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  #1  
Old 01-16-2019, 06:00 AM
ruger9 ruger9 is offline
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Default More brightness & punch out of cedar-top/hog B&S (STRINGS)

Walden GA, lam. hog B&S, solid cedar top. I love the guitar, it's got a nice mellow sound.... but once the strings break in, too mellow. I now wish I had a spruce top for this guitar, I think that's really what my ears are looking for... more volume, punch, and clarity.... BUT since that's not happening, I wondered if some different strings might help a little...

Over the years, I have found that:

1) I really like the way Elixir Nano 12 PB sound, but the tension is a little high for me. Other strings' 12s I have no problems with. But the slightly higher tension on the Elixirs is quite noticeable to me. And 11's sound too thin.

2) I settled on 2 strings for this guitar: Sunbeams and Martin TEs. Both sound great when new, but a bit too mellow after break-in.


I've been down the string road many times, I'm just posting the question to narrow my search.... I actually HATE buying umpteen different strings and then trying them over many days. I saw a post from 2013 where someone said the EJ16 will "add punch and brightness to a quiet guitar", and that's what prompted me to ask the question... alot of new strings have come out since then...

Any recc's?

[I have already tried: (all 12s):
Monels- great on some guitars, but not this one- too mellow esp. after break-in
GHS Bright Bronze- ok
Martin FX XP TEs - they were pretty good, better than Elixirs, tension-wise... actually found them very similar to Sunbeams.
D'Addario EXPs - too long ago, can't remember
Aluminum Bronze- YUCK]
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2019, 06:05 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Cleartones are bright IMHO.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2019, 06:23 AM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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If you want brightness, forget about coated strings. None that I have tried offer as much brightness as uncoated versions.

The Martin Eric Claptons are a bit brighter than the standard Martin PBs. The new Authentics are brighter to my ear.

Going to a slightly lighter gauge may help.

Your problem does not come up very often. At least I don't see it much on AGF. Too much brightness, another story.

In general, 80/20s might be what you need.

If you have not tried one, a Tusq saddle may be the answer. To my ears, Tusq ups the brightness.

Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:41 AM
broy broy is offline
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Not to go tangent on the conversation, but what about nut, bridge and pin material... at least the bridge and pins are pretty easy to swap out without being too high $ of a mod.

My thinking is another material could impact the sound quite a bit, maybe more than string choice.. although I'm not the right person to say which is best...
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:47 AM
ruger9 ruger9 is offline
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I've read tons of threads over the years on pins.... it's a crapshoot, with most people saying they make little difference. The nut on this guitar is plastic, and the saddle is already Tusq.

And I already have relatively higher action, so there's no more volume or punch coming from raising it.

It's Walden's copy of the Taylor 514ce, but with lam. hog B&S. It's a VERY light guitar. (see signature)

Frankly, even strings don't make a huge difference... especially after break-in... a guitar sounds like what it sounds like. Which is fine, but I'm not in the market for a new acoustic right now, so was looking to maybe get a LITTLE help from some different strings...
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2019, 06:49 AM
DownUpDave DownUpDave is offline
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If you play with a pick experiment with material and gauges. I get a large tonal difference from picks, going from thick to thin really increases brightness. I like 1.0 or .88 in Ultex and going down to a .60 is much brighter. Ultex and Primetone have a strong clear tone, nylon is warmer and duller, these are generalizations.

Paddy is correct about coated strings being warmer then noncoated. Try some Daddario 80/20 lights, 12s are brighter than 13s. Good luck
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  #7  
Old 01-16-2019, 06:58 AM
ruger9 ruger9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
If you play with a pick experiment with material and gauges. I get a large tonal difference from picks, going from thick to thin really increases brightness. I like 1.0 or .88 in Ultex and going down to a .60 is much brighter. Ultex and Primetone have a strong clear tone, nylon is warmer and duller, these are generalizations.

Paddy is correct about coated strings being warmer then noncoated. Try some Daddario 80/20 lights, 12s are brighter than 13s. Good luck
I use Ultex... on this guitar, they are perfect. My Red Bear is a little warmer, and the BC MUCH warmer. The Ultex helps bring out the trebles.

IDK about all coated strings, but I have always heard Elixirs (Nanos) as bright, even when compared to uncoated strings. As I said, I love Elixirs on this guitar, but the slightly higher tension puts me off.
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2019, 07:00 AM
jemartin jemartin is offline
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If there is one type of string I would recommend for a cedar topped guitar... it would be GHS Contact Core Bright Bronze strings (not their standard Bright Bronze). I rotate a lot of different strings on and off of my Taylor GS7 with cedar top, but these stand out. They are a different animal but I like them on the cedar topped Taylor the best. Long life.. for me.. and the bass notes ring out clear and bright. And.... they are not expensive.
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2019, 07:19 AM
DownUpDave DownUpDave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
I use Ultex... on this guitar, they are perfect. My Red Bear is a little warmer, and the BC MUCH warmer. The Ultex helps bring out the trebles.

IDK about all coated strings, but I have always heard Elixirs (Nanos) as bright, even when compared to uncoated strings. As I said, I love Elixirs on this guitar, but the slightly higher tension puts me off.
Looks like you have given this a lot of thoughtful experimentation already. I have a Taylor 512 which is cedar and mahogany so I know the tone you are speaking about. I have Martin 80/20 lifespan lights 12-54 on it now, brightened up just a bit. But it is what it is and will never have the bite or punch of my spruce tops.

I am sure you already know this but maybe a really good pro set up will improve playability and allow to use the Elixirs you like. Just a thought
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  #10  
Old 01-16-2019, 08:07 AM
Goodallboy Goodallboy is online now
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If you stated whether you use a pick or not I missed it.

If you use a pick, you want one with a crisp attack and not all have that. In fact, many times the biggest tonal changes can be achieved by altering your pick choice.

I like a crisp attack and use a V-Pick Trad. UL, or a PickBoy MetaCarbonate. Both are excellent at bringing more “brightness” and “punch” from my guitars, without adding pick noise.
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  #11  
Old 01-16-2019, 08:10 AM
ohiopicker ohiopicker is online now
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Try Ernie Ball Aluminium Bronze. Snappier top end and clear deep lows. That's what it did to my cedar top.
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  #12  
Old 01-16-2019, 08:22 AM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiopicker View Post
Try Ernie Ball Aluminium Bronze. Snappier top end and clear deep lows. That's what it did to my cedar top.
With the caveat that EB ABs can be a bit too much at first. Give them a day or 2.
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  #13  
Old 01-16-2019, 11:15 AM
ruger9 ruger9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiopicker View Post
Try Ernie Ball Aluminium Bronze. Snappier top end and clear deep lows. That's what it did to my cedar top.
I did (as I said above). They were AWFUL! I actually threw away the 2nd set I bought, they were so bad. Sounded like tin cans !
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  #14  
Old 01-16-2019, 11:30 AM
Kitkatjoe Kitkatjoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruger9 View Post
Walden GA, lam. hog B&S, solid cedar top. I love the guitar, it's got a nice mellow sound.... but once the strings break in, too mellow. I now wish I had a spruce top for this guitar, I think that's really what my ears are looking for... more volume, punch, and clarity.... BUT since that's not happening, I wondered if some different strings might help a little...

Over the years, I have found that:

1) I really like the way Elixir Nano 12 PB sound, but the tension is a little high for me. Other strings' 12s I have no problems with. But the slightly higher tension on the Elixirs is quite noticeable to me. And 11's sound too thin.

2) I settled on 2 strings for this guitar: Sunbeams and Martin TEs. Both sound great when new, but a bit too mellow after break-in.


I've been down the string road many times, I'm just posting the question to narrow my search.... I actually HATE buying umpteen different strings and then trying them over many days. I saw a post from 2013 where someone said the EJ16 will "add punch and brightness to a quiet guitar", and that's what prompted me to ask the question... alot of new strings have come out since then...

Any recc's?

[I have already tried: (all 12s):
Monels- great on some guitars, but not this one- too mellow esp. after break-in
GHS Bright Bronze- ok
Martin FX XP TEs - they were pretty good, better than Elixirs, tension-wise... actually found them very similar to Sunbeams.
D'Addario EXPs - too long ago, can't remember
Aluminum Bronze- YUCK]
A bass singer isn’t gonna sound like a tenor. A spruce top does sound very different from a hog or cedar top guitar. They are all different but grand in tone.
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  #15  
Old 01-16-2019, 11:36 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Cedar and mahogany are two strikes against getting a bright sound. Best bet is to pick a little closer to the bridge.
That will be more effective than playing around with string brands, etc..
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