Comments on several string sets

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
Flapjack
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by Flapjack » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:33 am

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:13 pm
Hey Flap jack, if you haven't already, try a set of Ramirez med tension with Carbon G. They have sounded good on every guitar that I have put them on from cheap $200 ones to one's costing several thousand dollars guitars.
Thanks for the recommendation. I am not sure my level of playing warrants $20 strings, but I might splurge.

Scott Phillips
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by Scott Phillips » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:09 am

Flapjack wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:19 am
.

4) La Bella 2001 Hard - bass strings are warm, feel floppy compared to any of the above sets, and are a bit dull sounding even when fresh, treble strings are bright but less cold sounding than either Savarez set. Very musical sounding to these ears.
The reasons that they feel floppy is because the total tension of the set is only about 78Lbs. That is their high tension, w hi iChat is really low tension compared to several other brands.

By the way, the Ramirez strings sound better than the aforementioned sets in your original post.

Flapjack
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by Flapjack » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:18 pm

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:09 am
Flapjack wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:19 am
.

4) La Bella 2001 Hard - bass strings are warm, feel floppy compared to any of the above sets, and are a bit dull sounding even when fresh, treble strings are bright but less cold sounding than either Savarez set. Very musical sounding to these ears.
The reasons that they feel floppy is because the total tension of the set is only about 78Lbs. That is their high tension, w hi iChat is really low tension compared to several other brands.

By the way, the Ramirez strings sound better than the aforementioned sets in your original post.
Thanks for the follow-up message. I am aware of the published tensions for the La Bella strings, but I don't trust those or tensions published by other makers of strings. There is just too much inconsistency in the reporting (different tensions reported for the same strings by the company that produces them, for example), and lack of clarity, in some cases, around scale length and methodology used for determining tension. Also, I have measured string diamters on some sets, such as Augustine Classic trebles, and found that they do not match the published diameters.

Strings by Mail has La Bella 2001 Hard Tension strings listed at 85.36 lbs., but this is most likely the tension with a 655mm scale. I don't doubt that the tension you provided can also be found for this set...

Scott Phillips
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Re: Comments on several string s

Post by Scott Phillips » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:12 pm

Flapjack wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:18 pm
Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:09 am
Flapjack wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:19 am
.

4) La Bella 2001 Hard - bass strings are warm, feel floppy compared to any of the above sets, and are a bit dull sounding even when fresh, treble strings are bright but less cold sounding than either Savarez set. Very musical sounding to these ears.
The reasons that they feel floppy is because the total tension of the set is only about 78Lbs. That is their high tension, w hi iChat is really low tension compared to several other brands.

By the way, the Ramirez strings sound better than the aforementioned sets in your original post.
Thanks for the follow-up message. I am aware of the published tensions for the La Bella strings, but I don't trust those or tensions published by other makers of strings. There is just too much inconsistency in the reporting (different tensions reported for the same strings by the company that produces them, for example), and lack of clarity, in some cases, around scale length and methodology used for determining tension. Also, I have measured string diamters on some sets, such as Augustine Classic trebles, and found that they do not match the published diameters.

Strings by Mail has La Bella 2001 Hard Tension strings listed at 85.36 lbs., but this is most likely the tension with a 655mm scale. I don't doubt that the tension you provided can also be found for this set...
Sorry, I was looking at medium hard. Strings by mail is going to be measuring tensions themselves and will have the data coming out sometime next year. It really doesn’t help when some companies use different scale lengths in determining tension.

Flapjack
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Re: Comments on several string s

Post by Flapjack » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:11 pm

Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:12 pm
Flapjack wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:18 pm
Laudiesdad69 wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:09 am


The reasons that they feel floppy is because the total tension of the set is only about 78Lbs. That is their high tension, w hi iChat is really low tension compared to several other brands.

By the way, the Ramirez strings sound better than the aforementioned sets in your original post.
Thanks for the follow-up message. I am aware of the published tensions for the La Bella strings, but I don't trust those or tensions published by other makers of strings. There is just too much inconsistency in the reporting (different tensions reported for the same strings by the company that produces them, for example), and lack of clarity, in some cases, around scale length and methodology used for determining tension. Also, I have measured string diamters on some sets, such as Augustine Classic trebles, and found that they do not match the published diameters.

Strings by Mail has La Bella 2001 Hard Tension strings listed at 85.36 lbs., but this is most likely the tension with a 655mm scale. I don't doubt that the tension you provided can also be found for this set...
Sorry, I was looking at medium hard. Strings by mail is going to be measuring tensions themselves and will have the data coming out sometime next year. It really doesn’t help when some companies use different scale lengths in determining tension.


This would really be helpful.

Reggie
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by Reggie » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:57 am

I also have a Cordoba C9 cedar and following petermc61 recommendations I ended up settling on Savarez Cantiga NT basses and Augustine Imperial trebles. My methodology was a bit "rough" :). I tried the Mari 100p and 200s and did not feel that they vibrated the top like the imperials did. On a different guitar I might prefer the Mari strings as they do have a really nice sound.

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petermc61
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by petermc61 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:58 am

Reggie wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:57 am
I also have a Cordoba C9 cedar and following petermc61 recommendations I ended up settling on Savarez Cantiga NT basses and Augustine Imperial trebles. My methodology was a bit "rough" :). I tried the Mari 100p and 200s and did not feel that they vibrated the top like the imperials did. On a different guitar I might prefer the Mari strings as they do have a really nice sound.
Glad you landed with a combination you like Reggie!

Flapjack
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Re: Comments on several string sets (below item 6 is new commentary)

Post by Flapjack » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:46 am

I have been experimenting with different strings for a while and thought I would post my perceptions of them in case it might help others. I have learned a lot by reading what others have had to say and this message serves as a feeble attempt to give a little back. I am an experienced guitar player but relatively new (last year or two) to playing classical. My guess is that I am an advanced beginner to weak intermediate. The guitar I play is a Cordoba C9 with a cedar top. I have left each set of reviewed strings on for at least a month, most of them longer, and I am listing them in the order I tried them. Intonation on all of them up and down the neck was great. It is never easy describing sound, but here goes...

1) Savarez 500CJ - bass strings are bold sounding and do not feel very stiff considering their published tension, treble strings are loud, punchy, percussive, bright, and perhaps a bit cold sounding.

2) D'Addario EJ44 - bass strings are warm and deep, not very loud, and slightly floppier feeling that the 500CJ, treble strings are warm, a bit thuddy, and not very loud.

3) Savarez 500CR - bass strings are bold/bright sounding and just a little less stiff feeling than the 500CJ, treble strings are also less stiff feeling than the 500CJ and a bit less percussive. Overall, these strings sound a lot like the 500CJ with less tension and not much perceptible loss in volume.

4) La Bella 2001 Hard - bass strings are warm, feel floppy compared to any of the above sets, and are a bit dull sounding even when fresh, treble strings are bright but less cold sounding than either Savarez set. Very musical sounding to these ears.

5) D'Addario EJ45 - bass strings are deep sounding but have a nice punch and brightness to them when needed. They are maybe just a bit stiffer feeling than the La Bella's, but easier to fret than the other sets, treble strings are warm, velvety, and sweet sounding (similar to the La Bellas), but are also punchy when needed with some brightness. Also, more than any other trebles, these seem dynamic in that can be quite quiet or loud when you dig in. The Savarez sets were the opposite by comparison, loud but not much variation in volume whether you played gently or hard. The EJ45 are still on the guitar. Overall, they are my favorite so far.

6) Augustine Classic Red - bass strings are warm and smooth sounding, not as bright or punchy as the EJ45 or Corum, the Classic trebles are a bit firmer feeling that the EJ45 and are very sweet sounding with a bit more brightness than the EJ45, but not as bright at the Cristal trebles, The Classic trebles sound great with vibrato and sustain better than any other sets I have tried. To date, they are my favorite trebles by far, though I prefer the EJ45 basses.

6) Augustine Classic Blue - bass strings feel noticeably stiffer/firmer than the Red basses, and squeak a lot more. They might have a bit more punch than the Red basses, but they are not as bright or punchy to these ears and the EJ45 or Corum. Smooth and deep tone with not a lot of definition, like the Red basses. I already commented on the Classic trebles (above).

7) Augustine Imperial - these treble strings sound a bit pingy/metallic to my ears and are percussive. They are not as sweet sounding as the Classic and do not have as much dynamic range (soft to loud volume) as the Classic. They feel and sound a lot like Savarez Cristal, but perhaps not quite as bright.

8) Please excuse emoticon. One cannot type an 8 and closed parenthesis without getting it. Savarez Cantiga (NT) - soft feel under the fingers, perhaps a bit softer than EJ45. They have a warm tone with decent punch and are articulate especially on the higher frets. I might try these in higher tension in hopes of getting more depth/boldness.

9) EJ45C - tried the bass strings only. I found these to be deep and powerful sounding, but also with good definition/clarity. They feel close in tension/stiffness to the regular EJ45 basses, but sound a little different. The D string feels a bit thicker and higher tension on the EJ45 set than the EJ45C set, which I like.

EJ45 or EJ45C basses (not sure which I prefer) with Augustine Classic trebles remain my favorite combination. I am very happy with the tone, sustain, vibrato, volume/dynamics (can play softly but can get loud if I did in on the Classics), intonation, feel, and longevity of the strings, but will keep experimenting. Also, I hope that I will continue to improve and that my preferences might change as this happens. Thank you all for your suggestions, and feel free to keep them coming. I appreciate it.

amezcua
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by amezcua » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:47 am

I have just been comparing single notes on a Mexican requinto to a full size Tatay guitar. The requinto is tuned to a normal guitar frequency by taking off the top string and moving the others across. That gives the same tension overall . The low string is a high tension E with a shorter length . Comparing open strings the smaller one sounds richer apart from the lowest string.The Tatay low string has a very authentic serious dark sound. On the octave the high string requinto is clear but not nearly as rich as the Tatay . I found comparing two different instruments makes you hear the tonal differences better . Both have La bella strings but the mixture of tones coming from the instruments themselves shows up much better . They are richer in different areas of the fretboard .
Is it a good idea to fit single strings with different tensions to the rest ? It gets a bit complicated to change a whole set . How about focussing on single strings ? Each string seems to produce individual qualities in the guitar body
I am also wondering whether guitars playing Spanish music need to be a bit harsh and nasal to get the right effect. Mellownes is moving towards a lute sound . I think the harder Macho sound is what I mean without it being Flamenco .

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petermc61
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by petermc61 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:13 am

Spanish (classical) guitars should sound neither harsh or nasal in my view.

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fast eddie
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by fast eddie » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:51 pm

I had EJ45 strings on one of my guitars for about 3 months and really liked them Just changed to LaBella yesterday and so far they are also pleasing to my old ears. I am not skilled in describing sound but I can say that the EJ45's were a good experience and I will use them again.
Fast Eddie
Cordoba C 10 Spruce
Cordoba C 10 Cedar
1974 Hernandis

ddray
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by ddray » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:53 pm

Of course it could be our perception of this or that brand changes over time too. I use light tension and used to love ej43's. Now I can't wait to get them off a little later and try some Savarez I got yesterday. Hopefully the first and third strings won't be quite as abominable as the D'Addarios started to seem. Or it could be that the strings were just worn out. I dunno. :D

Flapjack
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Re: Comments on several string sets (mostly old content, but item 10 on list is new)

Post by Flapjack » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:50 pm

I have been experimenting with different strings for a while and thought I would post my perceptions of them in case it might help others. I have learned a lot by reading what others have had to say and this message serves as a feeble attempt to give a little back. I am an experienced guitar player but relatively new (last year or two) to playing classical. My guess is that I am an advanced beginner to weak intermediate. The guitar I play is a Cordoba C9 with a cedar top. I have left each set of reviewed strings on for at least a month, most of them longer, and I am listing them in the order I tried them. Intonation on all of them up and down the neck was great. It is never easy describing sound, but here goes...

1) Savarez 500CJ - bass strings are bold sounding and do not feel very stiff considering their published tension, treble strings are loud, punchy, percussive, bright, and perhaps a bit cold sounding.

2) D'Addario EJ44 - bass strings are warm and deep, not very loud, and slightly floppier feeling that the 500CJ, treble strings are warm, a bit thuddy, and not very loud.

3) Savarez 500CR - bass strings are bold/bright sounding and just a little less stiff feeling than the 500CJ, treble strings are also less stiff feeling than the 500CJ and a bit less percussive. Overall, these strings sound a lot like the 500CJ with less tension and not much perceptible loss in volume.

4) La Bella 2001 Hard - bass strings are warm, feel floppy compared to any of the above sets, and are a bit dull sounding even when fresh, treble strings are bright but less cold sounding than either Savarez set. Very musical sounding to these ears.

5) D'Addario EJ45 - bass strings are deep sounding but have a nice punch and brightness to them when needed. They are maybe just a bit stiffer feeling than the La Bella's, but easier to fret than the other sets, treble strings are warm, velvety, and sweet sounding (similar to the La Bellas), but are also punchy when needed with some brightness. Also, more than any other trebles, these seem dynamic in that can be quite quiet or loud when you dig in. The Savarez sets were the opposite by comparison, loud but not much variation in volume whether you played gently or hard. The EJ45 are still on the guitar. Overall, they are my favorite so far.

6) Augustine Classic Red - bass strings are warm and smooth sounding, not as bright or punchy as the EJ45 or Corum, the Classic trebles are a bit firmer feeling that the EJ45 and are very sweet sounding with a bit more brightness than the EJ45, but not as bright at the Cristal trebles, The Classic trebles sound great with vibrato and sustain better than any other sets I have tried. To date, they are my favorite trebles by far, though I prefer the EJ45 basses.

6) Augustine Classic Blue - bass strings feel noticeably stiffer/firmer than the Red basses, and squeak a lot more. They might have a bit more punch than the Red basses, but they are not as bright or punchy to these ears and the EJ45 or Corum. Smooth and deep tone with not a lot of definition, like the Red basses. I already commented on the Classic trebles (above).

7) Augustine Imperial - these treble strings sound a bit pingy/metallic to my ears and are percussive. They are not as sweet sounding as the Classic and do not have as much dynamic range (soft to loud volume) as the Classic. They feel and sound a lot like Savarez Cristal, but perhaps not quite as bright.

8) Please excuse emoticon. One cannot type an 8 and closed parenthesis without getting it. Savarez Cantiga (NT) - soft feel under the fingers, perhaps a bit softer than EJ45. They have a warm tone with decent punch and are articulate especially on the higher frets. I might try these in higher tension in hopes of getting more depth/boldness.

9) EJ45C - tried the bass strings only. I found these to be deep and powerful sounding, but also with good definition/clarity. They feel close in tension/stiffness to the regular EJ45 basses, but sound a little different. The D string feels a bit thicker and higher tension on the EJ45 set than the EJ45C set, which I like.

10) Savarez Alliance - These are my least favorite treble strings of all that I have tried (see above). They sound a bit like steel strings to me and lack complexity/sweetness. Having read about them I also expected them to be much louder than the nylon trebles that I have used, but if they were louder it was not by much. I might use the G string along with my preferred strings (see below) as the increased focus is nice. However, on some pieces I play I miss the sweetness/depth/complexity of the Augustine Classic G.

EJ45 or EJ45C basses (not sure which I prefer) with Augustine Classic trebles remain my favorite combination. I am very happy with the tone, sustain, vibrato, volume/dynamics (can play softly but can get loud if I did in on the Classics), intonation, feel, and longevity of the strings, but will keep experimenting. Also, I hope that I will continue to improve and that my preferences might change as this happens. Thank you all for your suggestions, and feel free to keep them coming. I appreciate it.

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fast eddie
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by fast eddie » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:08 pm

I guess how well strings sound depends on many variables, including the guitar itself. When I changed strings on my Cordoba c10 cedar to Saverez (not sure which ones), there was a very dramatic improvement. I wondered if this would be evident on other brand guitars, e.g. my c10 spruce. Also I'm old and my hearing is marginal at best and this is another, perhaps the greatest factor. So I'm not making this too much of a project because I feel there are too many variables. But I do at least keep the string packages in the case so I can at least remember what is on the guitar.
Fast Eddie
Cordoba C 10 Spruce
Cordoba C 10 Cedar
1974 Hernandis

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Jules Catbird
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Re: Comments on several string sets

Post by Jules Catbird » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:21 pm

thank you Flapjack for the string breakdown - interesting .

I think the sound and feel also depends on the individual guitar - I put some fluorocarbon D'addarios J45ff on a flamenco I have and they were fantastic - very clear, bright but not overly and super good intonation. A bit higher tension than some of the sets mentioned above - but did not seem to bother me. I usually don't go for high tension.
I have used Labella 2001's quite a lot and they seem nice for a cheaper set.
I used D'addario J 45s for years, but they seem spongy ( is that a word? ) or rubbery and sort of thick and take a long time to stretch and break in. They are very consistent and are a great place to start.
There are just so many out there now.
I did like the Savarez Cantiga as well - 510, pretty mellow and well balanced.
JC

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