Acoustic strings - a journey...

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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 274
    ICBM said:
    DiscoStu said:
      I went with the Newtone Master Class 12 - 54 set and they've been nothing short of fantastic.
    This. The best acoustic strings I've used, or played on anyone else's guitar either.

    My guess is that it's the pre-tensioning which makes them sound so good out of the packet, and is why they mustn't be cut before they're tightened onto the posts. The really do feel and sound like played-in strings from the start, and seem to stay that way for a long time without losing the brightness. I've had them on my guitar since last summer and they're still fine.
    Hmm I put it down to superior materials and manufacture - why I've used 'em for decades.
    The 'cutting to length- - unraveling thingy that so confused the Americans, without reading the installation instructions  I've NEVER had an issue because I put 'em on - wind 'em up (under pitch) and don't cut them till they've 'settled in'. I think internet vids of string installation - cutting to length being the cooooool way to string up has been the culprit.

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  • DiscoStuDiscoStu Frets: 2762
    edited March 17
    I don't cut any strings on any guitar before it's tuned up so the Newtones are no different to me.
    It's the round core in them that warrants the warning. Standard hexagonal cores grip the windings around them but if you cut Newtones before they're tensioned, being a round core, the winding can slide off the core leading to problems. It is the round core however which gives the better result sonically. 

    EDIT - just in case there is confusion, the core at the end of the Newtone string is not round, to keep the windings in place. So you have to tune up the string first before snipping this end off.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30851
    DiscoStu said:
    I don't cut any strings on any guitar before it's tuned up so the Newtones are no different to me.
    It's the round core in them that warrants the warning. Standard hexagonal cores grip the windings around them but if you cut Newtones before they're tensioned, being a round core, the winding can slide off the core leading to problems. It is the round core however which gives the better result sonically. 

    EDIT - just in case there is confusion, the core at the end of the Newtone string is not round, to keep the windings in place. So you have to tune up the string first before snipping this end off.
    That would explain it, yes :).

    I never cut strings before they're locked onto the posts and tightened either - I don't know why you would, it makes it harder. The only exception is slotted Fender-style posts, and with those I think you're meant to just kink the string to a right angle before you cut it... although getting the length right so it goes fully down the post hole may then take a bit of trial and error.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • JCA2550JCA2550 Frets: 127
    Apologies if I've missed this in this useful thread, thanks Stickyfiddle. Has anyone tried any of the Curt Mangan acoustic strings? Along with D'Addarios CMs are the brand I keep returning too and I get them at a discount. 
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 8838
    JCA2550 said:
    Apologies if I've missed this in this useful thread, thanks Stickyfiddle. Has anyone tried any of the Curt Mangan acoustic strings? Along with D'Addarios CMs are the brand I keep returning too and I get them at a discount. 
    No ones mentioned them here yet, but I’m sure I’ve seen the name in other threads.

    I have a shopping list of EJ16s, Newtones now Curt Mangand so will let you know!


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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2561
    JCA2550 said:
    Apologies if I've missed this in this useful thread, thanks Stickyfiddle. Has anyone tried any of the Curt Mangan acoustic strings? Along with D'Addarios CMs are the brand I keep returning too and I get them at a discount. 
    Tried the CMs a while back, decent but no better than Daddario's.
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  • kreggskreggs Frets: 32
    Been liking Daddarios on my Om ibanez mahogany.
    Tried the rotosound  superbronze with the piano wind at end. Was surprised at how tense they felt. Grippy and stubborn to bend. Went back to Daddarios. Just ordered a set of DR sunbeams. Think they might be round core In design. Easy to bend and bright. Looking forward to trying em out.
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  • interstellarinterstellar Frets: 225
    GTS strings  for the win :)
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 8838
    edited June 5
    Another update. The elixirs didn't last long. Not because they'd "gone off", just because I really didn't like them. 

    I can't get Mangans or Newtones in Abu Dhabi, so I've picked up some D'addario EJ16s for my next set. I hadn't realised they were phosphor bronze, which I haven't used in about a decade, so that's interesting in its own right. I'm not a huge fan. They're nice for strumming but don't have enough high-mid sparkle under any conditions, and especially finger picking. But they sound better than I remember phosphor bronze strings to have sounded in the past, so I'm keen to try some other D'addarios and compared to the Martins that are currently the top favourite.

    I'll put a shopping list together for my next UK trip, and in the meantime look at some 80/20 D'ads. Has anyone tried EJ11s or EJ14s?


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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1559
    edited June 5
    Another update. The elixirs didn't last long. Not because they'd "gone off", just because I really didn't like them. 

    I can't get Mangans or Newtones in Abu Dhabi, so I've picked up some D'addario EJ16s for my next set. I hadn't realised they were phosphor bronze, which I haven't used in about a decade, so that's interesting in its own right. I'm not a huge fan. They're nice for strumming but don't have enough high-mid sparkle under any conditions, and especially finger picking. But they sound better than I remember phosphor bronze strings to have sounded in the past, so I'm keen to try some other D'addarios and compared to the Martins that are currently the top favourite.

    I'll put a shopping list together for my next UK trip, and in the meantime look at some 80/20 D'ads. Has anyone tried EJ11s or EJ14s?
    EJ11's for the last 10 years or so have been my 'standard' string set but I've had problems with their quality over the last year or so and I've had sets from different batches but they still had the same problem.  Maybe I was unlucky though, and I'd recommend trying them nonetheless. When they are good though, I'd describe them as being one of the brighter 80/20 sets, maybe not as rich sounding as some other sets but have a very good duration.

    I tried the Curt Mangan 80/20's and they were good but expensive for what they were and I didn't think they were as good as Newtone/John Pearse or Ernie Ball 80/20's. The latter really surprised me, they doesn't have the longest duration but they sound superb in the time they do though.

    I'm not a huge fan of PB strings but oddly enough the ones I liked the most were the cheapest Martin ones.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 8838
    Cheers @earwighoney that's good to know. 

    Which EBs have you used? I didn't get on with the Paradigm 80/20s I tried but haven't used Earthwoods yet. I've never been a big EB fan on electric either, so not sure if worth testing too many of those.
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 348
    ICBM said:


    I never cut strings before they're locked onto the posts and tightened either - I don't know why you would, it makes it harder. 
    https://youtu.be/FPhF2X_bdXg

    Here’s one suggestion :

    I’m not saying it’s the only / right way, but since I’ve been doing this way it get much more consistency on the wraps , and I’ve found it a lot easier than trying to get kinks in the right place and in the right direction etc.



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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1559
    Cheers @earwighoney that's good to know. 

    Which EBs have you used? I didn't get on with the Paradigm 80/20s I tried but haven't used Earthwoods yet. I've never been a big EB fan on electric either, so not sure if worth testing too many of those.
    I like the standard Earthwood 80/20's.  FWIW, I don't think the difference between 80/20 sets is as extreme as it is with PB's, but coated strings are a whole different thing.
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  • interstellarinterstellar Frets: 225
    GTS strings are game changingly good, expensive yep, need imported from the US, yep.  Everyone i know who has tried them has been blown away
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  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2090
    I use Santa Cruz. Not because I’ve tried every brand and concluded they’re the best but because I just like ‘em. £19 a set but they’re coated and last plenty long. 
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1559
    jellyroll said:
    I use Santa Cruz. Not because I’ve tried every brand and concluded they’re the best but because I just like ‘em. £19 a set but they’re coated and last plenty long. 
    I never knew about those before, and they seem very interesting indeed.  Available in different tensions a bit how nylon strings are.
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  • camfcamf Frets: 673
    So which ones doe people like best, the Newtone Heritage or the Newtone Master Class? Pros and cons with either?
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  • TimcitoTimcito Frets: 5
    I seem to hover between D'Addario PBs and Martin SP 80/20s. Tonewise, the Martins have the edge for me. I also hover between 12-54s (53s for D'Addario) and 11-52s. On my Eastman E8D dread and the E100ltd I have 11-52s, but on my Takamine Peak I have 12-54s. The 11-52s on the parlour ring beautifully, and because of the narrower nut width and short scale 12-fret, even the most difficult pieces have become easy.  
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  • bbill335bbill335 Frets: 604
    camf said:
    So which ones doe people like best, the Newtone Heritage or the Newtone Master Class? Pros and cons with either?
    I'm using the heritage 12-52 (i think?) and they sound nice and feel easy. The set came fitted to a new-to-me guitar and I put a fresh set on, but the old set were well worn and sounded lovely and warm.
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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 274
    bbill335 said:
    camf said:
    So which ones doe people like best, the Newtone Heritage or the Newtone Master Class? Pros and cons with either?
    I'm using the heritage 12-52 (i think?) and they sound nice and feel easy. The set came fitted to a new-to-me guitar and I put a fresh set on, but the old set were well worn and sounded lovely and warm.
    camf, they're two different products -
    Masterclass 'winding' can be got in 80/20 - PB and the now the re - discovered very retro very vintage Nickel - which Newtone have been doing for many years !. And the startling discovery (to some) they're 'Round Core' - they are 'standard tension'.
    Heritage strings are 'Low tension' - by means of reducing the core wire - some manufacturers (like DR Rares) up the wrap wire to achieve a given diameter (gauge).
    I believe Heritage are Newtones excellent Phos Bronze alloy  viz “Our phosphor bronze is of the Cu92 Sn8 composition, a 92% copper to 8% tin”,  no Zinc as found in typical $5 a set - this is the formulation used in Cymbal manufacture.
    hope this helps
    happy picking




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  • camfcamf Frets: 673
    Thanks @AliGorie. That's really helpful. I've heard that you can't sue the Heritage sets on short scale guitars, so I think it will have to be the Master Class for me just now but when I'm next changing strings on my J45, I quite fancy giving the Heritage PBs a go. 

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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 274
    camf said:
    Thanks @AliGorie. That's really helpful. I've heard that you can't sue the Heritage sets on short scale guitars,
    'Don't 'sue' the Heritage. :#
    I have experience of using 'Low Tension' strings on a 'short scale' - they work fine - in saying that I would add that's for 'standard tuning / pitch, if u use alternative tuning's u may experience some 'string slap' on the f/board.
    I only play 'in tuning's' and use DR  Rares (low tension) on a 25 inch scale guitar - near as dam it to 24.9 which is considered short scale.
    Dont get misguided by all the wisdom on the net - get a few different sets and find out u'self. (he say's using the net :#)
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  • camfcamf Frets: 673
    Don't worry, @AliGorie, ;I won't sue Heritage unless these strings fail to make me a much better player. But if I see no immediate improvement, it's straight to the High Court. My Larrivee is only 24 inch, so it feels like that might be pushing it a little. But I'm definitely going to try both types next time I'm restringing. Thanks for the input, though. 
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  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 274
    24" thats not s/s thats a 3/4 size :o but u'r right -
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  • camfcamf Frets: 673
    The 12 Fret Parlour is a dinky wee thing for sure. (The very same... )
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 8838
    edited June 15
    Update from me. The EJ16s are already off. Fine for strumming but pony for fingerpicking. 

    D'addario EJ11s now installed and really really nice. Absolutely as good as the Martin SPs if not better. Really sparkly and well balanced across finger picking, flatpicking and strumming.  I have a set of the Martins en route so I can directly compare with these. I'm guessing these may not last very long, but we'll see.
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