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Old 03-24-2016, 08:37 AM
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Joel Teel Joel Teel is offline
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Default Builders...what strings (brand and gauge) do you use?

Good morning all,

As I was sitting here this morning, having my second cup of coffee and waiting for the rain to move in, this question popped into my head...

As a builder, which strings do you use on that wonderful instrument that you've just spent 100+ hours carefully crafting?

You've developed a signature sound, carefully designing and constructing your instruments and slowly orchestrating an evolutionary process over time, ultimately arriving at a point that you feel best represents that perfect tone that you long ago imagined...

So now, after all of your effort and time, you've reached the point where you have to choose a groom to pair with the beautiful bride. What strings (brand and gauge) have you determined to be the best partner for her...reflecting all of her inherent beauty and grace and allowing her to shine the brightest for all the world to see (er, I mean hear)?
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:41 AM
Daveac Daveac is offline
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Great question, this should be very interesting
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:05 AM
Pat Foster Pat Foster is offline
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I'm a big fan, long time user of D'Addario Lights, EJ16 12-53 phosphor bronze. One of my customers changed to a 13 e string with good results.

Pat
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:18 AM
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Interesting question, I would guess gauge could vary based on customer preference and application (such as home tunings other than standard).
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:26 AM
Chas Freeborn Chas Freeborn is offline
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I've used John Pearse strings for years. Exceptional quality and I've got a longstanding relationship with them so service and pricing are superb.

As for gauges, it's whatever I'm after in overall tone and feel. I prefer Mediums, but will sometimes use "Bluegrass" (Medium on bottom and light on top). It depends a little on scale length and if lowered tunings will be employed.

They also make a "new medium" set which is the opposite of Bluegrass - medium on top and light on bottom (bass), which have very even tension across the range. Better suited to playing in standard tuning.

For round-core strings- which I also like, I use DR Sunbeams. Also great people and good pricing in bulk to luthiers.
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:46 AM
Stephen Strahm Stephen Strahm is offline
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D'Addario EJ16.
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:53 AM
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String gauge depends on how the top was braced and voiced. If I braced and voiced a top for light strings it would implode if someone put heavy strings on it and inversely if I braced and voiced for heavy gauge strings it would sound pretty anemic if you put lights on it.

I have used DR hand made strings for years and use their Rare models exclusively. I used D'Dario's for a brief time while DR was having some QC issues with their string packaging supplier.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:20 AM
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Hi, Joel,
I need to be able to rely on set-to-set consistency, and over the last several years, the most reliably consistent strings are D'Addario and Martin SP (which I think are actually manufactured by D'Addario- someone correct me if I'm wrong).
My personal preference as the "reference" string is D'Addario EJ16, Phosphor Bronze, light gauge. When I'm setting up a new guitar, these are the ones I use. The reason? I've used a lot of brands and types of strings over the years, and I can't remember the last time I used a set of D'Addarios that had a "dud" string in it. I can't say that about several other brands.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:28 AM
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I think the brand and alloy of strings are unimportant as long as they are of sufficient quality. While they do not all sound the same, new strings tend to sound better than old strings, and a good guitar sounds better than a bad guitar no matter which string is used. My choice will be overwritten by the customer in any case. I use whatever seems like a good deal, unless a customer has been specific. More important is the tension, and unless otherwise directed, I build for 12-53.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:48 PM
lizzard lizzard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
I think the brand and alloy of strings are unimportant as long as they are of sufficient quality. While they do not all sound the same, new strings tend to sound better than old strings, and a good guitar sounds better than a bad guitar no matter which string is used. My choice will be overwritten by the customer in any case. I use whatever seems like a good deal, unless a customer has been specific. More important is the tension, and unless otherwise directed, I build for 12-53.
You see now Bruce,.... (Like Mark) It would be better if you posted less, because every time you do, I want to commission a guitar from you.

Chris
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:02 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Been using EB Aluminum Bronze and liking them, in both 11-52 and 12-54(? I believe.) They seem to have a tad lower tension, which I prefer. And for some reason our favorite big box retailer cut the price on them in half virtually.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzard View Post
You see now Bruce,.... (Like Mark) It would be better if you posted less, because every time you do, I want to commission a guitar from you.

Chris
Mostly I endevor to impart wisdom and experience based information as opposed to advice, but in this special case I do advise you to give in to the urge; I believe you and I both suspect we'd have a lot of fun!
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:18 PM
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Joel Teel Joel Teel is offline
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Hey Bruce...if you get a commission out of this thread, will you send me an autographed pack of strings? 😋

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
Mostly I endevor to impart wisdom and experience based information as opposed to advice, but in this special case I do advise you to give in to the urge; I believe you and I both suspect we'd have a lot of fun!
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Old 03-25-2016, 04:58 AM
stringjunky stringjunky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
More important is the tension, and unless otherwise directed, I build for 12-53.
Would 13-56 break it, or otherwise, stress it more than you'd like? I can't use more than 12's on my 000.
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:10 AM
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Mark Hatcher Mark Hatcher is offline
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My default strings are D'Addarios PB 12-53. They are a little "jangly" the first day or so but, are exactly what I like tone wise. Now I'll use any strings a client wants and adjust the build as needed to accommodate them but, I'll always wonder what the guitar would sound like if it had the right strings on it

Mark

By the way, I have no relation or financial interests in D'Addario
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