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  #1  
Old 01-30-2019, 08:37 AM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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Default Tension vs Hardness

On the topic of things that make me go hmmm;

I tend to get confused on strings described as "hard" & "high tension". It seems to me that terms used as if they are interchangeable & the same thing.

Are they really the same thing?

Are there high tension strings that are soft?

Are there normal tension strings that are hard?

how do the manufacturers identify them?
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2019, 10:01 AM
Bax Burgess Bax Burgess is offline
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An incomplete answer is that the terms "hard", "high tension", "medium" etc. have the most relevancy within a single brand's product line, moreso than across multiple brands.
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:09 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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They are subjective descriptors intended to provide a sense of player experience. "High tension/hard" requires more effort to play than "low tension/soft". They aren't intended as scientific descriptions.
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:24 PM
nikpearson nikpearson is offline
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Default Tension description is in part accurate...

Within a given brand and string type the given tension is comparative. High tension strings are of a higher tension than normal tension strings. So in this way at least the tension description is scientifically accurate; tension being the force imparted by the string as it is tuned.

Things become less clear when comparing tensions of different string types within the same brand. For example, normal tension nylon trebles will not necessarily be the same tension as fluorocarbon trebles also described as normal tension. However, within the same brand different string types will broadly speaking fall within a similar tension range: with strings described as normal tension all tending to have less tension than strings described as hard tension.

To make things more confusing, comparisons between brands aren’t so easy; one brand’s normal tension could be easily be comparable with another brand’s hard tension. An example of this being D’Addarion Extra Hard Tension Nylon actually having less tension than Savarez Corum Alliance Hard tension. I’m this example there’s also the use of the terms ‘hard’ and ‘extra hard’ to denote increasing tension. This does not mean the strings are actually harder - hardness is a scientific term with a very precise meaning - but a ‘hard’ string of the same brand and type could be described as ‘harder’ to play due to having an increased tension when compared with a ‘normal’ or ‘low’ tension string of the same brand and type.

Hopefully this makes at least some sense. I found it harder to explain than I thought once I started typing!
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Old 01-31-2019, 03:00 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkstott View Post
On the topic of things that make me go hmmm;

I tend to get confused on strings described as "hard" & "high tension". It seems to me that terms used as if they are interchangeable & the same thing.

Are they really the same thing?

Are there high tension strings that are soft?

Are there normal tension strings that are hard?

how do the manufacturers identify them?
Hard tension & high tension are interchangeable terms.

After that the ‘One mans ceiling is another mans floor’ rule applies.

Howard Emerson
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:40 AM
Quickstep192 Quickstep192 is offline
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I find it interesting that there’s so little information about the actual tension of classical strings.

As a classic guitar newbie, I wonder/worry about the amount of stress from the strings given that classical guitars usually don’t have a truss rod and can’t be given a neck reset.

I try to stick with normal tension, but it sounds like one string brand’s normal tension could be another’s high. For example, my Knobloch CX Active carbon normal tension strings could exert more pull than high tension nylons.

Am I unnecessarily concerned?
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:15 AM
Bax Burgess Bax Burgess is offline
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Test some low tension strings, which can be comparatively sonorous. I don't believe you're overthinking this, though, you are thinking mid to long term. The online sellers do show tension numbers for many, if not all strings.
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:44 AM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep192 View Post
Am I unnecessarily concerned?
Yes.
When it comes to nylon string tension, you should be thinking about playability, feel and tone, as it relates to you and your guitar.
That's it.
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2019, 11:08 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep192 View Post
I find it interesting that there’s so little information about the actual tension of classical strings.
As others stated, there is sufficient information by at least some of the manufacturers.

Quote:
As a classic guitar newbie, I wonder/worry about the amount of stress from the strings given that classical guitars usually don’t have a truss rod and can’t be given a neck reset.
Generally, classical guitars don't require an adjustable rod. Many are made with neck reinforcement, such as ebony strips or carbon fibre inserts. Many nylon string guitars have a neck joint that can be rest if needed. While neck resets on nylon string guitars are not unheard of, it isn't a common repair.

Quote:
Am I unnecessarily concerned?
Pretty much, yes. Generally, choose brand and tension of strings for their sound and feel, not instrument longevity.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2019, 02:13 PM
zhunter zhunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
Hard tension & high tension are interchangeable terms.

After that the ‘One mans ceiling is another mans floor’ rule applies.

Howard Emerson
This. If you want more info on actual tensions, drill down far enough and Strings By Mail has tensions in lbs for many string types and tensions. And true to Mr Emerson's statement you will find some manufacturers normal tension strings have tensions as high as some manufacturer's hard tension strings.

hunter
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2019, 05:50 AM
Quickstep192 Quickstep192 is offline
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I can’t seem to find tensions for the Knobloch CX actives anywhere. If anybody know, please pass it on.
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