant, while the bone saddle would make the sound too zingy and clacky. And the last but not least is the plucking technique. Bernabes are very unforgiving and sensitive to the RH plucking style, you need to develop a good plucking technique to produce a nice sound. Make sure you pluck deep with a lot of finger flesh and then release by nails, but the nails need to be very round and glassy polished. Bernabes will grossly amplify any nail roughness and unevenness due to their extreme sensitivity. Also, try plucking at different angles of the fingers with respect to the strings, less angle produces mellower sound until it becomes dull so you need to find a compromise. But as with any guitar one needs to adjust the technique to get the best out of each instrument.
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Takamine C136S 1976
Masaru Kohno No.6 1967
Mitsuru Tamura No.800 1972
Rokutaro Nakade 1967, 1962

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