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  #1  
Old 11-01-2019, 09:37 AM
KalamazooGuy KalamazooGuy is offline
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Default Acoustic strings on Hallowbody

Got a fully hollow Gibson that has taken a backseat to my flat tops recently and decided to shake it up for a new couch player.

I strung up some John Pearce mediums on it and once the strings calmed down, it sounded better unplugged than the electric strings I had on there. Not surprised but it was more pleasing than I would have imagined.

Disclaimer: no intention of plugging it into an amp. (kinda silly I have to put this in here but I am hoping this could be a post with a backhand comment for once [emoji6])

Last edited by KalamazooGuy; 11-01-2019 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:57 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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What kind of Gibson "fully hollow?"

Acoustic strings can sound great on an archtop, and since you're not planning on plugging in, you don't have to deal with the unbalanced sound you'd get amplified.

If you ever decide you DO want to plug in, check out Monels.
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:07 AM
colchar colchar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KalamazooGuy View Post

Disclaimer: no intention of plugging it into an amp. (kinda silly I have to put this in here but I am hoping this could be a post with a backhand comment for once [emoji6])

Why not?

I have a friend who is an accomplished blues player and he uses electric strings on his acoustics.
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:10 AM
KalamazooGuy KalamazooGuy is offline
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1960 es330t. One pickup. The picks and strum position matter quite a bit I have found. Using a pick on the stiffer side has been best for an acoustic sound.

The undertones and slight squeals produced by this guitar are the most surprising aspect that is pleasing.
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:14 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KalamazooGuy View Post
1960 es330t. One pickup. The picks and strum position matter quite a bit I have found. Using a pick on the stiffer side has been best for an acoustic sound.

The undertones and slight squeals produced by this guitar are the most surprising aspect that is pleasing.
Those can be quite lively, even though they're thin bodied.

If it sounds good it IS good.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:47 AM
KalamazooGuy KalamazooGuy is offline
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Mr Beaumont, I see you are a jazz "guy". I put some medium jazz strings on this guitar a while back and they were a bit dark and too heavy. I play mediums on my acoustics and was curious to see how heavy I could go and it perhaps get a bit fuller sounding. It was a bit too heavy.

Question for you. Could you point me in the right direction for an arch top that sounds surprisingly well unplugged? Maybe a specific Gibson archtop without a pickup? I have almost no experience with archtops.

Thank you
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:55 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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If you really want an archtop that will sound good unplugged, you gotta look for a solid top (usually, though there are exceptions) and at least a 3" deep body.

Gibson has made MANY over the years. Two of my favorites that fit the bill (and don't break the bank completely) would be the lowly L-50 and the very nice (but for whatever reason, not as valuable as some) L-7.

The gold standard would be something like a 20's/30's 16" L5 (like Maybelle Carter)

Man...the sound...

Also, heavy string high action on an archtop really does make them sing...but of course there's a point where playability suffers.

A lot of jazz guys (myself included) actually use heavier strings on their electrics than their acoustics! Plugged in, with a low action, I can use something like a .014 for the high E. But that's on a guitar that does NOT sound like much unplugged.

Here's arguably one of the best players on the planet on an old L5.

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Old 11-01-2019, 01:26 PM
KalamazooGuy KalamazooGuy is offline
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Thanks for a detailed response!
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:26 PM
Triple Zero Triple Zero is offline
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I have acoustic strings on my archtop. I even play it plugged in -- the Kent Armstrong floating single coil pickup I have is designed to play nice with bronze strings. I have Martin 80/20 lights (12s) on it right now. I had 13s on it at one point, but I thought they were too heavy.
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Old 11-14-2019, 01:28 PM
1Charlie 1Charlie is offline
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+1 for monels. Sound great unplugged, and since they are a nickel alloy, a magnetic pickup can "hear" them really well.
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