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Need the pros opinion


cliffmac

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the one that sounds better to you ;)

 

I appreciate that point, but I'm looking for an opinion of the strings. I tried the DR Rare and the sound and performance were both lacking, Elixers 80/20 are alright but it comes down to these 2 makes. I like to feel the cord through the guitar and I get that more so with these.

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That's a very subjective question, but I'll give you my experience with both brand of strings. I have a J-200 and I tried the Ernie Ball strings and they didn't give the sound that I wanted, so I tried the Gibson Masterbuilt Premiums and I found the sound I was looking for from my J-200. For my J-35, Hummingbird, and LG-2 I use John Pearse New Medium phosphor bronze and on my AJ I use John Pearse New Medium 80/20. I hope that helps, we are always chasing "that" sound we think we should be hearing from our guitars.

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Subjective is the word. I like Earthwood strings, but always feel alone here whenever I say so. Last year I went to Pearse phos. bronze though on mahogony, rosewood and maple. I like the Pearse strings. Seems I always wander back to Earthwood sooner or later though. I'm about to do so again on my mahogony guitars. As Paul said, we are always looking for "that" sound. Might be worth it to include Pearse strings in your search. I hope this is a little help!

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Subjective is the word. I like Earthwood strings, but always feel alone here whenever I say so. Last year I went to Pearse phos. bronze though on mahogony, rosewood and maple. I like the Pearse strings. Seems I always wander back to Earthwood sooner or later though. I'm about to do so again on my mahogony guitars. As Paul said, we are always looking for "that" sound. Might be worth it to include Pearse strings in your search. I hope this is a little help!

 

I've tried countless strings and always come back to these I prefer the sound from the Earthwoods but enjoy the punch from the Masterbuilts. guess I should and will keep both handy.

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Along with "subjective" in terms of "tone" are matters of how one plays the instrument and what he or she expects in terms of how the string plays as well as how it sounds given the player's technique.

 

I've been playing a bit over 50 years now and I'm "old" by many criteria but ... I figure there's nothing wrong at all, and something kinda interesting in trying a different brand of string in the similar gauges that I use on different guitars for different purposes.

 

Frankly I think a good case might be made in terms of general quality of any brand that's lasted any period of time, and the general quality of new types of strings from that brand as well.

 

For what it's worth too, I've a bag of strings I purchased on a "string-buying orgy" a year ago. A cupla dozen sets to try. And I've already used up a batch of that big purchase week on this or that guitar. Some types I plan to keep purchasing for a given guitar; some I'd not care to use on a given guitar again. But "quality" ain't the determining factor, since even the ones I don't "like" are strings I'd state are good quality for the type of string they're intended to be.

 

m

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wasn't being a wise *** but you've just got to try them. you note you didn't like dr rare's--have you tried the sunbeams? for my sj i like the dr sunbeams after having some fun trying about a dozen different ones. on my lg2 it's a toss between ej16 and dr sunbeams, yet i hated the ej16 on my sj. go figure. others like the pearse but i found they went dead way too quick.

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I think Gov put it correctly and simply.

 

Many "acoustic players" think I'm nuts for my favorite strings - and some think I'm rather horrid for going the AE route as soon as decent AE guitars came available 40 years ago. A friend well known in the "cowboy music" genre uses a cupla old Gibbie CF100 guitars with mag pups for all his really public performances.

 

But that's the schtick we've picked up over the years. I do what I do and have different guitars for different genres and concepts.

 

Everybody else at a certain point in their playing career, assuming "improvement" is part of their concern with guitar, will be instinctively and constantly looking for guitars, strings and techniques that suit their minds and spirits more than trying to sound just like somebody else.

 

So actually finding strings that fit you and your playing and your guitar(s) is part of being a guitar player rather than a person who plays a guitar. At least that's my take on it.

 

m

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Can't deal with the high price on the Thomastiks, eh?

 

I have to admit though...I'm addicted to DR Hi Beams on my little gits. I'm about to slap a new set on the L00 as I write. Wish I could share the sound but I'm all low-tech here.

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It is a tough subject, strings. A necessary evil, which you can tell by some of the above replies, many are weary of discussing.

However, Milo brought something to the discussion which broadened the topic a bit, and may've brushed on some other topics, as well:

 

 

Everybody else at a certain point in their playing career, assuming "improvement" is part of their concern with guitar, will be instinctively and constantly looking for guitars, strings and techniques that suit their minds and spirits more than trying to sound just like somebody else.

 

So actually finding strings that fit you and your playing and your guitar(s) is part of being a guitar player rather than a person who plays a guitar. At least that's my take on it.

 

m

 

… because I'm always trying to understand, rationalize, and justify … GAS!

 

Best wishes, m, & all

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Can't deal with the high price on the Thomastiks, eh?

 

I have to admit though...I'm addicted to DR Hi Beams on my little gits. I'm about to slap a new set on the L00 as I write. Wish I could share the sound but I'm all low-tech here.

 

unfortunatrly my location is a bit of a pain to get the really good stuff. Must be lucky cause the dr500 sounds absolutely amazing with the earthwoods on. I can really feel the strings in my chest and the Emaj chord pattern nocked the martins down quite a few pegs.

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He's right.....

 

Like I said its a question asking for everyones opinion, Iknow not everyone is happy with every set of strings I'm guessing a lot of folks have tried strings that weren't so praised and popular. For the record I agree with himand that's why the MB's are in the case for now. Wish I was a bit more tech so I could give a comparison

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Like I said its a question asking for everyones opinion, Iknow not everyone is happy with every set of strings I'm guessing a lot of folks have tried strings that weren't so praised and popular. For the record I agree with himand that's why the MB's are in the case for now. Wish I was a bit more tech so I could give a comparison

 

 

You really won't get a definitive answer. Different guitars sound "better" with different strings. "Better" is in the ear of the beholder. What sounds "better", on your guitar, to your ear, may not sound "better" to someone else, or even to you on a different guitar. Even if someone here had used the same strings on the same model, their concept of "better" could be different from yours.

 

Having said that, I used the Masterbuilt Premiums as my baseline reference strings for comparison on my Gibson flat tops. My only complaint with them is that they fade too soon, and can feel a bit stiff. I have largely switched to DR Sunbeams on Gibson flat tops, because I like the slightly more flexible feel of round-core strings, and the DR's seem to maintain their characteristic sound longer.

 

People here are pretty sensitive about criticizing the string choices of others, in part because we all recognize that string choice is personal, with few meaningful objective criteria for comparison.

 

Take everyone's input here--including mine--with a grain of salt. Strings are cheap, and experimentation with them is part of the joy of playing. Remember, however, that the ear and brain are not very good at comparisons that are not made in real time, so trying to remember what one type of string sounds like is almost impossible when you are playing the same guitar with a different set of strings on it. Sitting behind the guitar may also give you a very different impression of the sound than someone sitting in front of the guitar is getting.

 

If you are playing only for yourself, the way it sounds behind the guitar is most important. If you are performing for others, how the sound project towards your audience may be more important.

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Clifmac, if you are really wanting a definitive answer, take the scientific approach. Buy three sets of your two choices. Put an A, G and E from one brand on three of your guitars spots for the first, second and third string. Put the same string (A, G & E) from brand two on the posts for your 4 th, 5th and 6th strings. Tune to pitch and compare the A from brand one to the A from brand two. As J45nick noted below, unless you compare the two "in real time", you'll never know.

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You really won't get a definitive answer. Different guitars sound "better" with different strings. "Better" is in the ear of the beholder. What sounds "better", on your guitar, to your ear, may not sound "better" to someone else, or even to you on a different guitar. Even if someone here had used the same strings on the same model, their concept of "better" could be different from yours.

 

Having said that, I used the Masterbuilt Premiums as my baseline reference strings for comparison on my Gibson flat tops. My only complaint with them is that they fade too soon, and can feel a bit stiff. I have largely switched to DR Sunbeams on Gibson flat tops, because I like the slightly more flexible feel of round-core strings, and the DR's seem to maintain their characteristic sound longer.

 

People here are pretty sensitive about criticizing the string choices of others, in part because we all recognize that string choice is personal, with few meaningful objective criteria for comparison.

 

Take everyone's input here--including mine--with a grain of salt. Strings are cheap, and experimentation with them is part of the joy of playing. Remember, however, that the ear and brain are not very good at comparisons that are not made in real time, so trying to remember what one type of string sounds like is almost impossible when you are playing the same guitar with a different set of strings on it. Sitting behind the guitar may also give you a very different impression of the sound than someone sitting in front of the guitar is getting.

 

If you are playing only for yourself, the way it sounds behind the guitar is most important. If you are performing for others, how the sound project towards your audience may be more important.

 

I agree 100 %, I play in a group, switching from bass to guitar and back again. I was playing with 2 friends 1 on a martin D18 the other on a takamine g series, they both comented on the tone and volume I did put the MB's on and sang an old Merle tune then did the same tune with the earthwoods everything came together much better and the sound through the pa was much more in mesh. I'm sorry I like to here what people use and think of the strings and if they use or tried the 2 I chose.

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Cliff...

 

Again, there are so many variables I'd never claim others should use strings I use.

 

Mostly on a flattop I fingerpick 9-42 - either DR Zebra or a "buy strings one at a time" sets of Elixir Polyweb at the same gauge. A cupla flattops wear Elixir poly 10s for flatpicking.

 

But again, I'm inevitably also plugged in with an AE.

 

That makes everything a different world for picking a flattop. A friend uses more or less mediums on a cupla old Gibbie CF100s, and functionally always plays them plugged in but uses a gentle flatpick technique for cowboy material. And he's relatively well known in the cowboy music-poetry community.

 

For what it's worth, fingerpicking an archtop for somewhat different material I mostly use... yup, 9-42. The average archtop picker thinks I'm either nuts or simply too dumb to use proper strings that are much, much heavier. On the archtops I'm now messing with lightweight flats on some with tom bridges and some with rosewood. On my one solidbody I use 8-38s and have since I got the thing more than 40 years ago. 9-42 on my semis.

 

That's why frankly I think each of us has to use strings that fit who and what we are as much as what and how we play.

 

I've used pretty doggone heavy strings in the past largely because others sorta convinced me that A) I was a wimp for using light strings and B) the tone would be horrid. Oddly I did as more backup for more fiddlers in the '70s than any two other pickers I knew, and never got complaints that the picking sounded horrid.

 

Again, I've heard more than a little incredulity from those convinced that more or less the heavier the string, the better, regardless how one played whatever one played. Okay. Been there, done that. I don't believe it any more as a tenet of guitar playing.

 

Are others "better" than I? Absolutely. Do other guitars sound better than mine doing similar material? Depends on your definition of better, especially again, since I'm inevitably plugged in and use stuff I learned doing classical guitar to get a wide range of tone from lighter steel strings than most use. And I tend to be very gentle, even when going for volume flatpicking unplugged.

 

All string brands that have stayed in business for a number of years have something to offer players. Each of us must decide what they wanna use at different times in their playing life.

 

I'll not badmouth anyone for his/her string choices, nor frankly for his/her tone on any given instrument if he/she is doing what is pleasing to themselves and/or audiences.

 

m

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Milod, I agree with you completely. Everyone is free to experiment with their sound and should. What works for one artist will be anathema to another. Basically at this point you are playing electric guitar with thin strings and pickups on a variety of instruments. It's working for you and you presumably are getting the sound you are looking for. I view that as an unalloyed good. I play strictly acoustic, and coated 9's feel and sound terrible to me. They don't work for what I'm trying to do, but that doesn't mean they don't work for you. I see absolutely no contradiction between our tastes.

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Jerry...

 

Absolutely and absolutely my point also.

 

It's what the individual is doing. Mother Maybelle's piano wire were marvelous for what she did and how she played. I'd recommend the same for someone who wanted to play similarly.

 

The reason so many types of quite high quality strings are available is because thank heaven, we ain't all the same.

 

I've used coated strings a lot. Don't make any diff to me at all, in fact I prefer them for several reasons. But the player who's technique ends up sounding dull and/or picking off the coating should almost certainly use something else - and he or she has a marvelous selection to try in today's world.

 

We're so lucky, and so many of us don't recognize that we're living in a guitar playing paradise compared to what was available even 50 years ago.

 

m

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The big thing for me is that up here the music stores don't carry a wide variety, the only good music store in my opinion is Elderly Instruments is 4.5 hrs away. Even so I've spent a lot of time listening and learning from Martin and Taylor guys arguing over who sounds better, the Gibson guys sit back and smile. I know from what my father taught me, and his old band, everyone is different and so are the guitars which means no 2 guitars ever sound the same. Having said that I own some guitars that will never be played again that wore older guibson strings and the new earthwood's I just put on remind me of the old days when dad would play the guitar and we would all sit back in augh at how he could flow from chord to another. Needless to say I'm happy with the new earthwood strings and with the Masterbuilt phosphorus bronze strings. Just wondering what opinions were and without fail the unbeleaveable knowledge here adds to my guitar experience.

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU ALL TRULY!!!

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Maybe you could try buying strings online and having them shipped to your door. That's what I do. I usually get a dozen or so at a time. If I schlep a long way to a store for strings they are guaranteed not to have what I'm looking for. I often use www.juststrings.com. Maybe some Canadian members can steer you to more local online shops so you don't have duty and tax issues.

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Maybe you could try buying strings online and having them shipped to your door. That's what I do. I usually get a dozen or so at a time. If I schlep a long way to a store for strings they are guaranteed not to have what I'm looking for. I often use www.juststrings.com. Maybe some Canadian members can steer you to more local online shops so you don't have duty and tax issues.

 

That's the whole thing I have no choice I was out of options this last time and was pleasantly surprised with both sets I got. Thanks for the link

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