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Old 05-21-2016, 01:24 AM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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Default Shorty string test

I've tried about six different sets of strings since buying my Shorty back in late 2014. There still are a couple more sets I'd like to try, namely the Newtone Doublewounds and the new D'Addario NBs. Some strings I've tried didn't work at all on this guitar, but I've had some surprises too.

I've recorded two different strings sets bases upon their reviews (even on wood guitars) and on how those same reviews compare to my playing style. The strings I chose to record for this sampling were for a warmer tone and for playability, and while not getting too flabby with the shorter scale.

While I'm primarily a fingerstyle player, I also need to strum when playing worship music at church. I like both of these but for different reasons. Which recording do you like and why??

The first set is Elixir Polyweb 80/20 med/lights, and the second set are Martin Retro lights. The samples are strumming only. (apologies for the unedited clips- my Wavelab software was acting funny so I just went with the H2n direct because it just sounds way better)



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Last edited by steelvibe; 05-21-2016 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:22 AM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
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Just comparing these two clips, I prefer the retros. The Elixirs are far too "sizzling" for me.

When you try the double wounds, add the same clip to these so we can hear that too.
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:43 AM
Finger Stylish Finger Stylish is offline
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While I prefer TR Retros on my Rainsong dred, in your sound clips, the elixer 80/20 sound best to me on your shorty. The Retros sound milky on your recording. That's from someone who only uses Martin Retros.
When I used Elixer strings, they always sounded best fresh and never stayed on my RS longer than 2-3 weeks.
My TR Retros last 3-4 months before changing, not because they sound bad, but because I don't feel right about not changing them when I have new packs ready for play.
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Last edited by Finger Stylish; 05-21-2016 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:01 AM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirwhale View Post
Just comparing these two clips, I prefer the retros. The Elixirs are far too "sizzling" for me.

When you try the double wounds, add the same clip to these so we can hear that too.
Yes Sirwhale, there is a bit more "sizzle" and that is something that doesn't work well with CF. However, I like how there is definite and fuller bass- kinda has a nice growl to it. I will post recordings of the Newtones for sure when I get around to trying them- they might even be less bright than the Retros- and that would be a good thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finger Stylish View Post
While I prefer TR Retros on my Rainsong dred, in your sound clips, the elixer 80/20 sound best to me on your shorty. The Retros sound milky on your recording. That's from someone who only uses Martin Retros.
When I used Elixer strings, they always sounded best fresh and never stayed on my RS longer than 2-3 weeks.
My TR Retros last 3-4 months before changing, not because they sound bad, but because I don't feel right about not changing them when I have new packs ready for play.
Thanks Vance. I like your term "milky" . I agree, they seem to have a more even sound to them (and you can see that in the peaks and valleys in the audio clips compared to the Elixirs). I love these for fingerstyle though- great tone and feel. I tried the TR Retros and they were way too stiff for my tastes without adding value to the tone, at least in my opinion.

Thank you guys for your thoughts!
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:29 AM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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So I took the advice of another CF fan here (Sirwhale) and tried out a set of Newtone Double Wound Master Class strings (12-52 PB) on my Shorty. The jury is still out on them as far as how they will settle and how long they will last, but initial impressions of them are;

Pros- Gorgeous shimmery tone, might be a tad better than the Martin Retros which to date are my favorite strings on the Shorty. These Newtones are a bit more defined and have better note separation to my ears (you can listen to the same strumming pattern of the Retros that I provided in the OP). They also have a touch more sparkle on the top end, the Retros are also nice and mellow but a bit more "milky". The Newtones are full and warm and I believe the plain steel strings are dipped in nickel and that takes off some of the edge and brightness. This is a good thing since the Shorty is a very bright guitar. These strings are easy to fret and smooth like butter- they feel slicker than Elixirs?

Cons- hard to find and on the expensive side. The manufacturer claims longer string life due to the double winding- repelling finger grime longer. Also there has been talk here on AGF by respectable members that they don't hold their intonation well and I can attest to that. They are not terrible, but they do seem to fall out more than other strings and don't "stay put" like most strings do- especially on carbon fiber. Maybe they will get better/ maybe worse? Here are a couple samples of the sound, both strumming and fingerstyle.



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Last edited by steelvibe; 07-19-2016 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:20 AM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
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Hi sean

Interesting review. To add to this exploration, I just broke the G string when I was shaving the saddle (left the strings on) and tuned up the string with the capo was still on tight (oops).

I had a packet of Newtone's nickel round cores, so stuck the G from that on, mixed with the double wound PBs.

I know that Newtone sell a set called "electro acoustic" where they do this mix because they say it gives a better transition from the mellow wound strings to the brighter plain strings. And I can say that it really works.

Maybe in the future I'll email Neil (from Newton) and ask for a custom set of 11-52s with double would PBs on the 6th, 5th, 4th strings and one of his double wound nickels on the 3rd string - just to see what happens!

Obviously if you are looking for more mellow strings than bright strings then best stick to the normal set (which I'll probably end up doing).
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:19 AM
LSemmens LSemmens is offline
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I prefer a warmer tone on acoustic when strumming, but those 15-52s sound great fingerpicking.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:39 AM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSemmens View Post
I prefer a warmer tone on acoustic when strumming, but those 15-52s sound great fingerpicking.
Thanks for the comment. These are by far the warmest sounding strings on the Shorty that I've found to date and recorded on a Zoom H2n. If it sounds bright, that is the nature of the guitar.

The unique tone of the Shorty is precisely why I dropped the cash I did on this guitar. I love the tone for fingerstyle, but find it's dominant mid range and clear and sparkling highs perfect for cutting through the mid in a full band.
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