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  #1  
Old 01-12-2016, 07:05 PM
CoryB CoryB is offline
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Default New Loar LH-309 - which strings?

As the thread title states, I just brought home a The Loar LH-309. It was a floor model and I want to replace the strings because I don't know the age of these. This is my first archtop and it's electric/acoustic to boot. So what kind of strings will work - acoustic or electric?

I know I want .012 for the high E (stupid arthritis) but do I need steel strings for the pickup to work? How about phosphor bronze?

FWIW I plan to play it both with and without my Fishman Loudbox Artist amp.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2016, 07:19 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Start with D'Addario EJ21 (12-52 roundwound) or ECG25 (12-52 flatwound), see which one the guitar likes better (not a typo - you'll know from the way the instrument responds when you've got the right combination), and work from there as you gain experience with your instrument...
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:03 AM
Realbluesman Realbluesman is offline
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When I owned one I found the best strings to be GHS white bronze (acoustic/electric) to get the most out of the pickup and still have good acoustic tone.
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:14 AM
Axis39 Axis39 is offline
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Depends on the tone you're looking for....

Me? I'd probably start with flats, and I might even go thinner. I really dig Thomastik Infeld Jazz Swings. I use 10's on several of my electrics, including a couple of Gretsches, both electric guitars, but archtops.

Thomastiks are expensive, initially. But, for me, they last up to two years of regular gigging and practicing. In the long run, they are cheaper. I have tried them on an all acoustic, my dreadnought. I actually really liked them. But, they didn't project very well... They sounded great at home, but the minute I hit a jam and there were more than maybe one or two other guitars... They were just too quiet. I still kept them on for about a year.

I am a big fan of nickel strings. I like a jazzier tone. I play a lot of West Coast Blues / Jump stuff.
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:50 AM
Archtop Guy Archtop Guy is offline
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To answer your questions...

Either acoustic or electric strings will work.

If you use acoustic strings like phosphor bronze the high E and B strings will be noticeably louder than the G string when amplified through the magnetic PU. Some players hardly notice, while it drives others crazy.

Acoustic strings always sound more acoustic, and I really like that, but others don't want their acoustic archtops to sound acoustic, and prefer steel or nickel strings because of that. Flat wounds sound even less acoustic, but see previous statement, that is the sound some folks like best.

Like Mr. DeRosa said, try some options. You can get different sounds form your new axe, experiment, learn what you and the guitar like for your style of music. Post clips!
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:51 PM
capefisherman capefisherman is offline
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Totally agree with John above, assuming you like the jazzier sound of flat wounds (I do!). I use the TI Jazz Swing on my Loar LH-309 and they sound great, and last and last. You won't be bothered by string noise with the flat wounds - that's the idea I guess - compared to round wounds that we use on our acoustics. Enjoy your new Loar, they are great guitars, assuming you can get used to the neck.
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Old 01-13-2016, 03:13 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Yeah, flats for that classic jazz tone...although, flatwounds weren't widely available til the 50's...

If you want to cop a more Charlie Christian vibe, the Martin Monels are great.

Steer clear of bronze if you plan on plugging it in, they just don't balance very well with a magnetic pickup.

Those are 24.75" scale, .012's will feel pretty good. You could go as light as .011's if needed I'd say, but you lose some beef after that, and the strings feel a little rubbery...
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:02 PM
CoryB CoryB is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions - I had wondered about the Monels. I'm going to pick up a set and give them a try.

The neck... yeah, it's different but not bad at all. I've always preferred a soft-v neck on a Fender anyway so I'm used to the shape. I played for a bit last night and really didn't even notice it other than it seems to guide my hand into the position it should be in - which is nice.

Overall I'm impressed with this guitar so far. It's got a good sound, nice action and it's more comfortable for me to play than the Dreadnought I traded for it.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:29 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Hive them a few hours to settle in, get some play on 'em. Very bright when first put on, but mellow out nicely after 5-6 hours of play. My Godin Kingpin will wear monel from now on.
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  #10  
Old 06-20-2017, 02:23 PM
pogo97 pogo97 is offline
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I recently traded to get a Loar LH-309. It had some sort of D'Addario electric strings on it (coloured balls). They sounded absolutely awful. Add to that the very stiff action and an odd muting of the treble E string and I had pretty serious misgivings.

Changed the strings to Martin Retro (monel) 12s and spent some time adjusting the action to my liking and a week or so of hard playing and it's starting to seem more like a keeper. I need to adjust the truss rod (can't find the right size allen wrench in the house) and have a tech touch up the frets and it will be just fine.

The acoustic sound is fine but not very detailed. I'm hoping it will get more interesting as it's broken in. The electric sound (through a deluxe reverb) is a little raw but can be tamed with the tone control and amp. Good controlled feedback and very punchy sound in an ensemble.

One thing I can't understand is why all the assembly screws have slot heads. I hate slot screws and never thought I'd see a new guitar that used them. Strange times we live in.
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:03 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is online now
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I learned about Newtone strings here on this sub-forum. I really like them on my Eastman with a floating mag pu and a pair of piezo's. Also I still have good acoustic volume and tone. I use the 13's but they come in 11's and 12's as well. I initially tried La Bella jazz flats. They were great plugged in but just dead unplugged.
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:27 PM
Wyllys Wyllys is offline
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Extremely pleased with D'Addario XL Half Rounds (EHR370). Currently using 11-49 set but can see going heavier.
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