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  #1  
Old 01-19-2020, 09:55 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Default Very Basic String Question

I've been playing stringed instruments over 40 years now, but I have a real noob question:

Are the plain (unwound) strings all the same metal? I mean if I took the B's and E's from a pack of monel, phosphor bronze, 80/20, aluminum bronze, etc. would they all be the same metallurgically? Or are they different? Thanks!
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:09 PM
Jeff Scott Jeff Scott is offline
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I believe they pretty much are, for the most part.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:18 PM
Psfam Psfam is offline
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Default Steel

I think they are just steel and basically all the same. They might be coated sometimes. And most wound strings have a steel core, not all. The alloys are used for the winding but the steel provides the strength for stretching the string.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:44 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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The plain steel B and high E strings are just that, plain steel. Some brands of strings have those two plated with something - I think Martin strings has one product line that has yellow metal-plated B and high E strings - but as a general rule those strings are the same from one brand to another. When piecing together a set of strings from spares I’m generally loathe to mix different brands of wound strings together, because they can sound jarringly dissimilar. But mixing in different brands of plain B and high E strings doesn’t seem to make any tonal difference whatsoever.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:01 PM
xaxinojo xaxinojo is offline
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A revolutionary departure from a "traditional" classical string construction, every string is wound, even the first. Made like a fine violin string, the trebles are a braided metal rope core wound on with a flat nylon monofilament, while the basses are a perlon floss core wound on with a silver-plated bell bronze wire. For many years, the preferred strings of the top Brazilian guitarists, the Thomastik- John Pearse set gives unbelievable clarity, projection and volume-almost like a steel string-with no more tension on the guitar than a traditionally made firm tension classical set. 0.016.024.025.030.035.043.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:01 PM
zmf zmf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xaxinojo View Post
For many years, the preferred strings of the top Brazilian guitarists, the Thomastik- John Pearse set gives unbelievable clarity, projection and volume.....
Nice to hear. I just bought a set of these, but haven't strung them up yet. Guess I have something to look forward to.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:06 PM
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dwasifar dwasifar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xaxinojo View Post
A revolutionary departure from a "traditional" classical string construction, every string is wound, even the first. Made like a fine violin string, the trebles are a braided metal rope core wound on with a flat nylon monofilament, while the basses are a perlon floss core wound on with a silver-plated bell bronze wire. For many years, the preferred strings of the top Brazilian guitarists, the Thomastik- John Pearse set gives unbelievable clarity, projection and volume-almost like a steel string-with no more tension on the guitar than a traditionally made firm tension classical set. 0.016.024.025.030.035.043.
By an amazing coincidence, what you just said there is word for word what John Pearse says on their website about these strings. What are the odds?
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:24 PM
cliff_the_stiff cliff_the_stiff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xaxinojo View Post
A revolutionary departure from a "traditional" classical string construction, every string is wound, even the first. Made like a fine violin string, the trebles are a braided metal rope core wound on with a flat nylon monofilament, while the basses are a perlon floss core wound on with a silver-plated bell bronze wire. For many years, the preferred strings of the top Brazilian guitarists, the Thomastik- John Pearse set gives unbelievable clarity, projection and volume-almost like a steel string-with no more tension on the guitar than a traditionally made firm tension classical set. 0.016.024.025.030.035.043.
xaxinojo- Are they noisy in fingering changes and slides? Seems like a significant departure from normal technique...
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:24 PM
xaxinojo xaxinojo is offline
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Default Very Basic String Question

I copied and pasted the Thomastik-John Pearse as an example of a set of strings that have the B and E strings that are not simple steel. Nothing nefarious intended.

Last edited by xaxinojo; 01-20-2020 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:29 PM
xaxinojo xaxinojo is offline
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Default Very Basic String Question

I did not like the Thomastik- John Pearse on my 000-28ge.
Went out of tune quickly.
Low E rang on the first fret when no other strings have ever done that.
Noisy and a bit clangy but not any noisier in slides.
Felt good on the fingers.
Felt very different on the B and E strings.
Of the many strings I have tried on this guitar my favorites are the d’addario nickel bronze balanced tension for feel and sound.

Last edited by xaxinojo; 01-20-2020 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:33 PM
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RalphH RalphH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
The plain steel B and high E strings are just that, plain steel. Some brands of strings have those two plated with something - I think Martin strings has one product line that has yellow metal-plated B and high E strings - but as a general rule those strings are the same from one brand to another. When piecing together a set of strings from spares I’m generally loathe to mix different brands of wound strings together, because they can sound jarringly dissimilar. But mixing in different brands of plain B and high E strings doesn’t seem to make any tonal difference whatsoever.


Wade Hampton Miller
I have also mixed the plain strings from 80/20s and PBs (same brand, both coated) from spares after a string length cutting malfunction. Ie I measured a B string relative to the E string post and cut it *sigh*

They matched perfectly, which the wound strings certainly would not have done (yes, I have tried it, just out of curiosity, to see what G&D 80/20s with A&E PBs sounds like. Really, weird and not in a good "ooh, that's interesting" way, if you want to know )
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:46 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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I asked this same question of the good folks at d'Addario and DR. The d'Addario people answered that "for the most part, most are the same but not all. Some are also tinned or coated differently. Tone-wise it is not night and day."

I haven't received an answer from DR strings yet.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:21 PM
tadol tadol is offline
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Different makers use slightly different steel formulas, and there are some that treat the drawn raw wire in different ways, and some that treat the finished string, but it is not easy to hear any of those differences on a guitar -
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:02 AM
Bax Burgess Bax Burgess is offline
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Concerning the Thomastik Infeld Pearse Folk treble e, their site shows a discrepancy. The top description states that all trebles having a rope core, but lower down the treble e is said to have a steel core, the treble b and g rope cores.

https://www.thomastik-infeld.com/en/...hn-pearse-folk
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  #15  
Old 01-21-2020, 06:22 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I’m not going to get into the technical composition of the Thomastik-John Pearse strings, but can say that they’re excellent-sounding strings that generate no more tension than a set of firm tension classical guitar strings. I have an all-laminate classical guitar that sounded like the mediocrity that it is when I put a set of Savarez classical nylon strings on it, yet it came alive and sounded much better when I strung it with the Thomastik-John Pearse set.

Seriously, it sounds remarkably good now. I keep it out on a stand in our living room just as a beater I can grab when the mood strikes, but one of my friends just loves the guitar now and always plays a few songs on it whenever he comes over.

Xaxinojo, it’s not surprising that you didn’t like the Thomastik-John Pearse Fingerpicking strings, because they’re intended for nylon string guitars, not steel string guitars like your Martin Triple O. They can’t deliver enough energy to the top to make a steel string acoustic guitar sound good.

If you have a classical guitar, you’d be much happier with the Thomastik-Pearse strings on that guitar than you could be with them on your Martin.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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