Acoustic Guitar Strings

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Bo Deadly

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In terms of vibration transmision, it doesn't make much sense. It would if the materials were of very different density or hardness.
Eeeeeh, it kinda makes sense to me. If the "break angle" is steeper, when the string is tugging up away from the sound board, I could definitely see how there would be a more efficient transfer of energy. Of course the strings are not just tugging up. They're moving all around so the exact mechanics of it is not trival. I suppose the guy could just be talking since he doesn't provide definitive proof of a result.
 

abbey road d enfer

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Eeeeeh, it kinda makes sense to me. If the "break angle" is steeper, when the string is tugging up away from the sound board, I could definitely see how there would be a more efficient transfer of energy.
Vectorial decomposition of forces show there is no difference, as long as the materials have similar density and hardness.
Of course the strings are not just tugging up. They're moving all around so the exact mechanics of it is not trival. I suppose the guy could just be talking since he doesn't provide definitive proof of a result.
Yes, I'd have liked to see a before-after comparison.
 

Bo Deadly

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Vectorial decomposition of forces show there is no difference, as long as the materials have similar density and hardness.
I'm not fluent in anything vectorial but assuming you're right, it seems to me that the string with it's steel core has higher density and hardness than the bridge assembly.
 

TheJames

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Did you try to evaluate the difference due to the non-slotted pins alone? In terms of vibration transmision, it doesn't make much sense. It would if the materials were of very different density or hardness. Actually brass pins make a (slight) difference, but not a favourable one IMO.

I did three steps...

Phosphor Bronze vs 80/20
80/20 with scalloped bracing
80/20 with scalloped bracing and non-slotted pins.

PB vs 80/20, 80/20 had more air and less honk.
Scalloped bracing added depth to the tone, removed some mid honk.
Slotting the body so the ball end rests against the body seemed to improve the percussiveness and depth of the instrument with a bit more air and a bit less honk.

It was enough of a difference that I've considered buying another cheapy guitar and going over this same experiment again to verify the results.
 

Bo Deadly

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Correct, but in both cases (slotted vs. unslotted) teh strings are supposed to be the same.
But they're not the same. The mechanical leverage is different. In one case the strings are pretty much just laying on the saddle such that the energy is transferred largely through the saddle. In the other case the strings are pitched down more such that they could be contributing significant energy into the bridge assembly.
 
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tomas.borgstrom

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I play a Martin D35 from the early 70's. I prefer uncoated strings but they do loose the tone quite fast. I tried Elixir a couple of years ago and found them lifeless. Have they improved?
Last week the seller at my local music store told me that D'Addario XT sound more natural so I bought them and I like the tone. The standard D'Addario phosphor bronze have more luster, more extended in the bottom and more overtones. The first couple of days it's a bit too much on my guitar, especially if you are strumming. The XT sounded more natural and balanced from the beginning.
 

TheJames

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I play a Martin D35 from the early 70's. I prefer uncoated strings but they do loose the tone quite fast. I tried Elixir a couple of years ago and found them lifeless. Have they improved?
Last week the seller at my local music store told me that D'Addario XT sound more natural so I bought them and I like the tone. The standard D'Addario phosphor bronze have more luster, more extended in the bottom and more overtones. The first couple of days it's a bit too much on my guitar, especially if you are strumming. The XT sounded more natural and balanced from the beginning.
That was kind of my take. The Polyweb sounded weird to me. The Nanoweb is a much thinner, tighter coating that doesn't choke out the string (as much).

Give the Nanoweb a try.
 

chrisenglish

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I haven't read all of this thread because long ago I realized the best strings are NEW strings. I buy .015 singles and put them on my .013 set for dobro, then the .013 go to my acoustic 012 set then the ,012 goes to my .011 electric set...Then I am left with an ass load of .011s!!!!
 

xeawr

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One mans "clarity" is another mans "sterile". I love a sparkly bright high end. The Nanowebs give me that, but I can see why someone would call it lifeless. :)
 

Captngeetch

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I have a Little Martin on the couch that I noodle on incessantly. I've always used Elixir Acoustic Phosphor Bronze 10/47. But I've been using the same strings fro so long, I don't remember what the alternative was like so I'm looking to try something new. This guitar has a bit of a parlor guitar sound to it. It's the LXM model which is the laminate top (yes it's literally plastic) which I actually prefer because the wood top can have a bright twang to it.

So what strings would you expect to find on a parlor guitar in a studio?

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

I kinda like doing that 7th chord blues noodling thing so if the sound is a little rustic, that might be ok.
Might have already been suggested, but here goes anyway.

I can’t use Bronze coated strings. For some reason, after 2-3 minutes of playing I begin to get this electrical shock sensation in my fingers. Years ago my fix was to just string my acoustics with the same EB electric strings I used on my electrics. Then I found Martin Retro Nickel wound acoustic strings and never looked back. I like the feel and slickness they provide as well as the tone. They also have less string “scratch” so they work well for recording acoustic passages with lots of position and chord changes. Oh the noise is still there, but not to the same extent and loudness as bronze coated strings exhibit.
 

tomas.borgstrom

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I bought and tried the Elixir Nanoweb. The tone is balanced and nice but I think the attack is a bit "plastic" and I don't get the same amount of complex harmonics as with uncoated strings. The sound is therefore dryer which I imagine could be a good thing in some situations, for example a strumming guitar in a busy mix.
I will definitely try the Martin Retro Nickel some time in the future.
 

TheJames

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I bought and tried the Elixir Nanoweb. The tone is balanced and nice but I think the attack is a bit "plastic" and I don't get the same amount of complex harmonics as with uncoated strings. The sound is therefore dryer which I imagine could be a good thing in some situations, for example a strumming guitar in a busy mix.
I will definitely try the Martin Retro Nickel some time in the future.
That makes sense. For me acoustic is usually a "texture" in a mix as opposed to a prominent feature. Therefore, I do not want a bunch of complex mids as much as I want punch and chime.

I don't really hear the "plastic" as much, but then maybe I need to get a really good set of "normal" strings since I've been using coated for so long. I might be too used to that sound.
 

RubykozInski4

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Hi there! There's no clear answer to this question since our preferences differ. However, I recommend trying out a few different types of strings to see what you like best. Some good options to try out would be Elixir's Polyweb or Nanoweb coating strings, or maybe even a different gauge such as 12s or 8's. I also guess you might be interested in these best electric guitar accessories. These guys have some cool knobs and picks. Ultimately it's up to you to experiment and see what you like best! Please keep us updated about what you opted for. Cheers!
 
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Flatpicker

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Thought I'd jump back on this thread and do a follow up: I finally got around to trying the Martin "Retros" and was pleasantly surprised. These are possibly the best sounding strings I've ever used. They obviously won't last as long as Elixirs, but man, what tone! Give them a try.
 
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