Acoustic strings - a journey...

What's Hot
24

Comments

  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 296
    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.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • DiscoStuDiscoStu Frets: 2871
    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.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32838
    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."
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • JCA2550JCA2550 Frets: 128
    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. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    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!


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2930
    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.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kreggskreggs Frets: 33
    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.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • interstellarinterstellar Frets: 484
    GTS strings  for the win :)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    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?


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1649
    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.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    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.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • sev112sev112 Frets: 384
    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.



    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1649
    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.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • interstellarinterstellar Frets: 484
    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
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • jellyrolljellyroll Frets: 2176
    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. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 1649
    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.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • camfcamf Frets: 734
    So which ones doe people like best, the Newtone Heritage or the Newtone Master Class? Pros and cons with either?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • 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.  
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • bbill335bbill335 Frets: 648
    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.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 296
    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




    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • camfcamf Frets: 734
    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. 

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 296
    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 :#)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • camfcamf Frets: 734
    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. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • AliGorieAliGorie Frets: 296
    24" thats not s/s thats a 3/4 size :o but u'r right -
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • camfcamf Frets: 734
    The 12 Fret Parlour is a dinky wee thing for sure. (The very same... )
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    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.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • GagarynGagaryn Frets: 1333
    DiscoStu said:
    You should try some Newtones @stickyfiddle I've been using D'Addario for years on acoustic and electric but another thread on here got me curious.  I went with the Newtone Master Class 12 - 54 set and they've been nothing short of fantastic. They give a smoother sound with less of the bright shrill I can get with my heavy strumming, they feel played in from day one and a couple of months later still sound fresh, and less finger squeak too.
    Definitely worth a go whilst you're trying things out.

    Just DON'T cut them until they're up to tension!

    I finally got around to trying the Masterclass 12-54, had D'Addario 13's on previously. Starting to wonder whether I should have bought the Masterclass 13's - although the guitar is noticeably easier to play now and does sound sweeter it seems to have lost a lot of character and a shedload of volume.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 9442
    @Gagaryn I've actually found it quite remarkable how big a difference gauge and make can both make on a decent guitar. You definitely need to compare like-for-like gauges to give a fair comparison.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • GagarynGagaryn Frets: 1333
    @Gagaryn I've actually found it quite remarkable how big a difference gauge and make can both make on a decent guitar. You definitely need to compare like-for-like gauges to give a fair comparison.


    Yeah - agree with this, guitar (Guild 12 fret - modern but lightly built) sounded great when I got it but wasn't sure what it was strung with - think it may have been coated D'Addorio 13's think that's what Guild fitted but might have been restrung by the German box shifter that supplied it.

    I tried a few sets of strings I had at home but it never sounded as good again. I then stopped babying it (keeping it in it's case with a humidifier) left it on a stand, restrung it with D'Addarios and it has been great for months although it did feel quite tight. Not sure if the leaving the guitar out has helped - not sure I buy the vibration thing but the guitar will be less moist!

    I'll get some Newtone 13's and see how they sound and feel.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • impmannimpmann Frets: 7394
    I've recently bought a Guild F50. It came with a set of D'Addario 12s on it and it sounded epic - full, rich and yet sparkly. It also was like a cannon - loads of bottom end and strummed, it sounded enormous.

    When the strings died, I popped on a set of Elixr Nanos - as that's what I'd previously been using on my old acoustic. All of a sudden the richness, warmth and bottom end was gone - and in its place was left a clanky, bright and unbalanced sound. It was vile.
    I left it for a few days in case it needed to stretch in or whatever, but it was unchanged... horrible.
    I bought another set of the D'Addarios and normal service was resumed.

    A lesson learned.
    Never Ever Bloody Anything Ever.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.