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  #1  
Old 09-27-2023, 06:31 AM
Rashari Rashari is offline
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Default Emerald X20 Strings

I bought my first high-end acoustic and first carbon fiber guitar, an Emerald X20, which is coming on Friday! Super excited for it to arrive. In the mean time, Iím curious as to what strings others have found best for their X20s or carbon fiber guitars in general. Iíve read that carbon fiber guitars are often pickier about string selection, and itís ultimately a personal preference, but still interested to see if thereís one set thatís commonly liked.
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Old 09-27-2023, 06:50 AM
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David Eastwood David Eastwood is offline
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I’m not sure you’ll find much consensus

I did not care for the stock D’Addarios at all. I tried Elixir Nanoweb PBs as well, but they were altogether too ‘polite’ for my tastes. I’ve settled on D’Addario Nickel-Bronze Lights (12-53) on my X20. They sound and feel great, last a long time (and look pretty cool, too).

I also used John Pearse Pure Nickel on the X20-7 I owned for a while, and suspect I’d be quite happy with them on the current 6-string as well.

Have fun experimenting!
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Old 09-27-2023, 07:31 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Eastwood View Post
Iím not sure youíll find much consensus

I did not care for the stock DíAddarios at all. I tried Elixir Nanoweb PBs as well, but they were altogether too Ďpoliteí for my tastes. Iíve settled on DíAddario Nickel-Bronze Lights (12-53) on my X20. They sound and feel great, last a long time (and look pretty cool, too).

I also used John Pearse Pure Nickel on the X20-7 I owned for a while, and suspect Iíd be quite happy with them on the current 6-string as well.

Have fun experimenting!
I am using John Pearse Pure Nickel on both the X20-7 and X20 that David used to own. I am not much for experimenting with strings, so I can't make comparative statements regarding other types of strings. These seem fine to me, so I am sticking with them.

Tony
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Old 09-28-2023, 01:37 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Mine came to me used with SCGC balanced tension strings. They were fine, but my guitars usually wear one of three string types:
- D'Addario EJ-16 light or EJ-17 medium
- GHS White Bronze
- Elixir Nano PB's in either light or medium gauge

I have experimented with other types and still have several left in my string box, but those three are my go-to's, especially since they are readily available to me. My choice vacillates between light and medium gauge depending on the guitar and my needs for it. For standard tuning and most playing, light gauge works well. For altered tunings, mediums allow for adequate tension and playing feel when I tune down -- my bass (6th) string can be tuned down to C at times.

If I use a guitar for several tunings I tend to avoid expensive coated strings, because tuning the same string up and down several times quickly kills the overtones due to metal fatigue. I often put a specific guitar into a tuning and it just lives there. When it is time to replace that set, then I practice switching between tunings on the same guitar -- a skill worth having.
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Old 09-28-2023, 02:19 PM
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My X20 was delivered with EXP PBs and they were OK. Since 2019 I have been through these types and like the DiAddario NB's best:

Elixer PB
DiAddario NB 1252BT
Martin SP
Martin Retro MM12
Tomastik AC111
NB12/52's again
Newtone Masterclass Monel 11/52
Newtone Masterclass PB
NB12/52's again
NB10/47
Newtone Heritage PB 11/47 (current set)

I liked the Tomastiks and the current Newtone Heritage but the DiAddario NB's are my go-to for this guitar. My notes say "nice feel, solid but controlled bass, excellent chime, same reaction on second use". None of the others were awful but my notes on them range from OK to thin to meh.

Interestingly, I don't really like the NBs on my wood guitars.
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Old 09-29-2023, 10:25 AM
JackDaniel JackDaniel is offline
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You also need to be asking what type of playing people do when asking this question. I've gotten great advice on string choice only to discover the person plays a different style than I do.
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Old 09-29-2023, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
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You also need to be asking what type of playing people do when asking this question. I've gotten great advice on string choice only to discover the person plays a different style than I do.
Very good point. I play fingerstyle exclusively, and rarely strum. if you were to hit NBs hard with a pick, they might sound horrid
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Old 10-07-2023, 04:49 PM
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My X20 came with Daddario EXP .012 - .053. I liked them just fine. When it came time for my first string change I opted for Daddario XS .012 - .053 and they are sounding great. I like how long the Daddario XS strings last without feeling slippery like Elixirs nanoweb phosphor bronze.

The XS strings made sense to me since the Emerald guitars are so consistent and stable. I love the low maintenance aspect and Daddario XS strings fit that description very well. I also read that Vince Gill started using XS strings and he likes them. I've been using XS strings on my Martin D18 and HD-28's too and like them a lot.
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Old 10-07-2023, 06:54 PM
BlueStarfish BlueStarfish is offline
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Martin Retro's or D'Addario Nickel Bronze in Medium Gauge for me.
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Old 10-08-2023, 04:59 AM
Rashari Rashari is offline
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I got my X20 almost a week ago now! I wasnít huge on the EXP lights that came with it - not a bad sound, but the strings were wearing out quickly for coated strings, and there were minimal overtones. I put on a Elixir Nano PB Mediums, and now I LOVE how it sounds - totally different guitar!
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Old 10-08-2023, 06:55 AM
mountainmaster mountainmaster is offline
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Until recently I was using Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze on my CF steel string guitars.

I tried D'Addario XT strings once and hated them for their dead tone.

However, as much as I hated the XTs I love the new D'Addario XS strings. Even though the XT and XS are both coated strings from the same company they couldn't sound more different.

XS strings sound the same to me as Elixirs and they keep their tone just as long. And most importantly, they don't shed their coating in a dandruff-like fashion as the Elixirs do.
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2023, 07:16 AM
Rashari Rashari is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainmaster View Post
XS strings sound the same to me as Elixirs and they keep their tone just as long. And most importantly, they don't shed their coating in a dandruff-like fashion as the Elixirs do.
Iíll have to try those out next - I used XS strings on my Seagull and loved those, I just didnít have a set on hand to put on my X20 quite yet. Thanks for the recommendation!
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Old 10-09-2023, 08:00 AM
121 121 is offline
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Default Magma

I really like Magma Flat Phosphor Bronze strings on my X07, X20 and X30 and
prefer the 10-48 over the heavier gauge offerings.
I get a nice clean sound that maintains very well through out their long string life.
The wound string surface is flattened and polished so well
I never never get any string squeak.
These strings are much smoother and squeak free than coated strings.

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Last edited by 121; 10-09-2023 at 08:43 AM. Reason: changed image
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Old 10-09-2023, 04:29 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 121 View Post
I really like Magma Flat Phosphor Bronze strings on my X07, X20 and X30 and
prefer the 10-48 over the heavier gauge offerings.
I get a nice clean sound that maintains very well through out their long string life.
The wound string surface is flattened and polished so well
I never never get any string squeak.
These strings are much smoother and squeak free than coated strings.

I need to get out more: I am unfamiliar with these strings. I use Elixirs on my guitars, wood and CF... but "smooth, flattened, and polished" sounds interesting. How's the sound on your X20 with the 10-48 gauge strings? And how long do they last?
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Last edited by Captain Jim; 10-09-2023 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 10-11-2023, 04:29 AM
121 121 is offline
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To me the Magma Flat Phosphor Bronze 10-48 sound brighter than
D'Addario Flat Top Phosphor Bronze 10-47 strings. I can't comment how
the Magma may sound compared to Elixir, it's been years since I've played Elixir strings.
If you are concerned if the Magma Flat strings sound dull or muddy, they do not.
They are clean and ring out very well.
The flattened polished wound string surface on the Magma strings is very smooth,
noticeably smoother then D'Addario Flat Top but not quite as smooth as D'Addario Chromes which to me feel slippery smooth.
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