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-   -   What I think of DR Sunbeam strings (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=159930)

tochiro 07-27-2009 07:17 AM

What I think of DR Sunbeam strings
 
Hi!

I have just put these strings on my guitar (12 - 54 gauge) and I really like what I hear. This has been the first time I use DR strings.

These strings are first very comfortable to my fingers, which is nice because I had been using 11 - 52 gauge strings for years and have recently changed to 12 - 54. I had problems adapting to the new gauge but the DR strings seem definitely softer to my fingers. I do not know why exactly.

The sound is really nice with more treble and bass than my previous set of strings, which were coated strings. The response is very balanced.

I had read about these strings here on this forum (thank you forum members!) and thought I should try them. Definitely nice strings I would recommend.

Chris

ewalling 07-27-2009 07:40 AM

Hello Chris. I've still to try these DR Sunbeams, which, as you say, have certainly proven popular with forum members. Incidentally, why did you switch from 11-52s to 12-54s? I prefer 11-52s myself except on my Martin which seems to respond well to a harder right hand attack.

Glennwillow 07-27-2009 08:05 AM

Hi Tochiro,

The DR Sunbeams feel softer under your fingers because they bend easier than most strings on the market. Most strings (at least the 4 wound strings, low E through G) are wound around a hexagonal core, while the DR Sunbeams (and also Martin FX) are wound around a round core of wire. The hexagonal core is stiffer, harder to bend compared to the round core.

I have been using DR Sunbeams for about a year now and like them a lot myself.

Regards, Glenn

lofapco 07-27-2009 08:17 AM

Just decided to try a set over the weekend for my Gibson LG1. I was looking for something a bit more "Vintage" sounding than the Elixir PB Nano 12's I normally keep on my other two guitars. The other thing I decided to try (but haven't swapped out yet) are Elixir PB Nano Mediums 13's on my Gibson AJ.

I did the Sunbeam Rare 12's on the Gibson LG1 and really liked the tone, especially on day 2. The first night I had them on I had to adjust to having string "squeek" again but that seemed to either have settled down on the 2nd day or I just got more used to lifting my fingers off a bit more. Not sure which it was... I do enjoy the easy bending of the strings and for the blues tones, they are very nice sounding to me. I had tried them once before on the recomendation of the tech at the Podium for an old 60's Kay guitar I had. He had said they had a real nice blues tone and was right. I may have to try another set on my Taylor 612 and see what they do for that but I think I will likely stick to Elixirs on the Taylor in the end for the more modern tone and smoother sounding finger changes.

HD18JBGuy 07-27-2009 08:49 AM

Yep, they are really nice strings. I just did as comparison between the DR Sunbeams and the Martin SP 92/8 PB strings on two of my Martin dreads. I burned through four sets of strings, but it was worth it for testing purposes. I strung both my HD-18JB (sitka/mahogany) and my HD-28V with DR Sunbeams and played them for a good couple of hours. I then replaced them with the Martin SPs to compare.

Being that the sound of the new strings was fresh in my head, I though it would be the best way to compare. I have to say, that they were very close in sound, but I still preferred the Martin strings over the DR Sunbeams on both guitars. They just sounded better. However, given the short life of the Martin strings, the Sunbeams may suit people a little better. I don't mind changing strings often, so I have stuck with the Martin SPs for now, but I do love the Sunbeams too.

tochiro 07-27-2009 08:51 AM

Thank you Glenn for this explanation.

Ewalling, I switched from 11-52 to 12-54 because my 2 acoustic guitars sound definitely more full with the 12-54. It was the sound advice of a friend and he was right. I have an HD28 Martin and an Earth 200 Cort.

rmyAddison 07-27-2009 10:16 AM

Been using Sunbeams over two years now, a fine string indeed!

Stillwater 07-27-2009 10:25 AM

Sunbeams on a dobro?
 
Crossing threads here, but what the hey: Anyone try Sunbeams on a dobro, and if so, what gauge?

Glennwillow 07-27-2009 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HD18JBGuy (Post 1912326)
Yep, they are really nice strings. I just did as comparison between the DR Sunbeams and the Martin SP 92/8 PB strings on two of my Martin dreads. I burned through four sets of strings, but it was worth it for testing purposes. I strung both my HD-18JB (sitka/mahogany) and my HD-28V with DR Sunbeams and played them for a good couple of hours. I then replaced them with the Martin SPs to compare.

Being that the sound of the new strings was fresh in my head, I though it would be the best way to compare. I have to say, that they were very close in sound, but I still preferred the Martin strings over the DR Sunbeams on both guitars. They just sounded better. However, given the short life of the Martin strings, the Sunbeams may suit people a little better. I don't mind changing strings often, so I have stuck with the Martin SPs for now, but I do love the Sunbeams too.

Interesting comparison. I have always liked Martin SP strings, too.

From my viewpoint, the reason for trying the DR Sunbeams was in an effort to find a medium string set that was easier to play compared to hex-core mediums. (This was Rich's recommendation, who commented here on this thread, as well.) The DR Sunbeam "medium-heavy" strings (same as other brand mediums) are easier on the fingers and hands and allow me to get by with mediums on one guitar (in particular) that just sounds weak with light strings.

On the 3 guitars I have that use light strings, I am using either Martin SP or D'Addario lights (either EXP or EJ16 PB) and generally I use these strings interchangeably. I've never tried DR Sunbeams in light gauge. I should...

Thanks, Glenn

HD18JBGuy 07-27-2009 10:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glennwillow (Post 1912408)
Interesting comparison. I have always liked Martin SP strings, too.

From my viewpoint, the reason for trying the DR Sunbeams was in an effort to find a medium string set that was easier to play compared to hex-core mediums. (This was Rich's recommendation, who commented here on this thread, as well.) The DR Sunbeam "medium-heavy" strings (same as other brand mediums) are easier on the fingers and hands and allow me to get by with mediums on one guitar (in particular) that just sounds weak with light strings.

On the 3 guitars I have that use light strings, I am using either Martin SP or D'Addario lights (either EXP or EJ16 PB) and generally I use these strings interchangeably. I've never tried DR Sunbeams in light gauge. I should...

Thanks, Glenn

Yeah, the naming conventions used by DR for the Sunbeams are somewhat untraditional. And to your point, during my "test", the Sunbeams were definitely easier to play and more comfortable on the finger tips.

To me, the Martin SP strings sounded a little warmer, very lush, and full bodied on both guitars. The bass response was also a little nicer. The problem is that, all of these little nuances that make me like the Martin strings better are also the first things to die off in terms of tone, and that's when the Sunbeams surpass the Martin strings. The Sunbeams are very consistent and just fall off versus the gradual decay of the Martin strings.

Overall, I would say the Sunbeams are a better string for all purposes, but a new set of Martin SPs on a Martin is hard to beat.

Glennwillow 07-27-2009 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HD18JBGuy (Post 1912431)
...To me, the Martin SP strings sounded a little warmer, very lush, and full bodied on both guitars. The bass response was also a little nicer. The problem is that, all of these little nuances that make me like the Martin strings better are also the first things to die off in terms of tone, and that's when the Sunbeams surpass the Martin strings. The Sunbeams are very consistent and just fall off versus the gradual decay of the Martin strings.

Overall, I would say the Sunbeams are a better string for all purposes, but a new set of Martin SPs on a Martin is hard to beat.

Excellent points -- thanks for sharing your observations. And for spending the money for the experiment!

- Glenn

imwjl 07-27-2009 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HD18JBGuy (Post 1912431)
Overall, I would say the Sunbeams are a better string for all purposes, but a new set of Martin SPs on a Martin is hard to beat.

I don't dislike SPs as much as noticed they don't last as long and cost more than Sunbeams. It is subtle but they share with SP the unwound strings that are more toward a bell-like tone vs. a more brash cymbal clash.

Right now I'm doing the Sunbeam to Newtone comparison of same .012-054, phos bronze, round core.... They have similar feel, the Newtones are maybe a bit more brash sounding but that seems to diminish at about 4 hours of playing. At this point I have to say the Newtones are very nice but they are usually much more expensive.

rmyAddison 07-27-2009 11:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HD18JBGuy (Post 1912431)
Yeah, the naming conventions used by DR for the Sunbeams are somewhat untraditional. And to your point, during my "test", the Sunbeams were definitely easier to play and more comfortable on the finger tips.

To me, the Martin SP strings sounded a little warmer, very lush, and full bodied on both guitars. The bass response was also a little nicer. The problem is that, all of these little nuances that make me like the Martin strings better are also the first things to die off in terms of tone, and that's when the Sunbeams surpass the Martin strings. The Sunbeams are very consistent and just fall off versus the gradual decay of the Martin strings.

Overall, I would say the Sunbeams are a better string for all purposes, but a new set of Martin SPs on a Martin is hard to beat.

I agreee 100% but apparently I have oily skin and SP's die on me in about two days. Sunbeams aren't perfect but they are very close to SP's and play easier and last longer. I play/string 4 guitars pretty regularly, I'd be spending a fortune if I used SP's.....:)

Acoustom 07-27-2009 12:02 PM

Interesting that this thread would post today. I was going to install a set of DR sunbeams on my McPherson this past weekend and after I had all the strings on and was tuning up, I find that the low E is dead. This is the second time this has happened to me. So I pulled another low E from a second set of sunbeams that I had and this time I tried not cutting the string first, but instead I fed the string through the tuner then pulled it back to where I would get the correct amount of wraps on the post, then tuned it up and cut the excess off. Sounded great. So I start playing and notice some black specs on the high E and B strings. I slide my fingers over them and you can feel them. Like little bumps. I tried picking them off but they were on there pretty good. I'm sending the strings back to Mike at Strings and Beyond so he can take a look at them. At this point I don't know what to think. The first set I ever bought were fine and I really liked the tone on my guitar, but since then I've had nothing but trouble. Anyone else had similar problems or just me? Tom

HD18JBGuy 07-27-2009 12:12 PM

I just got a few sets from S&B as well and they had some black stuff on the high B & E strings as well. They didn't affect the sound though. Not sure what it is, but it didn't bother me or my guitars.

And, yes, I learned my lesson too about cutting them prior to tuning. Due to the round core, this is a no-no with Sunbeams. Tune them, then trim. Otherwise, you risk them going dead.


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