2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
MarkInLA
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2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by MarkInLA » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:10 am

Hi. I would like to hear from those of you who always use light gauge strings, just why you do. I know tension claim varies from maker to maker. But generally speaking, why do you ? Secondly, would you happen to know what internationally acclaimed classical guitarist(s) use light gauge. For instance it might more likely be a female such as S.Isbin, A.Vidovic, due to generally having smaller, thinner fingers/hands than most males. But males included. No value judgements here. Thanks, M

Carey
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by Carey » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:34 pm

I mainly use low tension strings because they produce more, and more pleasing, overtones. As the tension goes up the guitar starts to sound more
like a piano, which is fine, just not my thing. The softer tension also makes more sensitive vibrato possible, as well as RH touch, at least for me.
Last edited by Carey on Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

johnd
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by johnd » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:42 pm

Easier on my fingers - left hand.

MarkInLA
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by MarkInLA » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:36 am

Thanks for nice replies so far. I guess you can't answer the 2nd question, which is understandable. Maybe someone will know. But will you tell me the make of your low tension that you like; D'addario, LaBella.... ? MH

Laudiesdad69
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:45 am

I have used light gauge strings before. They resulted in a super low action and sustained like crazy but, due to temperature/humidity differences, would result in a totally flat neck with no relief, and hence, buzzing.
Only about 3 1/2 pounds difference between the light tension and medium tension that I used, but the mediums provided some relief to the neck, and took care of the buzzing. So now I just use the mediums.
I did like the low tension feel on my left hand.

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fast eddie
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by fast eddie » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:31 am

Mark,
I bought my cordoba c-10 (cedar) in July 2016 and most recently have used Savarez HT. Tonight I put Augustine MT Reds on and the difference was immediately noticeable on my left hand. The sound is also a pleasant surprise. Wish I could be a little more descriptive but they have only been on for a few hours. But at this time I would say these are a winner.

Eddie
Fast Eddie
Cordoba C 10 Cedar
1974 Hernandis

MarkInLA
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by MarkInLA » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:34 pm

Belated thanks for all the responses.
Eddie, I too play a C10 !! So, soon as the light gauge D'adds go bad I will go over to the MT Reds... There IS talk from Cordoba that the C10 and costlier models need HT to get the maximum response from the box.. I DO remember how ballsy mine was while the original HT Savs where still on it. But I don't have the strongest/largest hands and the Savs were just too demanding of downward pressure; especially during long grande-barres such as in the Bb Sor etude.

celestemcc
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by celestemcc » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:09 am

I'm a woman, and I use medium or medium-high tension Hannabachs (depending on the label). The choice has more to do with the sound I prefer than the playing difficulty. Given HB's reputation as very hard strings comparatively, they're actually quite reasonable on my short-scale guitar. In fact I found that low-tension HB's tended to buzz -- I have a reasonably strong right-hand attack.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

MarkInLA
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by MarkInLA » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:10 pm

celestemcc, obviously certain people can afford Hannabach strings. I wish I could..I think, unless you are playing concerts where tip-top sound is a prerequisite, why spend so much $ on strings ? But, again, if you are at such a financial level where $25 strings v $9 strings makes no diff in your life style, then why not !.. What is it about Hannabachs ? Do they really sound better than say, Savarez or Augustine of the same tension ? Or, is it their durability; that they last longer ? How are they made that they'r so costly ? Might power of suggestion be playing a roll in all this ? Or, are they really, unquestionably, way different than the other, half as expensive, makes ? Thanks, Mark

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Michael.N.
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:47 am

Depends how you view that $25 vs $9. Of course that difference is spread over 3, 4 weeks or even longer. It's a few dollars per week. Hardly a huge amount if playing guitar is your primary hobby/interest. Heck I know people who spend that (and more) throwing money at a lottery. They get nothing back. The bizarre thing is that despite getting nothing back they continue to throw money at it. What is even more perplexing is that they've been doing this for decades! It's a cost vs benefit equation. Even if you are playing guitar only 1 hour per day $5 or $6 per week is extremely good value. There aren't many forms of entertainment as cheap as that.
Historicalguitars.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by RobMacKillop » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:58 am

D'Addario J43 on my guitar at present. Nice for vibrato, and easy on the finger pads for both hands. I don't know any pro players who use light tension strings, but I don't really care one way or the other. You have to find what works for you on your guitar, your hands, your technique, your sound aesthetic.

celestemcc
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by celestemcc » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:38 pm

obviously certain people can afford Hannabach strings. I wish I could..I think, unless you are playing concerts where tip-top sound is a prerequisite, why spend so much $ on strings ? But, again, if you are at such a financial level where $25 strings v $9 strings makes no diff in your life style, then why not !.. What is it about Hannabachs ? Do they really sound better than say, Savarez or Augustine of the same tension ? Or, is it their durability; that they last longer ? How are they made that they'r so costly ? Might power of suggestion be playing a roll in all this ? Or, are they really, unquestionably, way different than the other, half as expensive, makes ? Thanks, Mark
Hi Mark,
Well, I cite the brand as an example, not necessarily touting them, though!. I tried *many* brands of strings for my current guitar, and in fact avoided these for a long time because I was afraid I'd love them, and at that price! But they do give me the sound I'm looking for on this guitar. Strings do make a difference, but it's all very much personal taste. They'd be way too dark on my other guitar, and the Saravez I use on that one are too bright for my current one to my very biased ear :D .

Yes, to *me* they do sound better. My teacher concurs, but he hears my guitar more than anyone. It's not power of suggestion but it IS highly subjective, definitely! So if you played my instrument you might well prefer another brand, and very justifiably so.

I've no idea about HB's manufacturing process, though, others may. They do make lower vs. higher-cost strings, and the label I use are by far not the most costly, and I draw the line there personally. I just read what people loved and hated about them, and tried 'em. I was actually surprised to like them that much.

They do have excellent intonation and they last a good long time (again, for me). I change them a bit less often than I have other brands. What can I say? It's all just our ears.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Jack Douglas
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by Jack Douglas » Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:29 pm

Try the lower tension Luthier strings. Red Augustine’s are hard to beat.
Hannabach is an excellent string and not all of them are as you say ‘high dollar’. They last a long time and feel good to the touch.
Also for Augustine Try the Imperial blacks or Hannabach 815 low tension green pack. The Hannabach strings are about $17 per set vs about half that for Augustines. Luthier is a bit less, but they are quite good!
Richard Brune 'Artist' Cedar/Brazilian 1996

ben etow
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by ben etow » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:05 pm

Hi Mark and fellow delcampers,

I've been using light gauge strings for years, but not whole sets... I'm pretty sure most of you don't really need light tension sets either. The thing is most sets come with comparatively higher tension e1 and D, and minor other variations.
I do love enhanced sustain/legato/vibrato possibilities too, but especially where I don't have those qualities - 1st and 4th strings mainly.
My point is I need an homogeneous response from all strings, which means I balance tensions (and flexibility - I recently chose the Optima MT over the lighter tension but less flexible Dr. Junger Supersona LT e1; both carbons, the Optima sounding mellower, Knobloch-like and cheaper).

For the trebles, I try to go from the mellowest to the darkest (e1>g), avoiding the tubby or "deaf" g.

Furthermore I also like a higher tension E6 as I play like 20% repertoire with a low D.

On my main guitar (short scale - 630/ action 3.6/5.1), I generally put an Optima carbon MT e1, a Dr. Junger Aristona carbon MT b, a Dr. Junger Supersona carbon g, Pyramid double silver MT D and A, and a Hannabach 815 HT E6. My set costs less than 15 euro and sounds like a dream to my ears: plenty of dynamics, colours, sustain on each note. My braceless Joie guitar is obviously a good start, but I have no doubt its qualities are enhanced by this personal set.

MarkInLA
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Re: 2 Questions about light gauge Strings ??

Post by MarkInLA » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:25 pm

Never heard of Luthier strings. Gosh, there are so so many makes and tensions ! I do wish the very famous guitarists would somehow let people know what neck length and strings they use. But maybe it's a trade secret so we can't catch up to them (yuk yuk !). Thanks for all the replies.... M, Los Angeles

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