Acoustic Guitar Strings

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groselicain

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The other thing is as you change string gauge and tension the pull on the neck changes , often the truss rod will need a tweek , it has a lot to do with taste and playing style but the right truss rod setting can make a big difference to playabillity . Its something thats easily do-able by the user but bear in mind a quarter or half turn should get you where you need to be .

I shared a workshop with a luthier for many years and he often got in guitars with sheared truss rods due to over tightening by ham fisted owners , that turns into a big job as the fingerboard needs to be removed to effect a repair . So either be very careful if you decide to do it yourself or get a professional .

The vast majority of players seem to favour Martin Sp strings , coated strings being much more expensive tended only to be used by people who gigged heavily , I tend to agree with Abbey that the coated Elixir type string sounds a bit lifeless .
Boy, oh boy—as someone who has benefited so much from the experience and expertise of those with legitimate electronics knowledge, let me save you a lot of time and trouble. I make my money mixing records and playing guitar—I will always be the first to admit that I have no business working on electronics, but when it comes to the effects of strings I can tell you a lot. Unless you just prefer the feel of a big string under your fingers, go with the lightest gauge you can stand with respect to your tuning.

While electric guitars can withstand large changes in string gauge, acoustic guitars are really different animals altogether. A typical player only thinks of the changes as they relate to their fingers. The reality is how they affect the tension on the bracing; the grain orientation of the top, sides, back, and bridge, and the way they're glued together; the relationship of the nut and bridge. From what the OP has said, I don't expect there to be a big jump in tension/gauge, but it's always worth considering all factors in the equation as it relates to the long-term effects. But you're not wrong at all—a truss rod is an incredibly easy thing to screw up without care, and folks often monkey with the truss rod first if a guitar's action changes after a switch in strings.

Anyway, I feel like I might've only bought a coated set once in my teens, but from memory the tension was not sufficiently different to make changes at the truss rod. I'll still stand by what I've said before: the top end lasts a bit longer and might even by more pronounced when you first string the guitar, but it's far more artificial than anything else you could buy today or even fifty years ago. I bought Martins for nearly a decade and no one that paid for my playing complained—nor did my hands. I like the nickel-wound D'Addarios these days because I prefer warmer sounds, but if Martins are as cheap in New Jersey as they are in Tennessee you'll be well served to grab a set and let us know what you think.
 

abbey road d enfer

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I shared a workshop with a luthier for many years and he often got in guitars with sheared truss rods due to over tightening by ham fisted owners , that turns into a big job as the fingerboard needs to be removed to effect a repair .
It sometimes amazes me how many guitar players don't understand the basic mechanical aspects of their instrument. The guitar player in my band takes his guitars every quarter to the luthiers, for basic adjustments, truss-rod adjustment, intonation, whatever. Of course, it comes with a change of strings. It has become a noticeable part of his budget.
 

StevieG

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Jul 25, 2016
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It’s worth bearing in mind the string tension is related to the diameter of the string core, rather than its overall gauge. Hence two different makes of string of the same gauge can feel quite different in terms of feel, and their pull in the neck.
 

Tubetec

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The small charge for a set up relative to the value of a favourite instrument really does make it a no brainer .
Any decent luthier will of course do a re-tweek of the action as it can take time for a guitar neck to settle into a players usage ,string choice ,tuning and local atmospheric conditions . I saw a handful of intercontinental traveling musicians who needed a neck adjustment on arrival , same strings , same player and carried their instrument as hand luggage , the moisture content of the fretboard and neck is most likely the main variable but struts, braces and truss can shift too if an instrument is subject wide temperature variations .

Im not trying to say any of this stuff is my area of expertise , Im not a luthier or even a guitar player , apart from a handful of chords , you can however pick up a lot by osmosis and asking questions of those in possesion of the knowledge, thats what we do here too, no? :)
 

Whoops

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What strings would someone put on a parlor guitar 50 years ago before they had "nanoweb" coatings and fancying winding machines?

I guess some standard d'addario steel strings would be close enough.

Although I also use Elixir strings for many years in my acoustic guitars and really like them
 

Rybow

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I’ve yet to buy coated strings in my 20 years of playing guitar (poorly). Mainly because I’m cheap. Truth be told I mainly play electric, but I look after my families closet acoustics. When I borrow one i give it a full clean, polish and a new set of strings.

I’ve been using D’addario strings for the longest time, but have recently switched to Ernie Balls. Restrung my sister in law’s Fender F50 with Ernie Ball Earthwood 80/20 bronze (medium/light), and they sound and feel great. Nice clear sound without being overly bright.
 

abbey road d enfer

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I’ve been using D’addario strings for the longest time, but have recently switched to Ernie Balls. Restrung my sister in law’s Fender F50 with Ernie Ball Earthwood 80/20 bronze (medium/light), and they sound and feel great.
The formula of 80/20 strings is pretty well established now so it's hard to make them bad; most of the established string makers have got it right.
I hear very little difference between Martin's, D'Addario's and the Portlands I buy by the dozen from Webstrings ($3.24/set).
 

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