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  #1  
Old 11-30-2019, 07:49 PM
whvick whvick is offline
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Default Strings for old archtop

I have a very old Harmony arch-top. Would electric guitar strings put less stress on the neck than light or extra light acoustic ?
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:12 PM
swarfrat swarfrat is offline
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Acoustic strings are available in light gauges. I don't see much point in nickle wound on an acoustic guitar, unless you just like a dull string.
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:49 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is online now
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WH, archtop guitars are an inherently stronger design than flattop guitars are, and unless the guitar already has neck problems, you can probably go heavier with the strings. Most 20th Century factory-built acoustic archtops are most efficiently driven by beefier strings than you might expect.

So, sure, you can put wispy extra lights on the guitar if you feel that you must, but you’ll almost certainly get more tone out of it with mediums or heavier. That’s why the guitar probably had put on it at the factory when it in production. Dialing in the string height is easily done by using the thumbscrews on the bridge.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:32 PM
1Charlie 1Charlie is offline
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Agreed. Archtop need beefy strings to drive the top. And that old Harmony in all likelihood came with monel strings from the factory.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:37 PM
Ben M. Ben M. is offline
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I would agree with the above responses but op's question was about stress on the neck.

Yes electric strings will put much less tension on the neck but I doubt you'll be happy with the sound.

What are your concerns about stress on the neck
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Last edited by Ben M.; 11-30-2019 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:02 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben M. View Post
What are your concerns about stress on the neck...
Quote:
Originally Posted by whvick View Post
I have a very old Harmony arch-top...
Pretty much self-explanatory IME, especially if it was strung at any time with the old bridge-cable New Brunswick (NJ) Black Diamond strings; wrecked many a nice old Harmony Montclair/Monterey/Broadway (including my own) - turned the necks into boomerangs and/or pulled the neck joints...
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:37 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Hi, I have a '60s Harmony Monterey, and like my Gibson and my Eastman it wears medium gauge nickel strings All seem very happy.

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Old 01-22-2020, 12:23 PM
ricklt ricklt is offline
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Is the neck bowing or pulling loose? Or the top warping? I have an old Harmony archtop that belonged to my grandpa. I learned to play on it. I have learned that it doesn't sound right with light strings. They just can't move that top enough to get the sound it's I supposed to. Grandpa always used mediums.
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