Suggest guitar stringd

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by robert donithan2, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. robert donithan2

    robert donithan2 Tele-Holic

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    I know they say experiment but a place to start would help. I recently bought a birthday gift called an Ashthorpe D-97 dreadnaught style acoustic-electric guitar. The reviews say the guitar is 5star but the strings they supply you with aren't good. So if i want to be in the general area of sound or tone like 1960s-70s folk rock(America-Csny-Jethro Tull-Simon&Garfunkel etc.)what brand,type of metal, flat wound, guage should i use. Mind you, i mean one suggestion that would cover most of the sounds or tone generally mentioned above.
     
  2. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I don't play any Tull, but otherwise I have songs in my performance repertoire from the other three you mentioned, especially S&G. And I have three dreadnoughts. That probably puts us in the same ballpark of style/preferences, though I realize we may still hear things differently when it comes right down to it. So taking suggestions for a place to start as is a good approach.

    I use D'Addario Phosphor Bronze strings, and the gauges depend on the guitar, though on each of my dreadnoughts, I consistently use 12s. In the D'Addario brand, that means EJ16 Regular Light Phosphor Bronze strings (.012-.053). On a couple of my smaller bodied acoustics, I use D'Addario EJ26 Custom Light Phosphor Bronze strings (.011-.052).

    Okay, that's the what, here's the why. Actually, why has two parts, as in brand and tone.

    Why D'Addario brand? Several reasons. They are readily available; all the local guitar stores carry them in stock, both the 11s and 12s. Also, the local GC often has promotions for holidays (and GC takes advantage of every holiday known to man), so you can often get them on sale. They are consistent and good, consistently good. I don't recall for sure just how many decades I've used D'Addarios, but it's easily been 30 years. In all those years I can only recall one time opening a set of strings that were defective. Oh, and I'm just going from memory on this, so it may not be 100% accurate, but IIRC D'Addario pioneered the phosphor bronze alloy strings in 1974.

    Why D'Addario phosphor bronze tone? Well, how do I describe tone? D'Addario claims that their phosphor bronze strings are warmer in tone and well balanced. That's certainly been my experience. The metal alloy is about 92% copper, 8% tin, and 0.2% phosphorus, and they last longer than the 80/20 bronze variety.

    Speaking of which, before phosphor bronze, the metal alloy was 80% copper & 20% zinc, which is brass. (These strings are typically designated "80/20 bronze.") They do have a brassy ring to them, in my experience. I think a lot of bluegrass players like them, and they are good for that. I play a few bluegrass tunes myself, but that's not mainly what I do, and for my purposes, the phosphor bronze strings are versatile enough to handle that when needed.

    Of course, other brands make phosphor bronze and 80/20 strings. I've probably tried others, but the brands I think of are Martin, DR and Ernie Ball, and I'd rank them in that order.

    For a few years before the turn of the 21st century, an old friend from high school opened a guitar shop in town. Ultimately, he closed it down, but while he was in business, I bought my strings and stuff exclusively from him, and he had some kind of exclusive deal with DR brand strings, so I switched from D'Addarios to DRs. They were good strings, no complaints. In the year 2000 he closed up shop, and I went back to using D'Addarios ever since.

    Well, actually, back in July a local shop had a killer deal on Martin Lifespan SP treated phosphor bronze strings, so I bought a couple of sets to try on two of my dreadnoughts of the same brand and series. They're still on there, and sound good.

    Good grief! I'm writing a novel here! :eek::oops: Well, this should get you started. Maybe others will chime in as well.
     
  3. Peegoo

    Peegoo Tele-Holic

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    80/20 bronze, uncoated. That's the sound of 60s-70s acoustic guitar.
     
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  4. AndyPanda

    AndyPanda Tele-Meister

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    Yes! I definitely suggest that you string your guitar.
     
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  5. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Tele-Meister

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    I disagree.

    Guitars are way to loud when they have strings.
     
  6. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Tele-Meister

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    I mean, strings?...

    ...And especially on an acoustic guitar.


    That kind of stage volume is bound to piss off the sound guy.
     
  7. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    You have a point, and saves finger tips and picks.
     
  8. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire

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    I will second D’Addario. As previously stated, they are consistent, reliable, and available. I have used EJ16 sets on all standard sized acoustics for years. Electrics get EXL 110. There might be something out there with some kind of advantage over these, but I am OK with the devil I know.
     
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  9. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    D'Addario 80/20 phosphour bronze (.012-.052) IMHO. Good strings, tune in immediately, last awhile too.
     
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  10. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    John Pearse strings, Phosphor bronze mediums or whatever you like.
    They have a bearded Folky looking guy on the pack that looks like he would be at home in any of the bands you mentioned.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    What I mentioned earlier from memory about D'Addario pioneering phosphor bronze strings in 1974 is true, I looked it up. So it's true that if you're speaking about strings prior to 1974, they weren't phosphor bronze. So, for example, since S&G recorded from around 1963 to 1970, it's true Paul Simon couldn't have been using phosphor bronze strings. FYI and FWIW, I read somewhere that Simon used D'Aquisto strings back in the day, but now prefers D'Addario EJ16s.

    Question for fans of the brass strings (80/20): what are you after when you choose those strings? Is it a retro thing, as in authentic tone (bluegrass back in the day? Folk?), or are you just after the brightness in its own right?

    Did you mean 80/20 bronze (brass) strings, or phosphor bronze?
     
  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    +4 if I am counting right. You can't go wrong with these, unless you are trying to record a very specific cover song that might have used some very different strings or string gauge. The low E string gauge can vary and make a significant difference, so after a lot of A/B playing against a specific recording, you should be able to hear that.
     
  13. Mike SS

    Mike SS Poster Extraordinaire

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    For the longest time I strung all my acoustic guitars with Martin Marquis 12's, and nothing else. Then I discovered Ernie Ball Earthwood and never looked back. Currently using the 80/20 Bronze Alloy, 10 -50 (Extra Light), but have also used their 11-52 sets. D'Addario also makes excellent strings, and as noted above are readily available.
     
  14. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The new Daddario NB are my go to now.
    They are soft on the fingers and they have a more natural
    than tinny P bronze sound.
    imho
     
  15. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Same question that I had for @Tonetele ...

    Are you referring to the 80/20 alloy or phosphor bronze? They aren't the same. The count of 4 you referenced would indicate phosphor bronze, not 80/20.
     
  16. Anita Bonghit

    Anita Bonghit Tele-Meister

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    I see it like this....... The 80/20 string has a midrange hump in the EQ. That is why bluegrass players like them. They are known as a pickers string because they stand out in the mix, making solos cut through better. PB strings are EQ'd like a smiley face lots of sparkle but a dip in the center. They sound good for strumming but don't compare to 80/20's for single note runs. The PB and nickel plate were introduced in the early 70's when big business invented gas, metal, etc... shortages. Next thing you know we had all this other stuff to sell. the new bleu flavor.
     
  17. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Pearse - Phosphor Bronze - I love 'em. Used to use all the Martin ones, but tried these and now that's all I've been using.
     
  18. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    In my experience, it's pretty much the opposite. And I'm not alone.

     
  19. robert donithan2

    robert donithan2 Tele-Holic

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    But what about those EJ16 in flatwound?
     
  20. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don’t think they do EJ16 flatwound. They have a phosphor bronze flatwound set, but IIRC it’s Extra Light.
     
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