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Old 03-08-2018, 01:10 PM
stratobobster stratobobster is offline
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Default Taylor String Recommendations - HD Lights

I swear that less than a year ago, the Taylor 814ce came with Elixir HD Lights, and those same strings were recommended on the website. Now it looks like the guitar comes with Lights, and any mention of HD Lights has been removed from the website. Anybody have an insight into this change?

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:44 PM
troystory92 troystory92 is offline
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Unsure why they made the change but I still put HD Lights on my 214
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:46 PM
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vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
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No insight into the change, but perhaps some insight into the "effect".

Heavier strings emphasize fundamental tones but provide less overtones. The HD Lights, developed by Elixir specifically for Taylor were designed to make Taylor guitars sound less "bright". Hold that thought for a moment.

Why not just go with medium strings? Taylor's sound-claim to fame is their overtones and resultant harmonics. If you put a .056 string on the bottom it kills off many of the overtones and harmonics that create sympathy with other overtone and result in "resultant harmonics" which make their guitars sound fuller, richer... and sometimes brighter. Putting a heavier bottom string on a Taylor can actually reduce the overall bass projection somewhat as it reduces overtone.

So, creating a hybrid set with heavier strings on the high end should have balanced out the sound but I think they found that overall it didn't and created more issues than it solved, possibly because there are so many variables across their line of guitars that it didn't make sense to put HD Lights on at the factory.

Just my opinion and speculation.
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:52 PM
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fazool fazool is offline
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My Taylors originally came with lights (12-53). I like lighter strings and switched to Custom Lights (11-52) and love this gauge.

When Taylor concocted the new HD light combination, it was intended to balance out the infamous Taylor-brightness by beefing up the low gauges.

I tried them, and didn't like them, at all.

I switched back to Custom lights but those became hard to find. GC even stopped stocking them because everyone was getting on the HD Light bandwagon.

So, I bought my Custom Lights online and even that was getting harder.

About 18 (?) months ago, I noticed GC is stocking Custom Lights again online. And other online stores carry them again. Then GC has them in the store again.

Then I notice Taylor quietly stops talking about HD Lights and touting them as the perfect string for their guitars.

So, I think it was well-intended marketing flop.
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:55 PM
Frogstar Frogstar is offline
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Hopefully they're not going anywhere, as the HD Lights are my preferred strings on my GS5 and my Seagull.
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Old 03-08-2018, 03:44 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fazool View Post
So, I think it was well-intended marketing flop.
Agreed. HD Lights are heavier trebles and light basses. I usually use medium-light sets (medium gauge bass, light gauge trebles) or full medium sets. I never got the logic or the appeal. Even though I was given a set at a Road Show, they are still unused in a box around here somewhere. I might try them on a parlor when it next needs strings, to get a little more horsepower out of that little body.

Maybe I should get together with an HD Light player. We can swap so they can use the heavier trebles, and I will take the heavier basses off their hands. Or not.......
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:17 PM
boombox boombox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogstar View Post
Hopefully they're not going anywhere, as the HD Lights are my preferred strings on my GS5 and my Seagull.
My concern too. When I got my 712e 12 fretter, it came with HD Lights. I was a bit sceptical at first as those thick trebles killed my nails. However, when I switched back to more flesh than nail, I fell in love with them. Looks like I may need to stockpile to put off the inevitable when stocks run out.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:25 PM
ChalkLitIScream ChalkLitIScream is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fazool View Post
So, I bought my Custom Lights online and even that was getting harder.
I also play 11 52s exclusively. Where do you order yours?
I get mine from strings and beyond, usually when they have their free shipping promo. Can't complain with the prices
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:52 AM
stratobobster stratobobster is offline
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Thanks for your thoughts everyone. Sounds like it seemed like a good idea to Taylor for a while (for marketing or other reasons). In any case, when I see a guitar with the scale length and body size of an 814, I would normally expect to see mediums as the recommended string gauge. I thought that the HD Lights seemed like a reasonable compromise.
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