The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #16  
Old 01-31-2010, 06:03 PM
Explorer Explorer is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 556
Default

Mr. Ed, why don't you use the Newtones on your T5 and Rainsong? Since you're straddling both worlds, I think your opinions carry some weight. I also find it interesting that you use Alchemy strings.

----

Jean, I'm not sure I buy into the idea that an appropriate radius on the nut, fretboard and saddle means that there is interference between those aspects of the system and the relief. Further, if there is neck relief, it will affect all the strings equally, as the fretboard relief means the fretboard moves away from perfectly straight equally for all strings. Are you implying that the fretboard moves away at the edges more than the center? You seem to be saying the middle strings are closer to the fretboard, but your explanation was a bit muddled.

On my six-strings and on my baritone, the tension of the 3rd string (first wound string) and the fifth are about equal, with the fourth string being a bit higher in tension. I'd expect that the tension on the 4th string would be higher, tensioned given your explanation; that's not the case in practice when I've been looking at string tensions while trying to determine the perfect set.

I haven't been sticking with stock string sets, either. As my full-fifths instruments don't have any stock string sets available, I went through several iterations of single-string experimentation, finally finding a group of gauges which work well together in terms of playability and sound. The parabola of tension exists in that set as well. The difference in gauges between plain and wound strings, which you say is too extreme, is needed to keep the balance correct... at least in the instruments I've been working with.

In other words, I've not been just buying stock sets and thinking that it's the best tension. I wound up quite a bit on bulk single strings to be able to determine what worked best. My decision to retain a wound third string on the fifths instruments (a .018 PB wound) pays off in terms of sound and balance.

You prefer a completely straight neck, from what you've posted. My own instruments have a small amount of relief, and the action at the 12th fret is less than 2mm on the sixth (thickest) string. I could never have an action so low if the neck was completely straight; since I play up the neck quite a bit, a good set up requires having that touch of relief so the whole instrument's action can be brought down. I must admit that I'm curious as to your acoustic guitar's set up, and what the action is at the 12th fret.

It's funny that different people look for different set ups. My own baritone at 25.5" has strings gauges as large as your Eb tuning, but my own tuning is B baritone, a fourth below yours. You've got roughly 10 lbs. more per string than I've got. That's astonishing to me, considering that I've found that a more responsive guitar is more responsive still when the top has less pressure on it. The higher the string tension, the stiffer the top becomes and the worse the volume and tone, at least among all the instruments I have in my house. What kind of instrument are you playing, and again, what is the action at the 12th fret?

----

To the original poster, this should be a good lesson in terms of knowing what assumptions different people have in terms of starting conditions.

To Kurt, I don't know for sure, but I suspect that if one is talking about just a few pounds of difference, a guitar is normally able to take slight adjustments from side to side. When one is talking about over 50 lbs as in the previous example, of course, that might change. *laugh* If a guitar is built to a precise set of tolerances, and is built so that it is just on the point of failure in order to really get the most vibration out of the strings... well, I don't know of any luthiers who build such an instrument. Most builders want to build something which will last through a variety of conditions, and if even a small change in humidity might emperil such a delicately balanced instrument (wood swells, strings stay the same length, more tension, BLAMMO!)... well, I don't think a builder would put in the time in order to have a timebomb out there, waiting to explode on their reputation. Do you?

Let's see if there's anyone out there who makes not just the guitars, but also strings for those guitars....

Ah! Martin has the same tension parabola on the strings they make as other string makers. Is it possible that Martin knows something?

Another company making both instruments and strings, one which was willing to toss tradition out the window, is Kaman, maker of Ovation and Adamas guitars. Their string sets have the same parabola, and they did their research work from the ground up.

I might see Rick Davis and Cat Fox later this week. If so, I'll ask them if anyone is building instruments so close to the failure point. I suspect I know the answer already, but one never knows....
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-31-2010, 11:13 PM
Jean Martin Jean Martin is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
Mr. Ed, why don't you use the Newtones on your T5 and Rainsong? Since you're straddling both worlds, I think your opinions carry some weight. I also find it interesting that you use Alchemy strings.

----

Jean, I'm not sure I buy into the idea that an appropriate radius on the nut, fretboard and saddle means that there is interference between those aspects of the system and the relief. Further, if there is neck relief, it will affect all the strings equally, as the fretboard relief means the fretboard moves away from perfectly straight equally for all strings. Are you implying that the fretboard moves away at the edges more than the center? You seem to be saying the middle strings are closer to the fretboard, but your explanation was a bit muddled. .

Hmm theoretically if the radius is same on nut, bridge and frets, the string on the distance is *less* on the edge, because the closest distance is measured as angled and the relief setup affects the pure x-vector...

Anyway I am very happy that you share your knowledge with us. The more I think of what you said, the more I am convinced that there is more in this issue than very harsh mathemathics. Your reply is the cleverest I have seen anybody say on string tension systematics.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-12-2010, 04:53 AM
Jean Martin Jean Martin is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 5
Default Still about tension progression

I googled some weeks about theory of strings, and I summarize the results here:

If you want to make guitar sound loud and bright in standard tuning, the standard string set simply is the way to go. If you want to think this parabolic shape as a thumb rule, it is ok.

The brightness on a single scale guitar on plain strings is mostly defined by it's pitch, not the tension. The high e is close (perhaps slightly above) the recommended maximum for string pitch on long-scale guitar. So no matter how thin or thick strings you use, the physical rules make it relatively impossible for plain string in lower pitch to compete with the sound of string in higher pitch, if long-scale guitar is tuned in e'. Sooner or later the string is so thick it starts to sound like a bar, and it will be very painful to press.

To test the idea of progression, one should try it with a short-scaled guitar, or tune the guitar in Eb-pitch. This way you could compensate the natural mellowness of b-string by choosing a thicker string instead of the loose one in standard set.

Anyway at the time when first metal stringed Martins were made, they were not tuned in the pitch we now as standard. Probably lower, if I should guess. But who knows, for concerts they were probably tuned as high as possible.

Even though the progressive tension with most manufactured strings at least sounds to create uniform spectrum for all wound strings, the physics here is more complicated. The bi-filament structure is an idea to weaken the string on thick strings to have a brighter sound. Now the choice of core/total weight- ratio should also be considered to estimate the optimal string for each set, the tension being just one parameter here to consider.

On multi-scale guitars though there is more room for tonal adjustments, and in theory can be set to sound brighter or darker, in uniform sound and feel - if that is what you are after.

Last edited by Jean Martin; 02-12-2010 at 04:55 AM. Reason: Adding some details
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-12-2010, 11:55 AM
Howard Klepper's Avatar
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Earthly Paradise of Northern California
Posts: 6,099
Default

A standard string set turns out to be more equal in impedance than it is in tension.
__________________
"Still a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest."
--Paul Simon
www.klepperguitars.com
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=