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  #1  
Old 03-01-2024, 12:50 PM
tomcstokes59 tomcstokes59 is offline
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Default Taming rosewood overtones - Eastman E20SSv

The Eastman E20SSv is a Adirondack/rosewood, short scale slope shoulder design jumbo with an antique varnish finish. I have owned the guitar since April '23.

It gets played maybe 1-2 hours/wk (total >50 and <100 hours) as well as using a Tone Traveler for a full day at least once/week (total > 500 hrs). I have been trying different strings over the last year. It came with I believe D'Addario EJ-16 ( PB 12-54). The guitar was very lush, with a good base and a great deal of overtones. I next tried D'Addario Nickel Bronze 12-53. This seemed to tame the overtones and made for a much more direct tone(dryer?). Volume and bass were very good with a nice sparkle to the highs. In the past I have never liked nickel strings or Martin Monels, but on this guitar they really worked. Next up was a set of D'Addario NB Light Top/Medium Bottom (12-56). These made the guitar way too bass dominant and over powered the trebles. I went back to the standard nickel 12-53. Recently it was time for another change and I decided to try GHS Phosphor Bronze Lights (12-54). I have kind of settled on these for rosewood guitars.

Here's the conundrum - I like the balance with a little rosewood scoop, very strong bass, sparkling trebles but the overtones are over powering. Some chords sound down right angelic. But quite often it is too much. It sounds like all of the notes are fighting with each other and not complimenting the chords. So my questions: 1) Is this the nature of the guitar with PB strings? 2) Is there a way to mitigate these overtones - pick attack, pick thickness, type? 3) Would letting the strings age or get old soften the overtones? I tend to prefer fresh strings.

Maybe the answer is to just go back to the NBs and call it good. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-01-2024, 02:03 PM
mesabgM4 mesabgM4 is offline
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I use D’addario flat tops on one of my acoustics to tame some of the high overtones when flat picking it.
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Old 03-01-2024, 02:20 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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It doesn’t appear that you’ve tried 80/20 bronze strings. You should give them a try. I recommend the John Pearse 80/20’s.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 03-01-2024, 04:16 PM
kizz kizz is offline
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Maybe another guitar is a better choice than having to struggle with taming that guitar.
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Old 03-01-2024, 04:28 PM
tomcstokes59 tomcstokes59 is offline
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Mesa and Wade
Thanks for the suggestion. I think I have a sent of GHS 85/15s in a draw somewhere.

Kizz
I respectfully disagree as the guitar being at fault. I think it is just a correct string choice and better skills on my part.
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Old 03-01-2024, 05:11 PM
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SalFromChatham SalFromChatham is offline
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Tom I hear ya. I’ve felt the same way about a Martin HD-28 whose tone I felt I was always fighting. Some guitars are meant for different players. I think you need hog. I know you like Eastmans… how about the E10ss?
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Old 03-01-2024, 05:20 PM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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As Wade says. Try 80/20s (not 85/15s). You will get more fundamentals, more scoop, less overtones.

Leave them on a while. In the "good old days" the only choice was 80/20s or nickel (monel in that bracket). So a lot of those classic J45 tracks were cut with played in 80/20s on the guitar.
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Old 03-01-2024, 05:29 PM
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Jim Owen Jim Owen is offline
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I second the choice for 80/20s—I use John Pearse on the spruce/rosewood Gurian I play. It’s a process, always, to match strings to your guitar.

I’ve never tried Monels or Nickels on the Gurian, but I like the John Pearse Pure Nickels on some guitars. They will tame some brights.
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Old 03-01-2024, 06:11 PM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
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I agree with trying the 80/20s.
Best,
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Old 03-01-2024, 06:12 PM
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I pick door # 3

Quote:
3) Would letting the strings age or get old soften the overtones? I tend to prefer fresh strings.
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Old 03-01-2024, 06:30 PM
Buc-a-Roo Buc-a-Roo is offline
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Nickel. Martin's Retros are very good nickel wrapped strings which are very fundamental in tone. D'Addario makes a good set as well but they have nickel plated phosphor bronze wrap wire. Guaranteed to reduce harmonics and overtones.......though some are freaked by nickel strings on acoustic guitars.
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Old 03-01-2024, 07:03 PM
tomcstokes59 tomcstokes59 is offline
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Thank you everyone. I appreciate the guidance. I have a path forward.
1) play them until their are dead
2) once they are really dead 80/20 (not 85/15)
3) Retros
4) if all else fails - go back to the NBs
Experimenting with strings can be an inexpensive adventure.
Thanks again.

Last edited by tomcstokes59; 03-02-2024 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 03-01-2024, 07:55 PM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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There are a number of different string alloys that have less overtones than phosphor bronze. Nickel bronze, GHS vintage bronze, 85/15 bronze, 80/20 bronze, monel, zovar, etc. Try a few alloys and see what you think. That's a nice guitar you bought. I've played them and they sound terrific.
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Old 03-01-2024, 10:32 PM
gfirob gfirob is offline
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You probably need a D-18. Try that if all the string options fail.
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Old 03-01-2024, 11:30 PM
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Zissou Intern Zissou Intern is offline
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Guys, Tom has a small stable of fine guitars and has many others over the past few years. Suggesting other models is fruitless.

Tom, I like Retros on mahogany for exactly what your E20SSv needs. But I don’t like Retros on the three EIR guitars I’ve owned recently. I prefer deadish J17’s or DR Rares on my HD28LSV. To my ear, the Rares “thicken” the trebles. Just tonight I strung up this LSV with a set of SC Mid Tensions. They are far too expensive, but I have been wanting to try them since they were introduced. And like you, I am experimenting to find the right strings.

I really like D’Andrea Pro Plec picks when I want a more staccato tone. They are “thuddy” compared to Vespel or Casein and pretty much all I use on my Burkett. I use 1.4 and 1.5 large triangles.
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