String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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joachim33
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String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by joachim33 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:34 pm

Hi

In summer I got a new guitar and am still busy with trying string sets. The guitar has a laminated neck from Cedro and African blackwood. It seems a lot stiffer than my old instrument. On my old guitar the neck seems to flex a lot more than on the new one.

The guitar came with Savarez Cantiga Alliance mixed tension (510 ARJ), which I changed after a few weeks to my old favourite Savarez Cantiga New Cristal normal tension (510CR). These were a lot easier on my left hand than the 510 ARJ set. Pull-offs on the 1E string in medium position (about VII) were quite difficult, since I could easily pull the string off the fret board. After a few weeks I put the Alliance G string back on, which didn't affect my left hand so much.

I then put on a set of LaBella 2001 MHT, which according to the data published by LaBella and Savarez, should be a lot lower in tension than the 510CR. My subjective feeling is that these are a lot harder on my left hand than the New Cristal Cantiga. Pull-offs on the 1E are clearly easier than with the Savarez, though I feel the instrument is not as voluminous and well projecting as with the Savarez.

The comments mostly relate to the treble strings - I am not so much of a bass guy.

My best explanation for what I am experiencing is, that the LaBella are less elastic. More force is required to stretch them than the Savarez New Cristal. Due to the stiffer guitar the differences in string elasticity are very exposed.

Any comments on the interaction of instruments, string tension and string elasticity? Did others experience similar? Any suggestions on sets in between?

Thanks for reading all of this.

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guitarrista
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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by guitarrista » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:29 pm

The trebles tensions are not as different as the basses tensions are, although we don't know what Savarez's reference scale length is; La Bella's is 655mm - i.e. some adjustment in tension numbers is needed if the reference scales are different. But below I just treat them as the same as I don't have the info.

In any case, it is indeed possible that the resistance to bending across the string length is different for the two treble materials. It shows up as having a slightly different bending modulus than the 'bulk' modulus of elasticity, as it depends on the geometry of the material (in this case a long 'cylinder', of differing diameters and materials).

So I guess what you are feeling is that La Bella's trebles are more resistant to bending (larger bending modulus).
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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by astro64 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:47 pm

joachim33 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:34 pm
Hi

In summer I got a new guitar and am still busy with trying string sets. The guitar has a laminated neck from Cedro and African blackwood. It seems a lot stiffer than my old instrument. On my old guitar the neck seems to flex a lot more than on the new one.

The guitar came with Savarez Cantiga Alliance mixed tension (510 ARJ), which I changed after a few weeks to my old favourite Savarez Cantiga New Cristal normal tension (510CR). These were a lot easier on my left hand than the 510 ARJ set. Pull-offs on the 1E string in medium position (about VII) were quite difficult, since I could easily pull the string off the fret board. After a few weeks I put the Alliance G string back on, which didn't affect my left hand so much.

I then put on a set of LaBella 2001 MHT, which according to the data published by LaBella and Savarez, should be a lot lower in tension than the 510CR. My subjective feeling is that these are a lot harder on my left hand than the New Cristal Cantiga. Pull-offs on the 1E are clearly easier than with the Savarez, though I feel the instrument is not as voluminous and well projecting as with the Savarez.

The comments mostly relate to the treble strings - I am not so much of a bass guy.

My best explanation for what I am experiencing is, that the LaBella are less elastic. More force is required to stretch them than the Savarez New Cristal. Due to the stiffer guitar the differences in string elasticity are very exposed.

Any comments on the interaction of instruments, string tension and string elasticity? Did others experience similar? Any suggestions on sets in between?

Thanks for reading all of this.
I have a set of those Labella's to try myself. I was struck by their stated low tension while having thicker diameters, especially for the 1st string. It would not surprise me at all that the actual tensions are higher than listed given how thick the trebles are.

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joachim33
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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by joachim33 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:02 am

Thanks to Konstantin and astro64 for participating. I am a bit surprised on the lack of more response.

No experiences/opinions on whether or not LaBella 2001 MHT (or MT - same trebles according to LaBella’s data sheet) are hard on your left hand in comparison to a Red Savarez New Cristal or Creation set? No comments on playability regarding slurs on the 1E string?

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petermc61
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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by petermc61 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:33 am

I’d love to comment but don’t have much playing time o the New Cristal as their sound isn’t what I am after.

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acmost9
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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by acmost9 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:47 am

These are just some random comments, I'm pretty familiar with the LaBella 2001 MHT and Cantiga New Cristal Sets with and or without NT Alliance G.

Even though you're mostly concerned with the trebles, I've never been a big fan of the Cantiga basses - but things change. I like the big, bold basses but those are indeed harder on the left hand so I'm back to Cantigas and liking them, it's just a different thing, really easy on the left hand and they seem to lend themselves to more legato playing...maybe & intonation is on. I don't hate New Cristals & I actually like that G string, it was all just feeling a little too slinky on my guitar which has pretty low action so I've replaced the G with a NT Alliance. I don't necessarily love the sound or feel of it, but intonation is great with it and it's reassuring knowing that the middle of your guitar is relatively in tune. Certain chords in tunes which seemed out when I got to them are closer this way.

Trebles, so the New Cristals were a little too pingy and NT Cantigas & Augustine Imperials are a pretty popular combo on this site. Originally to me that combo felt too weird out of balance, the Cantigas are pretty low tension and the Imperials are pretty high...on paper that is, so I've got an Augustine Classic E, B, Alliance G and Cantigas on. I'm liking it, The Classics are a little stiffer but they sound good, not as bright as New Cristals and the thing intonates. I'll probably try Imperials again though since I bought a few sets but the Augustine Classic Trebles are a pretty good compromise with Cantigas, at least worth checking out I think.

That said, I like LaBella 2001s but as mentioned somewhere up above, I don't know about the listed tension thing, it's less than D'Addario EJ45s but they feel, play and sound larger than them...to me. It's got to be the larger diameters of them. I also think the slinkiness of the Cantigas will have an effect on how the trebles that are used with them feel. Okay, that was lengthy...GL!

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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by es335 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:02 am

Consider tension numbers just as rough orientation. It’s welcome to have them but they are no good for direct comparisions like weight, horse powers of cars, power consumption or light emission for instance.

The reasons are that there is no standardized test procedure such that different laboratories will obtain (almost) identical results and there are other factors with impact on the subjective tension perception. So at the end it’s up to your impression on your guitar that counts.

Unfortunately I can’t comment on Savarez New Cristal or La Bella 2001 as they had not been on my short list for very long time. But on my guitars Augustin Imperials and Cantigas MTs match quite well. Another good combination is with Hannabach 815 LT trebles. The tone is warm, good intonation and a more balanced tension distribution. This means the top e string stands out less in tension.

Provided Savarez Alliance didn‘t spoil your interest in Carbon trebles I would suggest Knobloch Actives CX MT. They feel more comfortable, do sound warmer and the basses are really nice too! Never thought I would recommend Carbon strings but they are really different and were the first to changed my mind. BTW that’s what Hanika is using for their top of the line models! :wink: :D

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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by joachim33 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:57 am

Hi,

Thanks for the replies. My question is mostly about playability and not so much about sound. That is perhaps the biggest I learned from comparing Savarez New Cristal and LaBella 2001. The Savarez are easy on the left hand, but I feel hard to pull-off (slurs) on the 1E string. The LaBella are harder on my left hand, but easier to slur. The LaBella are more delicate to fret - they buzz more when not fretted perfectly or slightly late. The Savarez are more forgiving. Also I currently think the LaBella sound changes more when plucking in different positions (sul-tasto vs ponticello). In general I feel the LaBella are better for developing my technique, but a bit hard on my left. Also I feel they do not work so well on my instrument regarding e.g. volume. The New Cristal appear louder on my instrument.

I am looking for a middle ground - not as elastic and forgiving as the New Cristal but still easier on the left hand than LaBella and being able to drive my guitar. I have a few sets waiting to be tried right now. The time it takes to test and evaluate these is, in my view, were the cost sits.

Sets I am currently considering next include: Aranjuez A800 Suave, vanilla EJ45 and Hannabach 815LT, though it will most likely be either of the A800 and EJ45.

A remark to es335: I am not opposed to Carbon. If I didn't like the Alliance on my guitar, I wouldn't have bought the guitar that shipped with Carbon strings. One of the waiting sets is indeed a Savarez 510AR. I tried a Hanika PF with Knobloch CX300, but they seemed harder on my left hand than the 510ARJ of the other Hanikas I tried.

That went long as well. Someone still likes to comment?

Best wishes
Joachim

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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by rojarosguitar » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:32 am

Without going through all contributions: different string makers wind their wound string differently, some are quite tightly wound (e.g. Daniel Mari quite extremely so) resulting not only in different bending resistance but also in different behaviour of the harmonic and non-harmonic overtones, and thus of their sound. A very pliable string tends to emphasize the fundamental and lower harmonics more than a 'stiffer' string. Also the distances between the harmonics are more widely spread with stiffer strings. That's my experience at least.
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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by es335 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:02 am

Hi Joachim,
reading your post bring immediately to mind, why not trying LaBalla 2001 MT or LT as you seem to like them somehow. In comparison to MHT the MT set has identical trebles but softer basses and LT’s trebles and basses are even a bit softer than MT? Couldn’t this solve your problem?
Concerning your recent stock I would encourage you to try A800 next! They are softer and both, basses and trebles, are tonally quite special, provided they do have the time to develope their full potential. Particularly the trebles can need up to two weeks but they are worth such patience! :wink:
Cheers es335

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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by joachim33 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:10 pm

es335 wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:02 am
Hi Joachim,
reading your post bring immediately to mind, why not trying LaBalla 2001 MT or LT as you seem to like them somehow. In comparison to MHT the MT set has identical trebles but softer basses and LT’s trebles and basses are even a bit softer than MT? Couldn’t this solve your problem?
Concerning your recent stock I would encourage you to try A800 next! They are softer and both, basses and trebles, are tonally quite special, provided they do have the time to develope their full potential. Particularly the trebles can need up to two weeks but they are worth such patience! :wink:
Cheers es335
Thanks for the vote for the A800. In my books all strings take time to develop. I do not make any serious judgements before the strings are under tension for 2 weeks. You have any idea how their playing and tension compares to other sets we discussed.

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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by es335 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:01 pm

They should feel softer and the basses do have a very nice flexibility which results in a more fundamental und pure sound. Despite their silvery appearance they are bronze would but have more brightness than bronze basses usually have! Good luck! :D

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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by petermc61 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:41 pm

The 800s sound great and have a lovely feel. The warning about breakin time for the trebles is correct - slower than any other treble string I have tried. They are at their final sound though after around 3-4 days.

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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by Scott Phillips » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:46 am

I’ve had the Suave 800 on my daughters guitar for about two weeks now. They did take quite a few days to break in, but now they are holding pitch, and intonation is spot on. And my daughter reports that they feel softer, easier to play than the LaBellas we tried before. She says they feel just right, and I like the way they feel too.

Peter, what do you make of the color of the trebles? I can see that there is a color, but am color blind when it comes to dark colors. I can’t tell what color they actually are. They look maroon to me, but then again I can’t tell Navy blue from black.

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Re: String elasticity - Savarez Cantiga New Cristal vs LaBella 2001

Post by petermc61 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:37 am

They are a very light purple tint, not atypical for some other brands of ‘titanium’ string. I don’t know whether the colour is a result of the formulation of the nylon or just an arbitrary additive.

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