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Another String Thread - Cleartone EQs


BoSoxBiker
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I wasn't sure if I should revive a 3-year older thread or start a new one. Etiquette won out.

Cleartone EQs on day-3. One of a few new to me offerings I bought or was gifted in the past 6 months to try.  I don't know what to say. These things suck? These things are great? No where in-between? These are the most enigmatic set of strings I've ever tried. Many plectrums used for different things are behaving oddly, sometimes in an oxymoron-like fashion. One pic in particular sounds like I stuffed a pillow into my guitar. 

The feel of them is as if someone asked them to design a string that encourages one to not try to slide their fingers on. Not tacky, but not slick, either.  

My tuner is all over the place so far. A light-to-standard strum reveals some secondary tones that are a totally different noise than I am used to hearing. It's as if these were laying on the fret-board, and simultaneously, raised up with enough action to ring brightly.

Not all is bad, though. Using certain pics, digging into the strings at just the right manner reveals a magnificent depth. Reminds me of maybe a rich dropped or open tuning. I might even be able to claim that more of the guitar's wood can be heard.

I'm very curious to learn how these will finally settle in. There's huge potential in there. I'm hoping giving it a solid week will help simmer them down. Next up in a couple weeks is a set of those Martin Titaniums on my SJ.

 

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I think the different alloys thing had me curious to begin with. The additional volume would be a negative for me. 

Anyhow, I recorded a few takes earlier in the week for possible use in a song. They didn't turn out so bad. They were as I described earlier. The dynamic range of these strings is remarkable. Not just ion terms of how they were played, but also the plectrums being used. It's as if these strings amplified those differences. I found a layer of warmth underneath the stringy resonance on a strummed part that is shining through in a very nice way.

The big change happened, quite by coincidence, as I was changing out bridge pins as I wrote about in a separate thread. Bridge Pin Bingo  A fortuitous moment of an otherwise negative thing left me with a set of bridge pins too small for the issue I was trying to fix, but just right for the slightly undersized bridge pin holes in the hummingbird. I put these in and most of that blatty string resonance thing was gone, leaving a very solid tone. Still very dynamic in nature, though. The biggest effects on tone from pic to pic that I've ever had.

Even bigger, though, is that this 'bird with these strings become that "cannon" as people describe some guitars. Not so much in a bad way, though. The volume got louder as the advertising suggests, but the layers and depth of tone coming from this also increased. There are some overtones I just don't get normally. I don't know if these will end up as the strings to use forever and ever on my Hummingbird, but they are NOT being yanked out on Monday as I had been planning. These could end up being used on occasion for recording purposes if I can't otherwise find a specific tone or something.

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String changes can do the strangest things to our ears.   I try not to get too over anxious about the differences 🙂   it takes a few days for a new set to settle down.  More so if they are not coated maybe?  I put a set of J200s on myJ200 (AFAIK they are just Masterbuilts with a silk wrap on the end) 

I swore at first they were much brighter then the masterbuilts I'd replaced them with  but after a day or so, they,,  weren't.   my ears.  doing what my ears do.

I tried Cleartones when they first hit the market,  I don't think they had the EQ line up yet.  The lasted a real long time and unlike Elixir's they didn't get the the point where the coating that the Nano or Polywebs have shred.   I think it is just cosmetic though because even when that does happen, they still sound pretty good to my ears.  I may try a set of these EQs...

Edited by kidblast
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On 2/24/2020 at 9:15 AM, billroy fineman said:

not for not - i just went back to 80/20s on my J45 (was using PB)...  first time I went this way I was not super fond, but this time I'm really liking it.  I feel (but am probably wrong) that the 80 / 20s helps the guitar continue the same path as having a baked top.

I've got a couple sets of 80/20s hanging around. Most everything in my acoustic string box is  either NB or PB. Interestingly enough, I kind of made the switch to PBs on my Taylor 614 (baked top, maple back & sides) from the 80/20s last year. I pet a set of Martin flex cores PBs on it a couple weeks ago that seems to push the volume too much. 

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On 2/24/2020 at 9:27 AM, kidblast said:

String changes can do the strangest things to our ears.   I try not to get too over anxious about the differences 🙂   it takes a few days for a new set to settle down.  More so if they are not coated maybe?  I put a set of J200s on myJ200 (AFAIK they are just Masterbuilts with a silk wrap on the end) 

I swore at first they were much brighter then the masterbuilts I'd replaced them with  but after a day or so, they,,  weren't.   my ears.  doing what my ears do.

I tried Cleartones when they first hit the market,  I don't think they had the EQ line up yet.  The lasted a real long time and unlike Elixir's they didn't get the the point where the coating that the Nano or Polywebs have shred.   I think it is just cosmetic though because even when that does happen, they still sound pretty good to my ears.  I may try a set of these EQs...

These are still doing strange things. I couldn't get into any sort of rhythm early in the evening, but picked it up several hours later on my way to bed and ended up playing a few songs. Their sounding and feeling very nice now, too.

I think the not being too quick to yank new strings off thing is probably a good bit of advice.

That coating issue on the Elixers surprised me more than once. I remember at least a couple times leaving them on well past that point because the felt and sounded just fine. This last time was like a warning sign, though. I don't think it was 2 weeks. 

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15 hours ago, PatriotsBiker said:

That coating issue on the Elixers surprised me more than once. I remember at least a couple times leaving them on well past that point because the felt and sounded just fine. This last time was like a warning sign, though. I don't think it was 2 weeks. 

wow, usually dont see that until it's been a few months.

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I would say the award for the most enigmatic set of strings I ever tried goes to the Cleartone Red Brand which were all copper wound.  The EQ Hybrids inherited the low E from these.  I was given some sets of the Hybrids by a friend who owns a small music shop who wanted to know what I thought of them.    What I came away with is I liked them far more on grand concert and dread sized ladder braced guitars than others.   

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On 2/26/2020 at 6:52 AM, kidblast said:

wow, usually dont see that until it's been a few months.

It was a few months at least before flaking, but only a couple weeks of flaking and good tone after the flaking had begun. (just to be clear)

On 2/26/2020 at 6:56 PM, zombywoof said:

I would say the award for the most enigmatic set of strings I ever tried goes to the Cleartone Red Brand which were all copper wound.  The EQ Hybrids inherited the low E from these.  I was given some sets of the Hybrids by a friend who owns a small music shop who wanted to know what I thought of them.    What I came away with is I liked them far more on grand concert and dread sized ladder braced guitars than others.   

The low-e string thump seems to be more forgiving at times. There's almost as much of a natural dynamics taming going on as there is EQ. I tracked again the other day using a different mic position, and it came out very nice. (still adjusting room's acoustics, though, so we'll see)

There is something about the A string that feels like it sits higher. I didn't pay much attention to it, but the A and D strings are each .001 thicker than the D'add NBs and the Martin Flex Cores I currently have on the other 2 guitars using 12s. Still, surprised that I can feel so small a difference. 

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