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daveinspain

Wow... who knew....!? (long post

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Hey guys and gals, while I was out galavanting and away from the forum I discovered something very helpful that you all might want to try. First let me go back a bit... The past few summers while visiting my family in Boston I have been able to get together with a couple of my old high school buddies for a three day escape to a lake house on Lake Winnapasawkee in New Hampshire. We used to have a band together but I was a drummer back then. My old guitarist, Jack, who is an awesome and very accomplished guitar player now a days, was kind enough to give me some playing tips. I had brought an Ibanez acoustic guitar with me that I keep at my mother's house and Jack had an old beat up Ovation. Same one he had the past couple years we did this. Now last year when we did the lake house get away he saw me struggling trying to play my Ibanez. Jack says, Dave put that down a minute and play this, Jack hands me his Ovation and it was like, Oh My God...! I couldn't believe how that guitar played. This guitar mind you, has had the headstock snapped off and repaired, there is a large crack on the top from the bridge to the bottom of the guitar and looks a mess. So what did I notice then about the guitar that made it so much easier to play? The action was much lower and the strings were lighter. So first thing I did was put a new set light acoustic strings on the Ibanez and brought it to a shop to have the action lowered.

 

Big change in playability but no revelation... OK, back to this past trip. Jack lets me play the Ovation again and once again it was like OMG!!! SO I asked Jack what are these strings, flat wounds? Jack says no... They're regular electric guitar strings, 9's... [confused] That Ovation played like butter and sounded great! So not only was he using electric strings on an acoustic but very light guage electric strings... [thumbup]

 

Next time you change the strings on your acoustic try a set of electric strings on it. Jack also told me he uses them for recording acoustic as well, makes for a very clean bright sound... I trust Jack, he has played on albums that have sold more than 10,000,000 copies.

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Sounds interesting for recording or amped playing.

 

But for playing live, unamped but for mics, the smaller strings don't make enough volume. That's why some guys like 12 or 14 sets. 9? No way. More meat, more volume. Bluegrassers or fingerstyle would like 'em bigger guage.

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I've done this with my very first acoustic guitar (still have it) because its is so unplayable with acoustic strings, it can pretty much only be played with electric. It does make it more playable, but to me, it lost alot of snap, brightness and volume. I've never tried it on an acoustic/electric. I wonder how it would sound?

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I use .010-.047 light gauge strings, and I shaved the saddles to lower the action on my Alvarez Silver Anniversary acoustic-electric. It plays like an electric and it's much brighter, it loses some volume and thump unplugged, but it's much more playable for me.

 

alvarez2555.jpg

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Hmmmm, I messed around with some Ovations in the 80's and I thought they were simply a waste of wood. I could say they were lower end models, but still they stunk. Interesting!

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I've had two, albeit very briefly...

 

The cracking you describe between the bridge and tail is typical of Pawn Shop Ovations.

 

 

I'll remember the trick though, thanks a million Dave!

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I've been doing that for a while.

 

I didn't realize it was so unheard of.

 

My dad has an old Hummingbird copy that is strung with regular slikies and it plays and sounds great.

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It seems SO WRONG!!!!!

 

I will try it ^^V

 

Always wanted to try that, actually, and asked a guitar shop person if it was cool to get an electric set of strings for my accustic...he looked at me like I was a nut job!

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