navarro guitar string choice

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
crooksj5

navarro guitar string choice

Post by crooksj5 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:10 pm

Hello everyone I recently purchased a new navarro student flamenco negra. I know string choice is very subjective but I was wondering if anyone had luck with certain brands on this guitar. The strings it came with were good buy not sure what brand they were if anyone knows. I tend to play normal or hard tension btw

Thanks all

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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by Ramon Amira » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:19 pm

The Navarro student negra comes with D'addario strings. I recommend Savarez Corum bass set - low tension, paired with La Bella Rectified Nylon treble set - low tension. Or whatever tension you prefer. But high tension strings generally sound DOA. Strings by Mail sells them as separate sets.

Ramon
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otirroz
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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by otirroz » Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:04 am

Ramon Amira wrote:The Navarro student negra comes with D'addario strings. I recommend Savarez Corum bass set - low tension, paired with La Bella Rectified Nylon treble set - low tension. Or whatever tension you prefer. But high tension strings generally sound DOA. Strings by Mail sells them as separate sets.

Ramon
Hello Ramon,

I have a Navarro student flamenca blanca (spruce/cypress) built in 2010. Ron Hudson recommended Augustine Regal Blue strings for it. I find that the trebles sound fine when new and pretty much stay that way. However, the Blue basses sound fine at first, but within a week or two of vigorous play go dull and buzz way too much. I am going to try some Savarez Corum high tension basses in their place because even though they are a higher tension than the Blues (should buzz less), they are softer and slightly smaller in diameter, which I think should make them brighter, easier to play, and again less likely to buzz excessively. What do you think? You seem to know quite a bit about Francisco's guitars.

Thanks in advance,
P de V

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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by Ramon Amira » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:43 pm

The Navarro Student models are not typical student models, which are generally farmed-out factory guitars. The Navarro Student model is actually a signed label luthier guitar, constructed by Francisco's son Marlon Navarro, a fine luthier in his own right, and should be selling for three times its price.

Both Navarros tend to use different strings at different times, but lately they have been stringing them with D'Addario EJ45, which are medium tension. In the past I was not wild about D'Addario strings, but I have been using the EJ45s for a while now, and I am impressed, especially with the trebles. The basses are very good too, though I do like the Augustine low tension, and Savarez Corum low tension.

I have never heard one single Navarro guitar buzz - father or son, so I'm not sure why you are getting a buzz. Have you kept it humidified? If not, and sometimes even if so, as the fingerboard dries out it shrinks and sometimes pushes the frets up a bit, so you might have a luthier check your frets.

Finally, I've frequently given my opinion on high tension strings - they are lifeless.

Ramon
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Keith
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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by Keith » Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:54 pm

as i recall the blue augustine are above medium in tension and there should be no or minimal buzzing with that tension. flamenco guitars are suppose to buzz a bit as that is part of the ballgame. obviously buzzing all the time time or buzzing with the slightest of touch is not all that great. i wonder if the buzzing is normal flamenco buzzing or too low action or a high fret or two. a set of eyes and hands are necessary to determine if there are high frets or too low action.

as to strings, i find la bella 2001 classical medium strings or la bella 427 trebles and 820 basses to work nicely--i am using the latter and find them to work very well. of course, strings are personal so the above works for me. luthier 20 are another nice flamenco string brand.
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by otirroz » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:46 pm

Thanks for your replies, Ramon and Keith,

I will definitely keep your advice in mind. As to the humidity, at present, and for the past 30 years, I have lived within 3 blocks of the Pacific Ocean here in San Francisco, and the humidity has always been above 70% (I have two different humidity gauges), so I don't think that is the problem. I am a little hard of hearing, so I probably pluck the strings harder than most people, but I haven't experienced this problem with my classical guitar. Fortunately, I live two blocks from a well known luthier (Alan Perlman), and maybe I will have him take a look. Also, I would definitely prefer to use lower tension strings if possible, since in the past, my subjective impression has been that too high a tension tends to choke a guitar. Since the physics of a guitar is really complicated, I wonder if it is possible to get more projection and better coupling between the strings and top with lower tension strings. Are there any members of the forum out there that have some knowledge in this area?

Keith, I am aware that some buzzing goes with the territory, especially during strong compases, but the falsetas shouldn't be quite the same. And as I mentioned, when the strings were fresh, I noticed no problem, but after a week or so, only the basses started acting out. Kind of weird. In any case, thank you all very much for your replies.

P de V

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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by Tim Buckley » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:33 am

I have a Navarro student blanca and got the best tone with Aquila nylgut. However, the intonation was all over the place.
LaBella 820Bs and Luthier 20s are my current picks.

I undertook some very minor sanding inside the box to bring down the plate and back frequencies to within normal tolerances. Prior to that the sound was a little disappointing. Please note that I bought the guitar second hand and with damage to the lower bout of the soundboard, so I would not want to give the impression that this issue was there when the guitar was in its original state.

I am now thrilled with it - there is a real crunch to the sound, even at low volumes.

I'll be interested to try some Augustine Regal Blue trebles at some point.

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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by otirroz » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:45 pm

Thank you again Ramon, Keith, and Tim,

About two weeks ago I replaced the Augustine Blue basses (high tension) with Savarez Corum high tension basses. The fret buzz has been reduced drastically (hope it stays that way), but they still sound somewhat choked (lack sustain). I will next try the ProArte EJ45s per Ramon's recommendation. Maybe the fret buzz is more related to the vibration envelope of the string rather than its tension. I don't know how much those two factors are related.

As long as we are talking about Navarros, are the negras built by Francisco himself really world class? If so, what wood combinations and plantillas/designs produce his best sounding negras?

P de V :?:

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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by Ramon Amira » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:33 pm

Francisco's "Special Grand Concert" model Negra is definitely a world class flamenco guitar. As opposed to his Classical copies, which he makes five different models - Hauser, Rodriguez, etc., he only makes one Flamenco Special Grand Concert model - a copy of a Manuel Reyes. You couldn't ask for a better luthier to copy.

It comes with a solid German Spruce top, and a choice for the back and sides of Indian Rosewood or Cocobolo. I have not discerned any great difference in sound between the two, but I will say that Cocobolo is a stunning looking wood, and makes for a stunning looking Negra. The bracing of course is Reyes'.

As far as sound goes, I have played many of Francisco's Reyes blancas and negras, and they sound just plain terrific, but as always, sound is subject to preferences, general subjectivity, etc. I have never had one single client have anything but high praise for, and great satisfaction with, Francisco's guitars.

Ramon
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otirroz
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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by otirroz » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:43 pm

Thank you Ramon,

I really appreciate the feedback.

P de V

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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by tmblweed1 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:57 pm

Ramon Amira wrote:The Navarro Student models are not typical student models, which are generally farmed-out factory guitars. The Navarro Student model is actually a signed label luthier guitar, constructed by Francisco's son Marlon Navarro, a fine luthier in his own right, and should be selling for three times its price.

Both Navarros tend to use different strings at different times, but lately they have been stringing them with D'Addario EJ45, which are medium tension. In the past I was not wild about D'Addario strings, but I have been using the EJ45s for a while now, and I am impressed, especially with the trebles. The basses are very good too, though I do like the Augustine low tension, and Savarez Corum low tension.

I have never heard one single Navarro guitar buzz - father or son, so I'm not sure why you are getting a buzz. Have you kept it humidified? If not, and sometimes even if so, as the fingerboard dries out it shrinks and sometimes pushes the frets up a bit, so you might have a luthier check your frets.

Finally, I've frequently given my opinion on high tension strings - they are lifeless.

Ramon
Hello, new member from NC here. Funny, I just ordered a Navarro Student Classical today from GSI. 30% off which includes a case. When I have a chance to try it out I'll be sure to note any buzzing here. I do agree it could sell for more than it's asking price based on what I have read. Happy holidays everyone.
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otirroz
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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by otirroz » Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:45 am

Hello all,

Just want to add an addendum to prior comments on this thread. I own two flamenco guitars and two classical guitars. The flamencas are built lightly, around 3 lbs., while the classicals are closer to 4 lbs. Two days ago I switched strings on one of the flamencas from a medium-high tension set (close to 90 lbs. total) to the lowest tension set I could find (La Bella 2001 Classical light tension ~77 lbs. total). The change has been remarkable; way more sustain, more life and sweetness, much easier playability, and (this goes against what I would have predicted :? ) less fret buzz and more volume. The fret buzz is now only a soft growl which occurs at the initial attack of a strong rest stroke, as it should be for a flamenca, but the volume increase really surprised me even accounting for it being a new set of strings. I have a suspicion that because the flamencas have thinner tops, sides and back, they get either choked or distorted when high tension strings are installed. Maybe Ramon is right about this, at least when dealing with lightly-built guitars. My classicals have not had any issues with similar medium-high tension string sets. Has anyone else experienced this?

P de V

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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by Ramon Amira » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:32 pm

"Two days ago I switched strings on one of the flamencos from medium-high tension set (close to 90 lbs. total) to the lowest tension set I could find (La Bella 2001 Classical light tension ~77 lbs. total).

The change has been remarkable; way more sustain, more life and sweetness, much easier playability, and (this goes against what I would have predicted ) less fret buzz and more volume."



This certainly doesn't surprise me one bit, as I have discussed many times on the forum my identical observations on countless guitars when switching to low tension strings - longer sustain, better slurs and ornaments, far more resonance and life, and the bonus of easier playability.

Ramon.
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Write_Rich
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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by Write_Rich » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:44 am

I have a 2013 Navarro Grand Concert "Hauser" model in which I have been using D'Addario EJ46C strings. I have tried a lot of strings over the years but I always find myself always going back to D'Addario EJ46C strings on all my guitars. I like the tone and durability D'Addario strings offer. Recently however I tried out the lighter EJ45Cs on my Ramirez. While I lost some volume I found the tone and ease of playability improved. I plan on trying EJ45Cs on my Navarro next time I change its strings. But really it all comes down to personal taste. Try different brands until you find one that works for you and once you settle on something don't be afraid to mix it up now and then. You might find your string preferences change as you improve, age, etc etc.

About my Navarro - I love that guitar. I have never played a genuine Hauser guitar so cant offer a comparison however I did play a Antonio Marin some years ago and from what I remember my Navarro comes very close to that Marin for a third the price. Of course I might be biased! I would love to get my hands on a Marin or even a Hauser to make some comparisons! Just to be sure!


**Edit/Followup - I have been using the lighter tension EJ45Cs on my Navarro for a couple of weeks now and I can say I like them better than the EJ46Cs I usually use. I didn't notice any significant volume loss like I did with my Ramirez when I switched to lighter tension. Playability is improved as well as the tone. I think I have narrowed my personal string preference to the EJ45Cs and will probably stick with those on all my guitars for awhile.
2015 Yamaha CG172F - Flamenco
2013 Francisco Navarro Garcia Grand Concert "Hauser"
2008 Ramirez 125 anos Limited Edition
2002 Ramirez R4
2000 Alhambra 5P

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Re: navarro guitar string choice

Post by otirroz » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:36 pm

Another addenda to what is probably an old and stale thread:

After a number of careful measurements using dial calipers, feeler gauges, steel rules, etc., I have to accept that my Navarro student flamenca blanca has incredibly low action which would account for the fret buzz. The action at the 12th fret is only 1.8mm on the top "E" and 2.0mm on the bottom "E." It makes for great playability, but if the strings are too "noodley," it does buzz. The tension of the strings does not seem to be as important in this case as does the amount that they deflect from side to side. I don't think it is my imagination, but some strings with higher tension have greater excursions than some with lower tension, which is counterintuitive. This is a lot more noticeable in the basses than the trebles, and may have something to do with the different core materials being used.

Just my observations,

P de V :casque:

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