Knobloch strings

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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petermc61
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by petermc61 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:02 am

Michael

I have a Gutmeier 'Santos' and confirm carbon strings work well on it. I am known for my general dislike of carbon b and e strings so the carbon strings installed would have come off very quickly if they were bright.

Not sure what Tobias Braun did for his copy but presumably has built the guitar optimised for nylon. Clearly in the days of Santos Hernandez they used gut.

When I bought my 1904 Jose Ramirez I from Richard Brune he told me he installed carbon strings as the nearest match to the type of gut strings that would have been typically installed in that era. Given Santos and Ramirez I made guitars from a similar era it may well be that carbon trebles work well on Santos guitars and possibly even Santos replicas.

Regards
Peter

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zupfgeiger
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by zupfgeiger » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:51 am

Hi Peter

well, as you know better than I do there is carbon and carbon. Generally I found the sound of the Braun to be quite close to the original Santos, which Miles Roberts owns. At least to my ears some carbons just seem to be too poignant and bright (Hannachbach Goldin for example) for such a guitar which provides a lot of charme and sweetness. They maybe could do better on a Tacchi Coclea for example or, of course, on a doubletop or lattice guitar. But Knobloch might do a better job on a Santos as they do not produce the typical carbon style tone.

Brune's remark is astonishing to me. But I can't judge as I never played real gut strings.

BTW did you ever try the rectified nylons which La Bella provides with its pure silver set? I recently purchased a set and the basses are leally something special on my Ober. Just don't know whether the will hold as long as some delcamper promise. I did not try one of the two treble sets yet. It has been said that rectified trebles are coming close to gut strings, tonewise.

Cheers
Michael
The secret of getting ahead is getting started (Mark Twain)

Tobias Braun, Santos copy, spruce/yew, 2017
Andrea Tacchi, Enrique Garcia model, Spruce/BRAZ, 2016
Giovanni Tacchi, Daniel Friederich copy, cedar/EIR, 2017
Alain Raifort, cedar/EIR, 2004

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petermc61
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by petermc61 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:59 am

Hi Michael

You are right about Knobloch - certainly not the brightness and tonal leanness of some carbon (think Alliance).

Richard's comment - I just trust what he said. I respect he has immensely more knowledge than me on old guitars and what strings to use on them.

I have not tried the La Bella rectified nylons you mention. I just don't like the feel under the left hand fingers of rectified strings.

Regards
Peter

Jack Douglas
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by Jack Douglas » Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:14 pm

Hi Michael,
Thanks very much for your astute observation. I too find it perplexing about the promotion of carbon trebles. Two of my guitar friends own Gutmeier guitars. One owns the Santos copy and my last recollection of his string choice was a G carbon and b and e nylon. My other friend has a double top and he says it only sounds good with carbon trebles. Ross told me his guitar's bracing is designed for carbon trebles; the inference that carbon strings are superior. I will see my two friends at a guitar get together this coming weekend and ask them about this.
Personally, I wonder if this 'sound' is an age related tone preference. You and I are fairly close in age and I suspect that what we like for tone and sound quality got instilled in each of us when in the 60's we got interested in 'stereo' equipment. Here in America 'Hi Fi Magazine' and Stereo Review' (I hope my memory of their names are correct) were read and acquiring a nice stereo set became a dream. So, I went with a college roommate to Atlanta, GA to 'the' most trendy stereo shop and there listened to McIntosh pre-amp, amp paired with 'Bozak' (again, I hope my memory is accurate) speakers. I fell in love with that sound, but could not afford any of it on my student non-budget. Fast forward to current time. I visited a specialty 'stereo' shop with the new sleek high end equipment and after a brief listen to their best combinations thanked them and walked out. Everything sounded very metallic and bright. So , it seems that my ear got tuned years ago and I simply can't move away from that lovely, sweet, nylon tone. To this day, there is no better reproduced sound than a nylon record on a turn table paired with a pre-amp and amp and speakers from a previous era.
So, Michael, I suspect you and I own contemporary guitars with ears tuned in another decade. And to that I say 'Cheers to our generation!'
All the best, Michael!
Jack
Hauser III 2014!

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zupfgeiger
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by zupfgeiger » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:34 pm

Jack Douglas wrote:You and I are fairly close in age and I suspect that what we like for tone and sound quality got instilled in each of us when in the 60's we got interested in 'stereo' equipment.
Dear Jack
Just for the record: Although I share your ideas and preferences towards music, sound and guitars, there might be 10 years between us and my forming years were the 70ies. I got my first cg, a Yamaha I don't know which one, in 1971, my teacher had a Ramirez 1 a which I admired very much. I purchased douzens of LPs with guitar music of Segovia and Narciso Yepes. Today the Ramirez sound wouldn't be my preference at all. And Segovia and Yepes are a nice remembrance, but no heroes anymore.
Cheers
Michael
The secret of getting ahead is getting started (Mark Twain)

Tobias Braun, Santos copy, spruce/yew, 2017
Andrea Tacchi, Enrique Garcia model, Spruce/BRAZ, 2016
Giovanni Tacchi, Daniel Friederich copy, cedar/EIR, 2017
Alain Raifort, cedar/EIR, 2004

patspector
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by patspector » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:15 pm

Jack Douglas wrote:I too find it perplexing about the promotion of carbon trebles. Two of my guitar friends own Gutmeier guitars. One owns the Santos copy and my last recollection of his string choice was a G carbon and b and e nylon. My other friend has a double top and he says it only sounds good with carbon trebles. Ross told me his guitar's bracing is designed for carbon trebles; the inference that carbon strings are superior.
Jack
Here's what Ross Gutmeier wrote to me about his using carbon strings: "Carbon strings have about the same density as the old gut stings and they're similar in brilliance. This means I can go back to the designs of the old masters (Torres/Santos) and build them as they were originally made."

es335
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by es335 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:37 am

patspector wrote:... "Carbon strings have about the same density as the old gut stings and they're similar in brilliance. This means I can go back to the designs of the old masters (Torres/Santos) and build them as they were originally made."
Considering public figures, the density of Carbon is about the same amount above the average gut strings as Nylon is below. This is why Nylon has its limit at the low end (g3) opposed to Carbon, where the problem is at the top end (e1)!

I'm not sure how well the comparatively high tension of Carbon strings compares to the typical gut strings tension!? :?

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Alan Perros
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by Alan Perros » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:51 am

I'm currently using a custom "balanced tension" string set. I'm curious about the Knobloch strings, but they apparently doesn't provide a tension chart. Does anyone know about their tension ?

es335
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by es335 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:09 am

I found the gauge of their Medium tension trebles close to identical to Pyramid MT Carbon. Thus as a first approach you my rely on their tension chart! :wink:

Arker
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by Arker » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:30 pm

es335 wrote:
patspector wrote:... "Carbon strings have about the same density as the old gut stings and they're similar in brilliance. This means I can go back to the designs of the old masters (Torres/Santos) and build them as they were originally made."
Considering public figures, the density of Carbon is about the same amount above the average gut strings as Nylon is below. This is why Nylon has its limit at the low end (g3) opposed to Carbon, where the problem is at the top end (e1)!

I'm not sure how well the comparatively high tension of Carbon strings compares to the typical gut strings tension!? :?
That's very strange. Mathematically, I think the tension required for a given note is down entirely to the scale length and the density of the string. So if gut strings are similar to carbon strings in density, the scale length is the same 65cm, and the tuning is the same, then the tension would logically be similar as well.

Now I have also never played with real gut, so I am guessing, but I could have sworn they were supposed to be lower tension (and part of the attraction of modern materials was their ability to hold higher tensions, I thought?)

The one element in the formula that I know is off for some really old guitars would be tuning - A440 is pretty new and some of the older guitars might have been tuned slightly lower, but... only slightly.

Edit: reading back over that I see an obvious error. It's not actually the density of the strings, but their vibrating mass - which is a product of density, thickness, and scale length. So maybe the old gut strings had similar density but were thinner.
Last edited by Arker on Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Arker
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by Arker » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:20 am

accidental double post

es335
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by es335 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:18 am

Arker wrote: ... Mathematically, I think the tension required for a given note is down entirely to the scale length and the density of the string. So if gut strings are similar to carbon strings in density, the scale length is the same 65cm, and the tuning is the same, then the tension would logically be similar as well...
There are two variables missing in your equation, diameter and pitch. To be more precise the density (kg/dm³) of Nylon is roughly 1, gut between 1.3 and 1.4 and Carbon around 1.8. Assuming the same pitch, scale length and tension, a diamater comparison for a 0.70 mm Nylon e1 would look like app. 0.63 mm for Gut and app. 0.55 mm for Carbon. BTW Aquila's Nylgut is to my knowledge the only material wich is almost equal in density to gut. :wink:

Arker
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by Arker » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:02 pm

es335 wrote:To be more precise the density (kg/dm³) of Nylon is roughly 1, gut between 1.3 and 1.4 and Carbon around 1.8. Assuming the same pitch, scale length and tension, a diamater comparison for a 0.70 mm Nylon e1 would look like app. 0.63 mm for Gut and app. 0.55 mm for Carbon. BTW Aquila's Nylgut is to my knowledge the only material wich is almost equal in density to gut. :wink:
Very interesting, thanks.

I plan to try those nylguts eventually. Almost did already, but the bit about them being so easy to destroy on installation lead me to put those off till later. In a few months once I wear through my current stock I'll take a real close look at my nut and bridge and then give those a try.

Leo
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by Leo » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:03 am

Arker wrote:
es335 wrote:To be more precise the density (kg/dm³) of Nylon is roughly 1, gut between 1.3 and 1.4 and Carbon around 1.8. Assuming the same pitch, scale length and tension, a diamater comparison for a 0.70 mm Nylon e1 would look like app. 0.63 mm for Gut and app. 0.55 mm for Carbon. BTW Aquila's Nylgut is to my knowledge the only material wich is almost equal in density to gut. :wink:
Very interesting, thanks.

I plan to try those nylguts eventually. Almost did already, but the bit about them being so easy to destroy on installation lead me to put those off till later. In a few months once I wear through my current stock I'll take a real close look at my nut and bridge and then give those a try.
Recent problems with any breakage of Aquila strings have not involved the Alabastro (nylgut) strings. In fact someone has said on this forum that he keeps his nylgut trebles on his guitar for over a year regularly.

Arker
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Re: Knobloch strings

Post by Arker » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:50 am

Leo wrote:Recent problems with any breakage of Aquila strings have not involved the Alabastro (nylgut) strings. In fact someone has said on this forum that he keeps his nylgut trebles on his guitar for over a year regularly.
Yes I saw that.

This is what I was referring to (taken from a commercial site selling these particular strings:)
IMPORTANT INSTALLATION INFORMATION:

Nylgut is a completely different material than nylon and needs a bit of extra care during installation because of its soft surface and different molecular structure.

First check that the string channels in the nut are rounded and have no sharp edges, especially the lower edges facing the fingerboard. Because the string approaches from a slightly downward angle, if that edge is sharp the string can hang up on it, create a burr and break. It needs to be just slightly radiused, and this procedure can be done with very fine sand paper and an old string, or a small round file. Some makers ignore this because Nylon strings are very hard and can withstand a poor set up. Sometimes bridge saddle edges on the tying side are sharp as well and should be radiused slightly with fine sandpaper.

It is good to help the strings over the nut by lifting them slightly right at the nut as you tune up.
So I am not referring to them just 'breaking' but the worry that a sharp edge on the nut or bridge/saddle area might need to be smoothed to avoid damaging them during installation.

Is this not accurate?

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