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Put DR Sunbeams on the J45 and AJ...

#1 User is offline   sbpark 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 07:42 PM

Was playing my two Gibsons (J45 & Advanced Jumbo) against a D-18 Standard today in a shop that was goin gout of business, comparing them to the D18 (they D18 was on "clearance", so I figured I'd give it a go). Although the D18 was nice, it didnt rock my world, but thought my two Gibsons sounded a little thin/trebly, especially the J45. A couple months ago I switched to D'Addario 80/20's (previous using D'Addario PB's) for some more clarity, but felt like the 80/20's were robbing both guitars of some warmth, and this was glaringly apparent played next to the Martin (but the Martin did sound a tad muddy to me).

Went home and put a set of DR Sunbeams (13-56) on each of the Gibsons and was pleasantly surprised. I ordered the Sunbeams a very long time ago and decided against trying them out because I always thought they were bright strings, but was for sure wrong. They definitely aren't as zingy out of the pack as other strings when new, but there still is a touch of zing hiding in there. Hoping that goes away after a day or two, but these are for sure warm strings while still being very well balanced without losing clarity.

I went ahead and put a set of the 13's on the J45 because of the round core knowing they should be more flexible under the fingers, and so far so good. I've always thought that 12's always sounded a little thin on the J45, while 13's have tended to "choke" the guitar a bit. Sunbeam 13's dont seem to choke the J45, that low end Gibson growl is still there while offering just a touch more tension than 12's, which works for me because short scale combined with 12's always felt a little too loose for me. This seem like a nice choice for both guitars.

This post has been edited by sbpark: 26 February 2019 - 07:47 PM

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#2 User is offline   62burst 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 07:57 PM

So what's going to happen to the D-18 in the shop that's going out of business? Somebody should adopt it.

. . . and you took both the J-45 and AJ in for an a/b/c? Good for you. Nothing wrong with a J-45 that sounds a bit trebly. . . their mid-percussive sound in singer-songwriter-y mode is something they corner the market on. But to these ears, the Sunbeams, along with maybe Elixirs, are some of the string sets that sound better as they get a little older.

This post has been edited by 62burst: 27 February 2019 - 03:19 AM

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#3 User is offline   ezra1 

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 08:59 PM

I too like Elixirs and the Sunbeams are growing on me.
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#4 User is offline   Murph 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 06:58 AM

I've never tried the Sunbeams.

I've had good consistency with the 80/20 Elixirs and always seem to gravitate back to them whenever I experiment.

I'll try them someday.
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#5 User is offline   j45nick 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 07:52 AM

You may want to try Sunbeam 12's on your J-45. Those are my go-to strings on all three of my hog slope-J's (two 1950 J-45's, one 1943 SJ re-issue). A J-45 should not sound "thin" with those. With the longer scale, the AJ might benefit from the heavier Sunbeams you are now using.
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#6 User is offline   EuroAussie 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 09:02 AM

View Postj45nick, on 27 February 2019 - 07:52 AM, said:

You may want to try Sunbeam 12's on your J-45. Those are my go-to strings on all three of my hog slope-J's (two 1950 J-45's, one 1943 SJ re-issue). A J-45 should not sound "thin" with those. With the longer scale, the AJ might benefit from the heavier Sunbeams you are now using.


I agree with Nick. These strings sounded best on my recently departed AJ and still sound great on my Southern Jumbo, buy a short nose from Pyramid Westerns, but yes, defo 12's

This post has been edited by EuroAussie: 27 February 2019 - 09:02 AM

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#7 User is offline   vacamartin 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 09:09 AM

My L-130 sounded like a sustain machine with Sunbeam 13's. Great stringsPosted Image

This post has been edited by vacamartin: 27 February 2019 - 09:09 AM

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#8 User is offline   CAMELEYE 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 09:38 AM

While I use Retro lights on my J-45 I do beef up the b string to a 17 and the e to a 13.
Feel this gives me a tad more heft to the treble tones.
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#9 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 11:30 AM

I use strings wound on a round core because all of my guitars are a bit long in the tooth so I figure it is best to lower string tension without having to resort to lighter gauge strings.. Sunbeams have the advantage of being easy to find. I, however, continue to prefer Newtones. Problem is I have to order them so have think about it in advance which is not one of my strong points.

Have you ever tried the Mangan round core Traditional Light strings?
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#10 User is offline   Jinder 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 03:10 PM

AJs need 13s, in my opinion. Mine is astounding with 13s but loses about 25% of the charm with 12s.

Of all the J45s I've owned, none of them have been able to handle 13s. Choked is a good way to put it. I generally find short scale Gibsons need lower tension to really sing, 13s just shut down a J45 to my ears.
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#11 User is offline   livemusic 

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 05:42 PM

View PostJinder, on 27 February 2019 - 03:10 PM, said:

AJs need 13s, in my opinion. Mine is astounding with 13s but loses about 25% of the charm with 12s.

Of all the J45s I've owned, none of them have been able to handle 13s. Choked is a good way to put it. I generally find short scale Gibsons need lower tension to really sing, 13s just shut down a J45 to my ears.


What if you tune down 1/2 step, what would you use? Same or 13s?
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#12 User is offline   sbpark 

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 09:29 AM

View PostJinder, on 27 February 2019 - 03:10 PM, said:

AJs need 13s, in my opinion. Mine is astounding with 13s but loses about 25% of the charm with 12s.

Of all the J45s I've owned, none of them have been able to handle 13s. Choked is a good way to put it. I generally find short scale Gibsons need lower tension to really sing, 13s just shut down a J45 to my ears.


I've always experienced this with J45's and 13's, but this particular one sounds fantastic with 13's. It already had a very big, growly low end and just sounds huge now.
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