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  #1  
Old 10-31-2016, 11:40 AM
Jimmyohio75 Jimmyohio75 is offline
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Default String tension: More to do with scale length or actual type of string?

I realize that shorter scale guitars seem to reduce string tension but are there actual string types (80/20, monel, PB,) or brands that are less "stiff"?
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2016, 11:58 AM
Neon Soul Neon Soul is offline
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String "tension" is a combination of scale length and string construction (core size, shape, wrap thickness etc...).

String "feel" has to do with tuner position, break angle etc... as well as string construction as well.
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:12 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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String questions seem to be popping up frequently these days.

The Mersenne-Taylor equation relates the vibrating frequency of a string, f, to its vibrating length, l, its mass/unit length of string, m, and its tension t, as shown below.



What can be learned from the equation is that if you make a string shorter, but tune to the same pitch, the tension will be less. What can also be learned is that for a specific, fixed string length and fixed pitch, the tension on the string is directly proportional to the mass/unit length of the string. That is, the greater the mass/unit length, the greater tension for a given string length and pitch.

There are three ways to alter the mass/unit length. The first is to use a larger diameter string. The second is to over-wrap the string with windings. The third is to change the material from which the string/core is made. String manufacturers do all three.

As a player, you have the option to choose between using a different gauge string, using a wound vs. unwound string, or you can use a different string material. All of those will alter the tension in the strings, for a given string length and pitch.
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:30 PM
Jimmyohio75 Jimmyohio75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
String questions seem to be popping up frequently these days.

The Mersenne-Taylor equation relates the vibrating frequency of a string, f, to its vibrating length, l, its mass/unit length of string, m, and its tension t, as shown below.



What can be learned from the equation is that if you make a string shorter, but tune to the same pitch, the tension will be less. What can also be learned is that for a specific, fixed string length and fixed pitch, the tension on the string is directly proportional to the mass/unit length of the string. That is, the greater the mass/unit length, the greater tension for a given string length and pitch.

There are three ways to alter the mass/unit length. The first is to use a larger diameter string. The second is to over-wrap the string with windings. The third is to change the material from which the string/core is made. String manufacturers do all three.

As a player, you have the option to choose between using a different gauge string, using a wound vs. unwound string, or you can use a different string material. All of those will alter the tension in the strings, for a given string length and pitch.
Which string (wound or unwound) provide less tension? I am going for the least amount of tension possible. I already play a short scale (14 fret) guitar and use 11's. I want a slinky feel like my electrics used to have. I do a lot of bendy stuff like Dave Matthews.
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Old 10-31-2016, 03:46 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmyohio75 View Post
Which string (wound or unwound) provide less tension? I am going for the least amount of tension possible. I already play a short scale (14 fret) guitar and use 11's. I want a slinky feel like my electrics used to have.
Usually unwound, such as the G string. For an acoustic guitar, one usually loses something by going to an unwound 3rd string.

Try 10's.

The scale length has nothing to do with how many frets there are to the body joint.
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Old 10-31-2016, 09:22 PM
jricc jricc is offline
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Martin makes a flexable string.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/deta...I0_hoCPlXw_web

I use them and they feel real good.
Good luck.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:51 AM
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Sounds like it's time to play lots of different strings until you find the one's you prefer. However, for me, I try/play/experiment with many different strings for their tonal qualities - on a specific guitar - not tension. In the end no one is going to say - "wow, that guitar has great string tension". They, and you, will say "wow, that guitar sounds great".

Try going to string manufacturer's web sites and look at the specs for tension. I'll help out - here's D'Addario's. You can find similar information for other makers if tension is your deciding factor.

http://daddario.com/upload/tension_chart_13934.pdf

If you're looking for the "feel" of an electric try the Ernie Ball Super Slinky Acoustic Guitar strings. I've never tried them on acoustic but played them plenty on many electrics.
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Last edited by DenverSteve; 11-01-2016 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:05 AM
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John Pearse silk and steel flavor strings are nice for less string tension.http://www.stringsandbeyond.com/jope61siphbr.html

Also in addition to string height (action) check you truss rod/neck relief and set the neck as flat as possible (relief or lack there of). On some guitars I found relief has a bigger impact than string height on ease of fretting.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:59 AM
ChrisE ChrisE is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcgeek View Post
John Pearse silk and steel flavor strings are nice for less string tension.http://www.stringsandbeyond.com/jope61siphbr.html

Also in addition to string height (action) check you truss rod/neck relief and set the neck as flat as possible (relief or lack there of). On some guitars I found relief has a bigger impact than string height on ease of fretting.
That's what I was going to say. A flatter neck makes the strings more slinky/flexy. More relief tightens them up.
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:26 AM
westman westman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jricc View Post
Martin makes a flexable string.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/deta...I0_hoCPlXw_web

I use them and they feel real good.
Good luck.
"Martin Acoustic FX strings utilize an advanced thin wire core wire to increase flexibility"

So is it thinner than standard core wire (= less tension - more flexabile ?) and they just dont want to put people off / confuse,
or is it - more flexible material(s) -
typical evasive marketing. For a project someone could get the string tension gauge rigged up on these (and other evasive marketing brands).
It's not like measuring CO2 emissions from German autos Oh thats been done - right.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:53 PM
robj144 robj144 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westman View Post
"Martin Acoustic FX strings utilize an advanced thin wire core wire to increase flexibility"

So is it thinner than standard core wire (= less tension - more flexabile ?) and they just dont want to put people off / confuse,
or is it - more flexible material(s) -
typical evasive marketing. For a project someone could get the string tension gauge rigged up on these (and other evasive marketing brands).
It's not like measuring CO2 emissions from German autos Oh thats been done - right.
Wow... so many different spellings of the word flexible in one post.

Anyhow, I believe they are simply thinner cores.
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:08 PM
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Martin Flexible Core strings, about $5 a set, uncoated. Santa Cruz low tension parabolic, $18 a set, micro coated. There are others also.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:26 PM
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I usually make up my own sets from singles. I like a 10, and light thru the A string, but for the low E I will stay with a 52-56 depending on the instrument. The balance of sound will be very even, even tho the first 5 are a much lighter set, but if you don't keep a heavier low E to me it sounds dead. I never feel the tension is too much on that one string and it makes for a great fingerstyle guitar. Some strings like GHS white bronze use a smaller core and have less tension for the same gauge, as do their vintage bronze. Both are nice strings to use, my favorite is the white bronze. I believe string length, core and wrap all have to do with tension for the same tuning note.
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Last edited by pops; 11-02-2016 at 07:51 AM.
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