Strings... Low-Medium-Hard?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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Post by charlesivey » Tue Oct 25, 2005 4:29 am

I just did my monthly (or every month and a half) string change. I had tried a different company's strings (which will not be named but which ranks highly on the poll of strings all of you play) that were labelled high tension but which played for me as if they were normal tension, with a soft push and large amplitude feel. When restringing I went back to my favorites; D'Addario EJ46LP, a hard tension string. The difference is dramatic for me. The new set of strings respond to attack better and seem to clear away from my fingers easily. I make less noise and get a louder sound that is still sonorous and full -- which is why I like hard tension in the first place - plus my LH is used relatively strong and used to hard tension.

HOWEVER, my point is my guitar and my playing is adapted to this string and what I say may not be right for you and your guitar. You have to experiment a bit and learn what works best for you. I say this because the strings I just removed from my current guitar are a great choice for another guitar I have that I used to play regularly, but hardly play at all now. Does this make sense? Not only are the fingerboards slightly different (a millimeter or two) but one is spruce and the other is cedar. There are many, many factors. You have a teacher so listen to him (or her) because there may be another reason he wants you to play higher tension.

Hope this helps.

"Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler" A. Einstein

Florentin Tise

Post by Florentin Tise » Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:35 pm

I am seriously thinking about switching to Hard Tension.


Post by APribilski » Fri Nov 04, 2005 3:31 am

The last time I strung my cg, I decided to try out med tension again.
ARGH!!!!!!!!! :pascontent:
They're soooooo not working. I'll change them soon....... :roll:


Post by MarkJ » 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


Post by upucci » Sun Nov 06, 2005 4:22 pm

I use hard tension strings on my classical guitar. I was thinking of trying a set of normal tensions, but I think I will stick with hard tension strings.



Post by PeekandMeek » Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:49 pm

Will the different tensions of strings maintain their sound quality differently?

In other words, will soft tension strings have to be changed out more frequently than say medium or hard?

Or am I barking up the wrong tree and there is no correlation between tension and how long the strings will keep their tune?


Post by MarkJ » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:35 am

I do not believe tension or "hardness" has much if anything to do with how long the string will last. I believe the tension is more a function of the materials modulus of elasticity and how much tension (force actually) is required to tune the string to pitch. just engineer talk

Like I said earlier, it is dirt, sweat and skin oil that kill the basses and the trebels just get scratchy (maybe over stretched if they are REALLY old. A simple test is to pull the harminic at the 12th fet and compare to the fretted note at the 12th fret. If there is a difference in pitch, the string is not vibrating evenly along the entire length due to accumulated dirt or eneven stretching. I have heard that some people double the life of the basses by boiling them for a minute or two in mild soapy water, but it seems a bit of a bother. If you try that, I would suggest taking them off of the guitar first. :lol:


Post by cardamomo » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:05 am

MarkJ wrote:If you try that, I would suggest taking them off of the guitar first. :lol:


Post by AsgerF » Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:01 am

MarkJ wrote:
I have heard that some people double the life of the basses by boiling them for a minute or two in mild soapy water, but it seems a bit of a bother. If you try that, I would suggest taking them off of the guitar first.
-yes, and see to that they be al dente.

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Post by pogmoor » Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:00 pm

Looking back through this thread I notice a post from Anathem asking if there is such a thing as low tension strings. Well I can confirm that Savarez White Card are low tension. I have a set that's been in my drawer for a few years - so I don't know whether they are actually still available.

And that's my 40th post, so I should now be able to get onto the 'Masterpieces' group :D


Post by APribilski » Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:46 pm

Congrats pogmoor.

I went back to the Savarez hards. Oh wow, so much better. But i've noticed that I get an insane amount of sustain. I'll deal with it 'till I eventually get a new baby.


Post by grenade20061127 » Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:47 pm

my teacher also tell me to use the hard tension , but i don't try the other before , may be i will try in my guitar. it seem that john williams and most of the china player use the EJ 46 hard tension


All have importance

Post by guitarmonk » Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:18 pm

Well i use all types of strings on my guitar. The right string for yourself will come after experimentation. All have their relative strengths and playing effects


Post by onur_pinar » Mon Feb 20, 2006 8:56 am

I used savarez alliance medium for a long time and just changed my strings to d'adario ej46c high tension,and the thing I can say is a little bit harder on barres for the left hand,but my ton is stronger,speed is much better,and the most imprtant one my right hand is more comfortable now,I really liked them :D

dave williamson

just changed strings!

Post by dave williamson » Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:23 am

I just changed strings after a loong time, to d'addadario proarte normal tension EJ 45 I think. what a difference to the usual medium price strings I use, they sound beautiful, I have promised to try the carbon ones next time. Considering the time I will leave them on the guitar it is worth spending that bit extra for quality.
By the way, I always save my old treble strings for fishing line! I tie them at the end to stop big fish biting through the line, they are excellent, and the fish don't usually care if they are hard tension medium or whatever.

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