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Which Acoustic Strings ?


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Hello

I'm fairly new to acoustic guitars, having been playing electric guitars in the past.

Please could I have your input relating to which strings you feel are best.

I own a Gibson J-45 set up with Gibson Brite Wires 12's

I'm thinking of switching to Ernie Ball Acoustic Super Slinky 11's (same brand as I used when playing my electric guitar)

 

Which is the best brand ?

 

which gauge do you prefer ?

 

Are these coated long-life string worth the extra coat ?

 

Thanks !

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never tried Ernie Ball acoustics.

 

I used to not like coated strings .

I gave elixir 80/20's at the minute and like them but heavy strumming dosent work so well. am using mostly fingers lately so they're fun right now. The slipperyness of them is weird after not using them for a while. But it's good to have something to adapt to.

dadarrio 12's were my go to strings because they're cheap and easy got.

can't use martin strings because they go dead and sticky too fast for me. be lucky if I got a few days out of them. But I do like the martin longlife strings , they last a decent amount of time.

For purely long lastingness point of view though Elixirs are the kings.

pyramid westerns are great for the price if bought from thomann , but you have to order a load because they charge heavy for shipping.

 

its all about what type of player you are.

my strings might work for me but not you...and what I think sounds good you may think sounds rubbish.

 

If you want a dark gentle noise , or a big booming sound ... you feel the guitar is too quiet or too loud .....

 

its all a bit like saying you're going out to an ice cream shop later and want to know what flavour we all think you should get :)

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As Mr. Grunt said, there is no "best" string or gauge. Like the guitar you match the strings to the player. It is a matter of knowing yourself and what it takes to get the sound you have in your head out of a guitar which takes some experimenting and time.

 

I have never cared for any coated strings. I go two ways depending on the guitar. Generally I prefer 12s and tend to use Curt Mangans or DR Sunbeams and sometimes Rares. I also use medium/lights on those guitars where age and build makes me a bit antsy. Don't like them as much but sometimes it is better to err on he side of caution. I would think though that these concerns would not be an issue with a new/newish Gibson. I also favor a slightly higher action, particularly on the low end as I am fairly heavy handed. Nobody has ever accused me of having a light touch.

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I have several sets of Elixirs that I inherited along with my J200. Never tried them yet. Maybe one of these days. I've been using up the Martin and the D'Adarrio sets that also came with the guitar. They range from 11's to 12's. Pretty similar actually. Most are phosphor/bronze...whatever that means. They sound great, and have lasted quite a while. I've gone through maybe 4 sets in two years. I play it for an hour or so about every other day.

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Just had a new nut installed on the HD-28V yesterday. Yes, it's the classic 11/16, but I needed a bit wider spacing.

 

Bought EJ16's today to check the result with streel I really know (been using them for ages on the D-35 back in time).

 

If those strings are the workhorses of phosphor bronze, then the D'Addario/Mart combo becomes a jeep.

 

Can't believe how good they sound together, to be honest.

 

What more can you ask for on a Tuesday in late October, , , perhaps a little sherry. . .

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Hello

I'm fairly new to acoustic guitars, having been playing electric guitars in the past.

Please could I have your input relating to which strings you feel are best.

I own a Gibson J-45 set up with Gibson Brite Wires 12's

 

 

Why would you use Brite Wires on your J-45?

 

That's a nickel-plated steel string designed for electric guitars, which depend on the magnetic properties of the strings to produce sound. You're not going to get anything like the best out of your acoustic guitar by using electric guitar strings on it.

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Experimented with every string available over the years....went back to Elixir on every guitar and will struggle to ever go back to anything else.

 

They cost extra cause they last for eons. Had a set on my D18 since Feb - it's played every day- they are still sounding great.

 

Wouldn't waste my time or money on anythin' else. There must be 1000's of topics on this site re strings.

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For my acoustics I used to use Guild acoustic strings for many years but later moved on to Martin Bronze.

.012 - .054 for my Guild jumbo and all my others I use .011 - .052.

 

For my electrics I always used Rotosound (through the 70's to the 80's) but the strings began to sound rather awful in the mid 80's so I swapped to Ernie Ball.

I use .008 - .038 on more or less all my guitars apart from my Strat which I use .010 - .052 as it is set up for slide.

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Gibson Masterbuilt Premium Phosphor Bronze 12's are my favorite. Red 333

 

Mine too. However, my recommendation is that you buy 6 different string sets and try them all. YOU need to be the one to determine what works on your guitars for you. Try the Masterbuilts, try the D'Addarios, try Martins, Try Elixir's... then decide. And know why at the end. Not simply that someone told you what works for them.

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I've been using D'Addario EJ26 Phosphor Bronze Custom Lights 011-52 on my roundback. There's a bit too much difference between the wound and plain strings after a while.

I just re-strung tonight with a set of D'Addario EXP15 Coated Extra Light 010-047s. They sounded quite dull initially, which brings up a good point:

what ever you put on, don't make up your mind until they have been "played in". They may sound totally different after a few days, or sooner if you play them a lot. +:-@

 

At first you should stay close to the size that comes on the guitar. Changing sizes can affect your action and result in the need for a setup.

String tension is the real factor at work here and some lights can actually be harder tension than some mediums. Here is a link to some info posted by a member in another forum area: Guitar String Primer

 

I mostly finger pick so I am wanting some flat-wounds but all I have been able to find local so far are D'Addario semi-flats. I probably just haven't been to the right shop yet.

My action is set very low and this can cause loss of volume. If I can find the right strings I may be able to raise it some to make it louder. I am also going to try out some John Pearse and maybe even some Thomastik/Infelds.

 

I am by no means knowledgeable enough to recommend one over another. Lots of good advice in the earlier replies on what to try next. [thumbup]

 

Σß

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Why would you use Brite Wires on your J-45?

 

That's a nickel-plated steel string designed for electric guitars, which depend on the magnetic properties of the strings to produce sound. You're not going to get anything like the best out of your acoustic guitar by using electric guitar strings on it.

 

 

whoops, I got that wrong. not Brite Wires at all..

Gibson Masterbuilt 12's as supplied with as from new.

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I use to buy only Black Diamond. Now - Elixer bronze medium lights on all 3 of my Gibson acoustics.

Has anyone tried aluminum? Ernie Ball has aluminum strings - I assume this is a new string concept and it is somehow reinforced. But, having experience with aluminum electrical wiring - I would never use it on a guitar (acoustic or electric [confused] )

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I use to buy only Black Diamond. Now - Elixer bronze medium lights on all 3 of my Gibson acoustics.

Has anyone tried aluminum? Ernie Ball has aluminum strings - I assume this is a new string concept and it is somehow reinforced. But, having experience with aluminum electrical wiring - I would never use it on a guitar (acoustic or electric [confused] )

 

Ditto! re: Beverly Hills Supper Club fire Southgate, Ky.

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I started using GHS Vintage Bronze 13-56's on my big Lowden for some songs in drop D tuning that needed the extra fullness of sound. Had used D'Addario phosfor bronze lights on all my acoustics for years before that.

 

The sound and feel of the GHS's really caught on and soon I began changing out the D'Addarios on my other guitars as well. Around this time I also found that tuning down two halfsteps put the guitar in a register more suited to my voice on many songs. For songs that need to be played in regular pitch I just capo on the 2. fret.

 

Today all my Gibson accoustics are strung with GHS 13-56's, tuned down. Very comfortable to play, they lend themselves well to string bending if needed, being a bit less stiff than lights tuned to regular pitch.

 

Even my old Kalamazoo KG-11 is set up with GHS Vintage Bronze 13-56's, tuned down a full step, and sounds just wonderful.

 

Highly recommended!

 

JB

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I tune my guitar down flat.

how do you compensate when tuning two full steps down ? doesn't it get kinda buzzy and flappy strings ??

 

Sorry, grunt, if I was being unclear:

 

Two halfsteps, in other words ONE whole step down is what I use, giving me D-G-C-F-A-D from low to high.

 

If you were to drop the low string one full step on top of that, to arrive at a "drop-C tuning", your lowest string would indeed be two full steps down from regular pitch. You're approaching the baritone guitar sound then and it's just a wonderful full sound for some applications.

 

But no string-flapping or buzzing here. Your neck has to be set up right, off course, with correct relief and you can't have ultra low string height. I use a medium 6/64" string height above the 12th fret across the board.

 

D'Addario has a string tension calculator on their site and according to that Light strings (12's) in regular pitch and Medium strings (13's) dropped one full step yield roughly the same string tension. I do feel though that the Mediums tuned down are just a bit softer hence my remark about easier string bending.

 

JB

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