The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 04-17-2015, 11:22 AM
Sleestack Sleestack is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 62
Default Medium guage strings for an OM?

Greetings Folks-

I have only had my OM for a couple of months and have not tried mediums on it yet. For those of you that have, do you like it? I'm just looking for a little more meat in the low end for flatpicking. Any thoughts?

Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-17-2015, 11:25 AM
rmyAddison rmyAddison is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Addison, TX
Posts: 18,658
Default

Every one of my OM/000's is strung with 13's and tuned down 1/2 step, and I'm a flatpicker, been doing it for decades.

You will get more "low end meat", and 13's down 1/2 are about the same pressure as 12's at concert pitch. Try it, I think you'll love it........
__________________
Rich - rmyAddison

Music is the best.....F. Zappa

Rich Macklin Soundclick Website
http://www.youtube.com/rmyaddison

Some Martins..........
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-17-2015, 11:59 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 21,533
Default

Sleestack - I've used mediums on all the OM's and 14 fret Triple O's I've owned, and I tune them to concert pitch. They work just fine, don't hurt the guitar and definitely give you a more powerful sound.

Something else you can do to increase the bass response is to put a John Pearse armrest on your guitar. This lifts your forearm off the top and substantially increases the amount of bass response that comes from the top.

Full disclosure: I am an artist endorser for John Pearse strings and accessories, but had John Pearse armrests on all my guitars long before I was given endorser status. What they do is allow the top to vibrate to its fullest. They make an audible difference in the tone of larger guitars, but on OM's and smaller body guitars they make a HUGE difference. The general rule is the smaller the guitar, the more impact the armrest has.

Here's a simple test you can use to tell whether an armrest will help you get the bass response you'd like: play a vigorous first position E chord with your forearm resting on the top. Then, while the chord is still ringing, lift your arm off.

If you can hear an audible change once your arm's off the top, and you LIKE that change, then you might want to consider getting an armrest.

Here's a picture of one on an OM:


That particular model armrest is called The Slimline, and it's the one I would select for an OM.

It's just a thought - as I wrote, I have them on all my guitars, and they really do what they're designed to do. Switching to medium gauge strings should also boost the bass response somewhat, but won't do it as dramatically as adding an armrest.

Armrests aren't for everyone, and there are those who absolutely despise the way they look. Naturally, they won't hesitate to share that opinion with you.

I use them for their indisputable tonal benefits: they really work. So it's a matter of personal preference - if you like or don't mind the look, if you put one on the guitar you'll get the tonal results that your post indicates that you want.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-17-2015, 12:02 PM
Nemoman Nemoman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,434
Default

I use D'Addario PB Bluegrass (Medium-light) gauge on my OM and primarily flatpick on it--works well for me. A little more low end but still easier on the fingers and good treble response on the upper strings...
__________________
Brazzie (Rio Lava)--2015 Stehr Auditorium (Adirondack / BRW)
Tigger--2013 Stehr Auditorium (Carpathian / Oregon Myrtlewood)
Melee--Razo 19 OM (German / Malaysian)
Dana--1999 Bourgeois OM (Sitka/EIR)
Nemo--2009 Taylor Custom GS (Sinker/Macassar) GONE, but still in the family
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-17-2015, 01:48 PM
ghale ghale is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Madison, IN
Posts: 579
Default

I have medium-light Ernie Ball Earthwoods on mine, the low E is a 54, and I love them. They really beef up the low end without muddying it up and the high end still sparkles. I've thought about going to full mediums but I really fine don't have the need as the tone with these is what I'm liking, no need for it to be "better". I say do it, you really have nothing to lose other than a few bucks.
__________________
Here comes guitar George, he know...some of the chords

Guild F-130NAT
Alvarez RD-8
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-17-2015, 01:56 PM
jseth jseth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oregon... "Heart of the Valley"...
Posts: 8,112
Default

Well, it's ALWAYS the safest bet to contact the manufacturer/builder and see what they say, but OMs should take medium gauge (13's) tuned to concert pitch without issue.

I have a Goodall Grand Concert that James made for me in 2011 (size/shape of an OM); the ONLY reason I can't put anything heavier than 12's on it is due to the redwood top. James told me that, with his spruce topped guitars, ANY model can handle 13's... from his Parlour to the Jumbo...
__________________
"There was no love, in the backwards glance...
there were no long drawn out good-byes.
There was some pain and some anger,
just beneath the surface,
but her words never matched the look in her eyes.
there was no love..."

(Untitled)
(J.S.Sherman
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-17-2015, 02:01 PM
Todd Yates Todd Yates is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 7,479
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleestack View Post
...I'm just looking for a little more meat in the low end for flatpicking. Any thoughts?...
I think mediums will help immensely.
__________________
Or you can call me Buck.....
My Klepper SSD thread
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-17-2015, 04:18 PM
Andy Howell Andy Howell is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 907
Default

A half decent OM will take mediums with no trouble. Much fuller sound.
__________________
------
AJ Lucas Pavilion Sweep fan fret
Santa Cruz OM/E (European Pre War)
Martin J40
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-17-2015, 06:49 PM
Sleestack Sleestack is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 62
Default

Thanks for the advice y'all! I'll string up some mediums tonight and get back to you with the results.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-17-2015, 07:39 PM
gruuv gruuv is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 422
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleestack View Post
Thanks for the advice y'all! I'll string up some mediums tonight and get back to you with the results.
I'll be interested to hear your thoughts. I dropped a set of mediums on my OMJM last week for the first time. It has made a tremendous difference in tone, both in beefing up the low end and adding some more girth and roundness to the trebles which I felt were a bit thin with lights.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-17-2015, 07:50 PM
Sleestack Sleestack is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 62
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gruuv View Post
I'll be interested to hear your thoughts. I dropped a set of mediums on my OMJM last week for the first time. It has made a tremendous difference in tone, both in beefing up the low end and adding some more girth and roundness to the trebles which I felt were a bit thin with lights.
Have you tried them on the santa Cruz yet?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-17-2015, 07:54 PM
sayheyjeff sayheyjeff is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 2,171
Default

I much prefer mediums and use them on all but my PJ.

Jeff
__________________
Flammang RS35, Lowden F38, Santa Cruz PJ, Santa Cruz OM, Martin 0018vs, Eastman 810ce, Martin LX (on loan), Martin OM28v (traded), Martin 00017s (sold), Bourgeois Martin Simpson Slope D 12 fret (sold), Larrivee Parlor (traded), Gibson LG1 (sold), Seagull Folk (traded)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-17-2015, 09:28 PM
donh donh is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,414
Default

My Larrivee OM came with mediums and loved them until it didn't. Couple years in, it got all choked sounding and lacking in headroom and I eventually tried lights and it got all happy again.

Point being: try it! If it sounds good it *is* good. Until something changes.

It's all good.
.
__________________
-donh-

*everything* is a tone control
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-17-2015, 09:46 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 21,533
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by donh View Post
My Larrivee OM came with mediums and loved them until it didn't. Couple years in, it got all choked sounding and lacking in headroom and I eventually tried lights and it got all happy again.

Point being: try it! If it sounds good it *is* good. Until something changes.
Interesting. My 1998 Larrivée OM-03W came factory stock with medium strings, too, (all Larrivée guitars did back then,) but unlike your guitar it's continued to thrive strung with mediums. It's never had anything else on it: the only change I made was going from the D'Addario medium gauge phosphor bronze strings that were put on at the factory to the John Pearse medium gauge phosphor bronze strings that I prefer.

And in case any of you might be wondering whether I know those medium D'Addario strings were factory stock for certain, yes, in fact, I do, as I picked out the guitar at the factory and was allowed to buy it and take it home.

So, short version: Don is correct, Larrivée OM's used to be strung with mediums at the factory. It's interesting that yours has changed, Don. I'm glad to say that mine has not, other than breaking in tonally. But mediums still make it sing.


Wade Hampton Miller
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-17-2015, 09:50 PM
Dadzmad Dadzmad is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 182
Default

agree 100% with Wade - I had a Larivee OM-2 and used 0.13's with a JP slim armrest and got a lot of sound out of a small guitar. If you can deal with the heavier string try them out. You can always drop back to a lighter gage. The armrests work for me too. I still have them on both my Kingpin and Guild S4CE. The smaller body guitars will never have the big voice of the larger guitars but a little help with heavier strings helps a lot with volume and projects the nice tone of the OM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=