Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

The more I think I know about strings


ksdaddy

Recommended Posts

Scenario: 1979 Dobro (square neck) with strings that have been on it since sometime before 2009.

 

It was my brother's Dobro and I know for a fact he fiddled around with the tension screw on the cone and didn't know what he was doing, nor did I, who probably handed him the screwdriver. I went to change the strings last week. There were 3 sets in the case, all at least 10 years old and one likely 30 years old. One was a set of GHS semi-flats, no idea why anyone would want them, but there they are. Another was a set of John Pearse nickel 16-58. The 30+ year old ones were D'Addarion J42's, 16-56 phosphor bronze. I figured I'd try the D'Addarios. They were so old, they were in a clear package with individual string envelopes and they had no colored balls.

 

They were also dead. I don't mean a little dead, I mean thud dead.

 

I've heard people say that strings have a shelf life and I didn't want to believe them. I'm still skeptical but....

 

I took them off and pondered my next move. At the same time, I removed the cover plate, spider and cone to clean them and attempt a setup, maybe not perfect but at least following some of the prescribed steps. At that point I noted the female threads on the cone were slipping and it would never be 'proper' I super glued a tiny brass nut on the back side so I could at least adjust it some. I then put the John Pearse nickels on it. Sounded fine, (what do I know??). I then ordered a new Beard cone.

 

The Beard cone is supposedly "not 100% aluminum" as most standard replacement cones are. I have no idea. Sounds like voodoo to me but I went ahead and paid the $70 rather than buy one from China.

 

It came in and there was a marked difference in tone. Maybe a tish more volume, hard to say, but it did seem to have just a more lush tone. I don't regret it and I would do it again.

 

That was last night. I had put the Pearse strings back on because I was waiting on the mailman. Today I received a new set of D'Addario EJ42's in the mail. I swapped out the 5th and 6th strings....and after just playing for a few seconds, removed them and put the nickels back on.

 

Open, I could not tell the difference. None. When the bar hit it, the bronze went thud. The nickels rang. Not a tinny piercing ring. A thick, creamy ring that hits like a medicine ball.

 

Disillusioned? Oh yeah. Shattered everything I thought I knew.

 

And meanwhile I have nickel bronze on the '64 SJ. They've only been on there a few months but I like the thick (dull?) tone. It goes against everything I've been told about strings, but I'm tempted to put a set of 13-56 nickels on an acoustic and just see what happens. Not making any predictions because traditional knowledge hasn't served me well lately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...