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View Full Version : Six String............ Strings, what do you use ?



Northernguy59
02-18-2007, 12:32 PM
I have an old 1956 Martin D-18. I usually use Elixer Nonowebs Lights. I just strung it with D'Addario EXP16 Lights.

Im a huge fan of Neil Young and read that these are what he uses so I,m going to give them a shot.

What do you guys use? :cool:

Dale

geeman
02-18-2007, 12:35 PM
I had a D-18 about 40 years ago.It was a good instrument but a little light I thought.I dont remember what strings I used, it's been a while.

Vince Brennan
02-18-2007, 01:35 PM
For bluegrass or Irish, D'Addario 80/20 medium-heavy set, but for jazz, Thomastik smooth-wrap lights. Amazing response on an acoustic flattop and the Martin takes full advantage of them.

Memphis Mike
02-18-2007, 01:48 PM
Earnie Ball 11's on the electrics.

DR 11's on the acoustics.

Todd Bradshaw
02-18-2007, 01:52 PM
I've currently got D'Addario lights on mine and I have them on both of my acoustic twelves as well. They're OK on the six-string, but don't sound as good as the D'Addario EXP coated strings that I had on it before and haven't from day #1. When I get energetic, I'll pay the extra bucks and switch back as the EXP's seem to be worth the extra cash. I haven't tried Thomastic Infields on my acoustics, but they generally tend to be one of the lowest tension brands you can buy. Might be a good thing on an old guitar that you want to baby a bit as long as you can get the sound you're looking for out of them. Good D18's tend to have that nice, bold bluegrass sound because of the mahogany back and sides. If you go too light, they'll sometimes start to sound a bit "rubber-bandy", but every instrument is different.

J P
02-18-2007, 01:58 PM
I just did the same thing. I'm on my first set of EXP's and so far I like them. I never cared much for the slippery feel of the Elixers but I do like their sound and how long they lasted. I'm trying the EXP's on a Larrivee OMV-03.

Northernguy59
02-18-2007, 02:02 PM
I bought this D-18 off of Ray Wylie Hubbard. He cut a few albums with it. I like old stuff with some history. :cool:

Dale

mdh
02-18-2007, 02:16 PM
Elixer.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
02-18-2007, 02:25 PM
OK, so who's using the innards from next door's cat?

huisjen
02-18-2007, 02:35 PM
I have a small guitar that I was having trouble getting to tune up right. I'd gotten it at a garage sale for $15. I just took off the steel strings and replaced them with D'Addario Folk Nylon J33 strings. Much better.

Dan

Karl A. Hilbert
02-19-2007, 05:35 PM
I've always used Dean Markely strings. I tried a set of Cleartone's bluegrass strings. I like them so far. I also tried their extra light strings on a backpacker that rarely gets a string change. They're still playing bright after two months of playing in the steamy bathroom at bath time.

Flying Orca
02-19-2007, 09:29 PM
D'Addario phosphor bronze on both acoustic guitars, one set of lights and one set of extra-lights. Ditto on the mandolin, lights in that case. Newtone phosphor bronze on the tenor banjo - special "Celtic" guages that give it the same tuning as a fiddle or mandolin rather than a viola or mandola. Um, yup, D'Addario XL lights on the electrics.

Flying Orca
02-19-2007, 11:01 PM
Sadly, my Strat was... nah, it's too depressing to talk about. It's been long enough that I can't remember what strings I used when I owned it.

The XLs work great on my Godin, though, and on my other electric - a cheap Chinese Les Paul knock-off that I bought from a buddy when he moved to the Wet Coast. It's actually a pretty good lead guitar, great sustain and (unlike some other Les Paul copies I've played) stays in tune through a fair bit of bending.

hokiefan
02-20-2007, 09:52 AM
You all have said what you use, and obviously you understand each other.

For us beginners, why do you use what you do? What is the difference between different strings?

I recently bought a Yamaha student (steel string acoustic) guitar and am about 3 months into teaching myself to play. So far, I'm using whatever came with the guitar. They are better than I am no matter what. I could go to the guitar store and ask and they will gladly help me spend my money. Or I could ask people who already know something.

A new hobby, so much to learn! Its great! Thanks in advance for the help.

Bobby

Flying Orca
02-20-2007, 10:35 AM
Why? Hmmm... for me it all comes down to two things: tone and longevity. I like the brightness of phosphor bronze, it really cuts through the noise of the rest of my band or an acoustic jam at a party.

Longevity is a real issue for me; I have incredibly corrosive sweat (the worst any of my musician pals have every seen) and my strings don't last too long at the best of times. Like, if I'm gigging regularly, I typically change strings every night. The coated strings (EXPs or Elixers or whatever) do last a LITTLE bit longer, but it's not enough to compensate for the tonal differences... I guess strings are just one of those regular expenses for me, like food and coffee.

Oh, and as to guage, my experience is that there's kind of a trade-off between the "robustness" of a string's note (hmm, maybe "depth" is a better term...) and the ease of bending etc. Bluegrass sets are nice for acoustic playing, with nice boomy medium guage lower strings and more bendable light guage upper strings, but since I mostly play amplified anyway, I use lights or extra-lights through a good amp with good tone controls.

huisjen
02-20-2007, 01:38 PM
I really don't play much, and the nylon seemed like a good idea for my non-calloused fingers. Plus they give me lots and lots of practice tuning.

Dan

Flying Orca
02-20-2007, 01:38 PM
I use "Finger Ease", and wipe down the strings often to keep strings free from sweat and dirt..
Strings last longer that way... I put on fresh set every two week..

I've been very intrigued by that stuff, but worried about mucking up the finish on the fingerboard. Worth a try, then?

Tealsmith
02-20-2007, 03:36 PM
I buy generic. Webstrings.com

Great price. Keep em clean, they do alright.

Memphis Mike
02-20-2007, 06:00 PM
You all have said what you use, and obviously you understand each other.

For us beginners, why do you use what you do? What is the difference between different strings?

I recently bought a Yamaha student (steel string acoustic) guitar and am about 3 months into teaching myself to play. So far, I'm using whatever came with the guitar. They are better than I am no matter what. I could go to the guitar store and ask and they will gladly help me spend my money. Or I could ask people who already know something.

A new hobby, so much to learn! Its great! Thanks in advance for the help.

Bobby

At three months I can just about promise you those strings are dead. Put on a new set. You won't believe the difference.

My sweat corrodes strings fast also. I usually change about once a week.

I like the Earnie Balls because if they're good enough for the pros, they're good enough for me. But then again my teacher is a pro and he buys cheap strings.

The DR's seem to last a bit longer than some of the others I've played with and are not terribly expensive.

hokiefan
02-20-2007, 08:37 PM
At three months I can just about promise you those strings are dead. Put on a new set. You won't believe the difference.

My sweat corrodes strings fast also. I usually change about once a week.

I like the Earnie Balls because if they're good enough for the pros, they're good enough for me. But then again my teacher is a pro and he buys cheap strings.

The DR's seem to last a bit longer than some of the others I've played with and are not terribly expensive.

OK, I'll go get some new ones tommorrow when I get a chance. Two questions:

1. Any recommendation for type, style, etc. for a beginner?

2. What difference will I be looking/listening for?

Can't learn if you don't ask dumb, beginner questions. Thanks for the help.

Bobby

hokiefan
02-20-2007, 08:49 PM
Stay away from GHS brand, not as good as it should be

BTW what is the instrument that you are referring about?

It's a Yamaha steel string acoustic. I think the model is F325, buts its not with me at the moment, its one they sell as a student model. Thanks.

Bobby

Todd Bradshaw
02-20-2007, 11:18 PM
This guy will show you how to properly wear out the strings on an acoustic guitar and at the end of the video how to take them off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31QQ1gNpAaY

mdh
02-21-2007, 02:45 AM
I've got an old Italian made guitar with a really thick finish on it, all cracked up now. It has loads of tone, not a lot of volume. I used D'Addario's for a long time, on electric and acoustic. I liked them the best till the Elixer's came out. I use heavier strings than most guys and do a lot of bending. Don't change them near as often as I should, and I play a lot. At three months the Elixer's sound about like the D'Addario's do new. They're a little pricy, but they last longer for me. Also, if you're just starting, they seem to be a little softer and easier to play.

mdh
02-21-2007, 03:57 AM
No way. I've got a suspicion it's part of the tone. I've seen a lot of old Gibson's with the same look. Yellowed binding and all. The only guitar I've played that I liked better was an old Martin. There was an Acoustic Guitar magazine a while back that had a Takamine on the front that looked like a copy of mine.

Todd Bradshaw
02-21-2007, 04:00 AM
Uhhhh, Boyle....I was in "show business" (an Elektra album, a whole bunch of studio work, TV commercial music for Kelloggs, Heinz, AC Delco, IGA, etc. and five straight years of traveling all over hell and gone playing concerts). Been there, done that. I haven't figured out who made that old beat-up guitar yet, but it's not a cheap one. I do agree that tearing the strings off at the end of the song was a bit over the top and didn't trip my trigger, but the guy can play and going after a Hendrix tune on an acoustic is a pretty neat and ambitious trick.

As far as having underlings changing your strings "everybody does that professionally" is a real joke. There are certainly plenty of big acts with traveling techs, but there are a lot more professional guitar players that do it themselves. We always changed our own strings and if we were playing a lot, maybe only once or twice a week or so. Maybe not even that on the 12-strings. Hell, one of my basses still has strings on it from 1976. One nice thing about getting out of the music business is that it's not as critical to change your strings as often when you're just playing for enjoyment. My acoustic twelves get changed maybe twice a year. My Rickenbacker twelve even less than that (pain in the butt). The acoustic six gets new ones when it sounds like it needs them, which these days might be once a month if I'm playing it a lot. The electric sixes get them every couple months and the basses get them whenever they seem to be losing something, which usually translates into once a year or so.

Sounds like if we all got together we could have a hell of a band - or at least make a hell of a lot of noise.....

Tealsmith
02-21-2007, 07:52 AM
Hey Boyle,

Is that a dead body on the left side of the picture?

cs
02-21-2007, 07:56 AM
On my guitar at home I have Elixir Ultra thin Nanoweb (light/.012-.053) Acoustic strings.

Chad

Memphis Mike
02-21-2007, 05:28 PM
LOL!